Principals' Leadership Styles and the Impact on Student Achievement

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Shortridge, Karim
Strein, William
Title of Dissertation: PRINCIPALS' LEADERSHIP STYLES AND THE IMPACT ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Karim K. Shortridge, Doctor of Education, 2015 Dissertation directed by: Dr. William Strein Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education As accountability efforts in education have increased, there has been an increased interest in the significance of effective instructional leadership. Policymakers have looked toward school-based leadership as a means to positively impact student achievement and to close the achievement gap. This political reliance on school-based leadership to accomplish the goals of school improvement can be seen in No Child Left Behind. The present research was based on the premise that specific leadership behaviors have been found to impact students' academic outcomes. The academic literature supports the view that school-based leadership influences student achievement. The purpose of the research was to examine the impact of middle school principals' leadership styles on students' academic achievement. Particularly, the study analyzed the leadership styles of middle schools principals that headed schools that have met or not met their school achievement indicators (AMO). Employing MLQ survey, the researcher examined principals' leadership styles. Moreover, the study examined whether AMO outcomes differed based on the principals' self-identifying characteristics of: age, gender, totals years of experience as principal, and years of experience in education. Transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership styles were singled out for investigation and these specific leadership styles were analyzed within the content of student achievement outcomes. Consequently, it was found that AMO status accounted for 22.4% of the variability in leadership style taken together; while AMO status accounted for 7.6% of the variability related to transformational leadership; and AMO status accounted for 5.7% of the variability on transactional leadership, laissez-faire had nearly no relationship.