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ERIC Number: ED559850
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-3387-3
Principals' Perceptions of the Influence of Central Office
Russell, Barbara A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
In response to the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB, 2001), there has been a dramatic shift in schools toward improving student outcomes in the areas of reading and math. NCLB mandates that states establish specified levels of achievement for all students in these content areas and holds them accountable yearly via state assessments administered to students in grades three through eight and eleven. The resulting accountability has placed a greater focus on improving learning opportunities for students. Research indicates that teachers are vital in the effort to improve student learning and that leadership is second to classroom instruction. In their role, principals are critical in leading reform efforts in schools as well as managing the day-to-day obligations of buildings. The central office of a school district serves to guide principals in their enactment of policy and to provide the resources necessary to lead their buildings. How does the work of the central office influence the work of principals and how do principals perceive this working relationship? As middle managers, principals contribute innovative ideas and facilitate change efforts from their vantage point. They are obligated to respond to the needs of staff, students and parents in their school community while also responding to their central office serving to supervise their work. This qualitative study investigated principals' perceptions of the influence of the central office on their work. The data collected were analyzed to identify what principals believe their role entails and the role of their central office, as well as their perceptions of the influence of the central office on their efforts in the schools they lead. Consideration for the following characteristics occurred in relation to principals' perceptions: school context (elementary, middle, or high), expectations of the principalship, and the various means by which principals and the central office interact. Findings contribute to a determination of how the central office can effectively support the work of principals in ways that result in positive outcomes for students. Further, the data and results lead to recommendations for future study. [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: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A