The purpose of this study was to examine fourth grade students' achievement in relation to teachers' perceptions of the principals' leadership behavior and other selected variables in a metropolitan Atlanta school district.
Student achievement was measured by the differences in the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. The Profile for Assessment of Leadership (PAL) instrument was used to measure leadership behavior. It consisted of six competencies: instructional leadership, interpersonal skills, making decisions, facilities planning and student behavior, teacher evaluation implementation, and school climate. The sample was 3900 teachers in 81 of the 84 schools. The schools' demographic variables were: percentage of students on free and reduced lunch, total number of discipline incidents, total number of retained students, absenteeism, enrollment, average teacher experience, average administrator experience, principal gender, and principal tenure.
Pearson correlation analyses indicated the following significant relationships: (a) student achievement with: number of discipline incidents (r=-.31), percentage of students on free and reduced lunch (r=-.29), school climate (r=.05); (b) school climate with: principals' instructional leadership (r=.76), interpersonal skills (r=.74), making decisions (r=.72), facilities planning and setting student behavior expectations (r=.73), evaluation implementation (r=.65), number of discipline incidents (r=-.26), number of retained students (r=.28), enrollment (r=-.26), percentage of students on free and reduced lunch (r=-.39).
The results of regression indicated that (a) student achievement was inversely explained by the number of discipline incidents (beta=-.31), and not by any of the other variables; (b) number of discipline incidents was explained by school enrollment (beta=.65), percentage of students of five or fewer days absent (beta=-.54), student achievement (beta=-.33), percentage of students of more than 15 days absent (beta=-.18), total retained students (beta=.11), principal tenure (beta=.11), teacher experience (beta=.06) and free lunch status (beta=.06).