AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD
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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD

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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD...

AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU-The Texas A&M University System

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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPALO PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYH AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS by Sheri L. Miller-Williams, PhD Presentation Transcript

  • The Impact of Atypical Principal Preparation Programs on School Accountability and Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools A Dissertation Defense by Sheri L. Miller-Williams September 22, 2011 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Dissertation Chair
  • Committee Members
    • William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
    • Dissertation Chair
    • Donald R. Collins, PhD
    • Carl Gardiner, EdD
    • Clement E. Glenn, PhD
    • Solomon Osho, PhD
  • The U.S. Education Dilemma
    • “Although the U.S. has some of the best public schools in
    • the world, it also has far too many weaker schools than
    • those found in other advanced countries. Most of these are
    • segregated schools which cannot get and hold highly
    • qualified teachers and administrators, do not offer good
    • preparation for college, and often fail to graduate even half
    • of their students”.
    • Orfield and Lee (2007)
    View slide
  • A Review of the Literature View slide
  • The Average Minority School
    • According to Orfield and Lee (2007), on average, segregated minority schools are inferior in terms of the quality of their teachers, the character of the curriculum, the level of competition, average test scores, and graduation rates.
      • Many of these segregated black and Latino schools have now been sanctioned for not meeting the requirements of No Child Left Behind and segregated high poverty schools account for most of the “dropout factories” at the center of the nation’s dropout crisis. (pp. 4-5)
    • This does not mean that desegregation solves all problems or that it always works, or that segregated schools do not perform well in rare circumstances (Orfield & Lee, 2007).
  • Dropout Factories
    • According to Orfield (2009):
      • Schools in the U.S. are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades.
      • Millions of non-white students are locked into “dropout factory” high schools, where huge percentages do not graduate, and few are well prepared for college or a future in the U.S. economy. (p. 26)
      • Orfield and Lee (2005) suggest that p overty has long been one of the central problems facing segregated schools. Segregation tends to be multidimensional.
      • Typically students face double segregation by race/ethnicity and by poverty. These schools differ in teacher quality, course offerings, level of competition, stability of enrollment, reputations, graduation rates and many other dimensions. (p.3)
  • No Child Left Behind: Gauging Growth
    • In a recent study entitled, “ Gauging Growth: How to Judge No
    • Child Left Behind (2007), Fuller et al reveal that:
        • Most states and the federal government have adopted policies that have the effect of punishing schools and school staffs for unequal results in re-segregated schools, which tend to have concentrations of impoverished low-achieving students along with inexperienced and sometimes unqualified teachers.
        • The punishment and the narrowing of the curriculum that accompanies excessive test pressure have not been effective and there is evidence that it has made qualified teachers even more eager to leave these schools. (pp. 268-277)
  • Segregated Minority Schools
    • A 2001 study entitled, School Segregation on the Rise Despite Growing Diversity Among School-Aged Children supported the premise that despite our nation’s growing diversity, our schools have become re-segregated which directly contributes to a growing quality gap between schools attended by white students and those serving a large population of minority students.
  • Segregated Minority Schools
    • The study revealed that as of 2001:
    • Seventy percent of the nation’s black students attend predominantly minority schools (minority enrollment of over 50%), up significantly from the low point of 62.9% in 1980.
    • More than a third of the nation’s black students (36.5%) attend schools with a minority enrollment of 90-100%. Although the South remains more integrated than it was before the civil rights revolution, it is moving backward at an accelerating rate. (p. 18)
  • Demographics of Poor Students in Texas and Harris County
    • A review of the 2010 Demographics of Poor Children Report revealed that the landscape of Texas families included a total of 3,472,355 families having 6,607,575 school-aged children. Of this number of school-aged children, 23% percent lived below the Federal Poverty Level compared to a national level of 19 %.
    • Also, 48% of students in Texas, or 45% in Harris County were living in low-income families based on a 2009 study entitled, Demographics of Low Income Children.
    • (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2010)
  • Demographics of Poor Students in Texas and Harris County
    • Poverty, coupled with other identifiable labels, categories, classifications, and punitive measures of exclusion superimposed upon minority students have resulted in a cycle of missed opportunities and generations of undereducated adult citizens in the U.S., Texas, and Houston (Harris County).
    • The identifiers include: the economically disadvantaged student, the at-risk student, alternative education programs, the Limited English Proficient (LEP) student, Special Education, and the high school drop-out.
  • Key Factors Relative to Educating High-Poverty Minority Students
    • To broaden the context of this study, an understanding of key factors relative to the educational landscape of high-poverty minority schools are important to consider.
    • These factors serve as direct links to underperformance in minority schools and often serve as obstructions to a principal’s ability to re-shape high-poverty schools. They include:
      • the identification of economically disadvantaged and at-risk students;
      • alternative education and exclusionary programs;
      • the Limited English Proficient (LEP) student;
      • the Special Education student; and
      • the dropout student.
  • The Economically Disadvantaged Student
    • While 23% of all school-aged children living in Texas were classified as living below the poverty level in 2010, there are even more children classified as economically disadvantaged.
    • According to the Texas Education Agency, in 2009-2010 there were 512,473 economically disadvantaged students in Harris County, comprising 63.2% of the student population.
    • Of the districts represented in this study, Aldine ISD and Houston ISD had 85% and 81% economically disadvantaged percentages respectively.
    • (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
  • The At-Risk Student
    • Nationally, about 9% or approximately 1.2 million U.S. students leave high school without obtaining a diploma every year (U.S. Department of Education, 2009).
    • In 2009, Texas schools identified 2,285,954 or 48.3% of its total student population as being at-risk. Harris County identified 424,595 students as at-risk, equating to 53.9% of the general population (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
    • While all ethnic groups were included in the data reporting at-risk numbers, it was reported in 2010 that 47.8% of all African American students in Texas schools were considered to be at-risk, and 67.3% of Hispanic students were considered at-risk.
    • Of the greater Houston region, two districts included in this study represented the highest and lowest at-risk populations reported in Harris County. Aldine ISD had the highest at-risk population reporting 70.1% and Humble had the lowest reporting 31.8% (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
  • Alternative Education: An Overrepresentation of Minority Placement
    • In a 2007 study entitled, “ The Overrepresentation of African American Students in Exclusionary Discipline: The Role of School Policy” the author’s stated:
    • The overrepresentation of ethnic minority students, particularly African American males, in the exclusionary discipline consequences of suspension and expulsion has been consistently documented during the past three decades.
    • Children of poverty and those with academic problems are also overrepresented in such discipline consequences. Sadly, a direct link between these exclusionary discipline consequences and entrance to prison has been documented and termed the school-to-prison pipeline for these most vulnerable students. (p.536)
  • Alternative Education: An Overrepresentation of Minority Placement
    • During the 2007-2008 school year 103,727 Texas public school students were transferred from regular instructional settings to a disciplinary alternative setting (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
    • A review of the same data in 2008-2009, revealed that a large majority or 68.3% of all Alternative Education Program Placements were discretionary, and were not a direct result of violation of state code (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
    • Alternative education programs are often used as “dumping grounds” and “warehouses” for difficult students creating “second-class citizens” in the education community.
  • Alternative Education: An Overrepresentation of Minority Placement
    • In Texas, alternative education programs have a drop-out rate that is five times that of mainstream education programs and a recidivism rate that approaches 30 percent of all discretionary referrals.
    • (Texas Appleseed, 2007)
    • This fact is significant because while African Americans are disciplined at a rate proportionate to their representation in the population for mandatory referrals, they are disproportionately represented for offenses that are deemed “discretionary.”
    • (Texas Appleseed, 2010)
  • The Limited English Proficient (LEP) Student
    • According to state data from the 2010-2011 school year, slightly more than 50 percent of Texas' 4.9 million public school students were classified as Hispanic (Texas Education Agency, 2010).
    • During the 2008-2009 school year, the percentage of students in the greater Houston identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) was 20.2%. An additional 19.1% were identified as being enrolled in bilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) programs (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
    • In Texas, the number of Latino dropouts will be nearly three times greater than the number of dropouts for any other ethnicity by 2012 (Education Equality Project, 2011).
  • The Limited English Proficient (LEP) Student
    • The percentage of students classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) has a profound effect on the student and his or her transition into American schools.
    • Many of these students struggle to master academic content and mastery of subject matter can be challenging. In many ways, academic achievement as measured by the state assessment is not a true depiction of the skills and abilities of these students since language often becomes a barrier to the demonstration of mastery of learning.
    • Schools with high LEP populations have high demands to not only ensure that students are receiving the required support around language barriers, but also necessary interventions and remedial instruction as identified by classroom performance.
  • Special Education and the Minority Student
    • Poverty has long been noted as a cause of overrepresentation of minority groups in special education.
    • Minority children with disabilities who live in urban and high-poverty environments are believed to be at alarmingly high risks for educational failure and poor outcomes because of inappropriate identifications and placement services.
    • A 2002 National Research Council report assessed the number of students in special education according to race. The study revealed clear disparities in the special education categories that carry the greatest stigma including mental retardation, emotional disturbance and, to a lesser degree, learning disabilities (Donovan and Cross, 2002).
  • Special Education and the Minority Student
    • The Twenty-Second Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2000) documents the extent and seriousness of the problem:
      • African-American youth, ages 6 through 21, account for 14.8 percent of the general population. Yet, they account for 20.2 percent of the special education population.
      • In 10 of the 13 disability categories, the percentage of African-American students equals or exceeds the resident population percentage.
      • The representation of African-American students in the mental retardation and developmental delay categories is more than twice their national population estimates.
  • Special Education and the Minority Student
    • There are overwhelming statistics indicating an overrepresentation of students of color who have been identified to receive special education services.
    • A 2010 Texas Appleseed report revealed a disproportionate share of minority and special education students being expelled from Texas public schools for non-criminal, non-violent offenses. 
    • During the 2009-2010 school year, 64, 696 students received special education services in Harris County. An analysis of ethnic group distribution revealed that of this number, 10.7% of those students were African American, and 7.7% were Latino (Academic Excellence Indicator System, n.d.).
  • Graduation and Dropout Rates
    • In the 2010 Children at Risk Report, Growing Up in Houston: Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children Report , it was reported that Texas ranks last in the nation on the percentage of adults with the high school diplomas; with only 79.6% of Texans having a high school diploma.
    • In Texas, a single cohort of dropouts has been estimated to result in a loss of up to $9.6 billion for the state (Taylor, et.al, 2009).
  • The Call for Transformational Leadership
  • The Impact of Principal Leadership
    • The school leader has become the central ingredient to school improvement. Hess and Kelly (2007), revealed that school principals are the front-line managers, the small business executives, the team leaders charged with leading their faculty to new levels of effectiveness.
    • The critical mass of research literature supports the concept that effective leadership is significant to the successful creation of a well balanced and healthy organization (Bruffee, 1999; Bolman & Deal, 1997; Furman, 2003; Schein, 2000; Yukl, 2006).
  • The Call for Transformational Leadership
    • According to Bass & Avolio (2005):
    • Transformational leaders motivate and inspire in three ways:
      • (1) by raising followers' levels of consciousness about the importance and value of designated outcomes and about ways of reaching them;
      • (2) by getting followers to transcend their own self-interest for the sake of the team, organization, or the larger body; and
      • (3) by raising followers' need levels to the higher-order needs, such as self-actualization, or by expanding their portfolio of needs.
  • Rationale for the Study
  • Rationale for the Study
    • A recent four-year study by Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College Columbia
    • University, raised the stakes in this debate by harshly assessing the quality of
    • educational administration programs.
      • Based on a survey of practicing principals and education school deans, chairs, faculty, and alumni, as well as case studies of 25 school leadership programs, Levine concluded that "the majority of educational administration programs range from inadequate to appalling, even at some of the country's leading universities.”
      • The study found that the typical course of studies required of principal candidates was largely disconnected from the realities of school management.
      • The Chronicle of Higher Education, Arthur Levine, 2005
  • Rationale for the Study
      • Nearly two-thirds of principals felt that typical graduate leadership programs "are out of touch" with today's school realities.
      • By reputation, principal-preparation programs are not highly effective.
      • 69 percent of principals and 80 percent of superintendents believed that typical leadership programs "are out of touch with the realities of what it takes to run today's school district.
      • Over 85 percent of both groups believed that overhauling preparation programs would help improve leaders.
      • Schools Can’t Wait: Accelerating the Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs (SREB, 2006, p. 18),
  • Rationale for the Study
    • Texas principal turnover is on the rise.
    • From 1995–98, 47.3% of all principals left their schools or the field.
    • Turnover was highest at the high school level, with 58.6% of principals leaving.
    • From 2004–07, principal turnover at all levels increased nearly 5% (to 52. 2%). Again, high school principals were most likely to leave their jobs (60.7%).
    • Implications from the UCEA/The Revolving Door of the
    • Principalship. March 2008
  • Rationale for the Study
    • Highly skilled school leaders are not born — nor are they fully forged in the instructional setting of the school classroom. Neither do they emerge fully prepared to lead from traditional graduate programs in school administration.
    • Most likely, effective new principals who have been rigorously prepared and deliberately mentored in well-designed programs that immerse them in real-world leadership experiences will be the most successful.
    • Southern Regional Educational Board, 2007
  • The Emergence of Atypical Principal Preparation Programs
  • The Emergence of Atypical Principal Preparation Programs
    • A few things stand out about the ways new providers are
    • educating school administrators through atypical types of principal
    • preparation programming:
    • These programs tend to give more emphasis to on-the-job preparation than university-based programs do.
    • They seem to favor mentoring over book learning.
    • Their formal curricula seem to be more pragmatic, geared to the specific knowledge and skills required by school principals at different career stages.
    • The programs appear to be as concerned with supporting practicing administrators as they are with preparing them for the job.
    • Levine (2005)
  • School Accountability and the Landscape of Principal Leadership
    • The onslaught of high stakes testing, accountability, and public pressure to meet these high standards necessitates the need for a different type of principal, despite training programs that continue to prepare principals for schools of yesterday.
  • Significance of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
    • The researcher believes that through this study a strong and positive impact will be made on the quality of principals in the greater Houston area and larger body of K-12 education.
    • The study will bring forth recommendations around principal development and how training and preparation of school leaders can impact achievement outcomes for students, and thus impact urban educational reform as a whole.
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Theoretical Framework
    • The theoretical foundation for this study was largely based on the need for a new model of leadership development which will accommodate the ever changing complexion of today’s most challenging schools.
    • This study was primarily driven by Transformational Leadership Theory to support the notion of school reform through the actions of the principal as school leader. The two theorists most associated with its modern incarnation in America are Bass and Burns.
  • Theoretical Framework Increased Accountability Organizational Effectiveness Need for Effective Leadership Leader as Change Agent Development of School Culture Improvement in Accountability Ratings and Student Achievement Results Transformational Leadership
    • Leadership Descriptors
    • Causes change in individuals and social systems.
    • Creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders.
    • Enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms.
    • The leader transforms and motivates followers through his or her idealized influence (referred to as charisma), intellectual stimulation and individual consideration).
    • In addition, the leader encourages followers to come up with new and unique ways to challenge the status quo and to alter the environment to support being successful.
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Purpose of the Study
    • The purpose of this quantitative causal-comparative study was
    • to investigate the differences between the impact of atypical
    • and traditional principal preparation on school accountability
    • and student achievement in the greater Houston area
    • high-poverty schools.
  • Purpose of the Study
    • The study included an analysis of school accountability
    • ratings and student achievement results at a select group
    • of high-poverty schools to compare overall school and
    • student performance of a comparison group of traditionally
    • trained principals versus atypically trained principals.
  • Purpose of the Study
    • In this study, the researcher sought to identify differences that exist between the type of principal preparation and to analyze quantitative data to measure such differences.
    • For the purposes of this research study, the researcher sought to compare the means (sets of scores) from two independent or different groups.
    • The comparison groups consisted of those who have participated in atypical or traditional principal preparation programs.
    • Research Questions & Null Hypotheses
  • Research Questions
    • Research and information gained from a synthesis of related literature
    • helped to formulate research questions to guide this study. The
    • researcher attempted to find answers to the following research
    • questions:
    • Are there differences in school accountability in high-poverty schools in the greater Houston area where principal training and preparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?
    • Are there differences in student achievement in high-poverty schools in the greater Houston area where principal training and preparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?
  • Research Hypotheses
    • In order to answer the research questions, the researcher developed the
    • following null hypotheses:
    • (H 01 ): There will be no statistically significant difference in school accountability
    • ratings of high-poverty schools in the greater Houston area having principals who
    • went through atypical principal preparation and those high-poverty schools with
    • principals receiving traditional principal preparation.
    • (H 02 ): There will be no statistically significant difference in student achievement
    • outcomes of high-poverty schools in the greater Houston area having
    • principals who went through atypical principal preparation and those high-poverty
    • schools with principals receiving traditional principal preparation.
    • Variables
  • Variables
    • There was one independent variable with two levels:
      • X 1 = atypical principal preparation, and
      • X 2 = traditional principal preparation.
    • For each research question, the researcher had one dependent variable :
      • School Accountability Ratings (Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, and Unacceptable); and
      • Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) student achievement scores in mathematics and reading.
    • Subjects of the Study
  • Subjects of the Study
    • The approximate number of schools matched to the principals in the greater Houston area in the quantitative data set was 100.
    • The number of students housed in the schools matched to the principals in the quantitative data set was approximately 70,000 (100 schools with approximately 700 students enrolled = 70,000).
  • Target Population
      • Five districts in the greater Houston area participated in the study. These districts included:
        • Houston ISD,
        • Aldine ISD,
        • Alief ISD,
        • Cy-Fair ISD; and
        • Humble ISD .
      • All elementary, middle and high schools within these five districts were included as part of the target population.
      • The selected districts were all located in Harris County, had at least 30,000 students, and at least 30% of its students classified as economically disadvantaged.
    • Sampling Procedures & Instrumentation
  • Sampling Procedures
    • For this study, the researcher employed purposive sampling techniques to
    • identify the population (Fraenkel and Wallen, 2009).
    • A two-fold sampling strategy was employed:
      • Snowball sampling allows the researcher to identify, cases of interest from people who know people who might fit the profile of participants. This sampling technique was utilized in the identification of potential participants for the study by type of principal preparation.
      • Criterion sampling allows the researcher to establish and pick all cases that meet a specific criteria. This method of sampling is very strong in quality assurance.
  • Controlling for Bias During the Sampling Process
    • To control for sampling bias in this study, the researcher:
      • Mailed questionnaires to all 556 schools in the five targeted school districts as follows:
        • Humble ISD (44 schools)
        • Aldine ISD (73 schools)
        • Alief ISD (45 schools)
        • Cy-Fair ISD (80 schools)
        • Houston ISD (298 schools)
      • Assessed whether the results from the sample would remain the same once criterion sampling was applied (i.e. grade level, ethnicity, gender, years of experience, years as an administrator, economically disadvantaged, etc).
      • Eliminated procedural bias by not pressuring participants to complete the questionnaire.
      • The sample was selected based on specific criteria only after 278 questionnaires were returned.
  • Instrumentation
    • The Texas Education Agency’s AEIS report and TAKS scores for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were used to measure the impact of principal leadership on school accountability ratings and student achievement results for atypically trained principals versus traditionally trained principals.
    • To compare school accountability ratings, the AEIS report was accessed and included two academic years of rankings classified as: Exemplary (E), Recognized (R), Acceptable (A) or Unacceptable (U) for each principal/school included in the study.
    • Student achievement results were measured by the percentage of growth in mathematics and reading for two academic years (2008-2009 and 2009-2010) for each principal/school included in the study.
    • Research Design
  • Research Design
    • The following steps were taken as part of the research design:
    • Step 1: The researcher administered the School Leadership Survey to establish a pool of 556 principals/schools for the study. Of the surveys mailed, 278 were returned. The researcher assigned a number to surveys as they were returned, and entered all demographic information into an Excel spreadsheet based on the assigned number.
    • Step 2: The researcher identified and selected participating principals/schools based on survey data, and employed the criterion sampling approach to cross-reference survey data with the Texas Education Agency’s AEIS data report to identify schools that met the established criteria. Schools meeting the criteria were highlighted on the Excel spreadsheet and identified as meeting the criteria for the study.
    • Step 3: The researcher created final Excel database to include 100 schools from five targeted districts, ensuring that the sample included 50 traditionally trained and 50 atypically trained principals.
    • Step 4: The researcher accessed and retrieved 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 extant AEIS reports from the Texas Education Agency website. For each school year, accessed the reading, mathematics and school accountability rating for each school. Entered this information into the Excel spreadsheet.
  • Instrumentation
    • A School Leadership Demographic Survey was created by the researcher to analyze the target population and narrow the sample based on identified criteria.
    • The survey was comprised of nine sections:
      • school name;
      • grade level;
      • economically disadvantaged percentage;
      • years of experience as a building principal;
      • total years as principal of the current school;
      • total years of administrative experience;
      • ethnicity;
      • gender; and
      • type of principal training.
      • The purpose of the survey was to narrow the total population down to a
      • sample size based on the criteria identified for the study.
  • School Leadership Demographic Survey AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPAL PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS THE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY (APPENDIX 1) Section I: School Demographics School Name __________________________________ Enrollment __________________________________ Grade Level K-5 5-6 7-8 9-12 Years of Principal Experience 1-3 4-6 7-9 10 or more Economically Disadvantaged % __________________________________ Section II: Principal Demographics Ethnicity M F Gender W AA H O Years of Admin Experience 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 20+ Note: Administrative experience in any supervisory position not defined as the principalship. Section III: Principal Preparation Note: Please select the type of principal development program you participated in defined by the descriptions below. __________ Traditional Principal Preparation (Completion of Master’s Degree and principal certification attained prior to assuming principalship. __________ Atypical Principal Preparation (Completion of Master’s Degree, principal certification and an extended training program which includes field residency or clinical internship with a mentor principal or coaching from a master principal.
  • Research Design
    • A quantitative causal-comparative design was used to determine the cause for or the consequences of differences between participants in the study (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).
    • A basic causal-comparative design involved selecting two or more groups that differ on a particular variable of interest and comparing them on another variable (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).
    • The value of using this type of design is the ability for the researcher to identify possible causes of observed variations in behavior patterns (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).
    • Utilizing this methodology, the researcher was able to investigate the effects of the independent variable after it has been implemented or had already occurred (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).
    • Descriptive statistics were used to compile demographic data on all participating principals/schools included in the study. The statistical analysis portion of the study relied solely on quantitative instruments.
  • Research Design
    • Step 5: Disaggregated the data by differences in reading, mathematics and school accountability ratings for
    • each school.
    • Step 6: The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 13.0) was utilized to analyze the data.
    • Frequencies and percentages were calculated and represented graphically. The Independent Samples
    • T-Test was used to measure differences in the comparison groups.
    • Step 7: The researcher constructed frequency polygons and then calculated the mean and standard
    • deviation of each group if the variable was quantitative.
    • Step 8: Generalizations regarding the study were made to the cohort of public schools to determine the effect
    • that principal training has a direct impact on school accountability ratings and student achievement results.
    Traditionally Trained Principals Atypically Trained Principals 2009-2010 2008-2009 School Accountability Ratings School Accountability Ratings Mathematics Mathematics Reading Reading
    • Data Analysis
  • Table 1:Frequency Distribution by Type of Principal Preparation 100.0 100 Total (N) 50.0 50 Traditional 50.0 50 Atypical Percent Number Principals Preparation
  • Table 2: Frequency Distribution by Gender and Type of Preparation 100 100 50.0 50 50.0 50 Total 64.0 64 31.0 31 33.0 33 Female 36.0 36 19.0 19 17.0 17 Male % N % N % N Gender Total Traditional (50) Atypical (50) Type of Preparation
  • Table 3: Frequency Distribution by Ethnicity and Type of Preparation 100 100 50.0 50 50.0 50 Total 13.0 13 7.0 7 6.0 6 Hispanic American 26.0 26 11.0 11 15.0 15 African American 61.0 61 32.0 32 29.0 29 White American % N % N % N Ethnicity Total Traditional (50) Atypical (50) Type of Preparation
  • Table 4: Frequency Distribution by Years of Experience on Campus 100 100 50.0 50 50.0 50 Total 16.0 16 6.0 6 10.0 10 10 + years 26.0 26 16.0 16 10.0 10 7 to 9 42.0 42 21.0 21 21.0 21 4 to 6 16.0 16 7.0 7 9.0 9 1 to 3 % N % N % N Total Traditional (50) Atypical (50) Yrs of Experience On Campus Type of Preparation
  • Table 5: Frequency Distribution by Years of Experience as an Administrator 100 100 50.0 50 50.0 50 Total 5.0 5 1.0 1 4.0 4 21 + years 10.0 10 3.0 3 7.0 7 16 to 20 33.0 33 16.0 16 17.0 17 11 to 15 46.0 46 26.0 26 20.0 20 6 to 10 6.0 6 4.0 4 2.0 2 1 to 5 % N % N % N Total Traditional (50) Atypical (50) Years of Experience as an Administrator
  • Table 6: Frequency Distribution by Grade Levels and Type of Preparation 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100 Total (N) 12 12.0 13 13.0 24 24.0 9-12 15 15.0 14 14.0 29 29.0 7-8 2 2.0 7 7.0 9 9.0 5-6 21 21.0 16 16.0 37 37.0 K-5 Type of Preparation Atypical (50) Traditional (50) Total N % N % N % Grade Level
  • Table 7: Frequency Distribution by School District 100.0% 100 Total (N) 20.0% 20 Cy-Fair ISD 20.0% 20 HISD 20.0% 20 Humble 20.0% 20 Alief 20.0% 20 Aldine Percent Number School District
    • Research Hypotheses 1
    • H 01 : There will be no statistically significant difference in school accountability ratings of high poverty schools in the greater Houston area having principals who went through atypical principal preparation and those high poverty schools with principals receiving traditional principals’ preparation.
  • Table 8: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the School Accountability Ratings of High- Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (08-09) *Significant at the .05 level 2.51 .014* t p 98 df .44 Mean Difference 0 .13 .11 SE 0 .93 0 .82 SD 2.54 2.98 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 9: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the School Accountability Ratings of High- Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (09-10) .0621 .536 t p 98 df .08 Mean Difference 0 .01 0 .01 SE 0 .67 0 .62 SD 3.14 3.22 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
    • Research Hypotheses 2
    • H 02 : There will be no statistically significant differences in student achievement outcomes of high poverty schools in the greater Houston area having principals who went through a typical principal preparation and those high poverty schools with principals receiving traditional principal preparation.
  • Table 10: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the TAKS Total Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (08-09) .813 .418 t p 98 df .02 Mean Difference 00 .02 00 .02 SE 00 .11 00 .12 SD 72.4 74.3 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 13: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the TAKS Total Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (09-10) ***Significant at the .001 level 3.34 . 001*** t p 98 df .06 Mean Difference .01 00 .01 SE 00 .11 00 .09 SD 75.2 81.8 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 11: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Reading TAKS Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (08-09) ***Significant at the .001 level 3.41 0 .001*** t p 0 .98 df 0 .06 Mean Difference 00 .02 00 .001 SE 00 .11 00 .001 SD 83.0 89.0 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 14: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Reading TAKS Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (09-10) **Significant at the .01 level 2.76 0 .007** t p 98 df 0 .05 Mean Difference 00 .01 00 .001 SE 00 .10 00 .01 SD 86.6 91.2 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 12: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Math TAKS Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (08-09) 1.91 0 .060 t p 98 df 0 .04 Mean Difference 00 .01 00 .01 SE 00 .11 00 .10 SD 79.2 83.1 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
  • Table 15: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Math TAKS Achievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and Traditional Principals (09-10) *Significant at the .05 level .049* p 1.998 t 98 df .04 Mean Difference 00 .001 00 .001 SE 00 .11 00 .01 SD 84.8 88.5 Mean Traditional (n=50) Atypical (n=50) Statistics
    • Summary of Findings, Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations
  • Summary of Statistical Findings .049* X TAKS Math (09-10) X TAKS Math (08-09) .007** X TAKS Reading(09-10) .001*** X TAKS Reading (08-09) .001*** X TAKS All (09-10) X TAKS All (08-09) X Accountability Rating (09-10) .014* X Accountability Rating (08-09) Level of Significance Not Statistically Significant Statistically Significant Variable Measured
  • Discussion
    • The most interesting finding of the study was the evidence that principal preparation
    • had an influence on the overall school performance and academic achievement of
    • students attending high-poverty schools.
    • Kenneth Leithwood and his colleagues said in their landmark 2004 report, “How
    • Leadership Influences Student Learning”:
    • There are virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned
    • around in the absence of intervention by talented leaders. While other factors
    • within the school also contribute to such turnarounds, leadership is the catalyst.
    • If leadership is in fact the critical bridge to having school improvement pay off
    • for children, we need to understand how to better prepare school administrators to
    • lead the increasingly complex institution we call school, so that all children can
    • learn to high standards. (p. 5)
  • Discussion
    • A notable finding from the study pertained to the influence of principals’ preparation programs on the accountability ratings of high poverty schools during the 08-09 and 09-10 academic school years.
    • Specifically the preparation programs of principals had influence on the accountability ratings of high poverty schools during one of two school years measured in the study.
    • These findings correspond with the research of the Wallace Foundation (2007), Davis (2003), Forman (2003), Schein (2000), and Hallinger and Heck (1999). These researchers found a significant relationship between overall school effectiveness and principal preparation.
  • Discussion
    • The findings regarding the influence of the variable principals’ preparation programs on academic achievement of students were consistent with those of Fielder (2003), Leithwood (2004), Southern Regional Education Board (2007), and Institution for Educations Leadership (2010).
      • The findings from research conducted by the above researchers indicated that principals’ preparation was a significant predictor of student academic success.
      • The results of the study did show a significant difference in Reading for both years tested, and in Mathematics in one out of the two years tested.
  • The Lack of Influence of the Texas Performance Measure
    • The TPM allowed districts to count as passing certain students who failed the TAKS test but were projected to pass within three years. With implementation of the TPM, the number of schools ranked “exemplary” skyrocketed in 2010, with 239 schools receiving the highest “exemplary” rating - more than three times the number that would have received that rating without TPM.
    • For the purposes of this study, all schools accountability ratings and student achievement scores for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school year included TPM as a factor.
    • A notable finding in this study was despite the implementation of TPM and its influence on school accountability ratings and student achievement scores for Texas schools during this period, schools led by atypically trained principals still outperformed traditionally trained principals overwhelmingly.
  • Conclusions
    • The theoretical framework for the study was grounded by the notion that transformational leadership is the vehicle by which a principal leads sustainable change at high-poverty campuses.
    • The basis for the research hypotheses was driven by the expected influence atypical principal preparation had on school accountability ratings and student achievement in high-poverty schools.
    • The literature clearly supported the underpinnings that atypical principal preparation programs share common design elements that traditional principal preparation programs are missing.
  • Conclusions
    • The results of this study clearly support Levine’s (2005) work around the need to reframe principal preparation with the atypically trained principal outperforming the traditionally trained principal on five of the eight variables measured in this research study.
    • Accordingly, this study brings the atypical principal preparation modality to the forefront as potentially having found the potential answer to preparing principals to lead a new and different type of school; one that meets the needs of students who come with a multitude of challenges, and the opportunity to change the trajectory of the achievement gap across schools in the U. S. that have struggle for generations.
  • Conclusions
    • Irrespective of the modality of preparation, the role of the principal in leading improvement efforts at high poverty schools is undeniable.
    • Regardless of the type of preparation received by principals’, particularly those tested in this investigation, the fact that two modes of principal preparation were presented, tested, and yielded vastly different results, symbolizes a need to ensure that more work is done beyond this study.
    • Also, since most of the students attending the types of schools included in this study are made up of minorities from low income households, the type of training principals’ receive must take into account cultural differences and how these differences impact the total pedagogical environment.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation One:
    • A national committee should be formed to work on the redesign of principal preparation to create national guidelines around principal preparation.
    • This committee should include national researchers and organizations whose work centers around principal preparation and effectiveness, university schools of education, atypical providers of principal preparation, and school districts from across the nation.
    • The committee’s work should be driven around how principal preparation programs are grounded by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for principals.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Two
    • A complete redesign of university principal preparation program should take place to ensure that both traditional and atypical programs have content and experiential alignment. These programs should move away from basic theory to more real-world application through partnerships with school districts around internship and mentorship in school settings.
    • Recommendation Three
    • Public school administrators, especially those responsible for hiring and developing principals should be cognizant of the preparation and training these individuals undergo to enhance their leadership skills.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Four
    • Principal preparation programs should teach the core leadership skills necessary to leading high-poverty schools, but also prepare principals to lead improvements alongside the challenges facing students in poverty (i.e. Economically Disadvantaged, At-Risk, Special Education, Limited English Proficient, Alternative Education, and the Drop-Out).
    • Principals need to be well-versed in what challenges minority students bring, and how to deal with them.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Five
    • Principal preparation programs should include selection criteria to assess a candidate’s ability to lead transformative efforts on a school campus.
    • Assessment criteria built around Leithwood model of transformational leadership should include the candidates ability to:
      • (1) build a school vision,
      • (2) establish school goals,
      • (3) provide intellectual stimulation to teachers staff, and students,
      • (4) understand the need to offer individualized support to teachers and students,
      • (5) model best practices and important organizational values,
      • (6) demonstrate high performance expectations for all stakeholders,
      • (7) create a productive school culture, and
      • (8) develop structures to foster participation in school decisions.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Six
    • Principal preparation programs should include selection criteria to assess a candidate’s cultural proficiency in working with urban students.
      • The Haberman Urban Questionnaire is a research-based instrument used by districts across the country to predict which candidates will succeed as school principals serving diverse children and youth in urban poverty. It analyzes respondents' answers around thirteen dimensions of urban school administration.
      • The items represent administrator behaviors and predispositions to act. These actions reflect an ideology regarding the respondents' beliefs about the nature of effective schooling for diverse children and youth in urban poverty and the nature of school leadership necessary to lead such schools.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Seven
    • Public school administrators and other school district officials should be aware of the social, cultural, economical and psychological factors which drive the leadership of principals, particularly those who will be employed at high-poverty schools.
    • An understanding of these factors will enable school district officials to take into account their influence in the development and implementation of programs to train principals.
  • Recommendations for the Field of Education
    • Recommendation Eight
    • Public school administrators whose primary responsibility is to develop effective, efficient, and quality preparation program for principals should be aware of the proper role of collaboration in regards to the matching of principal and school to enhance the total effectiveness of the preparation program for principals.
    • Recommendation Nine
    • Districts should provide ongoing professional development for principals to ensure that they are well versed and supported to deal with the demands of the work in high-poverty schools.
  • Recommendations for Further Study
    • A follow-up study could be conducted to compare the growth patterns of atypically or traditionally trained principals included in this study to compare growth in school accountability ratings and student achievement rates in high-poverty schools for a longer period of time.
    • A mixed-method study could be done to not only compare school performance and achievement data by type of principal training, but the study could also include a qualitative instrument used to collect and measure the elements of principal preparation differences between atypical and traditional programs.
  • Recommendations for Further Study
    • A follow-up study could be done to measure the influence of other factors (i.e. At-Risk, Economically Disadvantaged, SPED, LEP, Drop-Out, Alternative Placement, teacher years of experience, teacher turnover, etc.) on the school accountability ratings and school achievement results in high-poverty schools.
    • A follow-up study could be conducted that would use a larger population of a similar demographics across the U.S . Such a study, if conducted, would provide more pertinent data on principal preparation and its impact on school accountability and student achievement on a much larger scale.
    • A follow-up study could be conducted to compare school performance of atypically and traditionally trained principals under the new STAAR assessment being introduced during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Recommendations for Further Study
    • A qualitative study could be conducted to compare principal effectiveness based on stakeholder perceptions in high-poverty schools around the eight transformational indicators in Leithwood’s model.
    • A study could be conducted to examine the impact of principal preparation has on school climate and teacher attitudes. This study would measure how preparation specifically impacts perceptions of stakeholders regarding overall school climate as well as teacher perceptions of principal preparedness to impact overall school climate.
  • Recommendations for Further Study
    • A study could be conducted to compare differences in student achievement growth patterns based on various atypical principal preparation programs based on national norm-referenced assessments. This study would explore a comparison of like programs and their national impact on student achievement.
    • A study could be conducted to compare and contrast the elements of training content in both atypical and traditional preparation programs for principals.
  • References
    • Bruffee, K. A. (1999). Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
    • Fuller, B., et. al. (2007) “ Gauging Growth: How to  Judge No Child Left Behind?” Educational Researcher . 36.5. pp. 268-278. Sage Publications. Web.
    • Hess, F.M., & Kelly, A.P. (2007), Learning to lead : What gets taught in principal preparation programs . Teachers College Record , 109 (1), 244-74.
    • Levine, A. (2005). Educating school leaders. The Chronicle of Higher Education. pp. 11, 12, 22, 24, 29, 51, and 52.
    • Orfield, G., & Lee, C. (2007). Historic reversals: Accelerating resegregation, and the need for new
    • integration strategies . (A report of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles). UCLA. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/s/
    • Orfield, G. (2009). Reviving the goal of an integrated society: A 21st century challenge. Public Agenda Website. Retrieved from http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/factfiles_detail.cfm?issue_type=higher_education&list6
  • References
    • Southern Regional Educational Board. (2006). In schools can’t wait: Accelerating the redesign of university principal preparation program. Retrieved from http://www.sreb.org
    • University Council for Educational Administration. (2008). Implications from UCEA: The revolving door of the principalship. Retrieved from http://www.edb.utexas.edu/ucea/home/ucea/www/pdf/ImplicationsMar2008.pdf
  • Questions