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ERIC Number: EJ945629
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0013-161X
The Direct Effects of Principal-Student Discussions on Eighth Grade Students' Gains in Reading Achievement: An Experimental Study
Silva, Jack P.; White, George P.; Yoshida, Roland K.
Educational Administration Quarterly, v47 n5 p772-793 Dec 2011
Purpose: School effectiveness and instructional leadership research over the past 30 years has largely concluded that principal effects on student achievement are small and indirect. It has been assumed that the principal effect is important but mediated through other school factors. Findings: This experimental study found that one-on-one discussions between a principal and a nonproficient student that focused on the student's 2008 reading score and a goal for his or her 2009 reading score had a direct and significant effect on the student's subsequent reading achievement gains on a state reading test. Students in the experimental condition who held discussions with a principal prior to the state reading test showed reading gains significantly larger than students in the control condition who had their discussions after the state reading test. The randomly assigned participants (20 in the experimental condition and 21 in the control condition) were 41 of the 66 eighth grade students who made up the entire nonproficient population of a large suburban middle school. Student achievement gains were calculated as the difference between the predicted versus actual reading percentile score as reported by the state's value-added system of assessment. Conclusions: The results of this study provide the first steps in investigating the potential benefits to principals who seek the most immediate and direct ways to improve student achievement to meet the leadership imperatives of No Child Left Behind. Future research should investigate the principal-student discussion effects on students of different genders, grade levels, and communities. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Cited: ED561940