AN EXAMINATION OF LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES OF MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN A SUBURBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT
Garrett, Latoya M.
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The principal of a campus plays a critical role in the success of the school. Principals must utilize leadership strategies that make an impact and improve student achievement. There are a variety of strategies that can be utilized by leadership and this study explored the strategies that are used most often. The purpose of this study was to examine the leadership strategies utilized by middle school principals in one suburban district, specifically which strategies are utilized most often and the ways in which those strategies varied depending on the schools’ socioeconomic status and level of student achievement. This study utilized the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) to collect data. A large Texas suburban school district with 14 middle schools was surveyed. Eight of the 14 principals elected to participate and complete the survey instrument. First, mean scores per question and subscale of the PIMRS were calculated to determine the most and least utilized strategy by all principal groups. Next, mean scores were analyzed to determine differences in scores based on school demographics and assessment scores. Third, standard deviations were calculated to determine the amount of variance in ratings on each question and subscale. Standard deviations were compared to determine the extent to which the principal ratings vary and the amount of dispersion in ratings based on demographic or assessment scores. The results showed principals rated the strategy of framing school goals the highest and of providing incentives for learning the lowest. This was consistent when compared across all principal groups. The amount of dispersion of scores varied based on question. Similarities exist in the use of strategies among principals regardless of school type. Further studies should investigate the amount of variance and dispersion of ratings.