843 Slices
Medium 9781475811735

Student Achievement and Principal Quality: Explaining the Relationship

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Robert C. Knoeppel

James S. Rinehart

Student Achievement and Principal Quality: Explaining the Relationship

ABSTRACT: This study considered the question, how do principals influence student achievement? We adopted a direct-effects model with antecedent effects to measure the relationship between principal characteristics and student achievement. Using such a model, we postulated that preservice principal characteristics, such as training and experience, enable one to predict principals’ actions in the school setting that influence student learning. Findings reveal that principal characteristics were significant predictors of student achievement and so explained 3.9% of the variance in achievement. Findings also reveal that principals, as currently distributed, may not have the necessary training to implement change in an era of standards-based reform.

What qualities of principals contribute to student learning? The answer to this research question assumes additional significance as educators face impending deadlines for student achievement, as standards for educational leaders are revised, and as states rethink the content of leadership preparation programs. According to Fullan (2003), “what standards were to the 1990s, ‘leadership’ is to the 2000s” (p. 16). A consistent finding from two decades of effective schools research is that successful schools are led by dynamic, knowledgeable, and focused leaders (Kaplan, Owings, & Nunnery, 2005). Other findings indicate that principals set the direction for successful schools and influence student learning (Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, & Meyerson, 2005; Hallinger & Heck, 2000; Leithwood, Seashore Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Waters, Marzano, & McNulty, 2003). Still other findings suggest that principals not only contribute directly to learning, by keeping a focus on student achievement and by providing a school culture conducive to learning and teaching (Davis et al., 2005; Waters et al., 2003), but also directly influence learning by attracting, selecting, and retaining high-quality teachers (Kaplan et al., 2005). Although principals are expected to fulfill myriad roles in their schools, their primary responsibility is to facilitate effective instruction to maximize student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2007; DeVita, 2007; Haycock, 2007; O’Donnell & White, 2005).

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Medium 9781475817157

From Teaching to Administration: A Preparation Institute

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

GARY M. CROW1,*

BERNARD MECKLOWITZ2

Y. NONA WEEKES2

ABSTRACT: The move from teaching to administration is a pivotal point for creating innovative leaders. The National Policy Board on Educational Administration and other professional organizations have called for reform in the training of school leaders. This article discusses the socialization processes leading to an innovative approach to the role of principal and then moves to a description of the implementation of a particular principal training institute. As well as describing the theoretical, experiential and analytical components of the program, the article identifies benefits and problems with such an institute.

The move from teaching to administration is a pivotal point in creating innovative leaders. At this point, either an ideology of innovation or a commitment to the status quo is developed (Greenfield, 1985). This article describes a model for preparing innovative leaders that focuses on the transition from teaching to administration.

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Medium 9781475818512

Can Teacher Leadership Reduce Principal Stress?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Caryn M. Wells

Barbara A. Klocko

Can Teacher Leadership Reduce Principal Stress?

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine what stressors face practicing school principals, with an interest in determining whether they perceived that teacher leaders could relieve some of their stress. This descriptive study used quantitative and qualitative measures that revealed differences in the stressors identified by principals. Principals from all schools reported that they encounter significant levels of stress in their position, with little connection between the roles that teacher leaders currently play and the principals’ associated workload stress. Differences in gender responses to stress and rural, suburban, and urban schools principals’ perceptions are also reflected in the findings. This article is one of a series written to analyze the complexities of principal workload and the potential role of teacher leaders in alleviating workload stress. The conceptual framework for this study is distributed leadership, chosen for its relevance and alignment with the tenets of teacher leadership in the schools.

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Medium 9781475811414

Who Will Serve? An Analysis of Superintendent Occupational Perceptions, Career Satisfaction, and Mobility

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

LANCE D. FUSARELLI
BRUCE S. COOPER
VINCENT A. CARELLA

ABSTRACT: This article presents the findings of a random national sample of 1,719 superintendents, using a 67-item survey instrument called the Superintendents’ Professional Expectations and Advancement Review (SPEAR), which measures superintendents’ occupational perceptions, career satisfaction, and job mobility. The study’s major findings include that superintendents perceive the quantity of applicants for the superintendency to have decreased in recent years and are concerned about high turnover of superintendents. However, superintendents are less worried about the quality of applicants for vacancies. Contrary to popular perception, superintendents report significant career satisfaction, particularly in the nation’s largest districts. The study concludes by offering possible explanations for the widespread public perception of a crisis in the superintendency.

The public school superintendency remains a pivotal position in U.S. education, despite the pressures, insecurities, and rising shortages affecting this educational role (Carter & Cunningham, 1997; Houston, 1998). In the New York Times, Daley (1990) stated:

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Medium 9781475811902

In Search of Excellence in Education: The Political, Academic, and Curricular Leadership of Ethel T. Overby

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ADAH WARD RANDOLPH
STEPHANIE SANDERS

ABSTRACT: This article examines the educational leadership of the first African American female principal in Richmond, Virginia: Mrs. Ethel Thompson Overby. It seeks to ascertain, through a historical framework utilizing critical race theory, how this particular educational and instructional leader conceptualized academic achievement given the context of segregation, known for its lack of resources, physical inadequacies of facilities, underfunded schools, underpaid teachers, and limited social, political, and economic power of students and their communities. More important, this research assesses what measures Overby as a school leader developed to foster the academic achievement and excellence of urban African American youth at the Elba School. We argue that this research documents how one African American female principal and her teachers conceptualized achievement beyond test scores to include other measures of achievement, such as educational access, critical and cultural literacy, community engagement and empowerment, citizenship education, and equal opportunity and success of the whole individual beyond standardized tests scores such as reading. It is hoped that today’s educational leaders can learn from Overby’s fostering of purposeful outcomes intended to thwart the institutional structures of racism while empowering the individual and community to view achievement as equal access and opportunity.

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