Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Sheri L. Miller-Williams, Dissertation Proposal Defense, PPT.
The Impact of Atypical PrincipalPreparation Programson School Accountability Ratings and StudentAchievement Results in High-Poverty SchoolsDissertation ProposalMarch 31, 2011Sheri L. Miller-Williams, Doctoral StudentWilliam Allan Kritsonis, PhDDissertation Chair
Committee MembersWilliam Allan Kritsonis, PhD, ChairDonald R. Collins, PhDCarl Gardiner, Ed.DClement E. Glenn, PhDSolomon Osho, PhD
The U.S. Education Dilemma“Although the U.S. has some of the best public schools inthe world, it also has too many far weaker than those foundin other advanced countries. Most of these are segregatedschools which cannot get and hold highly qualified teachersand administrators, do not offer good preparation forcollege, and often fail to graduate even half of theirstudents”.Orfield and Lee (2007)
K-12 Reality: A National PerspectiveIntroduction to the Problem
The Average Minority School• According to Orfield and Lee (2007), on average, segregatedminority schools are inferior in terms of the quality of theirteachers, the character of the curriculum, the level ofcompetition, average test scores, and graduation rates.– Many of these segregated black and Latino schools have now beensanctioned for not meeting the requirements of No Child LeftBehind and segregated high poverty schools account for most ofthe “dropout factories” at the center of the nation’s dropout crisis.(pp. 4-5)• This does not mean that desegregation solves all problems orthat it always works, or that segregated schools do not performwell in rare circumstances (Orfield & Lee, 2007).
Dropout FactoriesAccording to Orfield (2009):– Schools in the U.S. are more segregated today than they have been in morethan 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 collegeor a future in the U.S. economy. (p. 26)– Orfield and Lee (2005) suggest that poverty has long been one of the centralproblems 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 otherdimensions. (p.3)
The Impact on School QualityAccording to Orfield and Lee (2007):• Poverty has long been one of the central problems facing segregatedschools.• Segregation tends to be multidimensional.• Few highly segregated minority schools have middle class studentbodies.• Typically students face double segregation by race/ethnicity and bypoverty.• These schools differ in teacher quality, course offerings, level ofcompetition, stability of enrollment, reputations, graduation rates andmany other dimensions. (p.17)
Segregation andEducation Outcomes for Students• As the U.S. enters its last years in which it will have amajority of white students, it is betting its future onsegregation (Orfield & Lee, 2007).• “The data coming out of the No Child Left Behind testsand the state accountability systems show clearrelationships between segregation and educationaloutcomes, but this fact is rarely mentioned by policymakers” (p.7).
No Child Left Behind: Gauging GrowthIn a recent study entitled, “Gauging Growth: How to Judge NoChild Left Behind (2007), Fuller et al reveal that:• Most states and the federal government have adopted policiesthat have the effect of punishing schools and school staffs forunequal results in re-segregated schools, which tend to haveconcentrations of impoverished low-achieving students along withinexperienced and sometimes unqualified teachers.• The punishment and the narrowing of the curriculum thataccompanies excessive test pressure have not been effective andthere is evidence that it has made qualified teachers even moreeager to leave these schools. (pp. 268-277)
School Accountability and theLandscape of Principal Leadership• The onslaught of high stakes testing, accountability, andpublic pressure to meet these high standardsnecessitates the need for a different type of principal,despite training programs that continue to prepareprincipals for schools of yesterday.
The Impact of Principal Leadership• The school leader has become the central ingredient to schoolimprovement. Hess and Kelly (2007), revealed that school principalsare the front-line managers, the small business executives, the teamleaders charged with leading their faculty to new levels ofeffectiveness.• The critical mass of research literature supports the concept thateffective leadership is significant to the successful creation of a wellbalanced and healthy organization (Bruffee, 1999; Bolman & Deal,1997; Furman, 2003; Schein, 2000; Yukl, 2006).
Rationale for the StudyA recent four-year study by Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College ColumbiaUniversity, raised the stakes in this debate by harshly assessing the quality ofeducational 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 programsrange from inadequate to appalling, even at some of the countrys leadinguniversities.”– The study found that the typical course of studies required of principalcandidates 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 leadershipprograms "are out of touch" with todays school realities.– By reputation, principal-preparation programs are not highly effective.– 69 percent of principals and 80 percent of superintendents believedthat typical leadership programs "are out of touch with the realities ofwhat it takes to run todays school district Over 85 percent of bothgroups believed that overhauling preparation programs would helpimprove leaders. Transforming Principal Preparation.Schools Can’t Wait: Accelerating the Redesign of University Principal PreparationPrograms (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 thePrincipalship. March 2008
Rationale for the Study• Highly skilled school leaders are not born — nor are they fully forgedin the instructional setting of the school classroom. Neither do theyemerge fully prepared to lead from traditional graduate programs inschool administration.• Most likely, effective new principals who have been rigorouslyprepared and deliberately mentored in well-designed programs thatimmerse them in real-world leadership experiences where they arechallenged to excel will be the most successfulSouthern Regional Educational Board, 2007
The Emergence of Atypical Principal Preparation ProgramsA few things stand out about the ways new providers areeducating school administrators through atypical types of principalpreparation programming:• These programs tend to give more emphasis to on-the-jobpreparation than university-based programs do.• They seem to favor mentoring over book learning.• Their formal curricula seem to be more pragmatic, geared to thespecific knowledge and skills required by school principals andsuperintendents at different career stages.• The programs appear to be as concerned with supporting practicingadministrators as they are with preparing them for the job.Levine (2005)
Significance of the Study• The researcher believes that through this study a strongand positive impact will be made on the quality ofprincipals in the greater Houston area and larger body ofK-12 education.• The study will bring forth recommendations aroundprincipal development and how training and preparationof school leaders can impact achievement outcomes forstudents, and thus impact urban educational reform as awhole.
Theoretical Framework• The theoretical foundation for this study is largely based on the need for anew model of leadership development which will accommodate the everchanging complexion of today’s most challenging schools. This study isframed through the lens of research around educational leadership.• As a result of an expansive literature review, five main componentssurfaced as recurring themes among current trends in leadership. Thesecomponents consist of: a) increased accountability; b) need for effectiveleadership; c) organizational effectiveness; d) leader as a change agent;and e) development of school culture.• This study will be primarily driven by Transformational Leadership Theoryto support the notion of school reform through the actions of the principalas school leader. The two theorists most associated with its modernincarnation in America are Bass and Burns.
Theoretical FrameworkIncreased AccountabilityOrganizational EffectivenessNeed for Effective LeadershipLeader as Change AgentDevelopment of School CultureImprovement in AccountabilityRatings and Student AchievementResultsTransformational LeadershipLeadership Descriptors Causes change in individuals and social systems. Creates valuable and positive change in the followers with theend goal of developing followers into leaders. Enhances the motivation, morale and performance of hisfollowers through a variety of mechanisms. The leader transforms and motivates followers through his orher idealized influence (referred to as charisma), intellectualstimulation and individual consideration). In addition, the leader encourages followers to come up withnew and unique ways to challenge the status quo and to alter theenvironment to support being successful.
Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this quantitative causal-comparative study is toinvestigate the differences between the impact of atypical andtraditional principal preparation on school accountability ratingsand student achievement results in the Greater Houston areahigh-poverty schools.
Purpose of the StudyThe study will include an analysis of school accountabilityratings and student achievement results at a select group ofhigh-poverty schools to compare overall school and studentperformance of a comparison group of traditionally trainedprincipals versus atypically trained principals.
Purpose of the Study• In this study, the researcher seeks to identify differences that existsbetween the type of principal preparation and to analyze quantitativedata.• For the purposes of this research study, the researcher seeks tocompare the means (sets of scores) from two independent or differentgroups.• The comparison groups will consist of those who have participated inatypical or traditional principal preparation programs.
Research QuestionsResearch and information gained from a synthesis of related literaturehelped to formulate research questions to guide this study. Theresearcher attempts to find answers to the following research questions:1. Are there differences in school accountability ratings in high-povertyschools in the Greater Houston area where principal training andpreparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?2. Are there differences in student achievement outcomes in high-poverty schools in the Greater Houston area where principaltraining and preparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?
Research HypothesesIn order to answer the research questions, the researcher has developed thefollowing null hypotheses:(H01): There will be no statistically significant difference in school accountabilityratings of high-poverty schools in the Greater Houston area having principals whowent through atypical principal preparation and those high-poverty schools withprincipals receiving atypical principal preparation.(H02): There will be no statistically significant difference in student achievementoutcomes of high-poverty schools in the Greater Houston area havingprincipals who went through atypical principal preparation and those high-povertyschools with principals receiving traditional principal preparation.
Variables• There is one independent variable with two levels:– X1= atypical principal preparation, and– X2= traditional principal preparation.• For each research question, the researcher has one dependentvariable:– School Accountability Ratings (Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable,and Unacceptable), and– Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) studentachievement scores in mathematics and reading.
Subjects of the Study• The approximate number of schools matched to the principals in theGreater Houston area in the quantitative data set is 100.• The number of students housed in the schools matched to the principalsin the quantitative data set is approximately 70,000 (100 schools withapproximately 700 students enrolled= 70,000).
Target Population and Sample• Five districts in the Greater Houston area will be targeted to participate inthe study. These districts include:• Houston ISD,• Aldine ISD,• Alief ISD,• Cy-Fair ISD; and• Humble ISD.• All elementary, middle and high schools within these five districts will beincluded as part of the target population.• The selected districts are all located in Harris County, have at least 30,000students, and at least 30% of its students classified as economicallydisadvantaged.
Sampling Procedures• For this study the researcher will employ a two-fold sampling strategy:criterion sampling and the snowballing sampling technique. Asample size of 100 principals/schools will be selected for the study.• A criterion sampling approach will be utilized to select 100principals/school to participate in the study.• The sample population will consist of 20 principals/schools selected fromeach of the five targeted districts.• Within this sample, a combination of 10 atypically trained and 10traditionally trained principals will be included for each district representedin the study.• The sample will include 50 atypically trained and 50 traditionally trainedprincipals and the schools they lead.
Sampling GraphicFive Greater Houston School DistrictsFive Greater Houston School Districts20 Principals/Schools from Each District20 Principals/Schools from Each District10 Traditionally10 TraditionallyTrained & 10Trained & 10Atypically TrainedAtypically TrainedSample Includes 50 Traditionally Trained Principals and 50 AtypicallySample Includes 50 Traditionally Trained Principals and 50 AtypicallyTrained PrincipalsTrained Principals10 Traditionally10 TraditionallyTrained & 10Trained & 10Atypically TrainedAtypically Trained10 Traditionally10 TraditionallyTrained & 10Trained & 10Atypically TrainedAtypically Trained10 Traditionally10 TraditionallyTrained & 10Trained & 10Atypically TrainedAtypically Trained10 Traditionally10 TraditionallyTrained & 10Trained & 10Atypically TrainedAtypically Trained
Criterion Sampling Technique• Criterion sampling involves selecting cases that meet some predetermined criterion ofimportance.• Using this technique, the researcher will identify criteria and select principals/schools that meeta pre-determined set of characteristics.• Principals/schools included in the study must meet the following criterion to be selected as partof the study:– (1) participants are active principals of K-12 schools,– (2) participants must be employed in one of the five targeted districts,– (3) participants have been in the role of principal at the selected school for two fullacademic years beginning in 2008-2009 and ending in 2009-2010,– (4) participants must have at least 3-10 years of principal experience.– (5) schools must participate in the Texas Education Agency state assessment system,and– (6) schools must be identified as having 80% or higher free and reduced lunch,
Snowball Sampling Procedures• Within the study, the researcher will utilize the snowballing technique tolocate people meeting specific criteria that the researcher would not havebeen able to identify.• Snowball sampling is a method used to obtain research and knowledge, fromextended associations or through previous acquaintances.• The advantage of this technique is the ability for the researcher to use thosein the field with knowledge of others who meet the criteria identified forparticipation in the study. This technique will ensure that sampling group isconsistent.• Within this sampling process, an individual or a group receives informationfrom different places through a mutual intermediary.• Snowball sampling is a useful tool for building networks and increasing thenumber of participants.
Research Design• Descriptive statistics will be used to compile demographic data on all participatingprincipals/schools included in the study. The statistical analysis portion of the study willrely solely on quantitative instruments.• A quantitative causal-comparative design will be used to determine the cause for orthe consequences of differences between participants in the study.• The basic causal-comparative design involves selecting two or more groups that differon 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 identifypossible causes of observed variations in behavior patterns (Fraenkel & Wallen,2009).• Utilizing this methodology, the researcher will be able to investigate the effects of theindependent variable after it has been implemented or has already occurred.
Instrumentation• A School Leadership Demographic Survey created by the researcher will beutilized to analyze the target population and narrow the sample based on identifiedcriteria.• The survey will be 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 this survey is to narrow the total population down to asample size based on the criteria identified for the study.
School Leadership Demographic SurveyAN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ATYPICAL PRINCIPAL PREPARATION PROGRAMS ON SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY ANDSTUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLSTHE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY (APPENDIX 1)Section I: School DemographicsSchool Name __________________________________Enrollment __________________________________Grade Level K-5 5-6 6-8 9-12Years of Principal Experience 1-3 4-6 7-9 10 or moreEconomically Disadvantaged % __________________________________Section II: Principal DemographicsEthnicity M FGender W AA H OYears 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 PreparationNote: 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 assumingprincipalship.__________ Atypical Principal Preparation (Completion of Master’s Degree, principal certification and an extended training programwhich includes field residency or clinical internship with a mentor principal or coaching from a master principal.
Instrumentation• Other than contact with the principals/schools to issue and retrieve theconfidential survey used only to aid in the identification of the criterion-based sample population, there will be no other involvement of humansubjects.• The dominant instrumentation for the study will be the TexasAssessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) data from the 2008-2009and 2009-2010 school years gathered from the Academic ExcellenceIndicator System (AEIS) report published by the Texas EducationAgency (TEA) each year.
Instrumentation• The Texas Education Agency’s AEIS report and TAKS scores for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 will be used to measure the impact of principalleadership on school accountability ratings and student achievementresults for atypically trained principals versus traditionally trainedprincipals.• To compare school accountability ratings, the AEIS report will beaccessed and will include two academic years of rankings classified as:Exemplary (E), Recognized (R), Acceptable (A) or Unacceptable (U) foreach principal/school included in the study.• Student achievement results will also be measured by the percentageof growth in mathematics and reading for two academic years (2008-2009 and 2009-2010) for each principal/school included in the study.
Statistical AnalysisThe following steps will be used in the statistical analysis portion of the study:• Step 1: Administer School Leadership Survey to establish a pool of 100principals/schools for the study. Assign a number to surveys as they are returned tothe researcher. Enter all demographic information into an Excel spreadsheet based onthe number assigned.• Step 2: Identify and select participating principals/schools based on survey data, andemploy the criterion sampling approach to cross-reference survey data with the TexasEducation Agency’s AEIS data report to identify schools that meet the establishedcriteria. Highlight those schools meeting the criteria on the Excel spreadsheet to beidentified as meeting the criteria for the study.• Step 3: Create final Excel database to include 100 schools from five targeted districts,ensuring that the sample includes 50 traditionally trained and 50 atypically trainedprincipals.• Step 4: Access and retrieve 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 extant AEIS reports from theTexas Education Agency website. For each school year, access the reading,mathematics and school accountability rating for each school. Enter this informationinto the Excel spreadsheet.
Statistical AnalysisStep 5: Disaggregate the data by differences in reading, mathematics and school accountability ratings foreach school.Step 6: The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 13.0) will be utilized to analyze the data.Frequencies and percentages will be calculated and represented graphically. The Independent SamplesT-Test will be used to measure differences in the comparison groups.Step 7: The researcher will construct frequency polygons and then calculate the mean and standarddeviation of each group if the variable is quantitative.Step 8: Generalizations regarding the study will be made to the cohort of public schools that principal2008-2009 2009-2010Reading ReadingMathematics MathematicsSchool AccountabilityRatingsSchool AccountabilityRatingsTraditionally Trained PrincipalsAtypically Trained Principals
ReferencesBruffee, K. A. (1999). Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority ofknowledge (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.Fuller, B., et. al. (2007) “Gauging Growth: How to Judge No Child Left Behind?” EducationalResearcher. 36.5. pp. 268-278. Sage Publications. Web.Hess, F.M., & Kelly, A.P. (2007), Learning to lead: What gets taught in principal preparationprograms. 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 newintegration 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. PublicAgenda Website. Retrieved fromhttp://www.publicagenda.org/issues/factfiles_detail.cfm?issue_type=higher_education&list6
ReferencesSouthern Regional Educational Board. (2006). In schools can’t wait: Accelerating the redesign ofuniversity principal preparation program. Retrieved from http://www.sreb.orgUniversity Council for Educational Administration. (2008). Implications from UCEA: The revolving doorof the principalship. Retrieved fromhttp://www.edb.utexas.edu/ucea/home/ucea/www/pdf/ImplicationsMar2008.pdf