An Investigation of the Impact of an Aspiring Principals Preparation Program on Principal Leadership Effectiveness
Holmes, Jeffrey O.
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School districts need to “build the bench” to ensure that their schools will have effective principals when vacancies arise (Johnson-Taylor & Martin, 2007). Assistant principals represent a potential pool of new school leaders who are prepared to move confidently into the principalship (Oliver, 2005). Although a critical leader in schools, the assistant principal position is underutilized and under-researched (Oleszewski, Shoho, & Barnett, 2012). This lack of focus on assistant principals is concerning because they are part of the school leadership team and often advance to the position of school principal. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of Bay City Public Schools’ (a pseudonym) Aspiring Principals Preparation Program (AP3; also a pseudonym) on assistant principals’ learning-centered leadership behaviors, as assessed by the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (Val-Ed) survey. The study compared the Val-Ed scores of assistant principals who had participated in one of three cohorts of AP3 training to the scores of assistant principals who did not participate. The results indicated that participation in the AP3 had no significant impact on respondents’ learning-centered leadership behaviors, as assessed on the VAL-ED instrument. This study may be useful as the district seeks to validate the effectiveness of AP3 and identify potential refinements and program modifications.