School whisperer: A study of common leadership practices that affect student achievement in high performing schools in the state of Georgia
Student achievement in the state of Georgia has lagged behind other states. While many students in Georgia are performing at high levels most are not in comparison with data from other states. With state and federal mandates that insist that all students, regardless of race, culture, gender, socio-economic background, or disability, must achieve at higher levels than in the past it is important that school administrators provide effective leadership skills to ensure higher student performance. What is not known in the state of Georgia is the extent that common leadership practices in successful schools affect student achievement. It was the intent of this research study to find if there are reasons that some schools and students are successful.
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the relationship between common leadership practices of administrators of Georgia's highest performing schools and the high academic performance of the students on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test, the state's mandated standardized test, in Reading and Math for the years 2009-2010. To guide this study, a quantitative research approach was used through the distribution of a survey to all participating administrators of Georgia's schools. Through this survey, meaning was derived that showed certain common behaviors by leaders in high performing schools. Each behavior was measured on the scale of one to two (developing), three to four (meets), or five to six (exceeds). A rating average of each behavior was found and results compared using a multiple regression analyzes. The findings of this study show that leadership attributes, which consisted of communicating and building relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community, demonstrating a passion for student learning, modeling and encouraging creativity, and possessing a professional code of ethics as the best predictor of successful student achievement on both the Reading and Math sections of the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test.
Educational tests & measurements