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ERIC Number: ED564915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 114
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5923-2
Characteristics of an Effective District Leader
Garrison, Jennifer
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Western Illinois University
Research supports the importance of effective district superintendents. A meta-analysis conducted by Marzano and Waters (2009) found that five characteristics were common in districts with effective superintendents. Twenty-seven studies met their criteria for the meta-analysis. Their primary research question was: "What is the strength of relationship between district-level administrative actions and average student achievement?" The computed correlation between district level leadership and student achievement was 0.24 and was statistically significant at the 0.05 level (p. 4). Their findings indicate district level leadership has a positive relationship in regards to student achievement through effective instructional leadership practices. A second research question of Marzano and Waters (2009) was, "What are the specific district leadership behaviors that are associated with student achievement?" They found five distinct district leadership responsibilities or initiatives which include the following: 1. Ensuring collaborative goal setting 2. Establishing nonnegotiable goals for achievement and instruction 3. Creating board alignment with and support of district goals 4. Monitoring achievement and instruction goals 5. Allocating resources to support the goals for achievement and instruction (p. 5-6). The purpose of this mixed methods research was to determine if there are certain characteristics that define a successful district superintendent in terms of instructional leadership that appear to contribute to high student achievement in a rural school district. A secondary purpose was to determine if teachers perceive the same characteristics to be important and necessary of district administration in the terms of instructional leadership. Both the qualitative interview data and the quantitative survey data converged to show the same results in this study. The five leadership characteristics developed in the Marzano and Waters meta-analysis (2009) were present in the behaviors of both superintendents of the rural, unit districts. This study can be used to guide school boards in their superintendent search process, influence university preparation programs, and be used by state and national educational policy leaders when advancing education reform. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A