Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Pauline Leonard

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between and impact of principals' leadership styles on student achievement as determined by school performance scores (SPS). Bolman and Deal's (1984; 2003) four leadership frames model (structural, human, political, and symbolic) were utilized to identify principals' leadership styles. The sample for this study consisted of 15 principals from low socioeconomic status (SES) schools and 17 principals from high SES schools located in north and middle Louisiana.

Schools were chosen by searching the Louisiana School Directory, which is based on grade configuration, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. All schools in selected parishes in north and middle Louisiana were ranked from highest to lowest according to their SES and the top 17 and the lowest 15 in these rankings were chosen. The dependent variable analyzed was SPS. SPS are based on results from the statewide testing programs, LEAP, iLEAP, and LAA (Louisiana Alternate Assessment). The independent variables were school enrollments, SES, and the number of years of experience of the principals. A Correlational Matrix was used to analyze the data. In addition, a Multiple Regression Analysis was used to measure the strength of a linear relationship.

The findings of the present study indicated that of the three independent variables analyzed, years of experience, enrollment, and SES, a significant relationship existed between the years of experience for principals and SPS for principals having the Human Resource Frame as their preferred leadership style. In addition, analysis of the data revealed that a significant relationship existed between SPS and SES for principals having the Structural Frame as their leadership style. The results of the Multiple Regression analysis indicated that all predictor variables in combination, free and reduced lunch, years of experience, and enrollment were associated with principals that had the Human Resource Frame as their choice of leadership style. A principal's knowledge of the frames they use can be useful in creating structures that can help to overcome barriers to student achievement presented by demographic variable.

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