A Comparison of Principals' and Assistant Principals' Perceptions of the Characteristics of a Good School and Culture



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The purpose of this study was to compare the principals’ and assistant principals’ perceptions of the characteristics of a good school and culture. This study is significant because of the expectations school leaders face today in improving student achievement as measured by the new State of Texas accountability assessment. Research indicated that improving the school’s climate and culture will increase student achievement (Hoy and Tarter, 1997). Research also stated that school leaders have a great impact on school climate and student achievement (Guthrie and Schuermann, 2011). Principals and assistant principals work together to create quality schools and build school cultures. This study was composed of archival data collected by interviewing 311 campus principals and 371 assistant principals in the Gulf Coast Region of Southeast Texas. This study examined the responses from two open-ended questions part of a larger, multiphase study. The results from both research questions identified five major characteristics by principals and assistant principals. The characteristics were (1) student achievement and academic focus, (2) professional development and professional learning communities, (3) parental and community involvement, (4) positive climate and (5) strong leadership. In this comparative study, the researcher used a descriptive model to compare the perceptions that principals and assistant principals have regarding good schools and cultures.



Principals, Assistant principals, Good schools, Culture