Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
The purpose of this research was to determine if the leadership practices of the principals of the higher performing High Schools That Work (HSTW) schools are more transformational than the practices of the moderate and lower performing HSTW schools as measured by the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), and to determine if the self-reported leadership practices scores of HSTW principals are different from the expected scores for the leadership practices as measured by the LPI.
Participants included all HSTW schools based on a 2006 list provided by the Southern Regional Education Board (N = 1,022). Principals completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (N=123) and a demographic survey, along with randomly selecting a teacher to complete the LPI Observer. The typical was a male (70%), 49.3 years old, with a college degree (80%), 13 years in predominantly administrative positions, and 5.3 years in their current position.
High implementer school principals scored higher for all five leadership practices except Challenge; however, no statistically significant differences were found between the leadership practices of principals of high implementer schools as compared to the leadership practices of principals of moderate and low implementer schools. Enable Others to Act received the highest frequency responses for both high implementer and moderate and low implementer schools. High implementer school principals, though, had higher scores for Encourage than moderate and low implementer schools. All other practices were very similar in their rank order.
The LPI scores of HSTW principals were all significantly higher that the average responses from the Kouzes Posner normative database. The teachers’ scores were all significantly higher than those from the principals except for Enable. Female principals reported higher leadership scores for all practices except Enable as compared to their male counterparts, and this was statistically significant for Inspire and Challenge. No significant differences were found on the basis of years of administrative experience or years in their current position. Principals who had previously been teachers for 12 years or more, compared with those with less than 12 years, reported engaging significantly more in the leadership practices of Model, Enable and Encourage. No significant differences were found based upon the demographics of the school (i.e., urban, suburban or rural; and number of students).