Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
The purpose of this study was to determine if charter school
principals differed in their leadership with principals of traditional public schools.
The sample consisted of all charter schools in Louisiana
and a matched sample of traditional public schools stratified by grade levels
served and matched on the factors of (a) percentage of at-risk students, and (b)
percentage of school attendance, and (c) percentage of certified faculty teaching.
Forty-five percent (N=9) of the charter school principals participated, as did the
same percentage of traditional school principals. They completed the LPI-Self.
For charter school principals, 38 percent of the teachers completed the LPIObserver
(N=77) and 26 percent completed the LPI-Observer (N=212).
Demographic and institutional data were also collected. A follow-up phone
interview was conducted with each principal.
All of the principals, regardless of whether from charter or
traditional schools, reported LPI scores statistically higher than the Kouzes Posner
normative database. Between charter and traditional school principals, the
leadership practices of Modeling, Inspiring, Challenging, and Enabling were not
significantly different. Traditional school principals reported more Encouraging
than did their charter school counterparts.
Within schools, there were no statistically significant differences between
the leadership scores of the principals and their teachers, with one exception.
Traditional school principals reported more Encouraging than did their teachers.
No significant differences were found for leadership practices based upon the
principal’s gender, certification status, years of administrative experience, or
instructional expenditures per student. Similar non-significant differences were
found based upon teacher demographics.
When asked to describe their leadership style, all principals used
terminology indicative of transformational leadership practices: I lead by
empowering teachers to teach their students, I lead by involving teachers in
collaborative decision-making, and our school uses site-based management in