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Rachel S. White

Rachel S. White.

This mixed methods research study explores superintendents’ beliefs about and engagement in state education policymaking processes. Through interviews with 58 superintendents and a national survey of superintendents, I find that many superintendents feel that their voices have value in state policymaking spaces; however, superintendents’ actual engagement in state policymaking processes is relatively low. Three factors shape superintendents’ state policy engagement: (1) personal capacity, (2) proximity to state capitol, and (3) district size. This work can guide the development of formal educational opportunities and experiences to better prepare superintendents to engage in policy spaces. Colleges of education, researchers, and policymakers can also draw on this work as they consider solutions to reduce inequalities in superintendents’ access to shape state education policy.

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