Evaluation of a School Systems Plan to Utilize Teachers’ Perceptions of Principal Leadership to Improve Student Achievement


This study examines fourth grade student achievement in relation to teacher perceptions of principal leadership and other selected variables in a large urban school district in Georgia. Student achievement was measured by performance on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. The leadership instrument measures six competencies: (I) Instructional Leadership, (II) Interpersonal Skills, (III) Decision-making Skills, (IV) Facilities Planning Skills and Student Behavior Expectations, (V) Evaluation, and (VI) School Climate. The sample consisted of 3,900 teachers from 81 schools in the district. Demographic variables for each school included enrollment, free/reduced lunch eligibility, discipline incidents, retained students, absenteeism, teacher experience, administrator experience, principal gender, and principal tenure.
Pearson correlation analyses indicated the following significant relationships:
(a) student achievement with discipline incidents, free/reduced lunch participants, and school climate; (b) school climate with principals’ instructional leadership, interpersonal skills, decision-making, facilities planning and student behavior expectations, evaluation, discipline incidents, retained students, enrollment, and free/reduced lunch participants.

Regression analyses indicated that: (a) student achievement was inversely explained by discipline incidents, but none of the other variables and (b) discipline incidents were explained by enrollment, absenteeism, retained students, principal tenure, teacher experience, and free/reduced lunch status.

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