Exploring intersectionality and the employment of school leaders

Edward Fuller, Liz Hollingworth, Brian P. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: There is growing recognition of the importance of educator diversity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the production, placement and employment of school leaders as assistant principals, principals and school leaders in Texas by the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender over 23 years. Design/methodology/approach: This is a quantitative study that employs multilevel logistic regression analysis to examine using 25 years of educator employment data from Texas. Findings: The authors find descriptive evidence of an increase in diversity of school leaders driven by a decreasing percentage of white men educators and an increasing percentage of Latina educators. Important differences, however, emerge when examining assistant principal vs principal positions, particularly with respect to the odds of being hired. The authors find black male and Latino educators are more likely than white male educators to be hired as an assistant principal but are less likely than white male educators to be hired as a principal. Women educators, regardless of race/ethnicity were less likely to be hired as assistant principals or principals relative to white male educators. Women of color had the lowest odds of being hired in any position relative to white male educators. With respect to school leader preparation program accountability, the authors find few program characteristics associated with placement and differences between programs explained very little of the variation in placement rates, bringing into question efforts to hold programs accountable for such outcomes. Originality/value: A longitudinal examination of racial/ethnic and gender intersectionality over 25 years is a unique contribution to the study of inequitable access to school leadership positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-151
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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