Term of Award

Spring 2010

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

Charles A. Reavis

Committee Member 1

Anne Marshall

Committee Member 2

Sharon Brooks


The purpose of this study was to describe the influence of No Child Left Behind accountability mandates on administrator job satisfaction of a rural combined middle-high principal. The researcher identified a gap in research associated with the influence of accountability mandates on the job satisfaction of a combined middle-high principal. Therefore, the focus on a combined middle-high principal in rural Georgia allowed the researcher to conduct a qualitative case study to address the gap in current educational research. The overarching question and sub-questions guided the case study and provided the necessary framework essential in describing the influence of accountability on job satisfaction of a combination school principal in rural Georgia. Components of job satisfaction included stress, workload, and burnout. Findings had a direct impact on the leadership roles and strategies adopted by the researcher to comply with current accountability mandates. From the onset, prescribed steps ensured a quality study. The case study provided the following findings contributing to the wealth of knowledge in the realm of educational leadership: 1) Overview of No Child Left Behind; 2) Review of Literature; 3) Methodology; 4) Data Reporting; and 5) Findings and Recommendations. The initial research provided an overview of No Child Left Behind. The review of literature represented an examination of accountability mandates and a synopsis of federal involvement in public education. The researcher described research methods utilized in the study providing triangulation to increase trustworthiness. The first three phases created the necessary framework for the researcher to conduct a qualitative study that described the perspectives of a combined middle- high principal. The researcher reported data from multiple methods used in the case study. Needs assessment surveys, school council minutes, and in-depth interviews provided rich data for the researcher. Data supported findings reported that accountability mandates influence the focus and leadership strategies of the principal at a combined middle-high school in Georgia. Results also supported findings that recognized a significant increase in workload of the principal of a combined middle-high school as a result of accountability mandates. Additionally, data supported the finding that principals at combination schools encounter unique challenges that contrast sharply with principals of traditional public schools. The implications and recommendations from the case study provide future researchers with the framework needed to develop quantitative and qualitative research proposals to understand the influence of federal education legislation on educational leaders in Georgia public schools.

Research Data and Supplementary Material