Differences in student achievement and principal behavior as a function of years of principal experience: A national investigation

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2017-09-20

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The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the relationship of principal years of experience as an administrator with the academic achievement of students, with areas that principals emphasize in their school practices, and with the size of their schools, with respect to student enrollment. In the first journal article, the degree to which differences were present in student achievement as a function of principal years of experience as an administrator was examined. In the second study, the extent to which principals differed in what they emphasize in their school practices as a function of principal years of experience was ascertained. In the third empirical investigation, the degree to which principals had different emphases in their school practices, as well as areas in which they focused on staff training, was analyzed as a function of student enrollment. In each of these three empirical investigations, data from a national dataset on principals were examined. Students who attended schools with Experienced Principals had statistically significant higher reading, mathematics, and science achievement than students who attended schools with either New Principals or Moderately Experienced Principals. Experienced Principals emphasized working with teachers and on required paperwork more than New Principals or Moderately Experienced Principals. Regarding school size, Principals of Large-size schools spent more time working than principals of Small-size schools and Moderate-size schools. Principals of Large-size schools placed statistically significantly more emphasis on training their teachers than principals of Small-size schools or Moderate-size schools. Principals of Large-size schools placed more emphasis on training their teachers on reading strategies, mathematics strategies, behavioral support, collecting and managing data, and interpreting and using data than principals of Moderate-size and Small-size schools. Implications for policy and recommendations for research were provided.

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