Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
To analyze the role of the principal in effecting educational outcomes in an
unusually effective school; i.e., what are the characteristics and behaviors of principals of
The sample included six (out of seven) schools in San Diego Country
recognized by the State of California Secondary School Recognition Program (1991-1992).
Principals and their staff (vice principals, certificate and non-certificate staff) completed
the LPI and the National Association of Secondary School Principal Assessment survey
(98% response rate). Interviews and field site visits were also conducted. The typical
principal was a man (83%), 49 years old, with 22 years of experience in education, with 4.6
years in his current school, and a master's degree.
LPI scores did not differ among the four respondent groups. The same
was true for the NASSP Assessment survey. What operationalizes leadership in the
exemplary schools were: "(1) Core values that shape the direction and form the school's
goals and objectives; (2) A vision that is focused, clarified, and articulated among all
groups; (3) Involvement of people who share in the process of improvement, which infuses
the belief system; (4) School improvement as a continuous process; and (5) Establishment
of mutual trust, love, warmth, and respect within the environment between all people" (89).