Role of Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement

Posted by on November 25, 2005

[posted from Public Education Network newsblast]


School and district leadership has been the focus of intense scrutiny in recent years as researchers try to define not only the qualities of effective leadership but the impact of leadership on the operation of schools, and even on student achievement. A recently published literature review titled “How Leadership Influences Student Learning” contributes to this growing body of knowledge by examining the links between student achievement and educational leadership practices. The authors make two important claims. First, “leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school.” Second, “leadership effects are usually largest where and when they are needed most.” Without a powerful leader, troubled schools are unlikely to be turned around. The authors stress that “many other factors may contribute to such turnarounds, but leadership is the catalyst.” This month’s newsletter from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement summarizes what the review reveals about the basics of successful education leadership and offers practical suggestions for their implementation.

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