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Correlation between the McREL leadership practices and high and low performing schools
Abuyen, Jocelyn Lodronio
James-Ward, CherylFarnan, NancyKyriakidis, Olympia
xiii, 172 pages
This study explored elementary school principal leadership responsibilities in one school district in San Diego County. The researcher sought to examine which of the 21 leadership responsibilities and second-order change behaviors identified by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) do principals of high-performing schools exhibit compared to principals of low-performing schools. Principals were asked to identify the primary improvement initiative at their school. The McREL principal behaviors or responsibilities were then analyzed through the lens of the specific improvement initiative. The study was conducted using quantitative data, the McREL Balanced Leadership Profile survey, school demographic survey, and Data quest and qualitative data sources, as well as semi-structured interviews. Several themes emerged from the data: (a) principals emphasize more first order-change responsibilities than second order ones. This was particularly evident in the low performing schools; (b) 7 out of 13 principals and their teachers' perceptions regarding primary school wide change initiatives were in disagreement around the magnitude of change, that is first order or second order change; (c) principals and teachers' responses were in agreement more often in high-performing schools; and (d) the majority of schools ranked at least two second-order change responsibilities among their main responsibilities. Results from this study highlight the importance of enacting specific leadership responsibilities for identified improvement initiatives, as well as understanding the magnitude of change required for given change initiatives. It is the researcher's hope that these findings can assist current and future principals in refining their responsibilities and ultimately increase student achievement.
San Diego State University
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) San Diego State University, 2015
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