Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
The purpose of this study is to determine if a causal relationship
exists between principal leadership characteristics and student
achievement on state mandated tests, and if so, to what extent, using the
theoretical framework of Kouzes and Posner (2007).
The participating principals for this study were all employees of a Northern
California school district, who had been at their current site as principal for
the past two years (N = 75). While 41 completed the Leadership Practices
Inventory, only 30 met the length of service criteria. There were 12 male and
18 female principals and their average years of experience in education were
27. Student achievement was assessed in the form of the 2006-2007 school
Academic Performance Index (API).
Principals whose schools met their annual year performance expectations
reported using all of the five leadership practices more frequently than did
their counterparts whose schools did not meet their AYP expectations; however, only Model was statistically significant (given the small sample
sizes). There were no statistically significant correlations between the API
and the five leadership practices.
The author recommends:
Design leadership programs at the university level to train future educational
leaders within proven leadership strategies such as model the way. An
understanding of proven effective leadership characteristics will enhance the
curriculum and practical application of leadership programs. Further to
prepare prospective principals for their responsibilities as school leaders,
leadership programs, must focus on curriculum that encourages new leaders
to speak in a confident unifying voice while modeling the actions they expect
from others (p. 97).
Practicing the five leadership qualities of Kouzes and Posner (2007)
research, characteristics such as modeling the way, enabling others to act,
inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, and encouraging will allow
educational leaders to better lead valuable stakeholders within their given
schools. Principals are important leaders who influence not only students, but
also staff members and communities (p. 99).