Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Brenda L.H Marina

Committee Member 1

Hsiu-Lien Lu

Committee Member 2

Meca Williams-Johnson

Abstract

Georgia high school principals are under extreme pressure to meet new education standards through No Child Left Behind, such as ensuring and improving teacher quality, meeting and exceeding state mandated testing, increasing graduation and graduation rates, and meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP). The role of principal is important in an effective school where student achievement is occurring. The perceived implications of the principals’ roles may also impact how efficiently they can improve student achievement in their schools. Principals’ perceptions of their roles, and their perceived changes in their roles, may have an effect on how they address achievement in their school. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of Georgia high school principals‟ awareness and perceptions of their role in addressing the requirements of NCLB who had been in that position at least 5 to 7 years. A qualitative method was used to conduct the research. Procedures for this study involved employing a research instrument of 10 questions designed to elicit responses relating to three research sub-questions. The researcher interviewed five Georgia high school principals, one principal recently retired from public education. The study allowed the participants to articulate their experiences as they reflected upon the impact of NCLB on their roles as high school principals and how their roles evolved over their tenures. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for recurring patterns and themes by the researcher. This information supports the conclusion that the requirements of NCLB mandates have had an impact on the role of Georgia high school principals in the selected regions. Principals have seen an evolution in their roles and responsibilities since the law has been enacted. Therefore, the answer to the overarching question is that Georgia high school principals are aware of their roles and perceive that NCLB mandates have affected their roles and responsibilities by requiring them to rely on their human relations and communications skills in developing teacher leaders and being more data driven in their instructional leadership. This research points to a definite evolution in the role of the high school principals studied as a result of NCLB.

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