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An Intersectional Approach to Public School Leadership: Employment Patterns Among Principals in Multiethnic U. S. School Districts

PAQ, Vol. 44 No. 1, (2020)

U.S. educational institutions have been exploring ways to diversify leadership. Using an intersectional approach and a dataset compiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), we examine factors associated with racial/ethnic diversity among women and men employed as principals in 613 multiethnic public school districts. Specifically, using the school district as unit of analysis, we evaluate the patterns of significance for coefficients across six multivariate regression models. Findings indicate that the most commonly used contextual variables associated with educational workforce composition are not consistent determinants of principal positions across the six intersectional groups. The internal factors, especially gender composition of teachers and racial/ethnic composition of teachers, assistant principals, and administrators appear to be more accurate predictors of principalships, suggesting that findings for workforce and leadership factors support the intersectional perspective. We observe that the significance of explanatory variables differs across models for women and men representing different racial/ethnic groups.
KEYWORDS: Intersectionality, Leadership Representation, Public School Districts

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