Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Sheri L. Miller-Williams, Dissertation Defense PPT.
The Impact of Atypical PrincipalPreparation Programson School Accountability and StudentAchievement in High-Poverty SchoolsA Dissertation DefensebySheri L. Miller-WilliamsSeptember 22, 2011William 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)
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 havenow been sanctioned for not meeting the requirements of NoChild Left Behind and segregated high poverty schoolsaccount for most of the “dropout factories” at the center ofthe 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)
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 alongwith inexperienced and sometimes unqualified teachers.• The punishment and the narrowing of the curriculum thataccompanies excessive test pressure have not been effectiveand there is evidence that it has made qualified teachers evenmore eager to leave these schools. (pp. 268-277)
Segregated Minority Schools• A 2001 study entitled, School Segregation on theRise Despite Growing Diversity Among School-Aged Children supported the premise that despiteour nation’s growing diversity, our schools havebecome re-segregated which directly contributes toa growing quality gap between schools attended bywhite students and those serving a large populationof minority students.
Segregated Minority SchoolsThe study revealed that as of 2001:• Seventy percent of the nation’s black students attendpredominantly minority schools (minority enrollment ofover 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 of90-100%. Although the South remains more integratedthan it was before the civil rights revolution, it ismoving backward at an accelerating rate. (p. 18)
Key Factors Relative to Educating High-PovertyMinority Students• To broaden the context of the this study an understanding of keyfactors relative to the educational landscape of high-poverty minorityschools are important to consider.• These factors serve as direct links to underperformance in theseschools and often serve as obstructions to a principal’s ability to re-shape high-poverty schools.• They include:– the identification of the disadvantaged and at-risk student;– alternative education and exclusionary programs;– the Limited English Proficient (LEP) student;– the Special Education student; and– the dropout student.
Demographics of Poor Students in Texasand Harris County• A review of the 2010 Demographics of Poor Children Report revealedthat the landscape of Texas families included a total of 3,472,355families having 6,607,575 school-aged children. Of this number ofschool-aged children, 23% percent lived below the Federal Poverty Levelcompared to a national level of 19 %.• Also, 48% of students in Texas, or 45% in Harris County were living inlow-income families based on a 2009 study entitled, Demographics ofLow Income Children.(National Center for Children in Poverty, 2010)
Demographics of Poor Students in Texasand Harris County• Poverty, coupled with other identifiable labels, categories,classifications, and punitive measures of exclusionsuperimposed upon minority students have resulted in acycle of missed opportunities and generations ofundereducated adult citizens in the U.S., Texas andHouston (Harris County).• The identifiers include: the economically disadvantagedstudent, the at-risk student, alternative educationprograms, the Limited English Proficient (LEP) student,Special Education, and the high school drop-out.
The Economically DisadvantagedStudent• While 23% of all school-aged children living in Texas were classifiedas living below the poverty level in 2010, there are even morechildren classified as economically disadvantaged.• According to the Texas Education Agency, in 2009-2010 there were512,473 economically disadvantaged students in Harris County,comprising 63.2% of the student population.• Of the districts represented in this study, Aldine ISD and HoustonISD had 85% and 81% economically disadvantaged percentagesrespectively.(Texas Education Agency, 2009).
The At-Risk Student• Nationally, about 9% or approximately 1.2 million U.S. students leave highschool 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 studentpopulation 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, itwas reported in 2010 that 47.8% of all African American students in Texasschools were considered to be at-risk, and 67.3% of Hispanic students wereconsidered at-risk.• Of the greater Houston region, two districts included in this study representedthe highest and lowest at-risk populations reported in Harris County. Aldine ISDhad the highest at-risk population reporting 70.1% and Humble had the lowestreporting 31.8% (Texas Education Agency, 2009).
Alternative Education: An Overrepresentationof Minority Placement• In a 2007 study entitled, “The Overrepresentation of AfricanAmerican Students in Exclusionary Discipline: The Role of SchoolPolicy” the author’s stated:The overrepresentation of ethnic minority students, particularlyAfrican American males, in the exclusionary disciplineconsequences of suspension and expulsion has beenconsistently documented during the past three decades.Children of poverty and those with academic problems are alsooverrepresented in such discipline consequences. Sadly, a direct linkbetween these exclusionary discipline consequences and entrance toprison has been documented and termed the school-to-prison pipelinefor these most vulnerable students.(p.536)
Alternative Education: An Overrepresentationof Minority Placement• During the 2007-2008 school year 103,727 Texas public schoolstudents were transferred from regular instructional settings to adisciplinary alternative setting (Texas Education Agency, 2009).• A review of the same data in 2008-2009, revealed that a largemajority or 68.3% of all Alternative Education Program Placementswere discretionary, and were not a direct result of violation of statecode (Texas Education Agency, 2009).• Alternative education programs are often used as “dumping grounds”and “warehouses” for difficult students creating “second-classcitizens” in the education community.
Alternative Education: An Overrepresentationof Minority Placement• In Texas, alternative education programs have a drop-outrate that is five times that of mainstream educationprograms and a recidivism rate that approaches 30percent of all discretionary referrals.(Texas Appleseed, 2007)• This fact is significant because while blacks aredisciplined at a rate proportionate to their representationin the population for mandatory referrals, they aredisproportionately represented for offenses that aredeemed “discretionary.”(Texas Appleseed, 2010)
The Limited English Proficient (LEP)Student• According to state data from the 2010-2011 school year, slightlymore than 50 percent of Texas 4.9 million public school studentswere classified as Hispanic (Texas Education Agency, 2010).• During the 2008-2009 school year, the percentage of students in theGreater Houston identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) was20.2%. An additional 19.1% were identified as being enrolled inbilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) programs (TexasEducation Agency, 2009).• In Texas, the number of Latino dropouts will be nearly three timesgreater 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 transitioninto American schools.• Many of these students struggle to master academic content andmastery of subject matter can be challenging. In many ways,academic achievement as measured by the state assessment is nota true depiction of the skills and abilities of these students sincelanguage often becomes a barrier to the demonstration of mastery oflearning.• Schools with high LEP populations have high demands to not onlyensure that students are receiving the required support aroundlanguage barriers, but also necessary interventions and remedialinstruction as identified by classroom performance.
Special Education and the Minority Student• Poverty has long been noted as a cause of overrepresentation ofminority groups in special education.• Minority children with disabilities who live in urban and high povertyenvironments are believed to be at alarmingly high risks foreducational failure and poor outcomes because of inappropriateidentifications and placement services.• A 2002 National Research Council report assessed the number ofstudents in special education according to race. The study revealedclear disparities in the special education categories that carry thegreatest stigma including mental retardation, emotional disturbanceand, to a lesser degree, learning disabilities (Donovan and Cross,2002).
Special Education and the Minority Student• The Twenty-Second Annual Report to Congress on theImplementation 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 ofthe general population. Yet, they account for 20.2 percent of the specialeducation population.– In 10 of the 13 disability categories, the percentage of African-Americanstudents equals or exceeds the resident population percentage.– The representation of African-American students in the mentalretardation and developmental delay categories is more than twice theirnational population estimates.
Special Education and the Minority Student• There are overwhelming statistics indicating an overrepresentation ofstudents of color who have been identified to receive specialeducation services.• A 2010 Texas Appleseed report revealed a disproportionate share ofminority and special education students being expelled from Texaspublic schools for non-criminal, non-violent offenses.• During the 2009-2010 school year, 64, 696 students received specialeducation services in Harris County. An analysis of ethnic groupdistribution revealed that of this number, 10.7% of those studentswere African American, and 7.7% were Latino(Academic Excellence Indicator System, n.d.).
Graduation and Drop-Out Rates• In the 2010 Children at Risk Report, Growing Up inHouston: Assessing the Quality of Life of OurChildren Report, it was reported that Texas ranks last inthe nation on the percentage of adults with the highschool diplomas; with only 79.6% of Texans having ahigh school diploma.• In Texas, a single cohort of dropouts has been estimatedto result in a loss of up to $9.6 billion for the state (Taylor,et.al, 2009).
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).
The Call for Transformational LeadershipAccording to Bass & Avolio (2005):• Transformational leaders motivate and inspire in three ways:– (1) by raising followers levels of consciousness about the importanceand value of designated outcomes and about ways of reaching them;– (2) by getting followers to transcend their own self-interest for the sake ofthe team, organization, or larger polity; and– (3) by raising followers need levels to the higher-order needs, such asself-actualization, or by expanding their portfolio of needs.
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 both groups believed that overhauling preparationprograms would help improve leaders.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 successful.Southern Regional Educational Board, 2007
The Emergence of Atypical PrincipalPreparation Programs
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)
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.
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 was largely based on the need fora new model of leadership development which will accommodate the everchanging complexion of today’s most challenging schools. This study wasframed 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 was primarily driven by Transformational Leadership Theory tosupport the notion of school reform through the actions of the principal asschool 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 the end goal ofdeveloping followers into leaders. Enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through avariety of mechanisms. The leader transforms and motivates followers through his or her idealizedinfluence (referred to as charisma), intellectual stimulation and individualconsideration). In addition, the leader encourages followers to come up with new and uniqueways to challenge the status quo and to alter the environment to support beingsuccessful.
Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this quantitative causal-comparative study was toinvestigate the differences between the impact of atypical andtraditional principal preparation on school accountabilityand student achievement in the Greater Houston areahigh-poverty schools.
Purpose of the StudyThe study included 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 sought to identify differences that existbetween the type of principal preparation and to analyze quantitativedata.• For the purposes of this research study, the researcher sought tocompare the means (sets of scores) from two independent or differentgroups.• The comparison groups consisted of those who have participated inatypical or traditional principal preparation programs.
Research HypothesesIn order to answer the research questions, the researcher 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.
Research QuestionsResearch and information gained from a synthesis of related literaturehelped to formulate research questions to guide this study. Theresearcher attempted to find answers to the following researchquestions:1. Are there differences in school accountability in high-povertyschools in the Greater Houston area where principal training andpreparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?2. Are there differences in student achievement in high-povertyschools in the Greater Houston area where principal training andpreparation programs differ (atypical vs. traditional)?
Variables• There was one independent variable with two levels:– X1= atypical principal preparation, and– X2= traditional principal preparation.• For each research question, the researcher had 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 was 100.• The number of students housed in the schools matched to the principalsin the quantitative data set was approximately 70,000 (100 schools withapproximately 700 students enrolled= 70,000).
Target Population and Sample• Five districts in the Greater Houston area were targeted to participate in thestudy. 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 wereincluded as part of the target population.• The selected districts were all located in Harris County, had at least 30,000students, and at least 30% of its students classified as economicallydisadvantaged.
Sampling Procedures• For this study the researcher employed a two-fold sampling strategy:criterion sampling and the snowballing sampling technique. Asample size of 100 principals/schools was selected for the study.• A criterion sampling approach was utilized to select 100 principals/schoolto participate in the study.• The sample population consisted of 20 principals/schools selected fromeach of the five targeted districts.• Within this sample, a combination of 10 atypically trained and 10traditionally trained principals were included for each district representedin the study.• The sample included 50 atypically trained and 50 traditionally trainedprincipals and the schools they lead.
Research Design• Descriptive statistics were used to compile demographic data on allparticipating principals/schools included in the study. The statistical analysisportion of the study relied solely on quantitative instruments.• A quantitative causal-comparative design was used to determine the causefor or the consequences of differences between participants in the study.• The basic causal-comparative design involved selecting two or more groupsthat differ on a particular variable of interest and comparing them on anothervariable (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).• The value of using this type of design is the ability for the researcher toidentify possible causes of observed variations in behavior patterns(Fraenkel & Wallen, 2009).• Utilizing this methodology, the researcher was able to investigate the effectsof the independent variable after it has been implemented or had alreadyoccurred.
Instrumentation• A School Leadership Demographic Survey was created by the researcher toanalyze 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 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• The Texas Education Agency’s AEIS report and TAKS scores for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were 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 wasaccessed and included 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 were also measured by the percentage ofgrowth in mathematics and reading for two academic years (2008-2009and 2009-2010) for each principal/school included in the study.
Statistical AnalysisThe following steps were used in the statistical analysis portion of the study:• Step 1: Administered the School Leadership Survey to establish a pool of 100principals/schools for the study. Assigned a number to surveys as they were returnedto the researcher. Entered all demographic information into an Excel spreadsheetbased on the number assigned.• Step 2: Identified and selected participating principals/schools based on survey data,and employed the criterion sampling approach to cross-reference survey data with theTexas Education Agency’s AEIS data report to identify schools that met theestablished criteria. Highlighted those schools meeting the criteria on the Excelspreadsheet to be identified as meeting the criteria for the study.• Step 3: Created final Excel database to include 100 schools from five targeteddistricts, ensuring that the sample included 50 traditionally trained and 50 atypicallytrained principals.• Step 4: Accessed and retrieved 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 extant AEIS reports fromthe Texas Education Agency website. For each school year, accessed the reading,mathematics and school accountability rating for each school. Entered this informationinto the Excel spreadsheet.
Statistical AnalysisStep 5: Disaggregated 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) was utilized to analyze the data.Frequencies and percentages were calculated and represented graphically. The Independent SamplesT-Test was used to measure differences in the comparison groups.Step 7: The researcher constructed frequency polygons and then calculated the mean and standarddeviation 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 effect2008-2009 2009-2010Reading ReadingMathematics MathematicsSchool AccountabilityRatingsSchool AccountabilityRatingsTraditionally Trained PrincipalsAtypically Trained Principals
Table 1:Frequency Distribution by Type ofPrincipal PreparationPrincipals Preparation Number PercentAtypical 50 50.0Traditional 50 50.0Total (N) 100 100.0
Table 2: Frequency Distribution by Gender and Typeof PreparationType of PreparationAtypical (50) Traditional (50) TotalGender N % N % N %Male 17 17.0 19 19.0 36 36.0Female 33 33.0 31 31.0 64 64.0Total 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100
Table 3: Frequency Distribution by Ethnicity andType of PreparationType of PreparationAtypical (50) Traditional (50) TotalEthnicity N % N % N %WhiteAmerican29 29.0 32 32.0 61 61.0AfricanAmerican15 15.0 11 11.0 26 26.0HispanicAmerican6 6.0 7 7.0 13 13.0Total 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100
Table 4: Frequency Distribution by Years ofExperience on CampusType of PreparationYrs ofExperienceOn CampusAtypical (50) Traditional (50) TotalN % N % N %1 to 3 9 9.0 7 7.0 16 16.04 to 6 21 21.0 21 21.0 42 42.07 to 9 10 10.0 16 16.0 26 26.010 + years 10 10.0 6 6.0 16 16.0Total 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100
Table 5: Frequency Distribution by Years ofExperience as an AdministratorYears ofExperienceAs anAdministratorAtypical(50)Traditional(50)TotalN % N % N %1 to 5 2 2.0 4 4.0 6 6.06 to 10 20 20.0 26 26.0 46 46.011 to 15 17 17.0 16 16.0 33 33.016 to 20 7 7.0 3 3.0 10 10.021 + years 4 4.0 1 1.0 5 5.0Total 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100
Table 6: Frequency Distribution by Grade Levelsand Type of PreparationGrade LevelType of PreparationAtypical (50) Traditional (50) TotalN % N % N %K-4 21 21.0 16 16.0 37 37.05-6 2 2.0 7 7.0 9 9.07-8 15 15.0 14 14.0 29 29.09-12 12 12.0 13 13.0 24 24.0Total (N) 50 50.0 50 50.0 100 100
Table 7: Frequency Distribution by Grade Levelsand Type of PreparationSchool District Number PercentAldine 20 20.0%Alief 20 20.0%Humble 20 20.0%HISD 20 20.0%Cy-Fair ISD 20 20.0%Total (N) 100 100.0%
Research Hypotheses 1H01: There will be no statistically significantdifference in school accountability ratings ofhigh poverty schools in the Greater Houstonarea having principals who went throughatypical principal preparation and those highpoverty schools with principals receivingtraditional principals’ preparation.
Table 8: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the SchoolAccountability Ratings of High- Poverty Schools with Atypical andTraditional Principals (08-09)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 2.98 2.54SD 0.82 0.93SE .11 0.13Mean Difference .44df 98tp 2.51.014**Significant at the .05 level
Table 9: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the SchoolAccountability Ratings of High- Poverty Schools with Atypical andTraditional Principals (09-10)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 3.22 3.14SD 0.62 0.67SE 0.01 0.01Mean Difference .08df 98tp.0621.536
Research Hypotheses 2H02: There will be no statistically significantdifferences in student achievement outcomes ofhigh poverty schools in the greater Houstonarea having principals who went through atypical principal preparation and those highpoverty schools with principals receivingtraditional principal preparation.
Table 10: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the TAKS TotalAchievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical andTraditional Principals (08-09)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 74.3 72.4SD 00.12 00.11SE 00.02 00.02Mean Difference .02df 98tp.813.418
Table 11: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Reading TAKSAchievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical andTraditional Principals (08-09)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 89.0 83.0SD 00.001 00.11SE 00.001 00.02Mean Difference 0.06df 0.98tp3.410.001******Significant at the .001 level
Table 12: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Math TAKS AchievementScores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and TraditionalPrincipals (08-09)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 83.1 79.2SD 00.10 00.11SE 00.01 00.01Mean Difference 0.04df 98tp1.910.060
Table 13: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the TAKS Total AchievementScores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and TraditionalPrincipals (09-10)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 81.8 75.2SD 00.09 00.11SE 00.01 .01Mean Difference .06df 98tp3.34.001******Significant at the .001 level
Table 14: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Reading TAKSAchievement Scores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical andTraditional Principals (09-10)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 91.2 86.6SD 00.01 00.10SE 00.001 00.01Mean Difference 0.05df 98tp2.760 .007****Significant at the .01 level
Table 15: T-Test Results Comparing Differences in the Math TAKS AchievementScores of Students in High-Poverty Schools with Atypical and TraditionalPrincipals (09-10)Statistics Atypical(n=50)Traditional(n=50)Mean 88.5 84.8SD 00.01 00.11SE 00.001 00.001Mean Difference .04df 98t 1.998p .049**Significant at the .05 level
Summary of Findings,Discussion, Conclusions, andRecommendations
Summary of SignificanceVariable MeasuredStatisticallySignificantNot StatisticallySignificantLevel ofSignificanceAccountability Rating(08-09) X .014*Accountability Rating(09-10)XTAKS (All) 08-09 XTAKS (All) 09-10 X .001***TAKS Reading (08-09) X .001***TAKS Reading(09-10) X .007**TAKS Math (08-09) XTAKS Math (09-10) X .049*
DiscussionThe most interesting finding of the study was the evidence that principal preparationhad an influence on the overall school performance and academic achievement ofstudents attending high poverty schools.Kenneth Leithwood and his colleagues said in their landmark 2004 report, “HowLeadership Influences Student Learning,”:There are virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turnedaround in the absence of intervention by talented leaders. While other factorswithin the school also contribute to such turnarounds, leadership is the catalyst.If leadership is in fact the critical bridge to having school improvement pay offfor children, we need to understand how to better prepare school administrators tolead the increasingly complex institution we call school, so that all children canlearn to high standards. (p. 5)
Discussion• A notable finding from the present study pertained to the influence ofprincipals’ preparation programs on the accountability ratings of highpoverty schools during the 08-09 and 09-10 academic school years.• Specifically the preparation programs of principals had influence onthe accountability ratings of high poverty schools during one of twoschool years measured in the study.• These findings correspond with the research of the WallaceFoundation (2007), Davis (2003), Forman (2003), Schein (2000),and Hallinger and Heck (1999). These researchers found asignificant relationship between overall school effectiveness andprincipal preparation.
Discussion• The findings regarding the influence of the variable principals’ preparationprograms on academic achievement of students were consistent with those ofFielder (2003), Leithwood (2004), Southern Regional Education Board (2007),and Institution for Educations Leadership (2010).– The findings from research conducted by the above researchers indicated thatprincipals’ preparation was a significant predictor of student academic success.• The current findings regarding the significant effect of principals’ preparationprogram on the academic achievement of students were supported by the worksof Fielder (2003), Leithwood and Associates (2004) and Institution forEducational Leadership (2000).– The aforementioned researchers found that principals’ preparation had a significantimpact on the academic achievement, and the results of the study did show asignificant difference in Reading for both years tested, and in Mathematics in one outof the two years tested
The Lack of Influence of the Texas PerformanceMeasure• The TPM allowed districts to count as passing certain students whofailed 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 thehighest “exemplary” rating - more than three times the number thatwould have received that rating without TPM.• For the purposes of this study, all schools accountability ratings andstudent achievement scores for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010school year included TPM as a factor.• A notable finding in this study was despite the implementation ofTPM and its influence on school accountability ratings and studentachievement ratings for Texas schools during this period, schoolsled by atypically trained principals still outperformed traditionallytrained principals overwhelmingly.
Conclusions• The theoretical framework for the study was grounded by the notionthat transformational leadership is the vehicle by which a principalleads sustainable change at high poverty campuses.• The basis for the research hypotheses was driven by the expectedinfluence of atypical principal preparation had on schoolaccountability ratings and student achievement in high povertyschools.• The literature clearly supported the underpinnings that atypicalprincipal preparation programs share common design elements thattraditional principal preparation programs are missing.
Conclusions• The results of this study clearly support Levine’s (2005) work aroundthe need to reframe principal preparation with the atypically trainedprincipal outperforming the traditionally trained principal on five of theeight variables measured in this research study.• Accordingly, this study brings the atypical principal preparationmodality to the forefront as potentially having found the potentialanswer to preparing principals to lead a new and different type ofschool, meet the needs of students who come with a multitude ofchallenges, and change the trajectory of the achievement gap acrossschools in the U. S. that have struggle for generations.
ConclusionsLevine (2005) reveals that:A few things stand out about the ways these new providers are educatingschool administrators.• they 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 specificknowledge and skills required by school principals and superintendents atdifferent career stages.• they appear to be as concerned with supporting practicing administrators asthey are with preparing them for the job.• they seem largely to distrust education school faculty.• most of these programs have chosen to avoid or minimize involvement witheducation schools and to limit the use of education school professors asprogram instructors.(pp. 51-52)
Conclusions• Irrespective of the modality of preparation, the role of the principal inleading 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 modesof principal preparation were presented, tested, and yielded vastlydifferent results, symbolizes a need to ensure that more work is donebeyond this study.• Also, since most of the students attending the types of schoolsincluded in this study dominated by minorities from low incomehouseholds, the type of training principals’ receive must take intoaccount cultural differences and how these differences impact thetotal pedagogical environment.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation One:• A national committee should be formed to work on the redesign ofprincipal preparation should be formed create national guidelinesaround principal preparation.• This committee should include national researchers andorganizations whose work centers around principal preparation andeffectiveness, university schools of education, atypical providers ofprincipal preparation, and school districts from across the nations.• The committee’s work should be driven around how principalpreparation programs are built around the Interstate SchoolLeaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for principals.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Two• A complete redesign of university principal preparation program should takeplace to ensure that both traditional and atypical programs have contentand experiential alignment. These programs should move away from basictheory to more real-world application through partnerships with schooldistricts around internship and mentorship in school settings.Recommendation Three• Public school administrators, especially those responsible for hiring anddeveloping principals should be cognizant of the preparation and trainingthese individuals undergo to enhance their leadership skills. Research hasshown in many instances that the leadership behavior of the principals, ifeffective, can improve the academic performance of students, as well as,the overall school effectiveness.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Four• Principal preparation programs should teach the core leadershipskills necessary to leading high-poverty schools, but also prepareprincipals to lead improvements alongside the challenges facingstudents 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 minoritystudents bring, and how to deal with them. Principal preparationprograms should teach the core leadership skills necessary toleading high-poverty schools, but also prepare principals to leadimprovements 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 minoritystudents bring, and how to deal with them.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Five• Principal preparation programs should include selection criteria toassess a candidate’s ability to lead transformative efforts on aschool campus.• Assessment criteria built around Leithwood model oftransformational leadership should include the candidates ability to:(1) build a school vision, (2) establish school goals, (3) provideintellectual stimulation to teachers staff, and students, (4)understand the need to offer individualized support to teachers andstudents, (5) model best practices and important organizationalvalues, (6) demonstrate high performance expectations for allstakeholders, (7) create a productive school culture, and (8)develop structures to foster participation in school decisions.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Six• Principal preparation programs should include selection criteria to assess acandidate’s cultural proficiency in working with urban students.• The Haberman Star Urban Questionnaire is a research-based instrumentbeing used by districts across the country. The questionnaire predicts whichcandidates will succeed as school principals serving diverse children andyouth in urban poverty in major urban school districts. It analyzesrespondents answers to thirteen dimensions of urban schooladministration.• These dimensions were identified in our studies of star urban principals wholed effective schools in major urban districts or who turned failing schoolsinto effective ones. The items represent star administrators behaviors andpredispositions to act. These actions reflect an ideology regarding therespondents beliefs about the nature of effective schooling for diversechildren and youth in urban poverty and the nature of school leadershipnecessary to create such schools.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Seven• Public school administrators and other school district officialsshould be aware of the social, cultural, economical andpsychological 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 officialsto take into account their influence in the development andimplementation of programs to train principals.• Public school administrators and other school district officialsshould be aware of the social, cultural, economical andpsychological factors which drive the leadership of principals,particularly those who will be employed at high poverty schools.
Recommendations for the Field of EducationRecommendation Eight• Public school administrators whose primary responsibility is todevelop effective, efficient, and quality preparation program forprincipals should be aware of the proper role of collaboration inregards to the matching of principal and school to enhance the totaleffectiveness of the preparation program for principals.Recommendation Nine• Districts should provide ongoing professional development forprincipals to ensure that they are well versed and supported to dealwith the demands of the work in high poverty schools.
Recommendations for Further Study• A follow-up study could be conducted to compare the growthpatterns of atypically trained principals included in this study tocompare growth across school accountability ratings and studentachievement rates in high poverty schools for a longer period oftime.• A follow-up study could be conducted to compare the growthpatterns of traditionally trained principals included in this study tocompare growth across school accountability ratings and studentachievement rates in high poverty schools for a longer period oftime.• A mixed method study could be done to not only compare schoolperformance and achievement data by type of principal training, butthe study could also include a qualitative instrument used tomeasure and collect the elements of principal preparationdifferences between atypical and university-based programs.
Recommendations for Further Study• A follow-up study could be done to measure the influence of otherfactors (i.e. At-Risk, Economically Disadvantaged, SPED, LEP,Drop-Out, Alternative Placement, teacher years of experience,teacher turnover, etc.) on the school accountability ratings andschool achievement results in high poverty schools.• A follow-up study could be conducted that would use a largerpopulation from various geographical regions across America.Such a study, if conducted, would provide more pertinent data onprincipal preparation and its impact on school accountability andstudent achievement.• A follow-up study could be conducted to compare schoolperformance of atypically trained and traditionally trained principalsunder the new STAAR assessment being introduced during the2011-2012 school year.
Recommendations for Further Study• A qualitative study could be conducted to compare principal effectivenessbased on stakeholder perceptions in high poverty schools around the eighttransformational indicators in Leithwood’s model.• A study could be conducted to examine the impact of principal preparationhas on school climate and teacher attitudes. This study would measure howpreparation specifically impacts perceptions of stakeholders regardingoverall school climate as well as teacher perceptions of principalpreparedness to impact overall school climate.• A study could be conducted to compare the student achievement growthpatterns of atypical principal preparation programs across the countrybased on national norm-referenced assessments. This study would explorea comparison of like programs and their national impact on studentachievement patterns of growth.• A study could be conducted to compare and contrast the elements oftraining content in both atypical and traditional preparation programs forprincipals.
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