Term of Award

Spring 2012

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

Paul M. Jr. Brinson

Committee Member 1

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 2

Teri Denlea Melton

Abstract

The purpose of the sequential, explanatory, mixed methods study was to examine leadership behaviors in the traditional theme schools and their relationship to the culture of high student achievement of African American students. The sample included teachers and principals working in five elementary traditional theme schools with predominately African American populations in one urban school district in the Southeastern United States. The quantitative component of the study was driven by the teacher survey using the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) published by Hallinger. The qualitative portion of the study consisted of interviews with each school principal. The teachers' perceptions as evidenced by the survey results indicated that the principals engaged in most of the identified leadership behaviors almost always to frequently on the Likert-like scale. The principals' interviews agreed and supported the high teacher ratings. Although the sample sites were all high achieving schools, a negative correlation was evident when the highest achieving school and the lowest achieving school in reading/English/language arts and mathematics were compared relative to the teachers' ratings on the PIMRS for specific dimensions of the PIMRS. The principals' interview transcripts were consistent with the higher teacher ratings in the lowest achieving schools thereby supporting the negative correlation. Further understanding of the relationship between leadership and student achievement for this population of students will benefit policy makers, educational practitioners, and the body of educational research because the closing achievement gaps of African American students is of crucial interest in the age of accountability.

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