Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Pauline Leonard

Abstract

For principals in Louisiana, instructional leadership, in theory and practice, informs the foundation of ways they are trained and evaluated as school leaders. Identifying the specific instructional leadership practices that are tied to gains in student achievement has become critical for principals, and more importantly for their students. The focus of this research is in the area of principals' instructional leadership practices and student achievement in two northwestern Louisiana school districts. Such a study is important in order to provide effective training and development to Louisiana principals.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between teachers' perceptions of their principals' instructional leadership practices and student achievement. The researcher used The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale to survey 198 teachers from two school districts regarding their perceptions of principals' instructional leadership practices. The non-experimental, correlational research design included a hierarchical regression analysis of 10 instructional leadership practices and school-level student achievement as measured by School Performance Score (SPS). The study revealed no significant direct relationship between principals' instructional leadership practices and student achievement. However, the findings provided evidence that student achievement was indirectly affected by principals' instructional leadership practices.

The main conclusions drawn from this study were a) other factors exist that may conceal the direct effect of principals' instructional leadership practices on student achievement, and b) principals who were rated highest based on the ten instructional leadership practices were leading schools with the lowest student achievement. Recommendations include further examination of the relationship between principals' instructional leadership practices and student achievement in efforts to inform the principalship in Louisiana.

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