The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the impact of Leadership Practices on Student Achievement in rural high schools that met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and those that did not meet AYP in secondary schools. The study was conducted to determine if there were any significant differences among the groups of schools.
Student achievement is crucial as an accountability component in American education. The climate of the school and teacher moral are impacted by the decisions and practices of the principal (Evans and Johnson, 1990). It is also apparent that teachers have an important role in student achievement (Nettles and Herrington, 2007). Therefore, it is probable that the practices that the principal uses have an effect on teachers and that effect, in turn, impacts student achievement.
Four research questions guided the study: (1) Is there a significant difference between leadership practices in schools that met AYP and those that did not meet AYP? (2) Is there a significant difference between leadership practices in schools that met AYP and those that did not meet AYP after controlling poverty? (3) Is there a significant difference between leadership practices in schools that did not meet AYP? (4) Is there a significant difference between leadership practices in schools that met AYP?
The population for this study consisted of four (4) rural high schools in Georgia. Two (2) schools met AYP and two (2) did not meet AYP. Participants were randomly selected to complete a Leadership Practices Survey that applied a standard Likert scale, utilizing a range 1 to 5.
The Leadership Practices Survey, created by the researcher, included items reflecting the 21 Leadership Responsibilities of the School Leader identified by Marzano, Waters, and McNalty (2005). The Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) measured student achievement for schools that met and did not meet AYP. The dependent variable in the study was student achievement, and the independent variable was leadership practices.
The analysis of the data included the examination of means and frequencies and the utilization of t-tests. Means scores were calculated for the level of each variable to determine if there were any significant differences in the leadership practices in schools that met AYP and schools that did not meet AYP. The survey results were compared according to school performance (met vs. did not meet AYP) and the findings revealed that there was no significant difference in the leadership practices on student achievement.
KEY WORDS. Leadership Practice, Teacher Performance, Student Achievement, Adequate Yearly Progress