Term of Award

Fall 2006

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

James F. Burnham

Committee Member 1

Maryellen Cosgrove

Committee Member 2

Walter Polka

Committee Member 3

Abebayehu Tekleselassie

Abstract

The researcher conducted a study of the prediction of student achievement in Georgia high schools based on principal competencies as defined by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders to determine to what extent principal competency, as determined by the ISLLC standards, predict student achievement. The poverty level of the school and the principal's years of experience in a school were additional variables in the analyses. Quantitative and qualitative research was conducted using a survey based on the ISLLC Standards for School Leaders and an interview questionnaire to answer the research questions. A Principal Competency rating completed by the principal's superintendents was analyzed with student test scores at each principal's school on the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) from the years 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005. Other factors used were poverty levels of these schools and the principal's years of experience. The researcher's findings indicated a significant relationship between student test scores and principal competency. However, when taken with the poverty level of the schools and the principals' years of experience in the school, no significance was indicated. The poverty level of the school was significant throughout the analyses, and follow-up tests indicated that lower quality principals are placed in schools with high poverty levels. The principal's years of experience in a school was not significant. Follow-up interviews with superintendents conducted by the researcher indicated that participants felt leadership standards such as ISLLC standards do include the qualities necessary for effective school leadership; but, overall, standards were not considered in the evaluations of the principals who were surveyed. Certain qualities or practices that all superintendents include in their assessments of their principals, however, include: 1. Interpersonal and communication skills; 2. Culture building (shared values); 3. High expectations for students; and 4. High quality faculty and staff.

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