Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Walter S. Polka

Committee Member 1

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 2

F. Eric Brooks


The purpose of this study was to examine the leadership behaviors that improved student achievement in three selected Georgia high schools. The participants were chosen based on successfully achieving adequate yearly progress (AYP) during 2005-2006 school years, as outlined by the Georgia Department of Education. Fifteen leaders from three Georgia high schools were interviewed to examine their roles in improving student achievement. Research protocol questions guided the interview to capture the essence of the work of leaders. Each participant answered seven questions derived from the review of literature to identify the leaders behavior that improved student achievement. The qualitative, phenomenological research design was employed; the researcher analyzed statements into clusters of meaning. Clusters were then transformed into summaries of experiences. The leadership behaviors, themes and patterns that emerged from the data collection and data analysis were as follows: (1) high expectations, (2) developing relationships, (3) identifying the right personnel, (4) setting achievement goals, (5) using data to guide instruction and decision making, (6) assisting low achievers, (7) involving all stakeholders, (8) monitoring student and teacher progress, and (9) implementing strategies to improve student achievement. According to the researchers findings in the 2 study, the use or practice of the nine leader behaviors, themes, and patterns are actions by school leaders that were instrumental in improving student achievement.

Research Data and Supplementary Material