Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vulnerability Thesis, of Superintendents
Thomas L. Alsbury
The vulnerability thesis was developed by Raymond Callahan in his enduring 1962 historical work, Education and the Cult of Efficiency: A Study of the Forces That Have Shaped the Administration of Public Schools . Callahan's work engaged in an intensive investigation of educational history covering the period 1910 to 1929 and intended to explore the predominance of the business model and practices in educational administration. The outcome of his study included what he described as the predominance of the business ideology and influence upon the American education system juxtaposed, unexpectedly, with the extreme vulnerability of superintendents. Thus came about the vulnerability thesis. Callahan discussed the uniquely American pattern of local control and financial support as a backdrop that exacerbates the vulnerability of superintendents in schools. The vulnerability thesis suggests that public pressure and criticism of the local school is applied most often to the superintendent, who, being in a position ...