Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


George Marnik

Second Committee Member

Richard Barnes

Third Committee Member

Gordon Donaldson

Additional Committee Members

Paul Knowles

Sarah V. Mackenzie


The role of the superintendent has undergone numerous changes in the last century. Many report the job has become almost undoable and superintendents are becoming overwhelmed as new expectations are being placed upon them. No Child Left Behind has had a significant impact on the role of the school superintendent as they attempt to balance three sometimes conflicting roles: instructional, managerial and political. With recent legislation there has been a shift of the roles with an increased emphasis on the instructional responsibilities of the superintendent. Now superintendents are expected to improve student achievement by creating conditions that focus on curriculum and instruction.

This study examined the impact of No Child Left Behind on the work of the Maine superintendent. In this mixed methods study data was collected from Maine superintendents with ten or more years of experience. Data collection methods included a web based survey that collected data on the superintendents' roles and perceptions of their responsibilities and the necessary skills needed to do their work. A second data collection method involved in-depth interviews of six Maine superintendents. The analysis of the data involved examining the responses and gaining a more comprehensive picture of how the superintendent's responsibilities have changed and the skills that are now needed.

The study found evidence that superintendents are playing a larger role in guiding instruction in their districts since the implementation of No Child Left Behind. There was also evidence from the study that superintendents have redefined leadership due to the demands now placed on them by this piece of legislation. Further, it became apparent that superintendents were impacted by the requirements of Adequate Yearly Progress. Lastly, the study indicated that community pressure had a direct impact on the superintendent as they carried out the mandates of No Child Left Behind.

The results of this study will be relevant for educational leaders at the university level as well as professional organizations that support administrators. This study may also have implications for prospective superintendents as well as assistant superintendents as they meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. In addition, this research will contribute to the body of knowledge in this area and be beneficial to practicing superintendents as they reflect about their own work.