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ERIC Number: ED527070
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 100
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-0032-3
The Relationship between Principal Leadership Effectiveness and School Performance in South Carolina High Schools
Lempesis, Costa
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, South Carolina State University
A critical component for successful schools is effective leadership. In the 1980's the concept of leadership emerged and the rules changed for school principals (Lashway, 2002). Previously, administrators were primarily evaluated based upon their abilities in managing school facilities and operations efficiently. Academics became the new focus. The mandates of "No Child Left Behind" ("NCLB") (2002) require that school leaders lead a faculty/staff team focused on doing what is necessary to insure satisfactory academic performance for the students within the school. While research on successful schools still confirms that the most important factor influencing student achievement is the classroom teacher (Lezotte & McKee, 2002; Marzano, 2003), research also confirms that the principal has a significant impact on satisfactory performing schools (Blase & Blase, 2001; Marzano, 2005; Reeves, 2006). According to an extensive review of the literature, high-satisfactory performing schools were led by principals who truly led the academic program, set goals, examined curriculum, evaluated faculty and assessed results (Fink & Resnick, 2001; McEwan, 2003; Wong & Nicotera, 2007). The purpose of this study was to compare teachers and staff perceptions of the impact of selected leadership behaviors of principals in satisfactory and unsatisfactory performing public high schools and to determine the relationship between the principals' leadership and students' academic achievement. High schools within the state of South Carolina where the same building principal has been in place for a minimum of three years were selected for the study. Six high schools were selected. The population consisted of 357 teachers and 52 staff members from these six schools. The instrument utilized was developed by the researcher, based upon an extensive review of the literature (Kowalski, Cangemi & Thompson, 2008; Cangemi, Burga, & Fitzgerald, 2007; Abrahams, 2007; McEwan, 2003).The 11-item survey instrument--using a 5-point Likert Scale (1 = Highly Ineffective and 5 = Highly Effective)--was designed to measure the perceptions of teachers and staff of selected effective leadership behaviors of principals in their schools. Survey data collected were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS-X). The t-test for Independent Means, One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey Test were employed to test the hypotheses. The data were further analyzed within the 11 subscales of leadership behaviors: Visionary, Risk Taker/Courage, Trustworthy, Consensus Builder, Instructional Leader, Change Agent, Innovator/Creative, Grows People, Models Behavior, Emotional Intelligence and Empowers Others. The major findings were summarized as follows: (1) There were no significant differences in perceptions found between teachers and certified staff in satisfactory schools and unsatisfactory schools. (2) Three identified leadership qualities: consensus builder, instructional leadership and emotional intelligence, received mean scores (3.76) from participants in unsatisfactory schools that were less than 4.00--indicating participants in unsatisfactory schools viewed the principals as less "effective" on these qualities. (3) Three identified leadership qualities: consensus builder, change agent and emotional intelligence received lower mean scores from participants in unsatisfactory schools than from participants in satisfactory schools based on Chi-Square analysis. (4) Two leadership qualities: grows people and models behavior, received higher mean scores by both school types. (5) Overall, assistant principals reported perceptions that were significantly higher than teachers in both satisfactory and unsatisfactory schools. Based upon these findings the following recommendations are made: (1) The study should be replicated using other school levels to ensure that there is applicability in all public school settings within South Carolina. (2) Principals should continue to develop professionally in the leadership qualities indicated by the participants' lowest mean scores: consensus builders, instructional leaders and in emotional intelligence. (3) Pre-service and in-service teachers' and administrators' education programs should emphasize leadership behaviors as an integral part of the program of study. (4) Efforts should be strengthened in schools to emphasize continued dialogue about professional development between principals, teachers and certified staff. (5) Building stronger relationships among teachers and staff should be a priority for school leaders--because of its effect on performance--since the unsatisfactory schools' principals were scored lower. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001