NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED556814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-7003-6
The Relationship between Rural Texas Superintendent Leadership Practices and Student Achievement
Gearheart, Vickie May
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Sam Houston State University
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to survey rural superintendents regarding their perceptions of specific educational leadership practices identified by Waters and Marzano (2006) and to correlate their endorsement of specific practices with student achievement. Methodology: All superintendents invited to participate in the study did so. The online Superintendent Leadership Practices Survey (SLPS) gathered quantitative data on: (a) superintendent and district characteristics, (b) student outcomes, and (c) superintendent endorsement of 34 leadership practices. Findings: Factor analysis of the 34 scales comprising the SLPS identified one strong factor, interpreted as superintendent best practices. A Cronbach's alpha of 0.924 for the 34 scales indicated good internal consistency and reliability. Descriptive analyses showed that superintendents almost uniformly reported being strongly engaged in superintendent best practices. No objective means were available to confirm these reports though superintendents at least appeared to recognize the desirability of leadership practices. No evidence emerged to support the relationship between superintendent leadership and student outcomes. A Spearman correlation between SLPS scores and district accountability ratings was nonsignificant. Pearson correlations between SLPS scores and student achievement, measured by percentages of students meeting Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) standard, calculated separately for districts with low, medium, and high percentages of economically disadvantaged students, were all nonsignificant. However, these low correlations may be an artifact of restricted variance. Total scores on the SLPS were uniformly high across almost all superintendents. Student outcome variables also lacked variability. Most districts fell into the two middle categories upon examination of district accountability and percentages of students meeting standard on TAKS. Variables with restricted variance produce spuriously attenuated correlations, which may explain the low correlations seen in this study. Implications: School superintendents are emerging as increasingly important leaders in an era of high-stakes testing and accountability. Waters and Marzano (2006) hypothesized that specific leadership practices positively impact student achievement. The present study did not confirm these benefits, but high levels of engagement in those best practices reported by participating superintendents indicated that these experienced professionals believe in the value of superintendent leadership. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas