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JSL Vol 24-N2

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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7 Articles

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Response to Intervention: Perspectives of General and Special Education Professionals

ePub

Susan C. Bineham

Liz Shelby

Barbara L. Pazey

James R. Yates

Response to Intervention: Perspectives of General and Special Education Professionals

ABSTRACT: Federal legislation allows local education agencies to use a student’s response to scientific research-based interventions as a method of identifying specific learning disabilities. As a result, educational leadership is challenged to implement response to intervention (RTI). Despite increased literature addressing RTI, no consensus on implementation has been reached. This national study was conducted to capture and report general education and special education professionals’ perceptions and implementation practices of RTI. Study participants were randomly selected to include general and special education administrative, instructional, or support personnel on elementary and high school campuses. The wide variances, misunderstandings, and lack of training reported in this nationwide study could explain the mixed results of recent research on RTI. Implications for school leadership are deduced from the data and highlight the need for preservice and continuing professional development concerning all aspects of RTI.

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An Analysis of Instructional Facilitators’ Relationships With Teachers and Principals

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Bret G. Range

John C. Pijanowski

Heather Duncan

Susan Scherz

David Hvidston

An Analysis of Instructional Facilitators’ Relationships With Teachers and Principals

ABSTRACT: This study examines the perspectives of Wyoming instructional facilitators, concerning three coaching constructs—namely, their instructional leadership roles, teachers’ instructional practices, and the support that they receive from principals and teachers. Findings suggest that instructional facilitators were positive about their instructional leadership roles and about the support received from principals yet were neutral concerning teachers’ autonomy about instructional practices. Instructional facilitators highlighted their roles in mentoring, coaching, and data analysis. Significant differences were found concerning the perceptions of technology instructional facilitators and high school instructional facilitators about their leadership roles, teachers’ instructional practice, and support received from principals.

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The Cognitive Information-Processing Systems of Leaders and Their Relation to Student Learning Outcomes

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Tom Cerni

Guy J. Curtis

Susan H. Colmar

The Cognitive Information-Processing Systems of Leaders and Their Relation to Student Learning Outcomes

ABSTRACT: Research has shown that school principals who display transformational leadership are likely to influence organizational commitment and job satisfaction (Koh, 1990), and this in turn is thought to influence student learning outcomes. Based on a sample of experienced educational leaders (n = 88), this study examined if transformational leadership and information-processing systems according to cognitive-experiential self-theory predict teachers’ job satisfaction and student learning outcomes. The rational system and constructive elements of the experiential system were found to have a significant positive connection with student learning outcomes.

School principals as a group can make a difference in the lives of students by enabling them to achieve outstanding learning outcomes (Dinham, 2005; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Saulwick & Muller, 2004). Successful school leadership is considered second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). In a study examining the relationships among school principals’ characteristics, teacher quality and turnover, and school-level student achievement, results suggested a pattern linking more experienced principals with lower teacher turnover and higher student outcomes (Fuller, Young, & Baker, 2011). Principal stability has also been found to have a positive effect on teachers’ perceptions of academic capacity (Heck & Hallinger, 2009). School principals have been found to account for 2% to 8% of the variance in student test scores (Ogawa & Hart, 1985), thereby supporting the general belief among educators that principals contribute to school effectiveness and improvement (Hallinger & Heck, 1998).

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Examining the Relationship Between Collective Teacher Efficacy and the Emotional Intelligence of Elementary School Principals

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Stephanie Pierce

Examining the Relationship Between Collective Teacher Efficacy and the Emotional Intelligence of Elementary School Principals

ABSTRACT: Education research has established a significant relationship between collective teacher efficacy and student achievement. This study considered the relationship between emotional intelligence of elementary school principals and collective teacher efficacy as perceived by teachers’ and principals’ self-report. Study findings suggest that principals’ relationship management, a component of emotional intelligence, is critical in the development of collective teacher efficacy. The study indicated a moderate positive correlation between the total collective teacher beliefs score and all emotional intelligence scores, with the exception of conflict management.

Principals are held accountable for improving student achievement in their schools. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools failing to make measurable progress suffer sanctions, including the possible loss of their principals as part of a mandated restructuring process. Even as some research reviews question the effects of principal leadership on achievement (Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Witziers, Bosker, & Kruger, 2003), scholars continue to explore this complex dynamic, attempting to understand the degree to which principals influence student learning and in what manner (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). Furthermore, Leithwood and colleagues (2004) suggested that leadership not only matters but is second only to teaching as school-related factors in its impact on student learning. In fact, research suggests that principals might affect achievement through the mediating influence of collective teacher efficacy (Ross & Gray, 2006). Collective teacher efficacy is “the perceptions of teachers in a school that the efforts of the faculty as a whole will have a positive effect on students” (Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000, p. 480). Building on earlier studies of individual teacher efficacy, research on collective teacher efficacy has further investigated the effects of teachers’ perceptions of their collective capacity to improve learning experiences and results for their students.

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Making Mission Statements Operational: Perceptions of Principals From Tri-Association Schools

ePub

Juan David Fayad

Roland K. Yoshida

Making Mission Statements Operational: Perceptions of Principals From Tri-Association Schools

ABSTRACT: Researchers and theorists in the management and educational leadership fields have debated the importance of mission statements. This study investigated this issue within the context of American schools that are members of the Tri-Association (Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean). The results showed that about the same percentage of principals felt that mission statements differed and did not differ significantly from one school to the next. However, a considerable number of principals reported using their mission statements in many of the managerial and leadership tasks of their daily jobs.

Cursory searches of the web using any of the popular search engines yielded a seemingly endless list of hot links to various schools’ mission statements and how to develop and present an institution’s mission statement. Furthermore, U.S. and international accreditation associations required mission statements as part of schools’ self-studies because they were thought to help focus school communities on the ultimate goals that the schools wanted to accomplish. As the leaders of school buildings, principals were thought to play a critical role in how mission statements were developed and used within their schools and how these statements were represented to the outside community. However, the literature offered very few empirical findings on how schools developed and used mission statements, an activity that appeared to be fundamental to the schools’ presentation of what they valued and practiced. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which principals perceived mission statements to be valuable in performing their duties as school leaders. The study also investigated what tasks principals performed in developing and then implementing the intent of their mission statements in their schools. The main research questions for this study were as follows:

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From the Classroom to the Living Room: Eroding Academic Inequities through Home Visits

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Eric J. Johnson

From the Classroom to the Living Room: Eroding Academic Inequities through Home Visits

ABSTRACT: This article illustrates the experiences of teachers who conducted home visits as a way to cultivate sustainable avenues of school–home communication with families from an immigrant and/or language-minority background. The data stemming from these experiences are used to outline a sociocultural approach to conducting home visits and strengthening relationships with parents. This particular analytical lens addresses a significant gap in the literature concerning how educators across the K–12 spectrum should implement home visits. This article is especially relevant for school administrators seeking to establish what Auerbach (2012b) calls “leadership for authentic partnerships” with families and communities.

In the current U.S. educational environment where standardized tests and educator accountability drive policy decisions, parental outreach efforts are often overshadowed by the immediacy of rapidly accumulating student achievement data and looming assessment preparation strategies. While it is easy for educators to get bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of these ever-present challenges, Epstein (2009a) reminds us that there “is no topic in education on which there is greater agreement than the need for family and community involvement” (p. 1). Even though the immeasurable contextual differences among classrooms across the United States make it difficult to put forth a comprehensive set of guidelines for effectively integrating families and communities into schools, the most formidable aspect of this process is often figuring out how to start cultivating such relationships (Auerbach, 2009, 2012a). Moreover, the logistical complexities involved in collaborating with families are intensified in districts where there are greater differences in the socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds between educators and students (Cooper, 2009; M. Johnson, 2011; Lopez, Scribner, & Mahitivanichcha, 2001; Olivos, 2012).

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The Impact of Principal Perception on Student Academic Climate and Achievement in High School: How Does It Measure Up?

ePub

Angela Urick

Alex J. Bowers

The Impact of Principal Perception on Student Academic Climate and Achievement in High School: How Does It Measure Up?

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to examine the independent direct effects of student and principal perceptions of academic climate on student achievement in high school. To date, few studies have considered the influence of principal perceptions of academic climate on student achievement. In the present study, we test a set of two-level hierarchical linear models using the large, nationally representative Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 to examine the independent effects of principal and student perceptions of academic climate on student achievement in mathematics, controlling for leadership and student and school background and context variables. Results suggest that principal perception of academic climate may have a direct effect on student achievement. Combining these results with the recent literature, we propose a mediated effects model of principal perceptions of leadership on student achievement.

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