The relationship between administrative actions and teacher empowerment in a local education agency that has been appointed a receiver or trustee

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Southern New Hampshire University
This qualitative, case study aimed to better understand teachers’ perceived empowerment, when working in a Local Education Agency that was placed on an improvement plan by its governing State Education Agency and resulted in the appointment of an assigned receiver to serve as head of the Local Education Agency. The need for this study is rooted in the changes of growing expectations for schools to meet adequate yearly progress and the impact that these changes have on teacher empowerment. In order to better understand teacher empowerment in a Local Education Agency that was placed on an improvement plan, Lee and Nie’s (2014) Theoretical Framework of Teacher Empowerment was applied. The study included five teachers from four different schools in same Local Education Agency that was placed on an improvement plan and assigned a receiver to serve as the superintendent and school committee. All teachers had been employed in their school for three or more years. Data was collected through two surveys, one focus group, individual interviews, review of documents, and member checking. Findings indicate that principals’ empowering behaviors directly impact teacher empowerment. Additional findings indicate that the Local Education Agency’s improvement plan and receivership indirectly impacted teacher empowerment through principals’ empowering behaviors. The researcher recommends that principals and Local Education Agency administrators evaluate principals’ empowering behaviors to identify ways of increasing teacher empowerment, as previous research found that teacher empowerment results in job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and professional commitment. (Author abstract)