Citation
A reflective self-study

Material Information

Title:
A reflective self-study using evidence based conceptual frameworks and multi-rater feedback to identify, align, and improve school leadership practices
Creator:
Trajtenberg, David ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (217 pages). : ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Reflective teaching ( lcsh )
Reflective learning ( lcsh )
Self-knowledge, Theory of ( lcsh )
Reflection (Philosophy) ( lcsh )
School principals ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
The complexities of school leadership are well documented in the academic literature. Researchers have produced frameworks, which can be used by school leaders to improve their practice by providing a foundation and rationale for practice. In this reflective self-study, two conceptual frameworks for effective school leadership were used to identify and improve my own leadership practices as I served as a K-8 principal. Participants in this study responded to surveys and participated in a focus group. The survey items were aligned with Bryk and VAL-ED frameworks and the results were triangulated using focus group responses. Additionally, the study provided me with an opportunity to engage in reflective practices to determine next steps for improving my leadership practices. Additionally, this study outlined a reflective protocol through which other school leaders can assess their leadership practices in a manner that incorporates multi-rater feedback and an evidenced based conceptual framework. Results from this study can be useful to other principals, professional development of principals, and for preparation programs that train future principals.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Colorado Denver. Educational leadership and innovation
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by David Trajtenberg.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
913747703 ( OCLC )
ocn913747703

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! DM .@MDE!(?@YNIA;I?J9![5G>.9!$EQU@NDHA@C!&I@EI?FGDR!@AE!)AAHM@NDHA\! ! "! # IPCIUNDMI! + ICP + NQE<0! FDAJ! $ MDEIAUI! 3 @FIE! HAUIRNQ@C! % ?@TI]H?BF!@AE! 6 QCND ?@NI?! % IIE;@UB!NH! ) EIANDP<9! CDJA9!@AE! ) TR?HMI! + UGHHC! & I@EI?FGDR! 5 ?@UNDUIF ! (GIFDF!ED?IUNIE!;!%QCTI?>! ! !"#$%!&$ ' The complexities of school leadership are well documented in the academic literature Researchers have produced frameworks which can be used by school leaders to improve their practice by providing a foundation and rationale for practice. In this reflective self study, t wo conceptual framework s for effective school leadership were used to identify and improve my own leadership practices as I served as a K 8 principal Participants in this study responded to surveys and participated in a focus group The survey items were aligned with Bryk and VAL ED framework s and the results were triangulated using focus group responses Additionally, the study provide d me with an opportunity to engage in reflective practices to determine next steps for impro ving my leadership practices Additionally, this study outline d a reflective protocol through which other school leaders can assess their leadership practices in a manner that incorporates mu lti rater feedback and an evidenced based conceptual framework Results from this study can be useful to other principals, professional development of principals, and for preparation progr ams that train future principals. ! (G I!PH?T!@AE!UHANIAN!HP!NGDF!@;F N?@UN!@?I!@RR?HMIE>!)!?IUHTTIAE!DNF!RQ;CDU@NDHA>! ! "RR?HMIE0! 'HAADI!&>!%QCTI?

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! M !&()*+,-.-/)$#' I would like to acknowledge the many, many individuals that have walked with me on the fine line between the relentless ( but necessary ) nudging and pushing further ing me from my com fort zone ; a nd constant affirmation and support based on love, trust and mutual respect While this walk continues to be a constant struggle, it has set the stage for my subsequent endeavors, all of which are woven into t he very f abric of my humanity. In particular I would like to acknowledge Connie Fulmer who has shed a unique light on school leadership that has provided the impetus for this project Th ank you all for the challenge. Let's keep walking. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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! MD 0 -01&!$1*) T his dissertation is dedicated to my mom and dad The two of them, working together, have instilled within me with the character; tools and heart to pursue my dreams and accomplish my goals. And I dedicate this dissertation and the hundreds of hours po ured into its development, to Helen, my wife and best friend And to our beautiful daughters, Rose, Olive and Violet: y our patience, understanding and unwavering love has provided the necessary support to accomplish this project I love you all; for who you are, and for who we are constantly becoming Don't take any wooden nickels. ' ' ' ' ' '

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! MDD TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ .................... 1 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ .... 2 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............ 4 Background of Study ................................ ................................ ......... 5 Learner Centered Leadership ................................ .................... 5 Emergence of a Leadership Practice Construct .......................... 7 Evaluation of Principals ................................ ............................ 9 Developing a Reflective Leadership Practice .......................... 10 Evidence Based Conceptual Frameworks ................................ ....... 11 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ 14 Key Terms and Definitions ................................ ............................. 15 Summary ................................ ................................ .......................... 16 II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ........................ 18 Learner Centered Leadership ................................ .......................... 18 Effective Schools Research ................................ ...................... 19 Direct and Indirect Effects of School Leaders on Student Achievement ............................... 26 Instructional Leadership ................................ .......................... 29 Leadership Behaviors and Responsibilities that Influence Student Achievement ................................ ....... 32 Contextually Responsive Leadership Practices ........................ 35 Emergence of a Leadership Practice Construct ............................... 39

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! MDDD Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) ................................ ....... 39 High Poverty High Perfo rmance (HP HP) Research ............. 42 Distributed Leadership Practices ................................ .............. 45 Conceptual Frameworks that Support Identification of Leadership Practices ................................ ..... 47 Structure of a Leadership Practice Construct ........................... 49 Evaluation of Principals ................................ ................................ .. 51 Developing a Reflective Leadership Practice ................................ ... 56 Summary of Literature Review ................................ ......................... 61 III. METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................ 64 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................... 64 Research Design ................................ ................................ ....... 65 School Site and Key Stakeholders ................................ ........... 65 Analytical Frameworks ................................ ............................ 68 Instruments ................................ ................................ ...................... 68 VAL ED Survey ................................ ................................ .... 69 ClassMaps Survey ................................ ................................ 70 Culturally Responsive Practices Survey ................................ 71 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................. 72 VAL ED Survey Data Collection ................................ .......... 73 ClassMaps Survey Data Collection ................................ ...... 74 Culturally Responsive Practices Data Collection .................. 74 Focus Group I nterview Data Collection ............................... 75

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! DZ Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................... 77 Analysis of VAL ED Data and Alignment with ES I Framework ................................ ............................. 79 Analysis of ClassMaps Data and Alignment with ES I Framework ................................ ............................. 79 Analysis of CRPS Data and Alignment with ES I Framework ................................ ............................. 79 Analysis of Focus Interview Data and Alignment with ES I Framework ................................ ............................. 81 Developing a Protocol for Principal Reflective Practice .................. 81 Examples of data analysis with each too l .. 83 Trustworthiness of Research Process ................................ .............. 86 Sum mary of Methodology ................................ ................................ 87 IV. FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ........................... 88 Self Identified Leadership Practices ................................ ................. 88 Modification of Leadership Practices Informed by VAL ED ......... 90 Modification of Leadership Practices Informed by ClassMaps ....... 97 Modification of Leadership Practices Informed by CRPS ............ 104 Synthesis of Survey Results ................................ ........................... 110 Modification of Leadership Practices From Focus Group Data ..... 114 Components of Current Leadership Practices and Planned Modifications ................................ ................................ .... 123 The W ork Focus of the Leadership Practices ................................ 128 Critical Steps in the Reflective Leadership Practice Self Study ..... 136 Summary ................................ ................................ ......................... 141 V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS ................ 142

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! Z Summary of Research Study ................................ .......................... 142 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ...................... 145 Summary of Key Fi ndings ................................ ..................... 145 Relationships of Key Findings to Literature .......................... 148 Implications of Findings for Principals' Leadership Practice 153 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ........... 157 Recommendations for Principals ................................ ............ 157 Recommendations for School Districts ................................ .. 159 Recommendations for Principal Preparation Programs ......... 159 Recommendations for Future Studies ................................ .... 160 Final Thoughts ................................ ................................ ................ 162 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ 164 APPENDIX A. SURVEY CODING ................................ ................................ .............. 176 B. VAL ED SURVEY ................................ ................................ ........... 177 C. CLASS MAPS SURVEY (PRIMARY K 2) ................................ ...... 183 D. CLASS MAP S SURVEY (INTERMEDIATE 3 6) ........................... 186 E. CLASS MAPER SURVEY (SECONDARY 7 12) ............................. 191 F. CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICES SURVEY .................. 195

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! ZD LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1 Recommendations made by Brookover and Lezotte (1979) .................. 22 2 Effective Schools Research Common Themes Across Studies ............ 25 3 Structural Elements of a Leadership Practice ................................ ......... 50 4 Research Design Stages by Research Question, Instrument or Data Collection Process ................................ ................... 66 5 Five Essential Supports and Fourteen Indicator Codes ......................... 78 6 ES I Codes within the VAL ED Codes ................................ .................. 80 7. Steps for Developing and Confirming a Reflective Practice ................. 82 8. Sample Results of Essential Supports Indicators Codes .................... 85 9. Strengths Identified by the VAL ED Survey (Top 10%) ................... 92 10. Weaknesses Identified by the VAL ED Survey (Bottom 10%) ........... 94 11. Strengths Identified by the CMS K 2 nd (Top 10%) ........................... 99 12. Strengths Identified by the CMS 3 rd 8 th (Top 10%) ........................ 100 13. Weaknesses Identified by the CMS K 2 nd (Bottom 10%) ................ 102 14. Weaknesses Identified by the CMS 3 rd 8 th (Bot tom 10%) ................ 103 15. Strengths Identified by the CRPS (Top 10%) ................................ 108 16. Weaknesses Identified by the CRPS (Bottom 10%) ........................ 109 17. Pre Study Structural Elements of a Leadership Practice .................. 130 18.. Post Study Structural Elements of a Leadership Practice ................. 133

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! ZDD LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 Essential supports in context for learner centered leadership. .............. 12 2 Core components and key processes of learner centered leadership. ................................ ............. 14 3 HP HP school readiness model ................................ ............................... 43 4. Components of a leadership Practice ................................ ...................... 50 5. Sample VAL ED report (BB = below basic, B = basic, P = proficient). ................................ ................................ ..... 73 6. Frequency of ES I codes that emerged as strengths ............................. 111 7. Frequency of ES I codes that emerged as weaknesses ......................... 112 8. ES I paradox items that emerged as strengths and w eaknesses ............ 113 9. Distilled ES I Strengths and Weaknesses Key Findings .................... 114

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! O CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This study began when I was the principal of a K 8 charter school in a major city in Colorado I had completed my first year in this position and was entering my second year I held a principal's license from the state of Colorado througho ut the course of this stud y In addition to the year that I had worked as a principal, I also served as an assistant principal the previous six years Despite my years of experience as an assistant principal, this was my first principal position; the knowledge and experiences that had prepared me for the principalship did not minimize the sensation of tryi ng to take sips out of a fire hose The constantly changing and exciting dynamics of serving in instructional leadership, organizational management and change agency in addition to my experiential and literary knowledge led me to design and implement this study. Knowledge about what principals do in persistently low achieving schools has evolved with improvements in school leadership research (Bryk, Sebring, Allenworth, Luppescu & Easton, 2010; Calkins, Guenther, Belfiore & Lash, 2007b) New standard s for principal performance have emerged (CSSCO, 2001) and reflect a heightened emphasis on the principal's role on instructional leadership an d improving school effectiveness usually as measured by standardized assessment results (Goldring, Porter, Murphy, Elliot & Cravens, 2009 ) From emerging understanding s about the increased importance of the principal 's role in instructional leadership the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL ED) was developed as a tool for providing principal s with feedback regarding their effectiveness. Additionally, a new fram ework for school improvement has emerged from the decade or more of research on the Chicago Public

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! K Schools ( Bryk, Sebring, Allenworth, Luppescu & Easton, 2010 ) that details how leaders hip is the driver for key levers that directly impact the dynamics of teaching and learning By pairing the conceptual frameworks for the VAL ED assessment for learning centered leadership behaviors with the levers identified as key to improving instructi onal improvement, as identified in the Chicago study p rincipals and teachers have two powerful conceptual frameworks to guide the identification, alignment, and improvement of school leadership practices Statement of the Problem In the current literature on school leadership and the work of the principal i n leading school improvement efforts towards favorable student outcomes there is little evidence that principals themselves are engaging in data collection and analysis, followed by a self stu dy process required for deciding which leadership practices to modify and implement Principals rely heavily on a pool of resources and a literature base that makes no mistake about factors that they ought to consider in their quests to improve schools However, what is currently lacking in the field of school leadership is a protocol designed for principals to (a) identify current leadership practices being used to improve school effectiveness (b) collect feedback about their practice and align th at f ee dback to evidence based frameworks proven to improve student performance and (c) modify current leadership practices or design new ones that would yield those intended results. S chool leader ship is defined by Schšn as a minor profession ( Schšn, 1983) A school l eader's practice and skill level is often informed and guided by reflection and a seemingly never ending search for truth and a deeper understanding of their role or even what leadership practices will be successful in the school setting Leaders hip is

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! ^ complicated, however, and while a myriad of literature exists that pays tribute to the extensive knowledge base in the field of educational leadership there is rarely a dialogue regarding the evidence that informs principals of the critical pieces ( who, what, where, when, or how ) to lead in specific school contexts The purpose of this reflective self study was to de sign and implement a protocol for a self stud y of my leadership practices, during my time as principal at a K 8 Public School (K8PS) that would support the modification of current leadership practices, or develop new ones to increase my effectiveness as a leader towards school improvement. This protocol would eventually include : (a) determination of the specific leadership practices currently in use (b) how those leadership practices align with evidenced based conceptual frameworks that inform leadership practices, and (c) how surv ey data collected from community percep tions of the effectiveness of my leadership practice, corroborat es the findings and informs future leadership practices. Despite the abundance of literature on what principals should do to improve schools, this study intends to contribute to the field of educational leadership through a focused literature review of research on learner centered leadership, the emergence of the construct of a leadership practice, and the development of a reflective leadership practice Th e unit of analysis of this reflecti ve self study case study was the construct of leadership practices used in context in this school and will provide guidance to other principals wanting to improve their leadership by engaging in a reflective self study of their own practices to improve student outcomes in their schools.

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! S Research Questions The primary question that guid ed this work was : How can evidence based conceptual frameworks and feedback drawn from survey data be used to systematically identify and modify current ly used leadership practices? Specific sub questions for this study follow: 1. What self identified leadership practices a m I currently using to improve school effectiveness in t his school? 2. How can results from survey data be used t o inform modifications of current leadership practices intended to improve student outcomes ? 2 a How can results from the VAL ED Survey be used to inform modifications of my leadership practices? 2 b How can results from the ClassMaps Survey (CMS) be used to inform modifications of my leadership practices? 2 c How can results from the Culturally Responsive Practice Survey (CRPS) be used to inform modification of my leadership practices ? 2 d How can the results from a focus group comprised of the school leadership team be used to inform modification of my leadership practices ? 3. What new leadership practices or modifications of current leadership practices have emerged from this study? 4. What are the critical steps of this reflective leadership practice self study process that I used in this study and how would I describe them to other principals ?

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! W Background of Study This central focus of this study is on specific leadership practices that are grounded in effective leadership research in th e following four topic areas: (a) learner centered leadership ( b ) emergence of the leadership practice construct, (c) evaluation of principal s, and (d) develop ing a r eflective leadership practice Taken together, these four topic areas provide a strong foundation by which school leaders can enhance specific elements of their current leadership practice s or develop and implement new ones First of all, the learner centered leadership research provides a back ground on which a principal can construct implement, and modify leadershi p practices that result in a learner centered focus, and a more e ffective school Secondly, the literature on the emergence of a leadership practice construct integrates and synthesizes prior findings of effective leadership behaviors, principles, and cha racteristics Third, a review of key research and literature on the evaluation of principals will explore how principals are provided with relevant feedback about their work and the effectiveness of curren t leadership practices Finally, this study will serve to add to the literature on develo p ing reflective leadership practices that promise to improve leadership practices and enhance the experiences that communities have in their public schools Each of these topic areas are des cribed below. Learner Centered Leadership The first topic area of learner centered leadership is based on research suggesting that by incorporating certain leadership elements, schools can impact student learning through a focus on student learning as the primary lens of leadership actions. The main elements that emerge in this topic area include ( a ) effective school research, ( b ) direct

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! and indirect effects of leadership on school effectiveness ( c ) instructional leadership, ( d ) l eadership behaviors and principles that influence school effectiveness The first of these learner centered leadership elements e ffective school s research was essentially a response to the now infamous 1966 Coleman report that resulted in claims that schools, despite their practices, do not make a difference in educating low income children, primarily from minority groups From the Coleman report, a slew of researchers sought out to prove this claim wrong Despite the subtle differences in the result ing arguments about what schools could do to improve learning outcomes, there are certainly similarities that we can learn from regarding the creation and sustainability of these effective schools Researchers such as Edmonds (1982) Sammon Hillman, and Mortimer (1995) Brookover and Lezotte (1979) published prolifically to support their claim that by implementing certain prescribed practices schools can be effe c tive These practices are referred to as correlates and are described in more detail in chap ter 2 By acknowledging and implementing practices that reinforce values in the correlates, and maintaining a focus on these correlates of effective school practice s schools can and do make a difference in educating children from disadvantaged background s. The second element, direct and indirect effects of school leaders emerged as a construct that emphasized the notion that leader can impact school effectiveness both directly and indirectly Direct influences suggest that the behavior of the school leader will result in immediate, noticeable outcomes These outcomes occur in the absence of intermediate factors or influences, hence the direct nature of these effects from leader to school effectiveness Indirect effects, on the other hand, a re effect s that leaders and their decisions have on intermediate factors that then impact school effectiveness

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! ` The third element, instructional leadership literature, points to the importance of the instructional leadership role of the principal in improving inst ructi on and pedagogy in schools The effective schools movement placed an emphasis on the modification of principals roles Traditionally the principal served as the daily manager of operations of a school However, t he effective school movement encour aged school leaders to play a more influential role in impacting student outcomes Therefore, one of the primary offshoots of the effective schools movement was the use of the term s "instructional leadership" into the consciousness of educational administration The four th element, leadership behaviors and principles that influence school effectiveness contributed additional aspects of how the specific leadership behaviors and principles have been proven to influence improved sc hool effectiveness These four elements make up this learner centered leadership content area topic Emergence of a Leadership Practice Construct The second topic area which discusses the emergence of the leadership practice construct begins to define the practices of school leadership that are thought to yield results and engage schools in improvement The primary elements that emerge in this topic area include ( a ) the development of the leadership practices inventory ( b ) the HP HP readiness m odel and ( c ) distributed leadership practices Below I will describe these three elements that make up the early emergence of a leadership practice construct Kouzes and Posner (1996) developed and presented the leadership practice inventory (LPI) for school leaders to begin the process of improving their practice The development of the LPI is o ne of the earliest instances of researchers using the construct of leadership practice s Their work uncovered five leadership practices that are essential

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! a for leaders to demonstrate their personal best These leadership practices were determined based on responses from of surveys administered to thousands of leaders in a variety of professions These leadership practices include: (a) challenging the p rocess, (b) inspiring a shared vision, (c) enabling others to act, (d) modeling the way, and (e) encouraging the heart A description of each practice is described in the literature review Another example of the emergence of a leadership practice construct was signified by a pivotal study by Ca lkin s (2007) suggests specific recommendations for "turning around" failing schools with the implementations of improved school leadership practice s Calkins proposed that by embracing certain overarching characteristics, school leaders could have schools that are high performing even though they may serve a high percentage of students from poverty From this work emerged t he HP HP readiness model whic h highlights three essential characteristics : (a) the student's readiness to learn, (b) the school's readiness to teach (c) and the community's readiness to act Furthermore, an exploration of distributed leadership practices has also proven to bolster the emergence of new and different leadership practices; practices that capitalize on more than just the principal in ensuring that schools are successful in accomplishing their goals A distributed leadership perspective recognizes that there are multip le leaders within an organization (Spillane et al., 2004) and that leadership activ iti es are widely shared within an organization (Harris, 2007) A distributed model of leadership focuses upon the inte rac tions, rather than the actions of those in formal and informal leadership roles The distributed leadership model is primarily concerned with how leadership practice can be shared, and the capacity of informal leaders can be leveraged to influence organizational and instructional improvement (Spillane, 2 006)

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! b By combining the three components listed above ; the development of the LPI, the turnaround challenge work by Calkins and an investigation into the structures of leadership through distributed leadership practices, a construct of effective leadersh ip practices begins to emerge as schools race to improve student outcomes and improve school effectiveness Evaluation of Principals The third topic area, evaluation of principals, discusses how schools begin to hold their leadership accountable and provide information and feedback to principals The primary elements that comprise this topic area include ( a ) the i mportance of providing principals feedback about the effectiveness of their work and how this work is the product of the effective schools movement ( b ) the relative newness of principal evaluation in the literature, and ( c ) the value of multi rater feedback in principal evaluation Below I will describe these three elements that make up the evaluation of principal. Lipham (1981) contends t hat effective schools directly emerge from effective leadership Thus, educational communities have come to value and appreciate the importance and gravity of implementing an effective school leadership evaluation system Prior to Lipham 's positing o f le adership's role in creating effective schools (Clayton Jones, L., McMahon, J., Rodwell, K., Skehan, J., Bourke, S., Holbrook, A., 1993 ) suggests that principal evaluation is a field warranting deeper investigation and support the notion that ongoing evaluation of school leadership is not receiving enough attention. Furthermore, an increase in school accountability has also led organizations to loo k deeper into the effects of school leadership Schools have come to realize that

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! OL without re ceiving quality feedback on a regular basis, leaders are inhibited in their ability to modify their practice to better meet the needs of the schools. Until the early 1990's, the topic of principal evaluation was hardly evident in the professional literatu re Despite numerous publications about school leadership and leadership effectiveness, we don't begin to see an investigation into school leadership until 1993 when Stufflebeam present ed a framework by which principal performance can be compared and eval uated This framework was then expanded in 1996 with the publication of Heck & Marcoulides' discussion of school principal evaluation According to their publication, "recent demands for educational reform have focused attention on the school principal's role in improving academic achievement An extension of these demands includes the suggestions of practices that can be used to hold principals directly accountable for school outcomes (1996, p.11) Lastly, there has been an increase in research investigating the value of multiple sources of feedback to the work of the principal Whereas the traditional model of evaluation requires that the principal receive feedback from their supervisor the multi rater feedback model suggests that valuable fee dback can be acquired through a variety of different perspectives in the school community, including but not limited to feedback from the teaching staff, students and community members (London, Smither & Adsit, 1997) All of this feedback would ultimately be factored into the evaluation of the principal's practices Developing Reflective Leadership Practices A school leader's effectiveness is dependent and affected by changing behaviors often times resulting from feedback sources The discussion that follows will introduce

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! OO th e components that comprise the development of a reflective leadership practice The role of the school leader is to use the feedback to determine whether or not her actions are aligned with her particular theory of effective leadership Additionally, the alignment of the practices as stated by the leader to the practices perceived by others should be considered in order to identify gaps between perception and reality. This alignment of theory and practice is the result of re flection and analysis of the feedback. The ability for a leader to reflect on his/her practices is paramount to their improvement ; particularly in many current contexts where the inputs are varied and diverse and the complexity of the school leader's role expands For example, Cuban (1988) identified the political, managerial, and instructional roles as fundamental to th e role of the principal He further con cluded that principal effectiveness is attained by finding the correct balance among these roles for a given school context Reflective practices have been a topic of consideration in the academic field since the early 1990's when Argyris (1993) stressed the importance of behaviors, or actions, being aligned with a particular theory of use Argyris and Schšn discuss these theories of use and outline ways that practitioners can maintain congruence with their theories Schšn ( 1983 ) has also produced a body of work that provides significant support of school leaders developing reflective practi ces in their work. Evidence Based Conceptual Frameworks Following the review of literature conducted for this study, t wo evidence based conceptual frameworks were selected to guide this work focused on identification of leadership practices that engender school improvement The first framework is the essential support and indicators (ES I) framework from Chicago The second framework

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! OK emerged from school leadership research that resulted in the conceptualization and development of the Vanderbilt Assessmen t of Leadership in Education (VAL ED) Taken together, these two frameworks provide a powerful basis from which school leaders can derive indications of success and areas where they need to improve Both of these frameworks, the ES I and the VAL ED are d escribed in more detail below and then articulated further in C hapter 2. The first framework provides a fundamental basis for a model of learner centered leadership (see Figure 1). The Essential S upports and Indicators (ES I) was derived from a ten year study of success school improvement initiatives and transformation efforts in Chicago's failing urban schools ( Bryk, Sebring, Allenworth, Luppescu, & Easton 2010). Figure 1. Essential supports in context for learner centered leadership.

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! O^ Data analyses from this work resulted in the identification of five essential supports (e.g., leadership as the driver for change, professional capacity, school learning climate, parent school/community ties, and instructional guidance) and f ourteen indicators (e.g., school leadership, teacher's ties to the community, parent involvement, teacher background, frequency of professional development, quality of professional development, changes in human resources, work orientation, professional com munity, safety and order, academic support and press, curriculum alignment, basic skills, and application emphasis), that provided the foundation from which significant improvements in these failing schools was possible. Implementation of the five support and 14 indicators, as defined by the ES I framework, suggests to school leaders that they are prescribing to a framework that focus es on student learning Figure 2 shows how the ES I works in context with the school community with the sake of creating a learner centered leadership The second conceptual framework was constructed from evidence based research on learner centered leadership practices (see Figure 2) (Goldring, Porter, Murphy, Elliott, & Cravens, 2009), which can best be described in in ter ms of six core components and six key processes of learner centered leadership The VAL ED is an online 360 degree survey instruments that provides school leaders with feedback about their effectiveness as school leaders by suggesting that they work to su pport six key components and six core processes These components and processes create 36 areas in the VAL ED matrix that communities can use to advise their leader about his leadership practices. In combination, these two conceptual frameworks provide a strong foundation for both the conceptual and analytic work that guides this research.

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! OS F igure 2 C ore components and k ey processes of learner centered leadership Significance of this Study This study outline s a detailed description of how I, as principal in a K 8 public school used evidence based conceptual frameworks, as well as a self developed protocol for synthesizing feedback from a variety of instruments, in order to identify develop and modify his leadership practices to enhance school wide improvement efforts. It is a study that that differs from the Wolcott (1973) study which uses an ethnographic case study methodology to detail the daily working of a school principal This study looks specifically at a school in context and focuses on specific leadership behaviors that are aligned with evidence based frameworks Findings from this study not only illustrate promising leadership practices identified in this research, but also a reflective self study process to identify areas in which current leadership practices of any principal could be modified or recommendations for how to create school wide practices to accomplish school goals As a result, the study makes contribut ions to the field of school leadership

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! OW and serve s to sup port the use of evidence based c onceptual frameworks to investigate leadership practic es of school principals and also to inform the modification of current leadership practices. The results of this study also inform ed a process for the developing school wide leadership practices ; all with hopes of improving student outcomes. Key Terms and Definitions The following terms are used throughout this study For the sake of clarification and specifying meaning, working definitions from the key elements of both the VAL ED Matrix and the Essential Supports Framework are provided below to guide the reader in with how these terms are used in this study Leadership Practices Leadership practices are defined by the action and decision making structure that a school leader chooses to follow throughout his/her daily work in attempting to increase school effectiveness A ccording to Kouzes and Posner (2002 ) the re are five leadership practices : (a) challenging the process, (b) inspiring a shared vision, (c) enabling others to act, (d) modeling the way and (e) encouraging the heart This study explores the use of reflection about feedback in order to modify leadership practices Reflective Practices Reflective practices suggest a process by which an individual spends time considering the variety of feedback and data that he/she has collected and comparing it to a framework of research based best practices Reflective practices a llow the practitioner the time and capacity to consider his/h e current behaviors and determine whether or not the behaviors align with a particular theory of action resulting in desired outcomes

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! O_ Bryk Framework This study refers to the Bryk framework when discussing the findings from a 10 year study from the public schools of Chicago The results of the Bryk framework suggest five essential supports and 14 indicators that schools and leaders must consider and implement in order to realize increases in school effectiveness This study refers to this framework as the ES I framework; it comprises the analy tical framework for this study VAL ED The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education is a 360 degree feedback tool (multi rater feedback tool) developed to provide feedba ck to a school leader about her learner centered leadership practices The framework relies on 6 core components and 6 key processes that define a research based basis of best practices through which a leader can raise school effectiveness Summary This study provides a unique oppor tunity to explore a school principal's leadership practices through the lens of an evidence based framework for school improvement Findings from this study will provide a perspective into the complex realm of school leadership for a school undergoing significant changes While the work of leading the K 8 Pubic School (K8PS) is complex and multi faceted, this study will provide the researcher and school leader an opportunity to take a deep dive into the practices that he views as high leverage with re gards to school improvement Furthermore, the fact that this investigation was based on frameworks of school leadership that have been widely accepted as valid and consequential, this study is adding to an increasingly complex field

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! O` of literature on schoo l leadership This study serves as an independent study that spawned from prior academic investigation in a different context at a different time, but with the shared purpose of providing school leaders with additional contexts, perspectives and tools wit h which to lead their organizations.

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! Oa CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Th is chapter provides a review of the research literature in the following areas that fundamentally ground this study : ( a ) learner centered leadership, ( b ) the emergence of the c onstruct of a leadership practice, ( c ) the evaluation of principals, and (d) development of a reflective professional practice of leadership The first area, learner centered leadership draws from research and literature from effective schools research, the direct and indirect effects of school leaders on school effectiveness instructional leadership, and leadership behaviors and principles tha t impact school effectiveness The second area, the emergence of the construct of a leadership practice, includes a review of research that focuses on the LPI (Kouzes & Posner, 1996) High Poverty High Productivity (HP HP) research distributed leadership practices The third area centers on history and processes of the performance evaluation of principals The fourth area, the development of a reflective professional practice of leadership, pulls together prior strands of research and literatu re reviewed with the idea of developing a reflecti ve practice as a way for leaders to more effectively support their organizations Learner Centered Leadership The actual phrase l earner centered leadership was introduced by Goldri n g Cravens, Murphy, Porter, Elliot and Carson (2007) ; bu t in reality several themes in the literature have lead to th e emergence of this terminology These literature themes include : (a) effective schools research, (b) direct and indirect effects of leadership on school eff ectiveness (c) instructional leadership, and (d) leadership behaviors and principles that influence school effectiveness When woven together, the four themes

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! Ob described below comprise the larger area of learner centered leadership. Each theme is detailed below. Effective School Research When schooling first became part of societal and social norms, there was seldom agreement that schooling was a necessity, no less required, for all children. However, one of the many successes of the U.S civil rights movement was precisely the added granu larity of definition to precisely who should have access to school services. The premise suggesting that schools were required to educate all children was reinforced by the 1954 ruling of Brown vs Board of Education, where it was determined that the separation of races in schools was unconstitutional A decade later Coleman (1966) released findings from a government report often times referred to as the Coleman Report suggesting that despite the overruling in Plessy vs Ferguson's separate but equal standard, schools were still not serving to provide equality in educational opportunities Coleman attributed this inability for schools to make a difference to the influence of factors that schools cannot control such as ch ildren's home life and socioeconomic factors This influential report began a widespread investigation into the quality of education that schools were offering in the United States As a result of the controversy over the findings in the Coleman Report ( 1966), researchers began to co nduct studies i n schools where success was being realized, in spite of family influence and socioeconomic factors It is from these tumultuous post civil rights era that school effectiveness resea rch emerged and gave rise to the effective schools movement The Effective Schools model of school reform is based on more than thirty years of research conducted nationally and internationally (Lezotte, 2009) This research

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! KL identified schools in which students were mastering the c urriculum at a higher rate and to a higher level than would he predicted based on students' family background, gender, and racial and ethnic identification In addition, these schools showed steady increases in achievement over time, and the achievement gap between students from low socioeconomic and high socioeconomic backgrounds narrowed. Despite the controversial claims that school's influence on student outcomes was doubtful, Edmonds ( 1 9 79 ) suggest ed that there are certain factors that, when implemen ted with fidelity and focus, could improve the experience and outcomes of students in urban and struggling schools A m ong these factors are: strong administrative leadership, high expectations for children's achievement, an orderly atmosphere conducive t o learning, an emphasis on basic skill acquisition, and frequent monitoring of pupil progress. Similar suggestion s were made in the same year by compelling research by Brookover and Lezotte (1979) in a study of urban schools in Michigan The study examined eight elementary schools (six improving, two declining) that had evidenced a change between 1974 and 1976 in fourth grade state assessment scores in both reading and math Their study provided evidence that poor, urban schools could, in fact, mak e positive contributions to school effectiveness and they sited specific ways for the school communities to become adept at these changes Ten findings emerged from their work that resu l ted from patterns that emerged in the study of the effective schools of this study. These results listed below in Table 1., became subsequent recommendations for school s looking to make a difference in their own schools A 1995 study by Sammons Hillman and Mortimore puts forth an extensive

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! KO review of key components of effective schools According to the review, the key components of effective schools include: (a) Professional leadership, (b) shared vision and goals, (c) a learning environment, (d) concentration of teaching and learning, (e) purposeful teaching, (f) h igh expectations, (g) positive reinforcement, (h) monitoring progress, (i) pupil rights and responsibilities, (j) a home school partnership and (k) must reflect a focus on factors that the school can control and modify as needed be a learning organizati on According to Lezotte ( 2001) e ffective schools were found to possess a set of common characteristics, called "correlates." The correlates have been shown to be as essential for equitable effectiveness today as they were thirty years ago and thus are building blocks used in the Effective Schools model (Lezotte, 2009) The Effective Schools model of school reform, when adopted, should enable a school to establish the correlates as a means to achieving high and levels of organizational effectiveness T he se correlates are defined below. The first correlate is to have a clear school mission In the effective school, there is a clearly articulated school mission through which the staff shares an understanding of and commitment to instructional goals, prio rities, assessment procedures and accountability Staff accepts responsibility for all students achieving the school's essential curricular goals. The second is to have high expectations for success In the effective school, there is a climate of expectation in which the staff believes and demonstrates that all students can attain mastery of the essential content of the curriculum The staff members also

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! KK believe that they have the capability to help all students achieve mastery of a challenging cu rriculum based on state and national standards. Table 1 : Recommendations made by Brookover and Lezotte (1979) 1 The improving schools emphasize basic reading and mathematics objectives These schools accept and emphasize the importance of these goals and objectives, while declining schools give much less emphasis to such goals and do not specify them as fundamental 2 Improving schools tend to believe that all of their students can master the basic objectives; and furthermore, the teachers perceive tha t the principal shares this belief They tend to report higher and increasing levels of student ability. 3 The staff holds higher and increasing levels of expectations with regard to the educational accomplishments of their students. 4 Teachers and prin cipals of the improving schools are much more likely to assume responsibility for teaching the basic reading and math skills. 5 Staffs in improving schools devote a much greater amount of time toward achieving reading and math objectives. 6 The principal is more likely to be an instructional leader, is more likely to be assertive in his/her instructional leadership role, is more of a disciplinarian and assumes responsibility for the evaluation of the achievement of basic objectives 7 The improving sch ool staffs demonstrate a greater degree of acceptance of the concept of accountability and are further along in the development of an accountability model. 8 Generally, teachers in the improving schools are less satisfied than teachers in the declining schools Improving school staffs appear more likely to experience some tension and dissatisfaction with the existing situation. 9 Differences in the level of parent involvement in the improving and declining schools are not clear cut It seems that ther e is less overall parent involvement in the improving schools; however, the improving school staffs indicated that their schools have higher levels of parent initiated involvement Parent involvement needs to be explored more closely 10 Improving scho ols are not characterized by a high emphasis on paraprofessional staff, nor heavy involvement of the regular teachers in compensatory education programs The declining schools also report greater emphasis on programmed instruction.

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! K^ The third is for the principal to serve as an i nstructional l eader In the effective school, the principal acts as an instructional leader and also empowers and helps teachers to become collaborative leaders in continuous improvement He or she effectively and persistently communicates the school's locally developed mission to staff, parents, and students The effective principal also understands and applies the characteristics of quality instruction and assessment in implementing programs and e valuating classroom instruction. A fourth important correlated required for an effective school is f requent and a ppropriate m onitoring of s tudent p rogress In the effective school, student academic progress is measured regularly and rigorously by a variety of appropriate assessment procedures The results of these assessments are used to improve both individual student performance and the instructional program Student mastery of the adopted curriculum standards is determined through these assessme nts, and progress reports are made available to teachers, parents, and older students on a regular basis In conjunction with other pertinent data about the student, teachers use these mastery data to make timely and targeted decisions about each student' s instructional needs Parents are kept informed and included in their children's academic progress, and administrators can make more informed judgments about building wide and district level curricular and instructional issues. A fifth correlate for effe ctive schools is to provide students with an o pportunity to l earn and s tudent t ime on t ask In the effective school, teachers concentrate on using classroom time for instruction in essential content and skills For a significant proportion of the time, s tudents engage in teacher structured activities, and grouping arrangements

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! KS are used to ensure that all students receive the help needed to master challenging material The interruptions for announcements and other non academic uses of time are kept to a m inimum All staff members are well versed in and expected to use the "best practices" research to deliver and assess classroom instruction, thereby maximizing each student's opportunity to achieve the highest possible expectations. A six th and important correlate of effective schools is a s afe, o rderly, and p roductive e nvironment In the effective school, there is an orderly, purposeful, businesslike atmosphere that is free from the threat of physical harm The physical facility is clean, attractive, kept in good repair, and student work is prominently displayed The school climate is not oppressive and is conducive to teaching and learning. A final and seventh correlate of effective schools is to have p ositive h ome s chool r elations In the effective school parents understand and support the school's basic mission and play an important role in helping the school to achieve that mission The involvement from the student's homes is legitimate in that they actually help to shape policies and procedures Parents in the effective school share the responsibility for their children's academic success by seeing to it that they attend school, demonstrate responsible citizenship, and work to meet the academic expectations set forth for them. In summary, t he preceding correlates and several comparable or very similar themes identified in effective schools research are associated with improved student learning. Table 2. Below shows these correlates and common themes across the formative studies of the effective school research literature.

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! KW Table 2: Effective Schools Research Common Themes Across Studies Common Themes Edmonds (1979) Brookover and Lezotte (1979) Sammons (1995) Lezotte (2001) Leadership Strong administrative leadership Principal serves primarily as an instructional leader Professional leadership Instructional leadership High Expectations High expectations for children's achievement Staff hold higher expectations of student's educational accomplishments. High expectations Climate of high expectations Mission Driven Commonly held belief that students can achieve basic objectives Shared, mission vision and goals Clear and focused mission Learning Environment Orderly atmosphere conducive to learning Learning environment Safe and orderly environment Progress Monitoring Frequent monitoring of pupil progress More time is dedicated towards reading and math objectives Monitoring progress Frequent monitoring of student progress Basic Skill Focus Emphasis on basic skill acquisition Emphasis on basic reading and math objectives Teachers and staff assume responsibility for teaching basic literacy and math skills Concentration of teaching and learning School Home Partnerships Effects of parent involvement is inconclusive Home school partnership Positive home school relations

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! K_ Direct and Indirect Effects of Leadership on School Effectiveness While clear ties between school leadership school effectiveness have been established through the effective school movement the extent to which the leadership causes the effect and the mechanism through which this occurs is investigated in more detail below The following section provides background about how studies have identified the differe nt kinds of effects that leadership can have o n school effectiveness and a multitude of other variables Leadership impacts on school effectiveness can be observed to occur in both direct and indirect ways Direct influences suggest that the behavior of the school leader will result in immediate outcomes These outcomes come in the absence of intermediate factors or influences, hence the direct nature of these effects from leader to school effectiveness Indirect effects, on the other hand, are effec ts that leadership has on intermediate factors that then go on to impact school effectiveness The intermediate factors are diverse and complex in nature, but they suggest that a school leader can behave in ways that create organizational capacity and influence on school effectiveness Through indir ect ways, leaders can influence school effectiveness Several researchers have studied direct and indirect effects of leadership and an introduction to these studies is presented below. In a 2003 study by Witziers, Bosker, & KrŸger the researchers revisit the existing scholarly debate on the possible impact of the principal's leadership on school effectiveness In their examination, they investigate b oth `direct effect' and `indir ect effect' models of school leadership Their study results in a qu antitative meta analysis that examines to what extent principals directly affect student outcomes The researchers

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! K` investigated a variety of previous studies of the effect of leadership and conducted an analysis of those findings The researchers, in thi s case, did not conduct an investigation of their own sample, rather they used the data from a multitude of other studies to draw their conclusions The small positive effects found in this meta analysis confirm earlier research findings on the limitation s of the direct effects approach to linking leadership with school effectiveness Ultimately, the researchers suggest that further research is warranted and necessary for a more comprehensive conclusion about direct vs indirect models of leadership for i mproving school effectiveness In this particular study, the finding are also subject to scrutiny due to the methodological constraints that exist when conducting a meta analysis of direct and indirect effects Several years later, Leit hwood & Jantzi ( 2008) aimed to improve our understanding of the nature, causes and consequence of school leader ship's impact on school effectiveness ; they used the term efficacy to describe the effects of leadership In this study, school l eader's collective efficacy was an important link between district conditions and both the conditions found in schools and their effects on school effectiveness School leader 's sense of collective efficacy also had a strong, positive, relationship with leadershi p practices found to be effective in prior studies This study included indirect leadership influences on student learning through a study of leadership efficacy as their primary indirect factor influencing school effectiveness Silva, White & Yoshida (2011) argue that School effectiveness and instructional leadership research over the past 30 years has largely concluded that principal effects on school effectiveness are small and indirect It has been assumed that the principal effect is important but mediated through other school factors or indirect effects An example of

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! Ka a direct effect on study achievement found in their study is that one on one discussions between a principal and a non proficient student that focused on the student's 2008 reading score and a goal for his or her 2009 reading score had a direct and significant effect on the student's subsequent reading achievement gains on a state reading test Students in the experimental condition who held discussions with a principal prior to the state reading test showed reading gains The results of this study provide the first steps in investigating the potential benefits to principals who seek the most immediate and direct ways to improve school effectiveness The researchers also suggest th at f uture research should investigate the principal student discussion effects on students of different genders, grade levels, and communities. I t is possible to model and detect the indi rect effects of principal lead ership on school effectiveness. An exa mple of this is described by results in a study by Hall inger, Bickman, & Davis (1996). Prerequi sites to detecting such effects include suffi cient sample size, a theoretically defensible model, reliable data collection instruments, and sophisticated data a nalysis tools Their findings from this study can be summarized in terms of two conclusions concerning re search on the principal's role in school eff ectiveness: ( a) the relation between princi pal and school effectiveness will be best understood through th e use of models that account for effects of the school context on a principal's leadership; and (b) the effects o f principal leadershi p on student learning should be examined in terms of theoreti cally relevant intervening variables as well as school outcomes. The study mentioned above is important to leadership effects because of its implication on the variability of leadership practices The authors suggest that the

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! Kb principal's leadership can be thought of as a dependent and independent variable According the Hallinger et al the contextual nature of principal's leadership is significant enough that it creates a significant effect on student outcomes and school culture while also being influenced by these factors as well (1986) From the research cited above, the principal's impact on school effectiveness is not disputed However, the findings suggest that the impact emerges in a multitude of ways that can be characterized as direct, not relying on a mediating effect, or indirect, where a mediati ng factor comes into play to facilitate the effect and create the bridge between the principal's action and the effect on school effectiveness In summary, several bodies of research suggest that the effect of school leadership on school effectiveness c an be seen as direct or indirect By understanding these mechanisms in more details, and by articulating the difference, school leaders and school reformers can have realistic expectation by which to judge their impact Furthermore, and probably more imp ortantly, the study of direct and indirect effects helps reformers to identify the mediating factors between the leadership and the intended effect on school effectiveness It is very possible that by placing a focus on the mediators as well as the school leadership, positive gain in school effectiveness can be realized Instructional Leadership The effective schools movement placed an emphasis on the modification of school principal's roles and responsibilities within the his/her organization Traditionally the principal served as the daily manager of operations of a school However, t he effective school movement encouraged school leaders to play a more influential role in impacting student outcomes Therefore, one of the primary offshoots of the effective

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! ^L schools movement was the use of the term s "instructional leadership" into the consciousness of educational administration Evi dence from reviews of the literature on principal lead ership (e.g., Hallinger, 2001; Hallinger & Heck 1996; Southworth, 2002) suggest that twenty years later, the instructional leadership construct is still alive in the domains of policy, research, and practice in school leadership and management Indeed, since the turn of the twenty first century, the increasing global emphasis on accountability seems to have reignited inter est in instructional leadership (Hallinger, 2005) In a study by Bosset, Dwyer, Rowan and Lee (1982), the authors supports and bears to light the complexity of the instructional l eadership role of the principal In their study they use the findings from the effective school movement to provide a framework through which to discuss the varying roles and responsibilities of the school principal Their primary findings suggest that w hile the role of the principal is multi faceted and highly contextual, there are three key arguments that emerge: First of all, school leaders must be ensure that the instructional organization within the school is clear and well aligned with the instructi onal priorities of the school In this regard, the principal can act to ensure that instruction is consistent throughout the school The second argument is that a positive school culture is paramount to the instructional effects of school leadership It is up to the principal to ensure that the school climate is positive and conducive to student learning And the third argument is that the principal needs to establish clear and consistent expectations about their organizational management How a princi pal obtains authority and garners support is essential to their role as an instructional lead er.

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! ^O In a 1988 study Murphy examines research problems in the area of instructional leadership This study reveals that instructional leadership also refers to all other functions that contribute to student learning, including managerial behaviors (Donmoyer & Wagstaff, 1990; Murphy, 1988) Such an action orientation includes everything a principal does during the day to support the achievement of students and the ability of teachers to teach (Sebring & Bryk, 2000) Murphy (1990) noted that principals in instructionally strong schools that consistently demonstrate high qualit y teaching and learning, demonstrated instructional leadership both directly and indirectly Although these principals practiced a conventi onal rather than a shared form of instructional leadership, they emphasized four sets of activities with implication s for instruction: (a) developing th e school mission and goals; (b) coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating curriculum, instruction, and assessment; (c) promoting a climate for learning; and (d) creating a supportive work environment (Murphy, 1990) Sim ilar finding are supported by Heck, Larsen and Marcoulides (1990) in their study of 332 teachers and 56 principals, with the purpose of testing a theoretical model concerning how school principals can influence school effectiveness Their findings report t hat three latent variables related to principal instructional leadership all impact school effectiveness This study also leads the authors to suggest ways in which the principal can demonstrate instructional leadership These latent variables include (a) school governance, (b) instructional organization, and (c) school climate Furthermore, Dwyer (1984) emphasizes the role of the principal as an instructional leader by suggesting that by f ocused on learning, they infused management decisions and reg ular school routines with educational meaning (p.36 ).

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! ^K Leadership Behaviors and Responsibilities that Influence School Effectiveness In the paragraphs below, I will describe provide descriptions of various studies that offer concrete advice to leaders wi shing to bolster school effectiveness with specific leadership behaviors and principles. A study of Waters, Marzano and McNulty (2003) results in a framework with specific recommendations Similarly, Cotton (2003) proposes additional, but similar leadership behavior and traits to improve school effectiveness In a study by Waters et al., (2003), effective school s resulting from school leade rship is outlined and described In this study, th e authors conduct ed a meta analysis of 30 years of leadership practices and responsibi li ti es as well as school effectiveness data Ultimately, they provide significant evidence that school leadership does impact school effectiveness From this research, their group proposes a framework for leadership that captures the 21 key responsibilities of school leaders hoping to increase school effectiveness in their schools This study, which comprises the Balanced Leadership (2003) movement concludes that school leaders can positively and negatively impact school effectiveness by either reinforcing or shying away from these responsibilities Finally, Marzano, Waters, & McNulty (2005) propose a balanced leadership model that suggest a partic ular set of behaviors and responsibilities that suggest a connection between school leadership and school effectiveness. The balanced leadership model is comprised of the following twenty one responsibilities: (1) culture, (2) order, (3) d iscipline, (4) r esources, (5) curriculum, (6) instruction and assessment, (7) focus, (8) knowledge of curriculum and instruction assessment, (9) visibility, (10 ) contingent rewards, (11) communication, (12) outreach, (13) input, (14) affirmation, (15) relationship, (16) c hange agent, (17) optimizer, (18) ideals/beliefs, (19)

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! ^^ monitors/evaluates, (20) flexibility, (21) situational awareness, and intellectual stimulation, Similar to the previously mentioned l eadership responsibilities, Cotton (2003) identifies twenty six essential behaviors of effective principals to show how they achieve success as instructional leaders The contents and conclusions are based on 81 key research articles from the last twenty y ears The book also reviews differences in instructional leade rship between elementary and secondary principals; male and female principals; and principals in high and low socioeconomic status schools Following are some of the key points made in the analysis (a) Strong administrative leadership is a key componen t of schools with high school effectiveness (b) Many leadership traits and behaviors are positively related to school effectiveness attitudes, and social behavior (c) Principals of high achieving schools are effective in the following areas, among oth ers: safe and orderly school environment; goals focused on high levels of student learning; high expectations of students; self confidence, responsibility, and perseverance; visibility and accessibility; positive and supportive school climate; communicatio n and interaction; interpersonal support; community outreach and involvement; rituals, ceremonies, and other symbolic actions; shared leadership and staff empowerment; instructional leadership; norm of continuous improvement; classroom observations and fee dback to teachers; teacher autonomy; support of risk taking; and professional development opportunities and resources. As evidenced above, the focus on instruction and achievement is an essential characteristic for principals looking to see improvements in their schools To build on this point, Murphy, Elliot, Goldring and Porter (2007) report that the effectiveness of

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! ^S schools is highly dependent on the effectiveness of t he school leader T hey assert that some school leaders are better than others Speci fically, learning centered leadership, according to the researchers, should be a primary focus in the work to create schools in which all students make academic gains. Additional research points to evidence that leadership is a central ingredient and often the key element in school and district success as defined in terms of school effectiveness Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom (2004) provide evidence suggesting that successful leadership can play a highly significant and frequently underestimated role in improving student learning This evidence also supports the current interest in improving leadership as a key to the successful implementat ion of large scale r eform Another example of evidence of leader behaviors is described in the balanced leadership framework by Marzano, Waters, & McNulty (2005) Their investigation answers the questions: What does research tell us about the effects of school leadership on school effectiveness ? What specific leadership practices make a real difference in school effectiveness? The authors provide answers to these questions by analyzing 69 studies conducted since 1970 that met their selection criteria and a recent survey of mo re than 650 building principals As a result of their investigation, the authors developed a list of 21 leadership responsibilities that have a significant effect on school effectiveness In addition to the 21 leadership responsibilities, the authors als o shed light on the following topics: the specific behaviors associated with the 21 leadership responsibilities, the difference between first order change and second order change and the leadership responsibilities that are most important for each The ba lanced leadership results also

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! ^W provides leaders with practical suggestions on how to work smart by making wise choices about their work that improves student achievement. The balanced leadership work highlights the advantages and disadvantages of comprehen sive school reform models for improving school effectiveness how to develop a site specific approach to improving school effectiveness by using a framework of 11 factors and 39 action steps; and a 5 step plan for effective school leadership. In a 1988 study by Murphy and Heck, an analysis of 12 instructionally effective school districts (IESD) in California is presented and patterns emerged that could justify the successes that these districts experienced Districts were identified on the basis of thei r ability to promote high levels of school effectiveness on standardized tests after controlling for socioeconomic status, previous achievement, and language proficiency Seventeen themes or characteristics found in these IESD are discussed under the cate gories of (a) conditions, (b) climate factors, (c) characteristics of curriculum and instruction, and (d) organizational dynamics Information about variations in these themes is also presented Additionally, the researchers found a high degree of coordi nation between district, school, and classroom in the areas of curriculum and instruction. As suggested above, the behaviors of the school leader can have significant affects on student outcomes The literature provides a strong foundation from which prin cipals can inform their behaviors and function in a capacity that will yield positive results in student outcomes Contextually Responsive Leadership Practices T he following section includes a review of literature that touches on the

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! ^_ importance of understanding the community context of the organization that a leaders serves A wide range of literature build a strong case for promoting contextual responsive practices in the realm of school leadership Within this context lies the richness of diver se cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. With an every changing demographic of students in our public schools, consideration of their context becomes even more important in meeting the unique needs of our students A 2005 study by Bazron, Osher and Fleishman suggests that e ducators should consider the following approaches (p.84) s upported by the resear ch to promote contextually respon sive education : (a) Match classroom instruction to cultural norms for social interaction to enhance students' social skills development and problem solving ability (b) w hen asking questions or giving directions, adjust wait time for students from different cultures to enhance classroom participation and the development of critical thinking skills (d) b e sensitive to the cultural shifts that immigrant students, or other students with minority family and community cultures, must make as they move between school and home (e) Help parents gain cultural capital the skills to negotiate the education system and knowledge of the norms of behaviors that govern school, and (f) Use cult urally responsive and respectful approaches in character education, social skill instruction, and discipline The authors argue that the practices outlined above can help establish a learning environment that promotes success for all students regardless of background I posit that it is the school leaders' responsibility to ensure that these practices are clearly understood ad practiced by the teachers who are d irectly servicing students and families Contextually responsive school leaders support academic achievement, work to

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! ^` affirm students' home cultures, empower parents in culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods, and act as social activists who a dvocate for societal change to improve their communities (Johnson, 2007; Ladson Billings, 1995; Orr, Byrne Jimenez, McFarlane & Brown 2005) Ladson Billings makes a strong case for the i mportance of considering context when developing educational policy a nd school practice She remains optimistic that with the right motivations and culturally responsive understanding of students and their community, schools can help students of color excel in their schoo lwork (Ladson Billing, 1994) Furthermore, a case study on a school leader also suggests that the principal's actions and belief system can fundamentally enhance the experience of immigrant students in a school (Magno & Schiff, 2010) By seeking to fully understand the experiences of immigrant s, and oth er minority status students in the school, the principal was able to dramatically improve the experiences that these students had in school by way of ensuring that these differences, and sometimes challenges, are acknowledged, embraced and discussed with t he school staff and community Bryk's Chicago study discusses the importance of building relational trust within the school community in order to make improvement to a school Small wins at school improvement helps to expand relational trust, thereby cr eating an enlarged capacity to undertake more complex efforts in the future In short, school improvement and relational trust work together, in concert over extended periods of time in order to significantly improve schools (p 141) Relational trust is therefore a key consideration when making positive changes to a school culture and climate Additionally, Cummins' (1986) study suggests that the failure of students at school can be traced to the relationships between educators and minority students and between schools and minority

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! ^a communities To significantly alter this pattern of failure, Cummins argues, educators must engage in "personal redefinitions of the way educators interact with the children and the communities they serve" (1986, p 16) Finding from two meta analyses by (Seashore Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom & Anderson, 2010) makes a credible argument for ensuring strong parent/community ties from a school B oth studies provide significant evidence that parent and family involvement resul ts in raised academic achievement A study by Seashore Louis et al (2010, p 107) also builds a strong argument for a distributed leadership model where teachers and school leadership perceive greater involvement by parents By increasing parent involv ement and making it a priority in our changing policies and practices, we hope to improve the perception that the community is being included in the school, thereby increasing school effectiveness The diversity of this student population and the relative need for intensive academic and social support clearly warrants a careful look at how the school is connecting to the student body as well as the parents and community For this connection to become an integral part of the school, the actions of the scho ol leaders must be responsive to the culture and background of the students and community Presented in the preceding paragraphs is evidence that a contextually responsive practice does matter and that it will increase the school leaders ability to influ ence the effectiveness of their school Even more so, there is strong evidence to suggest that the relationships that school leaders build will result in healthier school cultures and enable students from a variety of backgrounds and demographics to parti cipate and contribute to the school and to their own education

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! ^b The Emergence of Leadership Practice Construct The following section explores how school leader s can develop behaviors and ensure that th ey are adequately fulfilling the important role of instructional leader. From the instructional leadership movement, and into the discussion about the practices and behaviors inherent in high quality instructional leadership emerges a construct of leadership practices that increase school effectiveness What follows is a discussion of various tools that can and have been used to define the leadership practice as a construct To this end, I will explore the development and purpose of the leadership practice inventory, research emerging from the study of high poverty and high performing school s and the rationale and impact of distributed leadership practices on school effectiveness L eadership P ractice Inventory (LPI) One of the earliest instances of researchers using the construct of leadership practice w as by Kouzes and Posner (1996) Their work uncovered five leadership practices that are essential for leaders to demonstrate their personal best These leadership practices were determined based on responses from of surveys administered to thousands of leaders in a variety of professions These leadership practice s include: (a) challenging the p rocess, (b) inspiring a shared vision, (c) enabling others to act, (d) modeling the way, and (e) encouraging the heart A description of each practice is descri bed in more detail below Additionally, Kouzes and Posner provide two leadership commitments for each of the leadership practices listed They are included with the appropriate leadership practices below These descriptions provided below were tak en fro m Kouzes and Posner's 2002 Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) participants'

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! SL workbook The first leadership practice was termed challenging the process To do this leadership practice, leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo They look for innovative ways to improve the organization In doing so, they experiment and take risks And because leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities The secon d leadership practice involves the process of inspiring a shared vision In doing so, leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future. The third leadership practice identified by Kouzes and Posner (1996) was the pr ocess required for enabling others to act This practice had leaders focusing on fostering collaboration and building spirited teams They actively involved others Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they stri ve to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful. Modeling the way is the fourth leadership practice identified by these researchers When leaders model the way, they establish pr inciples concerning the way people (constituents, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow Because the prospect of complex ch ange can overwhelm people and

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! SO stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives They unravel bureaucra cy when it impedes action; they support colleagues when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory. The final leadership practice, encouraging the heart, is what leaders can use to accomplish extraordinary things in organizations It is very hard work, n o one leader can do it alone There fore, to keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. According to the leadership practice inventory, the implementation of these five leadership practices will result in a higher likelihood of desired results Researchers (Cavalier, 1995) found that teachers from distinguished schools reported higher LPI scores (on all five practices) than di d those from non distinguished schools for their principals Additionally, researchers (D'Angelo, 2004) found that principal's LPI scores were correlated to their success on other measures that warranted a conclusion of their success And finally, researchers (Griffen, 1996) found that principals in exemplary schools reported significantly greater use of the leadership pract ices of inspiring, enabling, and m odeling than did those from developing schools Teachers from exemplary schools perceived th eir principals engaging in the leadership practices of challenging and m odeling significantly more than did those teachers in developing schools All three of the dissertation studies mentioned above provide validation that the leadership practices outlin ed above merit future consideration and should be part of

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! SK principal preparation in their desire to improve their schools H igh Poverty H igh P erformance Schools Research When considering the leadership practices that affect change in schools serving stud ents in need, an emergence of studies with a focus on schools that were beating the odds with regards to serving students of poverty began to impact the field With the hopes of identifying the repl icable high leverage strategies already in place, this work set out to provide guidance and affect change at school s serving similar demographics What follows is a description of the research that describes these schools and leadershi p practices that comprise the HP HP school movement. Towards the late 1990's, the field of school leadership began to see an increase in studies that focused on schools that served a high percentage of students of poverty, but that were also seeing high levels of academic achievement ( Bell, 2001; Calkins, 2007; Reeves, 2003) In fact many of the findings from the high poverty high performing school research were confirmed at a HP HP symposium held to discuss the practices of 12 schools that qualified for HP HP status around the United States (Bell, 2001) The findings f rom t he symposium, which corroborated certain similarities, also suggest ed that rather than adhere to particular ideologies or programs, the successful HP HP schools focused on results However, many of the finding s suggest that their practices mirro red many f inding in the current research on teaching and learning in HP HP sch ools at that time (Johnson, 1999 ; Johnson 2000; Ca rter, 2000 ) The finding from the HP HP research suggested that certain leadership practices are in place at these schools A recent stu dy of schools that were labeled as "turnaround" schools with hopes that they would make dramatic and unprecedented changes and impr ovements in school effectiveness suggests

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! S^ three overarching characteristics, each with three strategies that they report can turn struggling schools into places where student learning will improve These schools were given the label of high poverty high performance (HP HP) schools (Calkins, 2007) and their model is called the HPHP Readiness Model ( see Fi gu re 3 ) This model is what principals need to work toward to get their schools to the threshold of being able to make a difference with children of poverty in struggling schools The descriptions that follow outline the three characteristics, and the embe dded strategies, that school leaders can use to increase the capacity of their schools, to turn them into HP HP schools. Figure 3 HP HP school readiness m odel The first overarching characteristic suggested by the researchers is the student's readiness to learn The three strategies proposed by the authors are (a) safety, discipline and engagement, where students feel secure and inspired to learn (b) action against adversity, where the school directly addresses their students poverty driven d eficits and (c) close student adult relationships, where students have positive and enduring mentor/teacher relationships

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! SS The second overarching characteristic suggested by the researchers is the school's r eadines s to teach The three strategies proposed by the authors are (a) shared responsibility for achievement, where the staff feels a deep accountability and a missionary zeal for school effectiveness (b) personalization of instruction, where individualized teaching is bas ed on diagnostic assessment and adjustable time on task and (c) professional teaching culture, where continuous improvement occurs through collaboration and job embedded learning. And finally, the third overarching characteristic in the HP HP Readiness mod el suggested by the researchers is the school community's readiness to act The three strategies proposed by the aut hors are (a) resource authority which means that school leaders can make mission driven decisions regarding allocation of people, time, and money. (b) resource ingenuity, where leaders are adept at securing additional resources and leveraging private mutually beneficial relationships, and (c) ag ility in the face of turbulence in which leaders, teachers and systems are flexible and inventive in responding to constant unrest Another set of important conclusions resulting from the HPHP readiness model is what the authors refer to as the three C's of school turnaround: (a) Changing conditions, (b) building capacity, and (c) cluster for support This final element, which calls for school districts to cluster turnaround schools for support suggests a larger district role in the success of implementing school turnaround efforts in schools with high levels of poverty but who strive for high achiev ement levels Described above is the HP HP model of a school's capacity to get high levels of results while also serving students of poverty School leaders can improve their

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! SW leadership practices by incorporating the characteristics and strategies of the HP HP schools; readiness to learn, readiness to teach and readiness to act Distributed Leadership Practices The following section is aimed at describing distributed leadership practices and how the model of distributed leadership ultimately results in a leadership practice that increases the likelihood of student success The section begins with a description of the origins of distributed practices, followed by a description of the distinctions between a traditional model of leadership and distribut ed lead ership Furthermore, this section provides additional research and evidence of the value of incorporating a distributed leadership model into a leader s practices School leadership, while previously co nceptualized as being positional in nature, based on principal's role as a leader, has been conceptualized in a way that distributes the role of leadership within an organization to those of differen t positions, even if these positions reside lower in the hierarchy of the organization This reconce ptualization of leadership em erges from an study by Gronn ( 2000 ) in which he attributes key features of activity theory to the develop a new form of leadership where a distributed perspective is taken to mean that the older notion of the "power of one" is a notion that, due to changing concepts of the work in distributed systems, needs to be reconsidered He bases a new concept of leadership on a model that holds a division of labor as of value to the organization Woods (2004) suggests that d istributed leader ship has a variety of meanings which emerged from a review of literature on distributed leadership. Wood' s study conclude s that it is possible to identify elements that highlight differences about

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! S_ distributed leadership Three distinctive elements of the concept of distributed leadership can be discerned These three elements, as defined by the authors of this review, are (a) emergent property; suggesting that leadership as an emergent property of a group or network of interacting individuals Th is contrasts with leadership as a phenomenon that arises from th e individual ; (b) o penness of boundaries; which means that it is distributed leadership is predisposed to widen the conventional net of leaders, thus in turn raising the question of which grou ps and individuals are to be brought into leadership or seen as contributing to leadership within the organization; and (c) leadership according to expertise ; which entails the view that varieties of expertise are distribu ted across the many individuals in the organization, promoting the idea that numerous, distinct, germane perspectives and capabilities can be found in individuals spread throughout the organization and its stakeholders. Additional research provides a rationale for the implementation of a distributed leadership model Leaders striving to implement a leadership practice that will result in higher levels of school effectiveness should look to the distribution of leadership within their school to affect their desired improvements In a 2004 study by Spillane, the researchers suggest that school leadership is key in efforts to change instruction They bring to light the that what seems most critical is how lea dership practice is undertaken, even despite the emergence of new organizational str u ctures and new leadership roles By b uilding on activity theory and theories of distributed cognition, their study develops a distributed perspective on school leadership as a frame for studying leadership practice, arguing that leadership practice is co nstituted in the interaction of school leaders, followers, and the situation The argument has been made that that by distributing

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! S` leadership beyond the positio n of principal, the demand is lessened on the formal school leader However, findings in a lat ter study show th at, as a whole distributing leadership to others does not seem to result in less demand for leadership from those in formal leadership positions However, it does produce greater demand: to coordinate who performs which leadership functi ons, to build leadership capacities in others, and to monitor the leadership work of those others, providing constructive feedback to them about their efforts (Leithwood, Mascall, Strauss, & Sacks, 2007) Furthermore, this study serves to suggest that the reasons why organization may choose to adopt a more distributed model of leadership is to create forms of collaborative work that would make the most of staff members' collective capacities, encourage the development of new capacities, and reduce unprod uctive knowledge hoarding and competition practices that had been common across the district" (p 62) For many of the reasons described above, lea dership practices can be improve d with the incorporation of a distributed model of leadership Extensive studies in their field support the notion that by distributing the leadership amongst a variety of stakeholders within the school, it is possible to leverage the most fundamental strengths from within the organization A reliance on a distribution of lead ership throughout a school can serve as a boon to school leaders looking to improve their leadership practice Conceptual Frameworks that Support Identification of Leadership Practices In the study, the use of two frameworks will guide the development of the leadership practices that emerge from my investigation The first framework is called the Essential Support and Indicators framework and the second is called the VAL ED, which supports learner centered leadership Both frameworks work in concert t o provide

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! Sa guidance about the essential supports necessary for school improvement in the context of the subject of this study, the K 8 Public School (K8PS) ; a high poverty sch ool hoping to see improvements in school effectiveness The two frameworks are de scribed below The first framework, Essential Supports & Indicators was derived from a ten year study of success school improvement initiatives and transformation efforts in Chicago's failing urban schools ( Bryk, Sebring, Allenworth, Luppescu & Easton 2010) Data analyses from this work resulted in the identification of five essential supports (e.g., leadership as the driver for change, professional capacity, school learning climate, parent school/community ties, and instructional guidance) and fourte en indicators (e.g., school leadership, teacher's ties to the community, parent involvement, teacher background, frequency of professional development, quality of professional development, changes in human resources, work orientation, professional communit y, safety and order, academic support and press, curriculum alignment, basic skills, and application emphasis), that were necessary for these failing schools to demonstrate improvements in school effectiveness The second conceptual framework was constr ucted from evidence based research on learne r centered leadership practices (Goldring, Porter, Murphy, Elliott, & Cravens 2009), which can best be described in in terms of six core components and six key processes of learner centered leadership These co mponents and processes form a matrix with which the school leader can determine areas of strength and areas of needed growth in order to implement the necessary supports for gains in school effectiveness I am defining leadership practices as the sustai ned habits and action taken by a school leader in order to systemically improve student learning T he Essential Support

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! Sb and Indicator framework and the learner centered leadership practice frameworks build on prior work and research in the field of school leadership Taken together, the frameworks focus on the work of the school leader in improving schools, and are therefore powerful drivers of school leadership practices What makes the combination of these two frameworks unique for this study is that w hen combined, they provide a powerful lens that schools leaders can use to define, guide and justify their practices as school leaders In co mbination, these two frameworks identify the supports and indicators, core components and key processes that need to be in place for school organization to improve and for st udents to show academic gains The power of these frameworks used in tandem is that they provide a theoretical backing to the supports that need to be in place for students to increase their lear ning; and they also guide the leader in ensuring that their practices are actionable through the key processes identified by the VAL ED framework Also, these frameworks provide ways to analyze the extent to which specific leadership practices are being i mplemented in a particular school Structure of a Leadership Practice Construct For the sake of this particular study, we define leadership practice as the convergence of the VAL Ed Matrix and the ES I framework, resulting in actions, within the context of the Leadership Practice triangle from Spillane et al (2004) Thus, a leadership practice for this study can be defined as the processes in which the principal (leader) interacts and influences the faculty and staff (followers) in this particular scho ol (situation) by focusing efforts on certain areas (e.g., core components, key processes, essential supports, or indicators) in order to meet identified organizational objectives.

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! WL Since, within the school setting, school leaders and the faculty and staff within the school set a goal or a set of goals, leadership practice in the school then becomes defined in the convergence of the work of the principal and the faculty to meet goals in a given situation (see Figure 4 ) It is contingent upon the school lead er to embrace the school goals, both proximal and distal, by identifying the tools and activities that may be necessary in order to accomplish the goals. This process of drawing out the tools and activities from the work foci can be seen below in T able 3. Figure 4 Components o f a leadership practice. Table 3 : Structural Elements of a Leadership Practice Work Focus Tools & Activities Proximal Goals Distal Goals Professional capacity Community engagement Intentional school culture L eadership roles and responsibilities In this particular study, the school leader identified the work foci in Table 3. These include: professional capacity, community engagement, intentional school culture, and

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! WO leadership roles and responsibilities. T he work foci for this study were selected b ased on the school leader's experience and understanding of the current needs and culture of the school Additionally, the K8PS board of directors, who ultimately evaluate and advise the school leader, approved t he work foci The work foci, by definition, are contextualized in the setting of the school and the particular situation of the school leader Evaluatio n of Principals The purpose of the following section is to provide background information about the performance evaluation of principals and hence, school leadership While the evaluation of principals has not historically placed an emphasis on learner centered leadership, current demands on school leaders, coupled with a resounding cry for accountabil ity as evidenced in federal and state education policies ha ve placed a stronger focus and urgency on the performance evaluation of school leaders The topic of evaluating principals, however, has evolved dramatically in recent years As the section that follows will suggest, the evaluation of a principal's ability to effect school effectiveness has become a recent trend Due to the fact that there is an emerging institutional agreement about what leadership behaviors can improve stude nt learning, the methods of evaluating and providing feedback to principals is following suite In our age of accountability, this is a topic th at is becoming more important F urthermore, it provides an even stronger rationale for this study that is stee ped in the evaluation and feedback for principals, with hopes of improving his/her leadership practice s While evaluation and assessment of individual performance has been in place since 1916 with the development of the Stanford Binet Intelligence test ( Bracken, D.W., Timmreck, C.W., & Church, A. H. 2001) it has been only during the past three decades

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! WK that personal assessment has been used to inform and enhance the job performance This is accomplished by providing feedback that the individual can use t o improve his or her leadership practice Within all the reform efforts in modern education, a singularly common expectation is that specific leadership practices matter in influenc ing school effectiveness Inspired by research on school effectiveness, which consistently found strong leadership essential for effective schools (Duke, 1987), reformers understand and recognize the central importance of the principal for a school's success As Li pham (1981) appr opriately noted in his 1981 study of principal effectiveness, effective principal, effec tive school." The literature review above suggests that the principal of a school can influence and impact student academic outcomes One may ask, however, what is being done to be certain that principal effectiveness is being addressed and measured ? In other words, how is the work of the school principal being evaluated? To answer this question, a deeper investigation into the literature abou t the evaluation of school leadership is warranted Despite the many similarities that the evaluation of principals would have with other forms of general personnel evaluation, the field is relatively new in it's emerging complexity (Ginsberg & Berry, 1 990) Despite our current acknowledgement of the importance of the study of school leadership, in a 1988 publication of the Handbook of Researc h on Educational Administration, none of the 33 chapters in this book is devoted to evaluation of school princip als (Boyan, 1988) Even more alarming is the lack of attention to evaluation in the recent report released by the National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration (University Council For Educational

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! W^ Administration, 1987) Its report, Leade rs For America's Schools, outlines numerous recommendations for the improvement of educational leadership ; expect for mention of the need for documenting successful performance for principal licensure and license renewal, nothing at all is said about eval u ation practices for principals (Ginsberg, 1990, p.206) An earlier study by McCleary (1979) suggested that the evaluation of the performance of principals is a developing field in which several approaches are being genuinely and ably pursued He goes on to suggest that any district undergoing the development of a principal appraisal and evaluation system should ensure that the process be incremental in nature; conducted in cycles, separated in terms of descriptive and judgmental phases, and finally should b e focused upon formative rather than summative evaluation As the field of principal quality evaluation progressed in the early 1990's, Stufflebeam (1993) contributed dramatically to this emerging work by presenting a framework for principal evaluation wh ere he lays out the steps necessary to apply a standards based approach to determine principal qu ality and effectiveness This work was complimented by Heck and Marcoulides who delved deeper into the complexities for principal evaluation (1996) Their st udy suggests that despite the need for increased accountability for school leaders, it is a challenge considering the complexities of school organizations They even suggested that as the complexity of an organization increases, such as at a high school, the results of the principal evaluation can be skewed and provide inconsistent data regarding principal performance as determined by the individuals who perform the assessment

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! WS T here have been several tools developed for the purposes of p rincipal performance evaluation. Examples of these evaluation tools include: (a) The Change Facilitator Style Q uestionnaire (Vandenberghe, 1988) (b) the Diagnostic Assessment of S chool and Principal E ffectiveness (Ebmeier, 1992) (c) the Instructional Ac tivity Q uestionnaire (Larsen, 1987) (d) the Leadership Practices I nventory (Kouzes & Posner, 2002) (e) the Performance Review Analysis and Improvement System for E ducation (Knoop & Common, 1985) (f) the Principal Instructional Management Rating S cale (H allinger & Murphy 1988 ) (g) the Principal P rofile (Leithwood and Montgomery, 1986 ) A key feature of each of these tools is that they do not incorporate response collection mechanisms that take multiple perspectives into account. Traditionally, these principal performance tools have solely employed the feedback of the direct superviso r or supervisory board of the school leader. Fortunately, a recent phenomenon has resulted in deeper investigation into multi rater feedback by a variety of researchers An analysis of the implementation of multi rater feedback in the public sector is ex plored (Alimo Metcalfe, 1998 ) ; p erformance outcomes as a result of multi rater feedback is discussed ( Bailey & Austin, 2006 ); the use of multi rater feedback in businesses and the power associated with its implementation (Edwards & Ew ans, 1996 ) ; current ap plication of multi rater feedback in a variety of contexts ( Lepsinger & Lucia, 1997 ) ; an explanation of the effects of multi source feedback on perceptions of goal accomplishment, re evaluation of self image, and changes in outcomes such as goals, develo pm ent, behavior, and performance ( London & Smither, 1995 ) ; a review of the use of multi rater feedback in the public sector is analyzed ( Manatt, 1997 ) ; advice for organizations that are considering adapting

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! WW assessment tools based on the principals of multi r ater feedback is provided ( Nowack, 1993 ) ; and the related effect of personality variables such as self monitoring can have on the feedback provided through a multi rater feedback tool is explored ( Warech, Smither, Reilly, Millsap & Reilly, 1998) This significant and notable body of multi rater feedback research is focused on the assumption that assessment is most useful when it is performed by the various constituents that the leader serves, regardless of their position on the organizational structure ; this falls in contrast with the previously mentioned evaluation tools which assume that assessment is most useful when it is performed by the direct superviso r of the school leader. Other researchers (London, Smither & Adsit, 1997; Walker & Smither, 1999) have uncovered how the purposeful use of data from multi rater evaluations can explain effects on (a) perceptions of goal accomplishment, (b) re evaluation of self image, and (c) changes in outcomes such as goals, development, behavior, and performance It is one thing to be able to assess the instructional leadership behaviors of practicing principals by using data obtained from principals, teachers, and supervisors of those principals, but it is quite another task to be able to use that data to improve a leaders capacity to actually improve school effectiveness The section above outlines the prior research that has comprised the field of principal eval uation I have also provided some insight to the value of multi rater feedback systems and how the implementation of multi rater feedback may begin to address the growing complexity that is emerging in the field of principal evaluation While this chapter outlines a variety of attempts to develop a comprehensive principal

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! W_ evaluation system, they all fa ll short of meeting the modern day demands of school leaders T here is a gap in the literature that is appropriately filled with this study; that uses a variety of tools and two research based frameworks that allow for the principal to be evaluated and re ceive feedback that reflects a desire to improve student outcomes Equally, the idealization of an effective principal evaluation system also supports the development of a leadership practice that supports increased school effectiveness Develop ing a Re flective Leadership Practice Th is section outlines the literature in the field of reflective practices I begin by describing the importan ce of reflection as a critical component of a professional practice Then I describe the nature of aligning one's behaviors with one's theory of action The value in the reflective practice in the development of a leadership practice is the very notion that "practice" implies the actions taken by the school leader The purpose of a reflective leadership practice can serve to ensure that a leader's practice is aligned to his/her theory of action This alignment occurs through the reflective turn that described below Lastly, this section provides additional rationale for the education professionals to embrace reflec tive practices as a means towards increased effectiveness Central to the theme of evaluation are the context of reflectio n and the determination of how the results of the evaluation will impact the working of the organization, or in the case of this study the actions and behaviors of the principal Emstad (2011) suggests that in a study of two schools that conducted a post school evaluation, the behavior of the principal was central to the effectiveness of the feedback that was garnered through the evalu ation process Emstad argues that the reflection and processes carried out by the principals in this study has a dramatic effect on the

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! W` subsequent actions and attitudes held by the school staff upon analysis of the evaluation results. Argyris refers to the behavior of a professional as actions and he stresses the importance of ensuring that these actions be aligned to a particular theory (1993, p.4) He suggests that the actions result in solutions to problems that challenge the status quo; hence a problems that may be embarrassing and/or threatening In the same volume, Argyris outlines the various reasons why organizations fail to learn and grow in a way that is consistent with its espoused values This idea of consistency with a th eory of action is also outlined in Argyris and Schšn's volume Theory in Practice (1974) They discuss the differences between theories of action and theories of use Theories of action are defined as what one feels that they ought to do in order to achie ve a certain results (p.6) Synonymous with theory of action is one's espoused theory In other words, how an individual says that they would behave under certain circumstances in the individual's theory of action A theory of use, on the other hand, is the theory that actually governs the individual's action A theory of use may or may not be consistent with one's espoused theory According to Agyris and Schšn, theories of use are constructed from observations of one's behavior (1974, p.7) We are th erefor directed to the issue of consistency between one's theory of action and theory of use This consistenc y, defined by Argyris and Schšn is referred to as congruence When congruence is not met, then either one of the theories must be changed in orde r to satisfy the desired result According to Schšn, practitioners take a reflective turn when they "attempt to give practitioners reason In varying degrees, they observe, describe, and try to illuminate the things practitioners actually say and do, b y exploring the understandings

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! Wa revealed by the patterns or spontaneous activity that makes up their practice" (Schšn, 1991 p.20 ) Furthermore, Schšn suggests that educators suffer from being part of a minor profession Minor professions, argues Schšn, suffer from shifting, ambiguous ends and from unstable institutional contexts of practice, and are therefor unable to develop a base for systematic, scientific professional knowledge" (Shon,1983, p.23) It is for these reasons, with hopes of lessening the ambiguity in the work of educators, that Schšn put forth a strong case for reflective practices, particularly in the minor professions where the reflective practice is necessary to define progress and distinguish effective practices from those that are no t as effective. Schšn suggests that the technical rationality that many of the major professions rely upon is incomplete particularly in the minor professions Therefore, he encourages us to "search, instead for an epistemology of practice implicit in the artistic, intuitive processes which some practitioners do bring to situations of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness and value conflict" (Schšn, 1983, p.49) In his calling for this search, Schšn indicates tha t professions, such as the profession of edu cation for example, have a special responsibility to police themselves due to their special status The lack of policing, and status as workers in a bureaucracy rather than as autonomous manager s of their own careers defines w hat Schšn refers to as a current crisis of confidence in and amongst the professions The cure for this crisis, at least to set the professions in the right direction, involves the inclusion of reflective practices in their work By reflecting on their work, workers gain what Sc hšn calls knowing in action the characteristic mode of ordinary practical knowledge (Schšn, 1983, p.54) Knowing in action, argues Schšn, serves to regulate behavior of a skillful practice in which we reveal a kind of knowing which does

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! Wb not stem from a p rior intellectual operation An effective reflective practice can result in the defining and implementation of this skillful practice that Schšn attributes to the work of the minor professions. Schšn's work suggests the key concepts necessary to consider for this kind of professional practice to be produced The key concepts are the reflective practicum, tacit knowledge, knowing in action, reflection in action, reflection on action, operative attention and the ladder of reflection Each concept is descri bed below. T he reflective practicum is descripti ve of the process that I was immersed in while conducting this study This is his term for the educat ional setting, or environment According to Schšn a practicum is a setting designed for the task of lear ning a practice This is where practitioners learn by doing, with the help of coaching Schšn tells us the practicum is reflective in two senses: "it is intended to help students become proficient in a kind of reflection in action; and, when it works wel l, it involves a dialogue of coach and student that takes the form of reciprocal reflection in action (Schšn, 1983 p.56 ) The concept of tacit knowledge comes from the work of Michael Polanyi (1967) He describes, for example, the remarkable way we are able to pick out a familiar face in a crowd This does not require thinking about, or a systematic analysis of features We cannot verbalize how this is done, and so the knowledge is unspoken' or tacit' Knowing in action is Schšn's concept that derives from the idea of tacit knowledge It refers to the kinds of knowledge we can only reveal in the way we carry out tasks and approach problems "The knowing is in the action It is revealed by the skillful execution of the performance we are una b le to make it verbally explicit

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! _L (Schšn, 1983, p.56) This tacit knowledge is derived from research, and also from the practitioner's own reflections and experience Reflection in action is the kind of reflection that occurs while a problem is being addr essed, in what Schšn calls the action present' It is a response to a surprise where the expected outcome is outside of our knowing in action The reflective process is at least to some degree conscious, but may not be verbalized Reflection in actio n is about challenging our assumptions Reflection in action is about thinking again, in a new way, about a problem we have encountered Reflection on action, on the other hand, is reflection after the event This type of reflection is consciously under taken, and often documented In the case of this study and the improvement of leadership practices, reflection on action plays a critical role in the development of these practices in response to data that I collected throughout the study Operative att ention suggests listening and absorbing information, in a state of readiness to apply and the new information An everyday example would be when we listen to directions on how to find an obscure address This participation is important in the learning pr ocess a learner needs to be already engaged in activity for further information to have meaning According to Wittgenstein (1953), the meaning of an operation can only be learned through its performance Hence mechanical or imperfect performance of an activity prepares the learner for new information (feedback) on that activity, in order to develop understanding. Lastly, according to Schšn, the ladder of reflection speaks of a vertical dimension of analysis that can happen in the dialogue between learne r (principal) and teacher (feedback) or in the case of this study, inputs from data collection To move up a rung

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! _O on the ladder involves reflecting on an activity To move down a rung is to move from reflection to experimentation This ladder has more than two rungs it is also possible to reflect on the process of reflection The importance of this concept is in its potential for helping out with stuck' situations in learning Being able to move to another level may assist coach and learner to achi eve together what Schšn refers to as convergence of meaning' (Schšn, 1987) The preceding section outlined the literature in the field of reflective practices It also suggests a framework with which a principal can use information to reflect in and on his action through the ladder of reflection in order to determine necessary changes to leadership practices The value in the reflective practice in the development of a leadership practice is the very notion that "practice" implies the actions taken by t he school leader The purpose of a reflective leadership practice can serve to ensure that a leader's practice is aligned to his/her theory of action This section provided additional rationale for professionals in education to embrace reflective practic es to help to legitimatize their work and develop the capacity and likelihood of modifying leadership practices to increase effectiveness. Summary of Literature Review This review of literature suggests a rich, but recent, uncovering of a complexity of iss ues and ideas as they pertain to improving school effectiveness through the use of eff ective school leadership I've presented a review of learner c entered l eadership (including: effective schools research, direct and indirect effects of school leaders on school effectiveness instructional leadership, leadership behaviors and principles that influence school effectiveness ) emergence of a leadership practice construct (including:

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! _K leadership practice inventory, HP HP research, distributed leaders practices, conceptual frameworks that support the identification of leadership practices), the evaluation of principals and the development of a reflective leadership practice ; all with ho pes of providing a solid foundation for building a strong understanding of the necessary components of leading a school to improve student outcomes A review of this section suggests that we have become well aware of the various factors that need to be c onsidered when leading a school towards realizing increases in school effectiveness Much of this literature and research emerges as a response to earlier proposals that schools cannot make a difference in the lives of children The optimism presented in these findings suggests the importance of maintaining a critical and proactive perspective on improving leadership in schools These findings, therefore, have led to the development of a new field of effective leadership practices o ne which takes us a step closer to identifying the current state of leadership, and then implementing and replicating the practices that will lead to sustainable and replicable school improvement The emergence of a leadership p ra ctice c onstruct supported by tools like th e leadership practice i nventory (LPI) ; an investigation into schools making the grade ( HP HP schools ) and a critical look into distributed leadership p ractices also suggests a field that has seen improvement and is striving to capitalize on the collective wisdom in the field of school leadership And finally, with the identification of the c on ceptual frameworks that support identification of leadership p ractices a picture is painted of a field of leadership that is primed to take action and codify the wo rk necessary to improve their schools Of course this can all be accomplished through effective means of

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! _^ principal evaluation and then the alteration of principal behavior through reflective practices and the development of a concept of how to respond to feedback and adjust behavior to maximize student gains and build the highest possible level of student success in the schools. So, the stage is set for me to take this work one step further to answer the question: How do es a principal use evidence based co nceptual frameworks and multi rater feedback to identify, align, and improve school leadership practices ? Furthermore, this proposed study fills a gap in the current literature of school leadership by combining the most recent frameworks of research supported practices for effective school leadership Additionally by allowing for reflective practices to shape the leadership practices, this study remains responsive to the various context and circumstances that school leaders across our natio n face as they push towards higher levels of school effectiveness particularly for students who have been historically underserved by our schools

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! _S CHAPTER III M ETHODOLOGY The sectio ns that follow will outline the researc h process and methodology (including: research design, school site and key stakeholders, and analytical frameworks), Instruments (VAL ED survey, ClassMaps survey, culturally responsive practice survey, focus group interview protocols), data collection (VAL ED survey data collectio n, ClassMaps survey data collection, culturally responsive practice data collection survey, and focus group interview data collection), data analysis (analysis of VAL ED, ClassMaps, culturally responsive practice and focus group results) and the trustworth iness of research process Methodology The m ethodology used in this study was a reflective case study In particul ar, this case study was focused on specific leadership practices According to Yin (2003), a case study is an "empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly defined (p.13) Furthermore, Merriam (1998) suggests that the single most defining characteristic of a case study lies in delimiting the object o f study, the case (p 27) The ability to fence in" what is being studied helps to define that particular study as a case study Be cause there are clear boundaries to the context of this study, and this study specifically explores the e xperience of one school leader as he identifi es leadership practices for his school t his study clearly fits the criteria required by a case study methodology ( Cresswell, 2007; Merriam, 1998 ; Yin 2003) In this study, the researcher was immersed in the day to day lives of the survey respondents (key stakeholders) and

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! _W members of the focus groups (Cresswell, 2007, p.68) This qualitative case study design ( Merriam, 1998 ; Yin 2003 ) was best suited to answe r the research questions that guide this study Research Design The research design was staged by research question ( see T able 3 below) Stage One invo l ved a self reflective process comparing evidence based conceptual frameworks supporting learner centered leadership with current leadership practices in my school This stage produce d a list of leadership practices as a baseline for this study Stage two in volved the administration of three surveys to relevant stakeholder s and conducting a focus group interview with the members of the school leadership team. Acquisition of both survey results and focus group responses facilitate d the triangulation of responses and allow ed for a more robust and comprehensive analysis of those data Stage Three focused on continued analyses of data collected to inform modification of current leadership practices or development of new leadership practices And finally, stage Four result ed in the reflective leadership practices self study protocol. School Site and Key Stakeholders Key stakeholders (students, teachers and community) of this study were participants in the everyday work of the site of this study The studen t body at the K 8 Public School (K8PS) where this study was conducted, created the f ollowing demographic profile: 94 % free and reduced lunch, 85% Latino, 13% African American, 60% ELL and 7% SPED The grade levels that the school serves was from Kindergarten to the 8 th grade

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! __ Table 4 : Research Stages by Research Question, Instrument or Data Collection Process Stage s RQ s Research Design Stages Instrument / Data Collection Strategy Stage One RQ 1 Self identification of leadership practices. Reflection on current leadership from context of evidence based conceptual frameworks Stage Two RQ 2 A D Administer surveys to collect data from participants in this study. Administer all four data collection instances listed in research ques tions 2a through 2d Stage Two RQ 2 A Determine how VAL ED data informs modification of current leadership practices and aligns with the Essential Supports Framework. Administration of VAL ED Surveys to self, supervisor, and teachers in my school. Stage Two RQ 2B Determine how ClassMaps Survey data informs modification of current leadership practices and aligns with the Essential Supports Framework. Administration of ClassMaps Surveys to appropriate classes in my school Stage Two RQ 2C Determine how CRLP Survey data informs modification of current leadership practices and aligns with the Essential Supports Framework. Administration of C R LP Survey to teachers, parents, and community members Stage Two RQ 2D Determine how focus group data informs modification of current leadership practices and aligns with the Essential Supports Framework. Schedule and conduct focus group meeting with selected focus group participants Stage Three RQ 3 Self Identification of new leadership practices as a result this reflective research process. Review data collected /analyzed in RQ 2A 2D to determine modification, or development of new leadership practices and list them Stage Four RQ 4 Describe critical steps in the reflective leadership practice self study process Create final steps in the reflective leadership practices self study protocol.

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! _` The teaching staff at K 8 Public School (K8PS) had changed significantly since the school was started in 1998 At the time of the study only two of the original members of the school were still there. Furthermore, a significant rate of turnover h ad been the norm at the school This was primarily attributed to a challenging work environment and a rapid succession of school leadership Over the past decade, the neighborhood in which K 8 Public School (K8PS) resides had changed significantly Like many of the urban neighborhoods in the various parts of the city, what used to be low income, working class family housing was being bought and converted into middle/upper class housing that can only be afforded by families with higher median income l evels As a resul t, the demographics of the neighborhood were changing as were the complexity of needs of the community; due primarily to the diversity of affluence being introduced to a once socioeconomically homogeneous community. The students and the f amilies that the school serves were the primary key stakeholders at K8PS Obviously, the staff and school personnel also had a stake in ensuring the success of the school and are therefor also classified as key stakeholders in this study A Board of dire ctors whose job it was to ensure that the school was being managed effectively and that school effectiveness was on the rise and that funds were being used wisely governed K8PS at the time of the study ; the board of directors share d a significant stake in the success of the organization Additionally, because the local authorizing school district has chartered the school, this authority also held a stake in the improved effectiveness of the school

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! _a Analytic Framework s There are two major analytical frameworks that guide d the findings in this study The analytical framework for this study were developed by Bryk et al. (2010) in their work to reform Chicago Public schools In 1988, the Chicago public school system decentralized, which allowed for local authorities to utilize significant resources to reform their schools in ways that would hopefully result in improved student outcomes In order to track and monitor this process, Bryk et al. collected a wealth of data on elementary schools and o ver a seven year period they identified schools that had substantially improved and school that had not The researchers of th e aforementioned study identified a list of essential supports and key indicators that impacted the success of the schools It was these essential support s of which there are five, and the key indicators, of which there are 14, that guide d the analysis of findings in this study Each data point that was collected throughout this study was aligned to the framework o f supports and indicators in order to guide the identification, further development and modification of leadership practices at K8PS Instruments This study used the following i nstruments to gather data from key stakeholders : (a) the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL ED) (b) the ClassMaps survey (CMS) (c) the culturally responsive practice survey (CRPS) and (d) focus group interview protocol The VAL ED provide d feedback and insight from the school staff on the six core processes and six core components necessary for effective school leadership for increased student learning, the CMS survey provided data from all of the

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! _b approximately 685 students in the school ; and may potentially suggests area s for the school to reconsider in their current leadership practices to provide a positive experience for students in the school Finally the CRPS served to explor e the way in which the school was responsive to the context of the current school community that it s erved Each instrument is described in more detail below with information on how each was administered In the process of coding each item in the instruments below, it is possible to identify areas of the analytical framework that are strengths and are as of continued need for improvements Furthermore, it was determined that there are items within the data collection instruments that align with two or more codes of essential support and core indicator This multi code nature of some of the survey items will add an additional complexity to the analysis of the data when determining strategies to align the practices in the school to the analytical framework for school improvement. VAL ED Survey The VAL ED survey emerged as a product of learner centere d leadership research at Vanderbilt University While there are many school leader performance assessments available, Condon and Clifton (2010) identified VAL ED as the most widely used and respected measure of school leadership performance assessment (p 6) VAL ED is a 360 degree assessment tool used to collect information from principals, teachers, and supervisors on the leadership behaviors of a principal in order to produce a quantitative profile linked to the ISLLC 2008 Standards These standards l ead the way for training and supporting "high quality leaders for where they are needed most in schools and districts where failure remains at epidemic levels" (ISLLC, 2008, p 3) The VAL ED

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! `L assessment provides information on how a principal performs o n six core components and six key processes that are linked to value added student success ( school effectiveness student attendance, student graduation, college enrollment). The VAL ED assessment is taken online by all of the respondents The assessment is comprised of 72 questions where the respondents are asked to indicate to what extent the subject of the survey, in this case the principal, plans and implements items that are suggestive of the six core processes In the survey, the respondent is also asked about their source of evidence for their choice A copy of the survey can be found in Appendix A ClassMaps Survey The following section describes the major components of the ClassMaps survey These three points are (a) the eight important classroom characteristics, (b) the six characteristics that are most important in creating resilient classrooms and (c) the implementation of practices that support the important classroom characteristics The ClassMaps survey (CMS) (Doll, Zucker & Brehm 2004) is comprised of different survey levels appropriate for different grade levels The early ele mentary assessment is for grades K 2 and has 40 items The intermediate assessment is written for grades 3 6 and is comprised of 46 items The secondary survey is written for grades 7 12 and is comprised of 46 items Despite the small differences in these assessments with regards to word choice and complexity, they all contain items that apply to eight important classroom characteristics These eight characteristics include the following: (a) Believing in me, (b) taking charge, (c) following class rules, (d) my teacher, (e) my classmates, (f) talking with my family, (g) I worry that, and (h) kids in this class The

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! `O survey provides a brief, relevant and conceptually simple appraisal of students' perceptions of the classroom conditions that contribute to ac ademic engagement (Doll, Spies, LeClair, Kurien & Foley; 2010) In developing the C lassMaps, the framework of a resilient classroom (Doll, Zucker & Brehm, 2004) was used to develop survey items to provide evidence that the most important self agency characteristics exist within classrooms It is these six characteristics that are most important i n creating resilient classrooms These characteristics include teacher student relationship, peer relationships, home student relationships, academic efficacy, academic self determination and behavioral self control According to Doll, longitudinal studi es have shown that when high risk children develop competence in the midst of adversity, it is because systems have operated to protect the child and counteract threats to development (Comer, Haynes, Joyner, & Ben Avie, 1996; Cowen, 1994; Cowen et al., 199 6) When the school addresses the characteristics listed above systematically and the social context of schooling is changed to reflect an awareness of the importance of these characteristics, student s who have historically been underserved can thrive in school with other children The purpose of the C MS survey was to determine the extent to which these characteristics were being implemented and realized at the K 8 Public School (K8PS) The three different leveled ve rsions of the class maps survey are located in Appendix B Culturally Responsive Practice s Survey The culturally responsive practice survey (CRPS) is taken from an assessment tool titled Equity in Special Education Placement: A School Self Assessment Guide for Culturally Responsive Practice (Richards, Artiles, Klingner, & Brown, 2005 ) from the

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! `K National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRES) The survey consists of 105 survey items, 99 of which require responses from the participants of the study This tool is an instrument that allows schools to conduct a self assessment of their programs and practices in five domains: (a) s chool g overnance, o rganization, p olicy and c limate, (b) f amily i nvolvement, (c) c urriculum, (d) o rganization of l earning, and (e) s pecial e ducation r eferral p rocess and p rograms The culturally responsive practice survey is a self assessment to ol through which the leadership team of the school will provide their perspective and insight, based on their own experiences at the school, regardin g the school's effectiveness with responding to the complex and multifaceted context of the school community The self assessment instrument is designed to help educators to create a school that is culturally responsive in its practices so that achievemen t and engagement levels improve, especially for student from culturally diverse backgrounds Responses to each of the 99 survey items is limited to (a) almost always, (b) frequently, (c) sometimes, (d) almost never, and (e) not applicable ( 5 et al., 2006) A copy of the CRPS can be found in A ppendix C. Data Collection This study require d of a variety of data collection strategies that facilitate d the distribution, implementation and collection of the survey data and focus group data This study began at the start of the 2012 2013 school year and continue d throughout the duration of the school year The following data was collected at the beginning of this study: VAL ED survey data, ClassMaps survey data, cultura lly responsive practice survey data S ubsequent to collection of this data and analysis through the le ns of the analytical framework, the focus group interview protocol was used to colle ct focus group

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! `^ data that was used to help me to contextualize areas of growth and to suggest the implementat ion of strategies for increasing school effectiveness Focus group was conducted in the spring of 2013. VAL ED Survey Data Collection The VAL ED assessment was administered to all of the teach ers in the school, my direct supervisor, the school board president and vice president, and myself Each participant receive d an access code as well as specific instruction on how to complete the survey The survey was completed on a computer, via a web based interface, and the results of the survey were stored on an external server location at Discovery Education (discoveryeducation.com) in Chicago As soon as the results of the survey were collected, the researcher will receive a report of the findings of the anonymous survey The results identified areas of strengths and weaknesses with regards to the six key components and six key processes as identified by VAL ED Figure 5. Sample VAL ED report ( BB = below basic, B = basic, P = proficient )

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! `S The results of the VAL ED were reported in a matrix that aligns each of the components and key process resulting in 36 areas Figure 5 illustrates a sample of this matrix which shows how the results from school wide VAL ED data collection cycle are reported to the principal Skill le vels of principals are reported as BB, below basic, B, basic, P, proficient, O, outstanding. C lass M aps Survey D ata Collection The C lass M aps school culture surve y was administered during November of 2012 as part of a school wide school improvement process The ut ilization of this survey was solely for the purpose of this study as the school was also collecting data on school effectiveness and cultural factors that may influence student outcomes The surveys were administered by all of the classroom teaching and support staff The surveys were anonymous, as the n ames of the respondents were not recorded In order for the results of the ClassMaps survey to be relevant, the researcher attempt ed to obtain a high re sponse rate The surveys were collected by the teachers and given to the researcher for analysis The researcher input ed the results from all of the surveys into an E xcel spreadsheet to assist in analysis Throughout the duration of the study, the surve y data was stored on the researcher's personal computer and backed up on a secure online storage solution Subsequent to the collection of the data, the coding process began to identify trends in alignment with the analytical framework A copy of three versions of the ClassMaps survey can be found in Appendix B Culturally Responsive Practices Survey Data Collection The culturally i nclusive practice survey was taken as a self assessment by a representative sample of the staff and families at K 8 Publi c School A group of fifteen

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! `W staff members were identified by the leadership team as well as parents identified by the school's family community liaison to take this survey with the purpose of providing multiple perspectives to the principal about the lev els of contextually inclusive practices at the school The assessments were deliver ed to the staff members who were selected to complete the survey In addition to the survey, the participants receive d detailed instructions and guidance on how to accurately complete the survey The respondents were given two weeks to complete the survey before the responses were collected by the site manager The responses were anonymous, and a site manager who had ag reed to maintain confidentiality of all respondents, collect ed the completed surveys The culturally responsive practices s urvey can be found in Appendix C F ocus G roup Interview D ata Collection After the dat a from the survey instruments was collected and coded, I develop ed questions that serve d to illuminate areas of improvement with regards to the five essential supports and fourteen key indicators These were suggested by patterns in the responses through the survey response analysis proc ess I convene d a focus group of school leaders at the school to provide insight into the survey results. The researcher's academic mentor served as the moderator of the focus group and attended the focus group meeting Additionally, the academic mento r transcribed the focus group session and provided the researcher with transcripts from the meeting The focus group was comprised of all of the members of the school leadership team. The leadership team was asked to discuss their experiences in their school as they relate to school leadership, changes that they have experiences and suggestions for improvement from the ir perspective.

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! `_ The focus group serve d to provide a rich context through which I could decid e on next steps for leadership practice modification Additionally, the focus groups help ed to inform the effectiveness of the strategies that were implemented as a result of the data analysis Through a comprehensiv e process of analyzing all of the surv ey results and comparing findings with the feedback from the focus group (Krueger, 1988, p.49) I was able to better comprehend the complex nature of the school and contextualize the data and it's alignment to the analytical frameworks Fu rthermore, the focus group data provide d me with concrete and relevant evidence of his leadership practices and add ed t o the foundation from which I could reflect on my practices in order to improve these leadership practice to increase the effectiveness o f the school The transcri pts of the focus groups were coded using the essential support and indicators codes developed for this study ( see T able 5 ) Pattern s identified in the coding suggest ed areas of the ES I framework that the principal could reflect on and behave accordingly to modify and improve his practices T ranscripts of the focus group remain ed in the possession of the researcher throughout the course of the study and archived at the completion of the study The responses and da ta fro m the focus groups were collect ed and themes and categories (Creswell, 1994, p.154) were found that align ed with the data that was collected through the other data collection instruments Based on the findings from the focus group data, and the pattern that suggest alignment to t he ES I, the principal was provided with valuable information and substantial evide nce to suggest areas for improvement in his leadership practices

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! `` Data Analysis The collection of data process for this study include d a multi faceted approach involving surveys, focus groups, and field notes Like case studies that also explore a principal's role ( Wolcott, 1973 ), the myriad of activities and actions performed by the p rincipal were collected and p ut into the con text of the evidence base d Bryk et al. (2010) framework (ES I framework) The data analysis process was performed though a coding scheme made possible by aligning all responses from each survey instrument to the Bryk framework This coding scheme ( see T able 4) help ed in the identification of patterns, trends and themes that emerge d from the responses from key stakeholders and the alignment of those items with the Bryk framework serve d to integrate these data as suggested in the alignment seen in T able 6 F urther analysis yield ed components of specific leadership practices based on feedback from key stakeholders and for school improvemen t I n order t o determine the degree to which my current leadership practices at the school align ed with the essential supports and indicators (ES I) suggested by the Essential Supports/Indicators School Improvement Framework (Bryk et al. (2010 ) codes were assigned to appropriate chunks of data collect ed Analysis of data suggest ed the essential support s and indicators that were being employed by my current leadership practices and those that were not being utilized The ES I that are substantiated by the survey results were considere d strengths; and conversely, ES I that remain absent from the survey results have been identified as weaknesses. The codes that were used to deconstruct and analyze the responses are listed in Table 4 Data analysis yield ed patterns and trends that wi ll help determine changes in current leadership practices to

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! `a

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! `b improve the way in which I communicate and lead the school to improve organizational effectiveness. Table 5 shows each essential support (ES) paired with a n indicator (I) to determine a code (ES I) that will be used for analysis of the data in this survey A nalysis of VAL ED Data and Alignment with ES I Framework A reas of alignment between the VAL ED report results and the ana lytical framework were identified. T able 6 shows how each of the categories of feedback, which represent the intersection of core components and key processes from the VAL ED framework aligned with Bryk's ES I framework (2010) A nalysis of ClassMaps Data and Alignment with ES I Framework Items on the ClassMaps Surveys were also aligned to the ES I Framework (Bryk et al., 2010) Close items analysis of the ClassMaps suggests, areas of alignment with the analytical ES I analytical framework s Each item of the ClassMaps was coded to designate alignment with the analytic framework for school improvement By using the CMS to determine which areas of the analytic framework are areas of strength or weakness, I was able to implement strategies for improvement that coincide with the priorities outlined in this study by the five essenti al supports and 14 indicators for school improvement The alignment of the ClassMaps items with t he ES I analytical framework can be found in A ppendix A and shows how the survey items of the CMS can be coded to correspon d with the analytical framework. A nalysis of CRPS Data and Alignment with ES I Framework Like the items in the CMS and the VAL ED survey in this study, each of the 99 items in the CRPS was aligned with the analytical framework for this study and suggest s

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! aL

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! aO areas of strength and areas of need with regards to leadership practices aligned with the frame work being used in this study. This alignment of the Culturally Responsive Leadership Practices survey items with the ES I analytical framework can be found in A ppendix A Alignment was determined between the analytical framework and the study instruments by assigning a code to individual survey it ems In order to determine the level to which current practices at K 8 Public School (K8PS) are al igned with the Bryk et al. (2010) framewor k for school improvement, it was important to determine the degree to which the responses to each item aligns with each of the essential supports as outlined by the framework These five essential supports are the following: leadership, pare nt communities ties, professional capacity, student centered learning climate and instructional guidance Associated indica tors codes are listed in Table 5 A nalysis of Focus Group Data and Alignment with ES I Framework Aft er each focus group interview was conducted, The contents of the interviews were transcribed and subsequently code d in alignment to the ES I framework Based on the results of the coding of the transcripts, I was able to identify patterns from the interv iew s that could be used to align practices to the ES I framework and inform my leadership practices Additionally, the focus group data was compared to the survey data to further deepen my understanding of the meaning and relevance of each data point. Deve loping a Protocol for Principal Reflective Practice The fourth and final research question in this study is: What are the critical steps of this reflective leadership practice self study process that I used in this study and how

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! aK would I describe them to other principals? Answering this question was the most important aspect of this study, as it provide d me a process to identify ways that I can improve my leadership practices What follo ws below is an outline of how I use d this process for this study. Tab le 7 : Steps for Developing and Confirming a Reflective Practice 1. Identify current leadership practices 2. Collect data using appropriate research instruments. 3. Analyze data 4. Reflect on finding s using Schšn 's (1987) ladder of reflection. 5. Apply findings to current leadership practices. 6. Modify current leadership practices or create new ones When the findings (resulting from S teps 2 and 3) from all the data analyses were identified, it would be contingent upon my reflection ( S tep 4) on the patterns that emerge from the findings to determine how I would choose to modify my leadership practices in a manner that will increase school effectiveness Based on the results of each particula r survey item, all of which had been coded to repre sent one of the essential supports and core indicators, I determine d the strength to which the responses suggest ed that my leadership aligns with each ES I. The subsequent reflection on my part drives the findings from this study and suggest s modification to my leadership practices For each core indicator, the results of

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! a^ the survey analysis represent the extent to which my practices support the core indicator For example, if the survey responses for all items that are coded to instructional guidance c urriculum alignment (IG CA) suggest that this is an area of weakness, then the result of the investigation would be that this would be an area that I would have to improve in order to improve alignment with the Bryk framework for improving schools To this end, each item response result ed in a score of a 1 ( unfavorable alignment to the essential support core indicator, 2 ( neutral favorability alignment to the ES I or 3 ( strong favorability alignment to the ES I ) The mean value f or all items for each ES I was calculated, thus providing me with an indication of how my behaviors and leadership practices align ed with the ES I's that are used as the conceptual foundation of this project With this information, I was able to improve by leadership practices through a research supported framework to improve student outcomes. Examples of D ata A nalysis with E ach T ool The description below shows examples of how I use d survey data to draw conclusions about how my current leadership practices align with the Bryk and VAL ED framework s ClassMaps (CMS) e xample For illustration sake, let's assume that I am looking at the question from the CMS I can do the required work correctly in this class If I ha d 95 student responses to this item, and the mean response is 3.5 (4 being the highest representing always ), I was able to conclude from this response that with regards to the essential support and core indicator SCLC AS&P (Student centered learning climate and academic support and press) and IG BS (instructional guidance and basic skills) that this is an area of strength and perhaps that practices that I have put into place with regards to

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! aS these supports were in fact, perceived by the students taking the s urvey as an area of strength. Culturally r esponsive s urvey (CRS) e xample L et's assume that was am loo king at the question from the CR S The school accepts the responsibility for the achievement of all students If I had 95 student responses to this it em, and the mean response is 1.5 (4 being the highest representing a lmost a lways ), I was be able to conclude from this response that with regards to the essential support and core indicator PC PC (Professional capacity and professional community) and PC WO ( professional capacity work orientation) that this was an area of weakness and that it warrants further consideration about adjusting my leadership behaviors wi th hopes of putting the necessary supports in place. VAL ED e xample Ratings f rom the VAL ED assessment may s how that at the in tersection of implementing and c ulture of learning and professional behavior I have receive d a below basic classification This area of VAL ED aligns with the ES I of PC PC (Professional capacity and professional community) and PC WO ( professional capacity work orientation) A below basic rating highlight an area of weakness that warrants further consideration for adjusting my leadership behaviors with hopes of putting the necessary supports in place Additionally, because this VAL ED item aligns to the same ES I as the CRS item in the example above (PC PC and PC WO), there is an even stronger suggestion that this area warrants reflection and the implementation of new leadership practices targeted at improving these areas Table 8 shows sample data that would result from an analysis of the results from the data collection tools that will be used In this table, the ES I codes have been arranged in order from highest be havior

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! aW alignment to lowest alignment as indicated by the decreasing mean scores in the right hand column Table 8 : Sample results of mean s cores by ES I c odes. Essential Supports Indicators Mean Scores Professional Capacity frequency of professional development 3.0 Student centered learning climate safety and order 2.9 Instructional guidance curriculum alignment 2.8 School Leadership School leadership 2.7 Professional Capacity professional community 2.6 Parent community school ties parent involvement 2.3 Professional Capacity teacher background 2 .0 Parent community school ties teacher's ties to the community 1.5 Student centered learning climate academic support and press 1.4 Professional Capacity changes in human resources 1.1 Professional Capacity work orientation 1.1 Instructional guidance basic skills 1 .0 Professional Capacity quality of professional development 0.7 Instructional guidance application emphasis 0.5 From this table, it can be concluded that the behaviors that I demonstrate that are most closely aligned with the Bryk (ES I) framework are towards at the top of the list whereas the indicators where I would benefit from modifications to my practice lie towards the bottom of this table Upon analysis of the data in this manner, I then compare d current leadership practices with the results that I observe from this study based on patterns that emerge from the results. The process described above, one of analysis of data, comparing it to a r esearch

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! a_ based analytical framework and then using the alignment results to suggest areas of strength and improvement was an iterative process As our practices and behaviors and context constantly evolve and shift according to the myriad of factors affect ing the work, school leaders will need to continue to remain responsive to the feedback received through multiple means The process outlined abo ve outlines the framework and tools that were used in order to accomplish the task of focused and intentional reflection of leadership practices Trustworthiness of Research Process According to Wolcott, when we begin to discuss the concept of validity in qualitative research, we begin to introduce a certain level of absurdity to the work (1994, p.364) I beli eve that this particular study fits this description The nature of this study did not lend itself to the existence of a "right or wrong" finding Instead, this study sought to understand the actions of a school principal through the context provided in this study and as i nformed by the data that was collected throughout the course of the study Reliability was established through integrity to the process outlined in the pro cess above Additionally, accurate and critical reporting is necessary for the findings to be reliable. A consideration that I made on the outset of this study is the fact that the principal being studied is also the researcher Under most circumstances, this would need to be addressed first and foremost The proximity and power differential between the principal and the respondents in the study were considered Fortunately, the data that was collected throughout the course of this study could not be tr aced back to the respondents and in the case of VAL ED, it is actually being required by the organization

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! a` Summary of Methodology The methodology of this project involved multiple qualitative data collection with various feedback tools; followed by a n i ntentional, albeit courageous attempt to standard ize the responses to a research based framework for school effectiveness. Finally, this project required that the findings be filtered through reflective practices. This entire process was designed to introduce in an iterative attempt to keep getting better. In my accumulated experience as a school leader I have come to realize that the leading a n organization towards excellence is a multi faceted and complex endeavor This realization ca n only be fully captured with a deep analysis of the various experiences and levels of feedback that I use to inform my daily work Ultimately, this work can serve two purposes First of all, I see this investigation as contributing the literature on edu cational leadership There does not currently exist a n investigation into the work of a principal comparing the alignment of leadership practices to a major framework for organizational improvement Secondly, due to the job embedded nature of this study, this study is instrumental in my personal reflect ion exploration, and improvement, of my leadership practices.

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! aa CHAPTER IV FINDINGS This chapter presents findings from the primary research question: How can evidence based conceptual frameworks and feedback drawn from survey data be used to identify and modify leadership practices that I am currently using with the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of my school ? This primary research question is supported by more specif ic secondary research questions which are used to organize the presentation of findings. First, findings from individual surveys are presented: (a) self identified leadership practices, (b) modifications to leadership practices informed by VAL ED findings, (c) modifications to leadership practices informed by ClassMaps findings, (d) modifications to leadership practices informed by CRPS findings, and (e) a syntheses of all survey findings. Second, additional modifications to le adership practices informed by focus group data were explored and presented for triangulation purposes. Third, from these findings components of current leadership practices and planned modifications intended to improve school effectiveness are presented. Fourth, using the conceptual frameworks and evidence based research, I detailed the work focus, tools and activities of my leadership practices. Finally, the critical steps used in this study are presented so other principals can conduct a reflective se lf study of their leadership practices. Research findings are presented in the sections below and are organized by research questions. Self Identified Leadership Practices RQ 1: What self identified leadership practices am I currently using to increase the organizational effectiveness of my school?

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! ab Prior to beginning this study, I identified six current leadership practices that I was intentionally using to improve school effectiveness in the school These practices were considered to be activities that I felt were invaluable to the process of school improvement. Additionally, these are the practices that I communicated to the leadership team (LT) as being "high leverage" to our goal of improving the school. Knowing that the LT were being tasked with the challenge of improving the school's academic, and orga nizational outcomes the identified practices seemed to cover our bases. Additionally, the LT members were keenly aware of the complexity of the work as well as the t ime limitations, these practices were determined to be "non negotiable" in the sense that while other practices may fall by the way side on a given busy day, the identified leadership practices would constantly be implemented with the goal of establishing a strong culture of acting in accordance with our values. The LT believed that leading by example and implementing these six practices as school leaders, these selected priorities for improving the school would be put in place. 1. Protocols for weekly obse rvation and feedback of instructional practices 2. Weekly leadership team meetings 3. Weekly operational team meetings 4. Internal development of a curriculum founded on principl e s of rigorous curriculum design and understanding by design. 5. Monthly Parent and Commun ity meetings 6. Daily community breakfast with scholars and their te achers Succinctly put, the six practices listed above were considered the highest leverage practices that would result in meeting our organizational goals. It is important to note

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! bL that these self identified leadership practices represent the baseline that I used to establish the systems and structures to support the strategic efforts of the school The y were also used as a starting point for analysis and consideration In addition these leadership practices helped me to determine various work focus areas t hat are precursor s to school improvement The tools and activities a ssociated with the work focus areas are also included in this discussion to allow for a more rigorous convers ation about how practices can improve based on the responses to the data collected in this study Modifications to Leadership Practices Informed by VAL ED Findings RQ 2 A: How can results from the VAL ED Survey be used to inform modifications of my leadership practice s ? While I was confident that the leadership practices that I had identified were bound to produce intended impacts on the school, the purpose of engaging in this study was to determine how these practices were being assessed and reflected by externally developed instruments. A review of the current literature suggested that the VAL ED survey was a high quality, research based instrument for assessing school leadership qualities. Additionally, the process of engaging in the refle ctive practice of survey data analysis and aligning it to the current leadership practices provided the impetus for wanting to understand, both qualitatively and quantitatively, how the VAL ED survey could be used to inform modifications of my leadership p ractices. Because the VAL ED was being used as a tool to assess my current leadership practices, the next logical step would be to ask how the results of the survey taken by 70% of the staff at the school would inform future actions and modification to l eadership practices that had already been identified as critical to implementation of effective leadership practices.

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! bO How Strengths and Weaknesses Were Determined from the VAL ED Findings In order to determine the extend to which the VAL ED results were providing me with insight into what is going well at the school and what is not going well, I used the mean item scores for each key component and core component. The creators of the VAL ED tabulated the mean item scores and the results were provided to me subsequent to the survey administration. These mean item scores fell in the top 10% of the results from the VAL ED survey data. The results of the VAL ED survey suggest strengths and weaknesses in several of the essential supports and key indicators t hat were used as the framework for this study In order to identify areas of focus and to really address my strengths and weaknesses, I incorporated a consistent method of identifying the top 10% of strengths identified and the 10% identified weaknesses f rom the VAL ED. Strengths Identified by V AL ED Data in Table 9 below suggest that the following four component/process intersections are strengths (top 10%) of my leadership, as identified by the VAL ED survey: (a) m onitoring high standards for student learning (b) c ommunicating connections to external communities (c) i mplementing high standards for student learning and (d) i mplementing quality instruction Descriptions of these component/process intersections are below. The mean item score in the s econd column signifies the average score that the respondents scored the principal on that component and process The maximum possible mean score is a 5 and the mean item scores fall between 0 and 5

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! bK Table 9: Strengths Identified by the VAL ED Survey ( Top 10%) Component & Process Code Mean Item Score Component and Process Intersections C1 P2 3.14 HS I: Implementing High Standards for Student Learning C3 P2 3.14 QI I: Implementing Quality Instruction C5 P5 3.15 CEC C: Communicating Connections to External Communities C1 P6 3.21 HS M: Monitoring highs standards for student learning HS M ( m onitoring high standards for student learning ) is defined as the extent to which school leadership establishes systems by which to monitor the individual, team, and school goals for rigorous student academic and social learning Traditionally, this aspect of leadership focused primarily on the principal's role in ensuring that the school has clear, measurable goals for student learning and academic progress Setting clear goals for school effectiveness is central to effective leadership, as it guides the daily practices and decisions of all stakeholders Monitoring is defined as systematically collecting and analyzing data to make judgments that guide deci sions and actions for continuous improvement. An important precursor to the monitoring of high standards for student learning involves the HS I (implementation of the high standards for student learning) at it is defined above. The survey instruments suggested that while monitoring high standards for student learning is a area of strength according to the VAL ED data, implementing

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! b^ the high standards in practice is also a strength. Implementation is defined as put ting in to practice the activities necessary to realize high standards for student performance. CEC C (communicating connections to external communities) is best described by evidence of the school leader establishing transparency and clarity around the school's p lan for connecting with external communities. This is founded on the premise that l eading a school with high expectations and academic achievement for all students requires strong connections to the external community Effective school leaders, with goal s centered on student learning outcomes, play a key role in both establishing and supporting parental involvement and community partnerships These leaders model the importance of collaborating with parents and others i n the extended school community. Th e data from this study suggests strength in the area of communicating about the connections that the school has established and maintains with the external community. Communicating is defined as a leader's ability to develop, utilize, and maintain systems of exchange among members of the school and with its external communities. QI I (implementing quality instruction) is defined as effective instructional practices that maximize student academic and social learning To this end, leaders ensure that effect ive teachers are clear about their instructional goals, communicate to their students what is expected of them and why, make expert use of existing instructional materials, are knowledgeable about their students, adapt instruction to their students! needs, and anticipate misconceptions i n students! existing knowledge. Effective school leaders understand the pro perties of quality instruction and find ways to ensure that all students in their school experience quality instruction Evidenced by the outcomes of the

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! bS VAL ED survey data (see Table 9), implementation of the quality instruction was identified as an area of strength in my leadership. Weaknesses Identified by V AL ED Data in Table 10 report below suggest that the following four component/process intersections are weaknesses ( bottom 10%) of my leadership as identified by the VAL ED survey: (a) a dvocating connections to e xternal communities (b) a dvocating high standards for student l earning ( c) m onitoring a culture of learning and p rofessional, and (d) p lanning a rigorous c urriculum Descriptions of these component/process intersections are below. Table 10: Weaknesses Identified by VAL ED (Bottom 10%) Component & Process Code Mean Item Score Component and Process Intersections C5 P4 2.02 CEC A: Advocating Connections to External Communities C1 P4 2.03 HS A: Advocating High Standards for Student Learning C4 P6 2.25 CLPB M: Monitoring a Culture of Learning and Professional Behavior C2 P1 2.41 RC P: Planning a Rigorous Curriculum While I received relatively high marks for communicating connections to external communities, the results of the VAL ED survey suggest a lower rating for my CEC A (advocacy of these connections to external commu nities). Advocacy is defined as when leaders promote the diverse needs of students within and beyond the school It is the

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! bW additional, public support that school leaders initiate and foster that comprises a strong advocacy of the core component of connec tions to the external community. According to the VAL ED survey results, this is an area of relative weakness. A similar pattern was identified for my HS A (advocacy of high standards for student learning). While I scored relatively high for monitorin g and implementing the high standards for student learning, I scored relatively low in my advocacy for the high standards. According to the results of the VAL ED survey, I received relatively low marks for my monitoring of a CLPB M ( culture of learning and professional behavior ). This is defined by leadership that ensures there are integrated communities of professional practice in the service of student academic and social learning Additionally, a culture of learning and professional behavior suggests t hat there is a healthy school environment in which student learning is the central focus. School leadership plays a central role in the extent to which a school exhibits a culture of learning and professional behavior and whether there exists a profession al community Leaders play a central role in promoting a climate of respect and support for students and teachers The results of the VAL ED survey suggest that planning for a rigorous curriculum is an area of relative weakness According to the author s of the VAL ED, RC P (p lanning for a rigorous curriculum) is defined as ambitious academic content provided to all students in core academic subjects Having a rigorous curriculum provided by teachers and experienced by students is critical to establishing a quality school program School leaders play a crucial role in setting high standards for student performance in their school Effective leaders understand the importance of a rigorous curriculum

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! b_ offered by teach ers and experienced by stude nts. Effective leaders also understand the effe cts of a rigorous curriculum on school effectiveness gains. A rigorous curriculum emphasi zing the importance of effective planning. Planning is defined as articulating shared direction and coherent policies practices, and procedures for realizing high standards of student performance T he weaknesses identified by VAL ED, informed the modif ication of my leadership practices by providing evidence to support the development of systems and structures that su pport the enhancement of the indicators that fell to the lowest 10% of implementation as suggested by the V AL ED survey I will discuss two examples of practices that changed in alignment with the VALED results. The first example is regarding the lower sc ore on the planning of a rigorous curriculum, this was also a finding discussed by the focus group. Independent of the VALED results, the focus group agreed that the development of a rigorous curriculum through a standards based backwards design process, would be an area that would potentially result in significant growth based on activities identified as high leverage leadership practices Given the renewed focus resources channeled into curriculum development, the focus group suggested that this was, i n fact, becoming an area of strength at the school The second example is the implementation of leadership practices that served to enhance the culture of learning and professional behavior. These practices include the implementation of a robust structure of observation and feedback of all staff members. Another practice that was put into place was consistent and frequent communication about our school mission and its alignment with our day to day practices as professional

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! b` educators. This included communication through our weekly feedback sessions, as wel l as frequent communication with parents and community members regarding our plans for improvement and our quest for excellence as a school community. Modifications to Leadership Practices Informed by ClassMaps Findings RQ 2 B: How can results from the C lassMaps Survey (CMS) be used to inform modifications of my leadership practices? A review of the current literature suggested that the ClassMaps survey was a high quality, research based instrument for assessing school leadership qualities. Additionally the process of engaging in the reflective practice of survey data analysis and aligning it to the current leadership practices provided the impetus for wanting to understand, both qualitatively and quantitatively, how the ClassMaps survey could be used t o inform modifications of my leadership practices. Because the ClassMaps was being used as a tool to assess my current leadership practices, the next logical step would be ask how the results of the survey, subsequent to analysis, would inform future acti ons and modification to leadership practices that had already been identified as critical to implementation of effective leadership practices. How Strengths and Weaknesses Were Determined from the CMS Findings In order to determine the exten t to which t he ClassMaps results provided me with insight into what was going well at the school and what was not going well, I had to develop a system to code the ClassMap survey results. The system needed to allow efficient analysis of the response s, provide a way to identify strengths and weaknesses, a nd provided input for reflection For the CMS, I took the items that emerged the most frequently from the most favorable responses and the least favorable responses The

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! ba favorability of the responses was determined prior to the analysis For example, in the ClassMaps survey, an item ask the respondent to respond to the following prompt: "My teacher makes this class interesting" with the following responses: Almost Always, Often, Sometimes, and Never Responses of Almost always" and "Often" were coded as favorable responses, and were interpreted as strength s Responses that indicated "Sometimes" or "Never" were coded as unfavorable responses and were interpreted as a weakness A similar pattern followed for each r esponse of each survey instrument After each item was coded, a frequency count was conducted to allow the ranking of each survey item in the order of how many favorable or unfavorable responses were collected When the ranking of each item was complete, I took the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the response to indicate areas that were ranked "high" and "low" respectively for analysis of strengths and weaknesses Since each survey item was aligned to an ES I code, I was then able to determine which were t he ES I codes that were areas of strength and which were areas of weakness based on the multitude of items from each CMS that was administered A cut point of 10% was determined after considering 5%, which did not result in enough response to allow a mult ifaceted and more complex analysis of the findings In the sections that follow, the terms strengths and weaknesses are used to suggest responses that ranked in the highest 10% and the lowest 10% of the responses respectively The ClassMaps data in Tab le 11 s how the ES I that are strengths of my leadership (top 10%) based on the survey responses from students in kindergarten through 2 nd grade. Listed next to each component process is the corresponding support/indicator code The items are ordered in the table in order of greatest to least with respect to the % responses.

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! bb The items at the top of the table suggests higher levels of agreement amongst the respondents as to the level of strength that this ES I is evident based on the survey responses. Table 11: Strengths Identified by the CMS K 2 nd (Top 10%) CMS Item # ES I Code ES I 19 SCLC AS&P PC WO Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. Professional capacity Work orientation 15 PC WO Professional capacity Work orientation 17 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. 16 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. 8 SCLC AS&P Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. The ClassMaps data in Table 12 s how the ES I items that are strengths of my leadership (top 10%) based on the survey responses from students in grades 3 through 8. Listed next to each component process is the corresponding support/indicator code The items are ordered in the table in order of greatest to least with respect to the % responses.

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! OL L The items at the top of the table suggests higher levels of agreement amongst the respondents as to the level of strength that this ES I is evident based on the survey responses. As the ClassMaps results suggest in Table 11 and 12, the CMS survey respondents b elieve that the teacher's professional work orientation is strong. Table 12: Strengths Identified by the CMS 3rd 8 th (Top 10%) CMS Item # ES I Code ES I 21 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press 22 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. 29 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 20 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. 19 PC WO SCLC AS&P Professional capacity Work orientation Student centered learning climate Academic support and press. This was a consistent result in the top 10% of the CMS responses. These results would benefit staff members who may be skeptical about the work orientation of their

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! OLO colleagues. Additionally, there were agreements amongst the students that academic suppor t and press is readily evident in their interactions with their teachers and classmates. Furthermore, these data provide the leadership team of the school with a unique perspective about how students view their work, interactions with teachers and the aca demic support that they receive. As a school attempting to instill a sense of urgency into the students work, these data also support that this was occurring. I believe that the greatest activity that the leadership team initiated to result in these str ong finding was the careful and intentional communication to the school staff, students and parents our desire to improve the learning of the children in classrooms each and every day. This activity began with the hiring practices to bring the right staff to the school and then consistent and relentless communication to the community at large through the various community building events and student centered activities. Ultimately, the identification of strengths in the survey data helps to validate pract ices that we were implementing prior to the survey administration. ClassMaps data in Table 13 s how the ES I that are weaknesses of my leadership ( bottom 10%) based on the survey responses from students in kindergarten through 3 rd grade. Listed next to each component process is the corresponding support/indicator code The items are ordered in the table in order of greatest to least with respect to the % responses. The items at the top of the table suggests higher levels of agreement amongst the respo ndents as to the level of strength that this ES I is evident based on the survey responses.

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! OLK Table 13: Weaknesses Identified by the CMS K 2 nd (Bottom 10%) CMS Item # ES I Code ES I 38 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 34 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 33 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 41 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 42 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order The ClassMaps data in Table 14 s how the ES I that are weaknesses of my leadership ( bottom 10%) based on the survey responses from students in grades 3 through 8. Listed next to each component process is the corresponding support/indicator code The items are ordered in the table in order of greatest to least with respect to the % responses. The items at the top of the table suggests higher levels of agreement amongst the respondents as to the level of strength that this ES I is evident based on the survey responses. The strengths and weaknesses identified by the CMS are relatively close to each other. The strengths all fall to a response rate of between 60% and 70% and the weaknesses fall

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! OL^ Table 14: Weaknesses Identified by the CMS 3 rd 8 th (Bottom 10%) CMS Item # ES I Code ES I 43 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 44 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 46 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 37 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 45 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order at a lower rate of respondents ranging from 37% to 40%. The proximity of these strength and weakness indicators is likely due to the method by which strengths and weaknesses were identified, by using the top 10% and bottom 10% of the responses to label an essential support as a strength of a weakness. Given the weaknesses identified by the ClassMaps results and its alignment wi th the ES I framework, I am informed to modify my leadership practices by putting systems in structures in place that support the enhancement of the indicators that fell to the lowest 10% of implementation as suggested by the ClassMaps survey In this cas e, the development of structures and communication for the improvement of safety and order within the school is important to improving the school There was unanimous consistency in the responses that fell to the bottom 10% of the survey items. These dat a suggest that measures need to be put into place to increase students sense of safety and security.

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! OLS Several actions were taken on the part of the school to address the fact that safety and security emerged as a weakness. First of all, we improved the entry procedures for all community members at the school. We also enhanced the pickup and drop off procedures of all families driving their children to school. While this became a big focus of our staff, we took action to communicate the specific initiat ives to the community and our students. In addition to improving systems around the physical safety of children at the school, we also implemented a consistent approach towards behavior management in all classrooms and trained our teachers on how to conti nuously improve their practices with regards to working with challenging behavioral issues. While this was a long drawn out process of professional development and practices new skills, we did find that several teachers improved their skills at ensuring t hat students were physically and emotionally safe in their classrooms. Modifications to Leadership Practices Informed by CRPS Findings RQ 2 C: How can results from the Culturally Responsive Practice Survey (CRPS) be used to inform modification of my leader ship practices? The leadership practices that I was using were intended to result in an intentional impact on the school The purpose of engaging in this study was to determine how these practices were being assessed and reflected by externally developed instruments. A review of the current literature suggested that the Culturally Responsive Practice Survey (CRPS ) was a high qu ality, research based instrument for assessing school leadership qualities. Additionally, the process of engaging in the reflective practice of survey data analysis and aligning it to the current leadership practices provided the impetus for wanting to un derstand, both qualitatively and quantitatively, how the CRPS could be used

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! OLW to inform modifications of my leadership practices. Because the CRPS was being used as a tool to assess current leadership practices, the next logical step would be ask how the re sults of the survey, subsequent to analysis, would inform future actions and modification to leadership practices that had already been identified as critical to implementation of effective leadership practices. How Strengths and Weaknesses Were Determined from the CRPS Findings In order to determine the extend to which the Culturally R esponsive P ractice S urvey results were providing me with insight into what is going well at the school and what is not going well, I developed a system to code responses to the CRPS For the CRPS I took the items that emerged the most frequently from the most favorable responses and the least favorable responses The favorability of the responses was determined prior to the analysis For example, an item in the CRPS ask t he respondent to respond to the following prompt: Administration, teachers, and support personnel are knowledgeable about differences in cultural practices that might impact on student behavior. The f ollowing response options are included : Almost Always, Frequently Sometimes, Almost Never, and Not Applicable. Responses of "Almost always" and "Often" were coded as favorable responses, and were interpreted as strength s Responses that indicated "Sometimes" or Almost Never were coded as unfavorable resp onses and were interpreted as a weakness A similar pattern followed for each response of each survey instrument After each item was coded, a frequency count was conducted to allow the ranking of each survey item in the order of how many favorable or un favorable responses were collected When the ranking of each item was complete, I took the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the response to indicate areas that were ranked

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! OL_ "high" and "low" respectively for analysis of strengths and weaknesses Since each su rvey item was aligned to an ES I code, I was then able to determine which were the ES I codes that were areas of strength and which were areas of weakness based on the multitude of items from each CRPS that was administered A cut point of 10% was determined after considering 5%, which did not result in enough response to allow a multifaceted and more complex analysis of the findings In the sections that follow, the terms strengths and weaknesses are used to suggest responses that ranked in the hi ghest 10% and the lowest 10% of the responses respectively The Culturally Responsive Practice Survey (CRPS) was administered to the leadership team of the school. This is the same group of individuals that participated in the focus group months later. The leadership team that took the CRPS was comprised of members of the administration team and teachers at each grade level who had volunteered to participate in the daily leadership of the school. These data suggest that the items listed in table 15 ar e the strengths of my leadership. To be identified as a strength, the percentage of respondents who provided a favorable rating to that item needed to fall among the top 10 percent of the responses for all items of the survey. The CRPS contained 99 items to which the participants had to respond. Therefore, there are 10 items identified as strengths and 10 items identified as weaknesses (top and bottom 10%). Table 15 shows the CRPS items that emerged as strengths. At the top of the list with the most re curring strengths are teacher's work orientation, a professional community and school leadership. It is likely that these emerged as strengths due to the fact that this particular survey was completed by the leadership team; these are the

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! OL` individuals of t he school who are most engaged in the process of school leadership and developing a professional community. Table 16 show a list of CRPS items that ranked the highest on unfavorable responses, hence suggesting that there are areas of weakness in my leade rship. The weaknesses that are uncovered through multiple suggestions in the survey data are the following: PC QPD (the quality of professional development), PC WO (work orientation), IG CA (curriculum alignment), and PCST TtC (teachers ties to the commu nity). The only conflict with the top strength and top weakness is the teachers indication of work orientation; however, work orientation presents more as a strength than as a weakness in the CRPS due to the fact that it emerged as a strength more freque ntly than it emerged as a weakness. The weaknesses were identified due to the pattern of experiences that the participants of the surveys had had over their years at the school. PC QPD (quality of professional development) had always consisted of lacklust er, unfocused PowerPoint presentations that did not leverage teacher's strengths, or align with the strategic goals of the school or practical, timely outcomes for children. Additionally, IG CA (curriculum alignment) was identified as a weakness because o f a complex communication pattern of curricular expectations and unclear learning outcomes. The weaknesses identified by the CRPS do not come as a surprise. We had been receiving feedback for some time expressing concern about the quality of the professio nal

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! OLa Table 15: Strengths Identified by the CRPS (Top 10%) CRPS Item ID Code Essential Supports 1.1 PCST TtC PC QPD Parent Community School Ties Teacher's Ties to Community Professional Capacity Quality Professional Development 1.8 SL SL PC WO School Leadership School Leadership Professional Capacity Work Orientation 3.1 PC PC PC WO Professional Capacity Professional Community Professional Capacity Work Orientation 3.5 PC PC SL SL Professional Capacity Professional Community School Leadership School Leadership 1.7 SL SL SCLC AS&P School Leadership School Leadership Student Centered Learning Climate Academic support and press 1.9 SL SL SCLC AS&P School Leadership School Leadership Student Centered Learning Climate Academic Support and Press 4.1 PCST PI PCST TtC 1 Parent Community School Ties Parent Involvement Parent Community School Ties Teacher's Ties to the Community 4.3 SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate Safety and Order 7.14 PC WO PC PC Professional Capacity Work Orientation Professional Capacity Professional Community 10.10 SCLC AS&P PC PC Student Centered Learning Climate Academic Support and Press Professional Capacity Professional Community

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! OLb development that the staff had been receiving. Additionally, the indication of a concern about curriculum alignment was also expected due to a long history of curriculum concerns and lack of resources and initiative to align the curriculum. Of the ten p erceived ES I weaknesses identified by the CRPS, there are no consistencies with the perceived weaknesses identified by the CMS responses. This Table 16. Weaknesses Identified by the CRPS (Bottom 10%) CRPS Item ID Code Essential Supports 10.6 PC TB Professional Capacity Teacher's background 3.8 PC QPD PC FPD Professional Capacity Quality professional development Professional capacity Frequency of professional development 3.10 PC WO IG CA Professional Capacity Work orientation Instructional guidance Curriculum alignment 11.5 SCLC AS&P Student centered learning climate Academic support and press 3.4 PC QPD PC PC Professional Capacity Quality professional development Professional Capacity Professional community 3.7 PCST TtC PC WO Parent community school ties Teacher's ties to the community Professional Capacity Work orientation 1.3 PC QPD IG BS Professional Capacity Quality professional development Instructional guidance Basic skills 3.6 PC QPD Professional Capacity Quality professional development 3.9 PCST TtC Parent community school ties Teacher's ties to the community 6.1 IG CA IG AE Instructional guidance Curriculum alignment Instructional guidance Application emphasis

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! OOL means that the CRPS uncovered additional areas of growth that the school leader needs to consider. Taken alone, the CMS would suggest that the only area of development is safety and order within the school. The CRPS includes a much more granular analysis of ES I that warrant attention for improvement. Synthesis of Survey Results Taken individually, each survey instrument used in this study helped me to identify areas of strength and weakness corresponding to the ES I framework. However, the value of usin g multiple data collection tools supported the triangulation of data and to identify patterns and trends across multiple data sources. The following section discussed the strengths and weaknesses that were determined by the VAL ED, CMS and CRPS in context with one another. Because each instrument independently identified strengths and weaknesses based on the coding scheme, there were some patterns of inconsistencies that emerged and paradoxes that became evident in the data analysis. The section that fol lows attempts to address these inconsistencies and provide a context and rationale for results that conflict between the different survey instruments. Ultimately, it is important to understand that this data analysis is attempting to quantify survey data, much of which is qualitative in nature. In order to be able to use this data productively, it is important to remember that this study is attempting to apply quantitative tools and action planning based on patterns that emerge from surveys of qualitative measures. What follows is an attempt to summarize the findings across all of the surveys and paint a picture of how the residual impact of leadership practices are perceived by the individuals who have been asked to take the different surveys. In most c ases, the stakeholders who took one survey were a different group from the stakeholders that took another survey.

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! OOO The surveys in this study were administered to identify areas of perceived strength and weakness with regards to alignment with the essenti al supports and indicators described by Bryk et al. (2010). In several cases, ES I codes emerged as repeating strengths. Also, it was evident that ES I codes, in some instances were shown as strengths in some surveys and weaknesses in others. The charts and tables that follow illuminate these patterns in the resulting data. It is also clear that there are some ES I that emerge as strengths and weaknesses. This will be addressed in the following discussion. Synthesis of Essential Supports that Present ed as Strengths ( ES I strengths) Upon analysis of the indicators that were listed as strengths, the results in Figure 6 suggest the following distribution of responses for the ES I reported through all three surveys used. Items that occur the most freque ntly ( PC WO work orientation SCLC AS&P academic support and press PC PC professional capacity, and SL SL school leadership ) correlate with the items across all of the surveys that received favorable responses. Figure 6. Frequency of ES I codes that emerged as strength 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ES-I Strengths Frequency Count across all Surveys

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! OOK Synthesis of Essential Supports that Presented as Weaknesses The results in Figure 7 suggests the following distribution of responses for the ES I that emerged a s weaknesses from the three survey instruments, the that were u sed Upon analysis of the indicators that were listed as weaknesses from all three survey instruments. Items that occur the most frequent ( SCLC S&O safety and order IG CA curriculum alignment, and PC QPD quality professional development) correlate w ith the items across all of the surveys that received unfavorable responses. Figure 7. Frequency of ES I codes that emerged as weaknesses. Paradoxes in the Results For 11 of the ES I codes identified and strengths and weaknesses paradoxes were found A paradox is defined as an ES I that emerged as both a strength and an area of weakness by the coded survey data. Figure 8 shows the ES I codes and their associated paradoxes. The blue columns indicate the frequency that the ES I eme rged as a strength and the red column s suggests the frequency that the ES I was found to be a weakness. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ES-I Weaknesses Frequency Count across all Surveys

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! OO^ On all but two ES I codes, PCST TtC teachers ties to the community, and IG AE application emphasis ) that emerged as paradoxes, the strength or weakness frequency greatly outweighed the other. Therefor e it can be concluded that in the minor case of the paradox that emerged, it may have been due to an error in interpretation of the survey item or the mere fact that the surveys were hand coded and that inconsistenci es may have existed in the cod ing scheme of the survey items. Figure 8. ES I p aradox i tems that emerged as strengths and weaknesses In order to highlight the most significant finding according to patterns that emerged from the survey results, i t is als o important to note that three of the ES I codes emerged with the same frequency as strengths and as weaknesses. These ES I codes include PCST TtC teachers ties to the community, IG AE application emphasis, and IG BS basic skills. Due to the fact tha t these ES I codes proved inconclusive due to their equal but opposite results, I made the decision to disregard these findings as significant. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Paradox ES/I Codes that were identified as both strengths and weaknesses Strength Weakness

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! OOS Significant Findings of ES I Codes I felt that it was necessary to distill the ES I codes so that I could most accurately comprehend which findings were most significant. Table 9 shows the ES I codes that remained after the inconclusive ES I codes were removed (PCST TtC, IG AE, and IG BS). Additionally, due to the relative low frequency, as well as taking into acc ount the relatively weak yet evident paradox of PCST PI parent involvement, I chose to remove PCST PI from the list of significant findings of ES I codes. Figure 9 Distilled ES I Strengths and Weaknesses Key Findings Modifications to Leadership P ractices from Focus Group Data RQ 2 D: How can results from the Focus Group be used to inform modification of my leadership practices? The leadership practices that I used were intended to result in an intentional impact on the school The purpose of engaging in this study was to determine how these practices were being assessed and reflected by externally developed instruments and 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 PC-WO SCLC-AS&P PC-PC SL-SL IG-CA PC-QPD SCLC-S&O Distilled ES-I Strengths and Weaknesses Key Findings

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! OOW processes. Because this study is aligned with the reflective case study model, the process of conductin g a focus group to garner feedback about the implementation of leadership practices in the school was a necessary step. Additionally, the process of engaging in the reflective practice of focus group data analysis and aligning it to the current leadership practices provided the impetus for wanting to understand, both qualitatively and quantitatively, how the feedback provided by the focus group could be used to inform modifications of my leadership practices. Because the focus group was used as a mechanis m to solicit feedback about alignment of self identified leadership practices to assess my current actual leadership practices, the next logical step would be ask how the feedback from the focus group could inform future actions and modification to leaders hip practices that had already been identified as critical to implementation of effective leadership practices. The focus group was conducted w ith the members of the leadership team that existed at the time of the study While there had been a number of changes already in place when the focus group occurred, they were able to lend some valuable insight into the leadership practices that were identified prior to the study and they were also able to speak to the fidelity at which these practices were being implemented within the school In most cases, the focus group corroborated and provided rationale for the responses and data that was collected from the surveys The purpose of the focus group was to triangulate the survey data and allow for specific fe edback about meaning making from the anonymous survey data and provide specific alignment to the leadership practices that were being put into place What follows is a description of each focus group question along with the responses that were collected.

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! OO_ Focus Group Question and Summaries Question Do you recognize these leadership practices within the school structures? Response summary Yes. Question Are they occurring with regularity? Response summary Yes A lot of these are just scheduled regularly and there is evidence that they are occurring. Question Is there anything missing from this list that you would identify at this school as a high leverage leadership practice? Response summary We would add data analysis days Professional d evelopment around analyzing IA A rigorous structure around what that looks like We would also add the weekly standing meetings that the Principal has with admin team members These are one on one meetings in which we discuss progress on weekly goals a nd discuss areas of support that are needed These weekly meetings are critical in order for the leadership team be able to identify what is working well and what can be improved Members of the leadership team noted that one on one meetings were guided by discussing what was on the "radar" of the school leader In these meetings, the Principal would ask how he could offer support in the topics that the leadership team member introduced The weekly on on one meetings are more of a conversation that are differentiated depending on the needs of the individual Members of the leadership team also noted that there is accountability to the on on one meetings These meetings allow all members of the team to provide weekly reports and to share items and initi atives that would linger and stay undone Several members of the leadership team noted that the on

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! OO` on one meetings were symbolic of the collaborative nature of our work Question Which of these leadership practices would you identify as the most cons istently? Response summary The members of the leadership team noted that all of the practices that that are scheduled are done consistently The curriculum development process is ongoing, and the data days are used to continue with the curriculum develo pment. Question Which of these leadership practices would be the most powerful in your opinion? Response summary Number 1 and 4 would be the most powerful for leverage We are all involved with refining our practice and building our curriculum. Quest ion Do you feel that other members of the staff would agree that these are implemented with fidelity? Response Since we are starting a new school, and with a bunch of new teachers, some of the staff is in the process of just understanding how to do thi s work While not everything is like clockwork, but with the calendar and frequency of feedback and it's all about building relationships The structure and research behind it is there It just takes time I think that other people would feel the same way There are tweaks that need to happen, but nobody is saying that the process is bad It would be nice to have more time to work on this stuff We can definitely see that progress is being made. Question How could the Principal improve his implemen tation of the best practices that have been identified? Response summary Last year we had a leadership team with teacher

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! OOa representation Increasing teacher involvement in decision making and getting some of that back That was a model that was based on Edison Now that we are starting fresh, we want to honor teachers, but figuring out the priorities Human resources and getting more teachers on the leadership team It doesn't need to be as formalized as last year We've seen growth in this area thro ughout the year There are not people identified as teacher leaders Individual meetings: Having an agenda that is more planned, rather than have one that is more impulsive Getting more meaning out of them Having more planning and preparation The P rincipal would guide these improvements in planning more effective meetings Question Which of these leadership practices would you identify as the least consistently implemented? Response summary While some of the practices are delegated to other m embers of the leadership team, all of the practices identified by the Principal are occurring with regularity at the school Question Which of the 6 have the least leverage for improving the school Response: #5 WAC This is still a structure that is b eing developed and tweaked to maximize the effectiveness Nonetheless, the WAC meetings have greatly improved We've gone from 4 to 40 60 people The WAC meetings have an impact for the families that DO show up. Question : Do you feel that other members of the staff would agree that these are areas that require growth to be successful? Response summary Yes, people would agree that having more parent involvement would be the most helpful.

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! OOb Question What do you believe are the root causes of this being t he practice that warrants the needs the most improvement? Response summary There has never really been much parent involvement It's never been around It's cultural We are a very transient population so it's hard for families to attend consistently. Question Upon initial review, why do you believe that the top 3 were identified by the survey instruments? ( PC WO Work Orientation, SCLC AS&P Academic Support and Press, and PC PC Professional Community Response summary We've spent hours in PD, read books, we've all become experts in TLAC Work orientation speaks to the Lead Team and all the work that we did Much of the positive result comes from the communication that we had Question Upon initial review, why do you believe that the bottom 3 were identified by the survey instruments? Response summary There would be a stark difference if the survey was taken this year The bottom 2 ( IG CA curriculum alignment and PC QPD quality of professional development) would be the practices that require the greatest areas of growth The focus group made a strong suggestion that while these practices were ranked the lowest, we have noted great improvement in the past year since the management c hange of the school They noted the following considerations as critical to receiving a higher ranking on the items that were rated the lowest on the survey instruments Expanded admin team Added CAO, Academic Deans Our capacity to do this work has nearly doubled We haven't lost teachers; we've added roles.

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! OKL With the management company a lot of the curriculum development and professional development wasn't getting done There was a lack of organization We've filled in a lot of the roles that the company was supposed to be doing. A big jump in quality is based on the PD The Chief Academic Officer and the Principal have built recent professional development on what the data suggests is required to show improvement in school effectiveness We didn 't have a standard's based, aligned curriculum last year when the principal survey's were taken We didn't have MAP assessments or direction for data analysis The group also noted that when the survey was taken, consistency and alignment was also lackin g. Question Do you feel that these data align with the identified leadership practices? Response summary The focus group agreed that items 1 and 4 (weekly feedback and curriculum development) hold vastly more leverage than 6 and 5 (parent meetings and daily community breakfast) The group also suggested that 1 and 4 are the ones that really address the bottom 10% ranked practices (quality professional development and curriculum development.) Question What else can the p rincipal know to find out what' s working and what's not? What's your answer to the question that I didn't ask? Response summary The focus group agreed that finding time to develop curriculum and make sure it is high quality is a key lever and provides challenge in a busy school They also suggested that the pressures of having to teach and develop curriculum is tough When things change, it's hard sometimes to roll with it Many

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! OKO teachers are struggling with this big picture work It can be frustrating at times Question Do you believe that in 3 4 years things will be different? Response I hope not, this is the first time that things are improving It's not just the p rincipal, it's the whole school There have been a lot of decisions to be made Moving forward, as long as we can maintain our priorities, it will get better It's work worth doing With regards to developing the curriculum, the focus groups stated the important of figuring out planning time, and identifying expertise in the school It's being managed, but it' s hard work As long as those big decision about curriculum stick, it'll get better for everyone The changes will need to slow in order for growth to be realized Another dynamic that was discussed by the leadership team included the storming and normi ng of the change process There was a suggestion to increase teacher leadership and well as the need for structures to be introduced to support vertical alignment of curriculum There is a lot to be said about introducing so much change to the school at the same time With 3 4 new curriculums, there is so much to learn New and veteran teachers all had to relearn a lot The urgency is high Question How do you start a school with minimal disruption? Response summary It's hard to prioritize when it is all important While the changes were vast, the focus group expressed the sense that the work in congealing. Summary of Focus Group Findings for Triangulation Responses from the focus group lend themselves to provide a basis of triangulation to th e data that was collected through the coded survey analysis. While focus group responses do not quantify the perspective of the respondents in the same manner as the prior survey analyses (e.g., ClassMaps, VAL ED, CRPS ), it was valuable

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! OKK to use the perspe ctive of the focus group members to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses that were found previous analyses. While the focus group did not uncover addition strengths or weaknesses in my leadership practices, it did play a role in helping to clarify a nd contextualize the results from the survey analysis, which in most cases, was taken out of context; when the participants too the ClassMaps and CRPS, they did not know that each item would be correlated to areas of strength and weakness of the school lea der's leadership practices. Two essential supports that emerged as weaknesses from the coded survey data were IG CA (curriculum alignment), and SCLC S&O (safety and order). The focus group pointed out that since the survey was taken, IG CA (curriculum ali gnment) had become an area of focus and that it was soon becoming an area of strength. The enhancement of the curriculum was founded on an intentional development of a curriculum calendar for literacy and math, based on the outcomes identified by the comm on core state standards. Then, teachers developed discrete units that would align with the curriculum calendar and guarantee that all of the standards had been addressed. Furthermore, the beginning phase of the development of in house interim assessments aligned to the units and the standards would serve as the final component of a rigorous, aligned curriculum. There was, however, agreement that safety and order was an area that warranted additional attention. The focus group agreed that while the schoo l had made improvements to many cultural aspects of SCLC S&O (safety and order), that this continued to be an area requiring improvement in order to best serve the children at the school. Safety and security would need to be enhanced by improved communica tion with all staff and students about common expectations regarding student and staff behavior.

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! OK^ We also identified concrete changes that needed to be made to the entrance of the school to prevent unauthorized people into the building. Lastly, and most i mportantly, we identified the need for a strong RTI process that would begin to address students who needed targeted support the most. These were the students who would most frequently interrupt instruction and negatively impact the learning environment i n the school. Components of Current Leadership Practices and Planned Modifications RQ 3: What specific components of self identified l eadership practices and planned modifications have emerged from this study? The modification of leadership practices are guided by the triangulation of the data from the multiple sources of feedback proves or disproves the value of each leadership practice and it's bearing on the effectiveness of the leadership practice as shown in the data collected through the survey instr uments It is also important to note that the focus groups occurred in the different school year than the survey administration In the time frame between the survey administration and the convening of the focus group, many systems and structures have be en put into place to address deficits in school leadership For example, the implementation of school wide common core aligned curriculum may serve to improve the community's perception of the school leader's emphasis in instructional guidance. Given the perceived weaknesses identified by various data and their alignment with the ES I framework, I am informed about the need to modify leadership practices by putting systems in structures in place that support the enhancement of the indicators that fell to the lowest 10% of implementation as suggested by each survey For example, when the CRPS was analyzed, the indicators that were ranked at the lowest 10% were the

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! OKS development of structures to improve professional capacity (PC) as well as instructional guid ance (IG). Therefore, it can be concluded that these are areas that need to be improved and modified. An important consideration in viewing the differences in between the CMS and the CRPS results is the fact that the CMS was taken by children in the scho ol and the CRPS was administered to staff members The se data suggest that the adults who took the survey are experiencing school differently than the children, particularly when viewed through the lens of the ES I framework, which each survey item was al igned to in order to perform this analysis Ideally, the hope would be that perception is uniform throughout the school community. However, given the development differences and experiential differences between the children and the adults, it is not whol ly remarkable that differences exist in perceived realities between children and adults. Nonetheless, the difference in child and adult perception may warrant further investigation into the causes of these differences as well as provide a strong rationale for the adults to seek a better understanding of the perceptions that the children at the school maintain due to their experiences. The focus group responses yielded feedback regarding additional leadership practices that would be important to consider while continuing to improve the school and improve the systems and structures to support student learning One of these emerged practices is distributed leadership The results of the focus group indicated that all of the 6 self identified practices are in place, even though the p rincipal himself is not the individual in the organization to implement these practices For example, while the development of the curriculum and community breakfasts were identified as high

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! OKW leverage practices, the p rincipal was able to put these in place through the utilization of the expertise and efforts of other members of the leadership team. Another important practice that emerged from this results of this study is the implementation of structures that reinforce the practic es while maintaining a firm insistence on the patience that is required for these practices to take hold and ultimately have a positive impact on the school and school effectiveness One of the interesting points that emerged from the focus group response s is that the surveys were taken in the 2012 2013 school year and the focus group was conduced during the 2013 2104 school year The focus group voted unanimously that the responses and pattern identified as the lowest 10% of the survey instruments would have been different if the surveys were conducted subsequent to many of the changes that resulted in the change in management in separation of the school from the previous management company One focus group finding is that the leadership practices ident ified as strengths and weaknesses were time bound and dependent on the context of the survey being taken. On a few occasions, the leadership team participating in the focus group voiced conclusively that since the surveys were taken, much had already begu n to change with regards to the self identified leadership practices. They also voiced that had the surveys been taken months later, that the weakness would likely have become areas of strength. An example of this was PC QPD (quality of professional deve lopment) that was currently being delivered. The group agreed that prior to some recent changes in the professional development model at the school, structures were lacking. However, should they take the survey again, they believed that the quality of pr ofessional development would be listed as a strength, rather th an the second lowest weakness.

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! OK_ Consideration of Findings for Current Leadership Practices The ES I codes that emerged as strengths and weaknesses, after the distillation and consideration of the paradoxes, shown in Figure 9, have specific implication on the leadership practices that were initially identified at the start of this study. My corresponding comments that result from reflection on the data from this study are listed below. Protoc ols for weekly observation and feedback of instructional practices The findings suggest that this is a leadership practice that is working. Due to the relatively strength attributed to work orientation, professional capacity, and school leadership; I ca n conclude that weekly meeting with staff for feedback and observation, is a process that enhanced our intentions to remain strong in the areas that emerged as strengths. However, the weekly observation feedback meetings were also intended to serve as a d river for professional development. Therefor, I was surprised to find that quality professional development was identified as a relative weakness. A stronger link between the weekly meetings and the associate professional development should be considered Weekly leadership team meetings The leadership team meetings are where the members of the leadership team met for both strategic planning as well as for planning the day to day operations of the school as they aligned to our goals. Because school lea dership was a strength, I believe that the weekly leadership team meetings, as a leadership practice, is effective and worthwhile. However, increased focus on the ES I codes that were identified as weaknesses should comprise a larger focus during the leade rship team meetings.

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! OK` Weekly operational team meetings The findings suggest that this is a leadership practice that is not having resulting in our intended outcomes. Due to the relatively weakness attributed to safety and order, I can conclude that ou r weekly operational team meetings either needed to modify it's focus in order to attend to the important issues regarding the safety and order experienced by the staff and student. While the data does not necessarily justify the elimination of this pract ice, it does suggest that the practice of the weekly operational team meetings is not a practice that will improve the effectiveness of the organization in alignment to the ES I framework. Internal development of a curriculum founded on principles of rig orous curriculum design and understanding by design. The findings suggest that this is a leadership practice that is extremely important, and gaining traction. However, due to the relatively weakness attributed to curriculum alignment; I can conclude tha t the development of a curriculum, is a process that had yet to be realized to the extent that it was being seen as a strength. Curriculum development is an extremely challenging, yet necessary practice, and with additional experience and course correctio n, I am confident that it would eventually result in responses suggesting that it is a strength of the school's leadership practices. Monthly p arent and c ommunity meetings The results of the data that was collected during this study do not shed significant light on the impact of our efforts on parent and community involvement. Clearly, this does not imply that the monthly meetings should discontinue, but it does suggest that f urther investigation would be necessary to determine if this specific leadership practice is one that will improve the effectiveness of the organization in alignment to the ES I framework.

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! OKa Daily community breakfast with scholars and their teachers This is a leadership practice that can be validated, as well as enhanced, by the results of the data. The fact that work orientation, academic support and press, and school leadership emerged as strengths, implies the benefits from the daily community breakfas ts. The community breakfasts were designed specifically for the purpose of strengthening these areas of the school's operations. However, and most glaringly, the perception of safety and order in the school did not seem to be affected by these community breakfast meetings. An increased emphasis on messages aligned to safety and order need to be incorporated into this specific leadership practice in order for it to fully improve the effectiveness of the organization in alignment to the ES I framework. The Work Focus of the Leadership Practices Using two evidenced based conceptual frameworks and recent research on leadership practices of principals leading successful schools serving ELA students, I have detailed my current leadership practices in Table 17 b elow. In this study, my self identified current leadership practices in action are filtered through the context of the VAL ED and ES I framework s using the evidenced based leadership practices that have already been proven to be effective The core components and key process from the VAL E D Matrix and the E ssential S upports and Indicators from Bryk et al. (2010) provide both the context and a macroscopic perspective of what leaders do to influence school effectiveness Additionally based on recent dissertations by Rubin (2013), Holloway (2013), and Bishop (2013) on leadership practices of principals leading successful schools, my self identified leadership practices are also filtered by the following components identified in that work: (a) w ork focus, (b) tools and activities, (c)

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! OKb proximal goals, and (d) distal goals (see Table 8). A leadership practice, as described in Chapter II, is intentional activity from leaders and organizational members within that organizational context, which is fo cused on the right work (i.e., that work highlighted in the VAL ED Matrix and the Essential Supports and Indicators frameworks) that flows through both proximal and distal goals in achieving organizational outcomes. This definition was derived from an evi denced based literature review (Bishop, 2013; Holloway, 2013; Rubin, 2013). Findings from their studies identified two additional components to this leadership practice the principals' use of tools and activities in this work. All of these components of a leadership practice are included in the structure of Table 17 belo w. The following four areas of work focus were identified in my work prior to the identification of the leadership practices : (a) professional capacity, (b) community engagement, (c) devel opment of an intentional school culture, (d) clearly articulated leadership roles and responsibilities. It is from these work foci that the se leadership practices emerged I had to establish a strong sense of professional capacity that incorporated a dist ributive leadership model It also was evident that the school leadership felt strongly that community engagement in the efforts of school improvement were critical to making the kinds of changes that were necessary to improve the school While we had already begun initiatives towards improving the culture of the school, there was still much work to be done and school culture was identified as a high leverage area for sustained and effective school improvement Lastly, given that the staffing and leade rship structure of the school had changed so dramatically over the past

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! O^K year, the need for clearly articulated leadership roles and responsibilities was evident It is through these areas of focus, that the leadership practices for this study emerged Each of the leadership practices that I identified was born out of the work focus depicted in Table 17 What follows is a description of the leadership practices that were pre identified and then refined and confirmed through this study. A summary of the leadership practices and associated work focus is presented in Table 18 When considering how to improve professional capacity as a component of my work focus, it occurred to me that the only way to ensure that each and every member of the school professional staff was building their own personal capacity was by implementing p rotocols for weekly observation and feedback of instructional practices Given that each teacher is unique and demonstrates a different level of skills, the need to differentiate the support that each teacher was getting could only be facilitated though weekly observation and feedback meetings where the focus was instructional practices. The implementation of the weekly observation and feedback meetings w ith teachers closely aligned with the work focus of building professional capacity within the staff of the school. In addition to the weekly, differentiated support that every teacher received through weekly observation and feedback meetings, there was als o a need to develop an academic curriculum founded on principals of rigorous curriculum design and understanding by design While clarity around learning outcomes was necessary for the smooth operation of our school, the internal development of a curriculum also served to empower teachers to make the pedagogical decisions necessary for the students to meet their goals.

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! O^W Ultimately, the curriculum would serve to highlight the learning targets that we would expect students to meet. The extent to which the targets are hit would serve as a basis to our weekly observation and feedback meetings. At the intersection of the development of high quality curriculum and feedback about implementation of the curriculum lies the very foundation of my work focus professional capacity. The underlying assu mption here is that with clear outcomes and quality support, professional capacity can be limitless. As suggested above, a dramatic change in the staffing and leadership structure of the school served as the impetus for identifying clear roles and resp onsibilities as a pillar of my work focus. My experience throughout the course of this study provided evidence that the clarity of these roles and responsibilities would only occur from frequent, structured conversations with the players involved in the l eadership of the school. Therefore, I identified the weekly meetings with my leadership team as well as weekly meetings with my operational team as key practices in putting the work focus of clear roles and responsibilities into practice. While not every meeting served as a model for effective and efficiently run meetings, we were able, through these practices, to achieve our proximal and distal goals with regards to the articulation of roles and responsibilities. Because of these work focus aligned lead ership practices, our communication became more effective, and our work became more efficient and maintained alignment with our school goals regarding school improvement. Lastly, and certainly as important as previously discuss leadership practices, ar e those practices that aimed at developing an intentional school culture and improving community engagement. The two practices that emerged from the work focus were the

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! O^_ monthly parent meetings and our daily community breakfasts with the scholars and their teachers. Interestingly, these practices with the students and their parents, is analogous to the aforementioned weekly meetings with the school leadership team and operations team. While the audience was different, the ultimate purpose and alignment to the work focus could are similar in nature. While the meetings with the leadership and operation was to clearly delineate roles and responsibilities, the meetings with students and their parents also served to highlight and clarify their roles and respon sibilities in the accomplishment of their school's goals. The key difference, however, is that the regular meetings and communication with the students and their parents also played the powerful role of engaging them as community members in ways that they had not been engaged for the sake of developing an intentional school culture. The development of this culture was paramount to our school improvement efforts, and hence identified as one of the four pillars of my work focus as the leader of the school. Critical Steps in the Reflective Leadership Practice Self Study RQ 4: What are the critical steps of this reflective leadership practice self study process that I used in this study and how would I describe them to other principals? Emerging from this study is a reflective leadership practice self study that principals c ould use to investigate, inform and improve current leadership practices. It is important to consider that there are critical steps that were followed This self stu dy was not a haphazardly developed process of self reflection Rather, it was a carefully formulated self study process by which a body of research on effective leadership practices was used as a framework, and research based data collection tools were us ed to collect and analyze my leadership practices The research based foundation of effective

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! O^` leadership practices was used as a lens through which to conduct the analysis To exemplify this process, the results of each data collection tool (VAL ED, Clas sMaps, CRPS) was aligned with the 14 indicators highlighted in the Bryk framework of effective school leadership Hence, a process was developed and followed Ultimately, this process could potentially allow a principal, or a group of principals, to appl y a replicable reflective leadership practice self study process to their own work by using the process outlined in this study For this reason, there is value in clearly articulating this process so that other may potentially follow the process What f ollows is a detailed description of the steps that a principal would need to follow in order to successfully engage in the process of reflective leadership practice self study that is outlined in this study The critical steps of this reflective leadersh ip practice self study process stems from value that the multiple sources of feedback had on the reflective process in the identification of leadership practices that emerged as successful and those that require addition support By collecting multiple so urces of data, I was able to triangulate data and corroborate the value of the leadership practices that were identified at the start of the study I would specifically describe the critical steps in this leadership practice self study process as follows St ep One: Identify Current Leadership Practices Identify current leadership practices that are assumed to be h igh leverage for organizational excellence These are the practices that the school leader decides to implement along with feedback from the bo ard of directors or specific strategic initiatives that have been identified by the school or the school district. It is likely that the practices identified by the school leader as high leverage practices are aligned with the practices

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! O^a that are identifie d in the school's improvement planning documentation. Step Two: Plan for Survey Administration and Data Collection Administer survey instruments and collect data The collection, analysis and disaggregation of the data is critical in identifying patterns in the data A strong working technical knowledge of a data analysis tool is highly recommended in processing the vast quantities of data that emerged from the various feedback tools Step 3: Analyze Data and Reflect on Data S ummarize patterns and group results into strengths and weaknesses (by identifying top 10% favorable and bottom 10% unfavorable responses from each feedback tool) Incorporate additional feedback mechanisms to triangulate the need to make adjustments. In the event that the 10% threshold does not surface any needs for modification, the percentage may need to be modified. Ultimately, cut points should align with pre collected observational and other sources of input The cut points should align with the organization's strat egic goals In the event that the results surface strengths and weaknesses that do not provide consequence for the particular the leadership will need to determine how to proceed accordingly. While the cut points provide a reference for the sake of focus ing efforts, they should not be taken as a prescription that cannot be adapted and modified based on contextual factors. Step 4: Conduct Focus Group Interview to Triangulate Data A focus group of team member s should be used to assist in making meaning fr om the quantitative analysis that was conducted with the tools used for collecting feedback The focus group provides members of the school community an opportunity to provide

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! O^b rationale and external sources of reflection for the school leaders to better u nderstand that results of the data analysis. While the data received from the surveys are qualitative in nature, the results are confined to the context of this particular school. The focus group helps to take this context into account. Step 5: Build Wor k Focus, Tools, Activities LP Map In order to ensure that the leadership practices are being implemented within a context of the role of the leader in his or her particular school, it is helpful to develop a visual map of the leadership practices as they relate to the various other components involved in the implementation of these practices. These other components include a work focus, activities necessary to implement the leadership practices and the tools necessary and available to realize the practice Ultimately, the leadership practice emerges as the product of the careful marriage of these components. Ideally, this structure would result in the achievement of proximal and distal goals established by the school leader. The process of mapping the se various components provide an opportunity for the school leader to contextualize their practice and identify the details required for successful implementation. Additionally, it provides an insight into the numerous ways that the leadership practice ca n be derailed if the work focus is unclear and the tools, activities are not readily identified. Step 6: Modify Current Leadership Practices And finally, the value of any process of improvement through self analysis and reflection is really only as deep as the change in behavior that the process causes in the individual. The modification of the leadership practices map (mentioned in step 5) is the

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! OSL critical step in the modification of leadership practices, particularly considering that a leadership practice is the end result of the combination and implementation of the various tools and activities directed towards a work focus. Performance eval uation and differentiated professional development of school leaders and can be informed by the shift the activities, tools and resources that result from a self study of one's leadership practices. Herein lie practical implications for the self study and reflection process for school leaders. Additional Thoughts In order to describe this process to other principals, I would first ensure that they understand how the multiple sources of feedback were all aligned with the essential supports and indicators t hat were identified by the Bryk framework Much of the value of this self study lies in the alignment of the various methods of feedback with the research based essential supports that the most effective turn around schools have put into place to realize organizational effectiveness A solid understanding of the research base and how the ES I were developed is important in understanding the process used in this self study Additionally, it is critical for a principal who is interested in engaging in this level of self study to approach the results of each feedback instrument with humility and an open mind through which they would be willing able to modify their practices as a result of the continuous feedback that is received through this process This p rocess is one which assumes that various forms of feedback, collected in parallel with a reflective process of identifying strong leadership practices within an organization and implemented by the school leader, can be combined to make a strong case for wh at is working and what can be improved While the finding and analysis will depend greatly

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! OSO on the school leader and his/her ability and willingness to process this quantity of feedback, it does provide a strong foundation from which a school leaders can b ase their leadership practices and develop an awareness and strategies for improved leadership that is aligned with a strong research base that supports the improvement of schools and student learning Summary Findings from t his study provide a unique p erspective into the complex realm of school leadership for a school undergoing significant changes While the work of leading K 8 Public School (K8PS) is complex and multi faceted, this study allowed the researcher and school leader, to take a deep dive i nto the various work foci had been established Additionally, the ability to make link activities to the different specific work practices proved to be valuable because it created opportunities for the school leader to draw conclusions about the effective ness of the currently implemented tools and activities as well as to provide justification rand rationale for future considerations of how the identified work foci can be implemented successfully. Furthermore, the mere fact that this investigation was bas ed on frameworks of school leadership that have been widely accepted as valid and consequential, this study provided additional support for that work. This study provides a great example of an independent study drawn from prior academic investigation s in a different context at a different time, but with the shared purpose of providing school leaders with additional contexts, perspectives and tools with which to lead their organizations

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! OSK CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, R ECOMMENDATIONS This final chapter is organized into four major sections: (a) summary (b) conclusions, (c) recommendations, and ( d) final thoughts. The summary section reviews the following elements of the study: purpose of study, research questions, conceptual framewor k, and data collection instruments, and methods used to collect data. The conclusions section presents key findings from the study, relationship to relevant literature, and major implications of those findings for practice. The final section, recommendat ions, focuses on recommendations for principals, school districts and preparation programs, and for future research studies. The chapter ends with some final thoughts on this research study and its impact on me as researcher. Summary of Research Study The purpose of study was to conduct a self study of the leadership practices that a school leader put into place to lead his school Ultimately, this study will have been successful if the leader was able to understand how his practices aligned with the e ssential supports necessary for school improvement, as well as provide a way for the school leader to emerge with an understanding about how he could become better at leading his school towards accomplishing its objectives. The reflective process is the b asis for this study's impact, while the use of data and a research based conceptual framework for effective school leadership grounded the study in best practices and actionable changes towards improvement. There were various research questions in this study, all of which asked questions regarding the school leader's self identified leadership practices. In each question, the

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! OS^ researcher sought links between the feedback that was provided through the various survey instruments and the focus group respons es. Ultimately, the study's questions led the researcher to determine whether or not the leadership practices identified by the leader were being effectively implemented and also required to school leader to reflect on the findings and suggest coherence w ithin the findings. The specific research questions in this study are as follows: 1. What self identified leadership practices am I currently using to improve school effectiveness in this school? 2. How can results from survey data (VAL ED, CMS, CRPS and Focus Groups) be used to inform modifications of current leadership practices intended to improve school effectiveness ? 3. What new leadership practices or modifications of current leadership practices have emerged from this study? 4. What are the critical steps of this reflective leadership practice self study process that I used in this study and how would I describe them to other principals? This study is based on the conceptual framework introduced by Bryk et al. (2010) in a study of chronically low performing schools in Chicago (2010). Data collection was conducted utilizing three instruments the VAL ED Survey, the ClassMaps survey, and Culturally Responsive Practice survey as well as a focus group Prior to the administration of the surveys, a coding system was developed to facilitate the analysis of the various points of data. The coding system (see Appendix A) was developed utilizing the specific terms and definitions from the two evidence based frameworks: VAL ED

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! OSS Matrix an d the ES I Framework Two coding inventories the ES I and the alignment of ES I to VAL ED were created for the purpose of coding the survey items Participants in the VAL ED survey were the principal, the principal's supervisors, and teachers in the s chool The VAL ED survey data was compiled and analyzed in house at Discovery Education ( www.discoveryeducation.com ) and a detailed principal report included mean and median effectiveness scores generated through the six core components and six key proces ses The ClassMaps survey (CMS) was taken by all of the students in the school Different grade levels were provided with different age appropriate versions of the ClassMaps survey Despite the subtle differences in the grade level ClassMaps surveys, the questions were relatively similar and the responses were coded in a manner that was consistent across the entire study Each item in the ClassMap survey was aligned to the ES I framework using the coding system that is displayed in appendix A For t he sake of analysis, favorable and unfavorable responses were identified and used as a focal point of analysis and triangulation with the focus groups responses. The Culturally Responsive Practice S urvey (CRPS) was taken by all of the members of the schoo l's leadership team at the time of the study. This group was comprised of members of the school administration, office staff, teachers and intervention team members. Each item of the CRPS survey was aligned to the ES I framework using the coding system t hat is displayed in appendix A For the sake of analysis, favorable and unfavorable responses were identified and used as a focal point of analysis and triangulation with the focus groups responses

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! OSW This summary reviewed the purpose of study, the research questions, the concept ual frameworks data collection instruments and methods used to collect data The next section will discuss the conclusions drawn from this research. Conclusions The section that follows summarizes the key findings of this study as well as makes explicit the links between this study and the current literature on learner centered leadership, the emergence of a leadership practice construct, and reflective leadership practices. This section concludes with a statement about th e implications of these key findings on a principal's leadership practices. Summary of Key Findings Several key findings related to the research ques tions are evident in the study. The findings in this study are the result of analysis of leadership pract ices through the lens of the Bryk ES I framework (Bryk et al., 2010) using a variety of survey data points and triangulated with focus group responses. In the section that follows, I will summarize the key findings as well as suggest a protocol for other principals to utilize in order to impro v e their leadership practices. Each key finding is presented below. 1. A key finding related to research question number 1 is that the pre identified leadership practices remained relevant throughout the data collection and analysis process. Additionally, the focus group responses suggested alignment between the pre identified leadership practices and the reality of what was occurring as part of the school improvement proce ss. Not only is a leadership practice a viable concept derived from a literatu re, it also exists in practice.

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! OS_ 2. The second key finding, which relates directly to res earch question number 2 is that safe ty and order at the school is rated as a relative weaknes s While the focus group did suggest that this is an area that had shown improvement since the original data collection, it became an area of focus and conce rn for me as the school leader. 3. Research question number 3 can be addressed, in part, by the k ey f inding from the focus group, which encouraged that the development of a data driven instructional culture be included in the list of high leverage leadership practices. Hence, the 6 week data day structure was implemented to improve the use of targeted dat a driven instruction. 4. A key finding related to research question number 2 shows that the strengths suggested by the VAL ED are centered on a strong academic program and community connections. The data from the VAL ED survey showed the following process/co mponent combinations as strengths: (a) m onitoring high standards for student learning, (b) communicating connections to external communities, (c) implementing high standards for student learning, and (d) implementing quality instruction Conver sely, the lo west rated process/component combinations were the following: (a) advocating connections to external communities, (b) advocating high standards for student learning, (c) monitoring a culture of learning and professional behavior, and (d) planning a rigorou s curriculum Much like the summary of strengths, the least evident from the VAL ED also include community connections.

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! OS` 5. A nther key finding in relation to res earch question number 2 is that the o ther survey data suggests the ES I identified as strengths included: (a) work orientation, (b) academic support and press (c) professional community, and (d) school leadership. Conversely, the essential support and indicators identified as weaknesses included: (a) safety and order, (b) curriculum alignment, and (c ) quality of professional development. Findings from the focus group confirmed that the leadership practices that were identified by the school leader align to supporting the four strengths (the highest rated ES I codes). Additionally, the focus group co nc luded that safety and order, quality of professio nal development, and the alignment of the curriculum had improved significantly since the survey results were collected. 6. Lastly, and connected to research question number 4, is the relevance of this stud y to the work of principals and school leaders in the future. This study provides a protocol for other principals to repeat or replicate in a manner that fits their particular context. This study in based on the premise of using survey instruments that a re aligned to best practices and a research based framework to assist in confirming and suggesting additional leadership practices for the purpose of reflection and continuous improvement. I would suggest that school leaders take a similar approach to ass essing their current practices. While the process that was followed in this particular study may prove to be a bit cumbersome for everyday practitioners, simplified survey analysis may be an option. Also, I believe t hat improved technology and more compr ehensive data base approach may be

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! OSa developed to allow for quick response and analysis to occur in a manner that replicates the process used in this study. Relationship of Findings to the Literature This study is grounded on the premise that school leaders can seek to improve their leadership practices by reflecting on a variety of sources of feedback that have been aligned to a strong conceptual framework of leadership behaviors, practices and habits that have demonstrated a positive result in effective sc hool reform. Embedded in this premise are various researched and peer reviewed frameworks and theories that have been presented previously in chapter II These theories provide a foundation for this study and this study demonstrates implication for these theories and they continue to be relied upon for future studies and as a body of literature in the subject of school leadership. The theories that are validated by this study and that warrant further explanation include, learner centered leadership, emer gence of the leadership practice construct, evaluation of principal s, and developing a reflective leadership practice. I will discuss my thought on how this study impacts each of these theories and the implication for each theory that result from this stu dy. Learner c entered l eadership This study provides strong validation that learner centered leadership, as introduced by the authors of the VAD ED (Goldring et.al., 2007), is mission critical to the work of school improvement and reform efforts. Much like the recommendations made by Brookover and Lezotte in the center of the effective school's movement (1979), one of the leadership practice that was identified in the study was the development of a standards aligned curriculum throughout the entire sch ool with associated professional development and structures to support the internal development

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! OSb of this curriculum. The data suggests that the implementation of these practices ranked in the top 10% of the identified leadership practices. Clearly impleme nting leadership practices that maintain a consistent focus on learning and student progress through a well developed and rigorous curriculum is important to the work of school improvement. This study confirms that leadership practices that are centered on learning are practices that will likely result in greater results for students as well as in feedback mechanisms that the school leader may choose to implement. Much like one of the correlates for effective schools identified by Lezotte, strong instruc tional leadership with regards to the curriculum development process is a precursor for excellence in the school (2001). A practice that was identified as a high leverage leadership practice by the school leadership team was the inclusion of regularly sch eduled data days that occur subsequent to school wide interim assessments. The data day would promote the value that we wanted to place on frequent and appropriate monitoring of student progress (Lezotte, 2001) The focus group data clearly suggests that building strong school wide structures for data analysis and action planning for student learning is a key lever for school improvement and that this is a practice that, while originally left off of the Principal' s list of leadership practices, is critical for the school improvement efforts. A careful analysis of assessment data and action planning for targeted instruction after the analysis hit at the very core of learner centered leadership because it demonstrat es a strong commitment to practices that enhance student learning in a targeted, intentional way. The alignment of school resources to ensuring that these data days are high quality and implemented with regularity demonstrates a strong commitment to stude nt learning and supports the theories that are encouraged by implementing learner centered leadership practices.

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! OWL Furthermore, the distribution and alignment of resources towards the school's mission is demonstrative of the school's commitment towards it's mission, which is aligned with the proposal made by many of the champions of the effective schools movement (Brookover & Lezotte, 1979; Sammons, 1995; and Lezotte, 201). Emergence of the l eadership p ractice c onstruct A leadership practice construct p rovides strong support for a model of distributed leadership, similar to the model proposed by Seashore Louis et al. (20 10) where the leadership of the school is shared throughout various individuals in the school. The data collected in this study provide s strong support of a model of distributed leadership. In the case of this particular school where dramatic, urgent changes needed to made quickly and efficiently the transition in management prompted me to initially move away from a distributed approach to leadership towards a more centralized leadership model While many factors suggest the benefit of a more centralized leadership model the evidence collected in this study provides a strong justification for transitioning back to a system of shared le adership within the school. The primary learning that occurred throughout this study with regards to implementing a distributed model of school leadership is that shared leadership is most effective when the roles and responsibilities (through clearly art iculated job descriptions) have been clearly identified and systems and structures exist within the organization to provide an opportunity for shared leadership, as long as the central mission and vision of the school is clearly defined and that collective practices are aligned with these practices. Not only is school leadership important for students to succeed in school (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom 2004), a distribution of this leadership would serve to enhance the effect as well as promote a model of leadership that fosters relational trust

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! OWO and working together (Bryk et al., 2010). The danger with implementing a distributed leadership model lie in the fact that (a) it is critical to ensure that those who are put in positions of leadership are aligned philosophically and in practice with the goals of the school and (b) that those with the distributed leadership have the leadership skills to serve effectively in the role of school leader. We have found that if either of those components are missing from those with whom the leadership have been shared, that the organization runs the risk of ineffective leadership and it can ultimately be detrimental to the purpose of the organizations. Evidence emerged in this study to suggest that the school had progressed enough to begin to incorporate authentic opportunities for distributed leadership. This study provides the conclusion of the importance of considering how lea dership practice is undertaken, especially new organizational str u ctures and new leadership roles (Spillane J., Halverson, R., Diamond, J., 2001 ). Incorporating a distributed leadership practice is one that this study supports with regards to school improvement efforts. Reflective l eadership p ractice A primary pre mise of this study is that professional improvement occurs through the reflection of one's experiences. Much like Argyris and Schšn's discussion of maintaining practical congruence with a theoretical foundation (1983), an implication of this study is that the school leader is reflective about his or her practices for the sake of school improvement. In order for this study to yield actionable and proactive opportunities for engagement in leadership improvement, the school leader must be open to distributin g, collecting, analyzing and applying data to the practices that he or she ultimately feels are the best practices that they are implementing to garner additional evidence for school improvement initiatives. The principal's

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! OWK effectiveness is ultimately alt ered by changed behaviors resulting from consideration of a variety of feedback sources. The role of the school leader is to use the feedback to determine whether or not her actions are aligned with her particular theory of effective leadership. Addition ally, the alignment of the actual practices needs to be compared to the practices that are perceived by those providing feedback. Because the feedback collected and used in this study was contextual and embedded in the day to day work of the principal, Cu ban's assertion, that effective leadership is attained by balancing various roles and interests within a given school context (1988), is reinforced and provided a forum in which to be reinforced. This alignment of theory and practice is the result of refl ection and consideration of the feedback; and this alignment and feedback toward aligned is precisely what emerged from this study. What was most important in this study is the decision making process that resulted from the feedback that was obtained by the various data sources collected and analyzed by the school leader. Ultimately, the willingness for the school leader to view the feedback as representational of the current reality being experienced by those who provided the feedback is the critical c omponent of improving his or her leadership practices in order to best align his leadership practices with those that have provided evidence, though the frameworks used in this study, to yield student improvement. The in case of this study, that includes the leadership team, students, staff and the school leader as well as his supervisors. This study provides strong justification for school leaders to maintain reflective leadership practices as a valued approach towards their professional development. Mo st importantly, this study contributes to a body of literature that suggests that reflective practices are important in ensuring that leadership practices

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! OW^ are aligned with practices that have proven to be successful in other, similar situations and context s. In other words, if a practice or approach has demonstrated to yield desirable results, then it is contingent upon the school leader's reflective capacity to stress the importance of behaviors and actions being aligned with a particular theory, or in th is case, leadership practice (Argyris, 1993) Implications of Findings for Principals' Leadership Practices The key findings listed above have implications on the principal's leadership practices. What follows is a description of the implications that emer ge from the key findings. 1. Key finding number 1 implies the importance of a thoughtful approach towards identifying the highest leverage leadership practices for school improvement. As long as the pre identified LPs are developed in earnest in a thoughtful and relevant manner, they will remain relevant throughout the self study. This is important because they provide a foundation on which to begin the conversations about what is and what isn't working at the school. The theory of developing a leadership practice, within the real context of my work during this study, was relevant and informed by the theoretical underpinnings of prior work related to effective school leadership. We also found alignment between these pra ctices and the leadership practice structure that is organized by work focus. 2. Key finding number 2 leads to concrete and actionable implication. There exists a nonnegotiable need for the school to be a safe and welcoming environment for our students and c ommunity. Even the perceived notion of an unsafe or disorderly school warrants actions to make changes with regards to safety and

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! OWS order within the school. Clearly the perceived lack of safety and order has implication for school leadership practices as sy stems must be put in place to improve the safety and order in the school. 3. Key finding number 3 would imply that school leaders should entertain the possibility that there may be additional practices that could serve the goals that they have helped to estab lish for the school. Being open to the feedback from colleagues is a critical implication from this study. One cannot underestimate the wisdom and perspective that may exist within an organization, hence the value of a focus group and data analysis of mult iple points of feedback. 4. Key finding number 4 suggests inconsistencies in the suggestions made by the various data points. Therefore, school leaders should understand and to the extent possible, try to avoid, these paradoxes. A closer look at the strength s and weaknesses may reveal nuanced differences. Processes such as monitoring, implementing and communicating were seen as strengths; weaknesses included advocating to external communities, monitoring school culture and planning curriculum. One conclusion that may be drawn from this subtle difference is that there is a perceived difference in who holds the responsibility for each type of process. Because the respondents to the VAL ED were teachers in the school, it is possible that their more favorable re sponses align with their perceived roles as implementers, communicators, and monitors and how these processes are part of their job responsibility. However, those in the position of school leadership are relegated to the role of advocating, monitoring (sc hool culture), and planning curriculum. School leaders can use this perspective to improve the clarity with

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! OWW which they communicate the goals of the school and everyone's role in achieving these goals. 5. The paradoxes discussed in key finding number 6 have i mplications on the design of this process in the future. Because we found a strong contradiction of what can be concluded b y analysis of the survey data, we are led to embrace the possibility that these contradictions may be the result of an imperfect codi ng scheme for each individual item on the VAL ED, ClassMaps and Culturally Responsive Practice survey. These finding also warrant a further investigation into the potential value of having survey participants to align each item to the well articulated fra mework of essential supports and indicators. The premise of this proposal is that there will ultimately be more buy in and consistency of responses if there is a collective understanding of how each items is aligned to a broader framework. Furthermore, a more rigorous coding procedure could be incorporated in order to increase inter rater reliability amongst the respondents and increased confidence that the survey data is aligned to the ES I framework in a way that is more intentional, consistent and clea r to those participating i n the collection of feedback. While many of the findings of each survey are corroborated by the findings of other surveys in this study, an inconsistency emerges in the favorable responses of Student centered learning climate S afety and Order. In the CMS, this was consistently identified as a low rating, however, in the CRPS, this ES I was identified as an area of strength based on the responses to the survey. I would suggest that this is an area that warrants additional inves tigation. Additionally, alignment of the CRPS and

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! OW_ CMS questions to the ES I framework could be duplicated to ensure that the items are aligned in a way that supports the initiatives from the school. 6. The final key finding has implication for school leaders looking to engage in a rigorous process of professional reflectio n and planning for improvement. This finding simply implies that there is value in engaging in this self study process. I highly recommend that school leaders take the process described in this study, make the necessary changes so that the process is contextually appropriate, and take the plunge into professional self discovery. When it comes to determining if school leadership impacts school effectiveness and school improvement, studies abound. There is no shortage of evidence that justify significant links between effective leadership and school quality and improvement. However, there continues to be a need for practitioners to have access to tools that empower their professional growth. While many organizations have mechanisms that support leadership development, as well as feedback mechanisms, there is not, to date, a consistent process and set of tools that school leaders can use to enhance their d evelopment. Often times, leaders work with executive coaches and other peer experts to support their development. However, this study highlights a process through which a leader s can engage in the process of "self coaching" in a manner that is aligned to best practices and a framework of leadership practices that has yielded positive outcomes for children and schools. This study has implications for school leaders because it provides a mechanism for improvement that is fully immersed in the experience an d context of the leader in the school. The beauty of the process outlined in this study is that it provided real life,

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! OW` context specific feedback and it is customized and aligned with the perspective and strengths of the school leader. As every school lea der has a different set of skills, abilities and school contexts, this study and methodology provides a structure that is sensitive to unique situation that each school leader faces. Recommendations This study is intended to serve as a practical contribution to the profession of school leadership development. My hope is that individuals and organizations hoping to explore additional ways of garnering improvement in their leadership structures can use the framework and methodology described in this study as a basis for reflection and improvement. In the section below, I provide recommendations to individuals at the various organizational levels that are contained within most school systems. I start b y providing recommendations for Principals of schools, followed by recommendations for school districts and lastly recommendations for Principal preparation programs. I also provide some thoughts about future studies that could potentially unfold from the finding and the process presented in this study. Recommendations for Principals My recommendation is that school leaders who are interested in the reflective process of improving their leadership practices in conjunction to putting systems and structur es in place that are aligned with the unique context of the school utilize a process similar to the process described in this study. The main benefit of this study is that it provides alignment with research based best practices in schools that have demon strated an urgency to improve. By following a similar process, school leaders can determine if their practices are aligned with the practices that we know are effective as well as provide

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! OWa a school leader with a way to effectively engage the school communi ty for the purpose of gaining knowledge that will ultimately support the implementation of leadership practices tha t benefit the school community The process and protocol that I developed and outlined in this study was designed for the purpose of disser ta tion research. I t may not be necessary for a school principal who is busy with their day to day work, to engage in such a robust process in order to yield many of the benefits and improve their leadership practices While the process and protocols out lined in this study are comprehensive and potentially laborious for a working principal, the intention and spirit of the process is extremely valuable. Modification for the working practition er may include fewer surveys and a simpler framework (the Bryk a nd VAL ED framework were selected for this project, but other may exist or be developed). Additionally, technological tools may be integrated into the process to allow for quicker response entry and subsequent analysis. If a principal were to decide to e ngage in this process of self study and reflection, I would make a few changes and modification based on this study. First and foremost, I would ensure that all of the stakeholders in the school community are aware of the leadership practices that I've id entified as central to my work as the school leader. I would also include community input into the identification of these leadership practices. For example, the focus group suggested that the absence of the regularly scheduled data days are a high lever age leadership practice, however it was not incl uded in my original list. The absence of the data days in my original list of leadership practices may suggest that by having the knowledge of others views of high leverage leadership practices could be use ful in planning and programming for the future. This may include the addition of

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! OWb more data days throughout the school year or, at the very minimum, activities that replicate and accomplish goals similar to those of the data days. Recommendations for Sc hool Districts School districts are large, and sometimes unwieldy organizations. As such, it can be difficult for districts to implement changes and ideas and initiatives of reform without having to navigate the murky waters of school and community poli tics and current practices. Therefore, I urge school districts looking to expand leadership capacity to use the framework described in this study as a forum for targeted improvement. Ideally, this level of self analysis is most readily utilized by the mo st reflective practitioners. The methods described in this study are neither simple nor quick to implement. Thus, this level of analysis requires school leaders and their constituencies to afford each other with a budget of flexibility with regards to pr ocess and outcomes. While school districts and school systems may initially see this process as a means by which to evaluate and rank school leaders, that is not the intention. Instead, the adoption of a process similar to one described in this study is purely for the reflective and introspective process to be matched with the data that can be collected in a school in order to provide a leader with real feedback, aligned to best practices, that can then be used to develop an action plan that may be utiliz ed for evaluation purposes. Recommendations for Principal Preparation Programs Principal preparation programs are uniquely poised to prepare school leaders to engage in the reflective process in a way that is centered on data collection and real feedba ck from the very stakeholders that their leadership affects. While the process described in this dissertation is open for improvement, it clearly delineates a reflective

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! O_L process by which a school leader can collect multi rater feedback, compare it to what is considered best practice at the time, and develop a plan of action in order to improve their leadership practices for the sake of accomplishing organizational objectives. I recommend that aspiring or current school leaders cross the boundary of mere reflection, which is often the case for educator training programs, and begin to use real data, that they have collected in their own context, to begin the arduous work of self improvement and improvement of their leadership practices. Additionally, enga ging in tis level of analysis provides aspiring school leaders with a glimpse into the complexities of the role that they soon will to play as Principals. The process of participating in this study has been humbling and has allowed me to view my work thro ugh the eyes of others. While uncomfortable at time, real growth often requires a certain level of discomfort. It is critical for Principal preparation programs to allow opportunities for aspiring Principals to look at their practices through the critica l lens of multi rater feedback Recommendations for Future Studies In the wake of this study, there lie multiple opportunities for future studies. What emerges from this study is ultimately the very beginning of the introduction of a process by which school leaders can improve their practices. While the process is invol ved and time consuming, it is my belief that professional improvement comes most readily as the result of data gathering, analysis of patterns and trends and reflection about ways to improve current practices that align to the findings of the gathered data Furthermore, given the complex nature of school leadership and the lack of daily feedback that provides sound evidence into leadership effectiveness, this study uncovers a process by

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! O_O which a school leader can engage in the data collection and subsequent practices of self improvement of their leadership practices. Subsequent studies would include a study of a variety of school leaders who have engaged in a similar process as the researcher. It would be important to explore the different experiences th at each school leader had while undergoing this process. Additionally, it would be valuable to identify the components of the self study practice that proved to be effective and those that did not in different contexts. I would also recommend the explora tion of a process that differentiates between leadership team focus groups, teacher focus groups. It would be important to know how the focus group feedback and reflection of the survey results varies in relation to who if involved in the feedback process In the particular case of this study, the focus group was limited to the current school leadership team. Since the context of this particular school involved a leadership team that worked closely and exclusively with the school leader, the feedback and results obtained through the focus group process may contain internal bias due to the fact that many of the self identified leadership practices are devised, refined and implemented by the members of the leadership team who participated in the focus group s. An interesting follow up study to this study would triangulate feedback data from the self study process with school effectiveness data gained throughout the course of the study and after the study was complete. Ideally, the repetition of the self s tudy process, while continued in conjunction with the collection and analysis of school effectiveness data and other metrics associated with school effectiveness would yield a bigger picture

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! O_K about school leader effectiveness and how it results in longitudi nal student growth and school improvement. As with most studies, increasing the sample size to include additional subjects and contexts would shed light on the effectiveness and replicable nature of the process identified in this study. Final Thoughts This study has had a profound impact on me as a school leader. The process that I underwent to identify the topic of study and then "live out" the process was an important experience because it required me to delve deep into the world of school leadershi p, looking at past ideas about the best way to approach school leadership, and then apply these findings to my own work and life. Much of the feedback that I received was expected as I am often the biggest critic of my own work. However, much of the feed back came as a surprise as I have come to realize that I sometimes fail to view my own actions through the lens of others context, experience, opinions and perspectives. The fact that I could systematically define the practices that I find to be most cri tical to my work, and then check them against a conceptual framework of school improvement and school leadership that has proven to be successful was both inspiring, empowering and sometimes discouraging. This study served to reinforce my previous belief that leading a school that is going through dramatic changes can be a challenging endeavor that requires not just the right knowledge, but also a keen desire to make mistakes, learn from them and move forward at all costs. Working at an urban school can b e intellectually, emotionally and psychologically exhausting. The willingness and ability to analyze the work, in a way that is objective and comparative to other's ideals of best

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! O_^ practice, provides a comfort and understanding that while the challenges ar e very real, the impact and importance of the work is ever so important. I cannot overstate the value that I have derived from the reflection and analysis that this study has encouraged me to do for my own practices I am encouraged by the idea that this process may provide an actionable framework for others to experience an equivalent level of feedback and self reflection that this process has provided for me.

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! O_S REFERENCES Alimo Metcalfe, B. (1998). 360 degree feedback and leadership development. International Journal of Section and Assessment, 6 (1), 35 44. Argyris, C. (1993). Knowledge for action: A guide for overcoming barriers to organizational change San Francisco: Josse y Bass. Argyris, C., & Schšn, D. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Bailey, C., & Austin, M. (2006). 360 degree feedback and developmental outcomes: The role of feedback characteristics, self effi cacy and importance of feedback dimensions for focal managers' current role. International Journal of Section and Assessment, 14 (1), 51 66. Bazron, Osher, D., & Fleischman. (2005). Creating culturally responsive schools. Educational Leadership 63 (1), 83 8 4. Bell, J. A. (2001). High performing high poverty schools. Leadership 31 (1), 8 11 Bracken, D.W., Timmreck, C.W., & Church, A.H. (2001). The handbook of multisource feedback: The comprehensive resource for designing and implementing MSF processes. San F rancisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Brookover, W.B., & Lezotte, L.W. (1979). Changes in school characteristics coincident with changes in school effectiveness Institute for Research on Teaching, Michigan State University Brown, K.M. (2004). Leadership for social justice and equity: Weaving a transformative framework and pedagogy. Education Administration Quarterly, 40 (1), 77 108.

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! O_W Brown, M.R. (2007). Educating all students. Intervention in School and Clinic 43 (1), 57 62 Bryk, A.S., Sebring, P.B., Allenworth, E., Luppescu, S., & Easton, J.Q. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Calkins, A., Guenther, W., Belfiore, G., & Lash, D. (2007a). The turnaround challenge. Boston, MA: Mass Insight. Retrieved from http://www.massinsight.org/micontent/trnresources.aspx Carter, C. (2000). No excuses: Lessons from 21 high performing, high poverty schools The Heritage Foundation. Cavaliere, V. (1995). Leadership Prac tices of Principals From Distinguished and Non distinguished Middle Schools As Perceived by Their Teachers (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) La Verne University, California. Coleman, J. S. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity study (EEOS) Ann Arbor, MI: Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Comer, J. P., Haynes N.M., Joyner, E.T., & Ben Avie, M. (Eds.). (1996) Rallying the whole village: The Comer process for reforming education. New York, NY: Teachers College Pr ess. Condon, C., & Clifford, M. (2010). Measuring principal performance: How rigorous are commonly used principal performance assessment instruments. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates. Retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.learningpt.org/expertis e/educatorquality/schoolLeadershipIdentificati on.php

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! O__ Cotton, K. (2003). Principals and school effectiveness Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Cowen, E.L. (1994) The enhancement of psychological wellness: Challenges and opportunities. American Journal of Community Psychology, 22, 148 180. Cowen, E. L., Hightower, A.D., Perdo Carroll, J.L., Work, W.C., Wyman, P.A., & Haffey, W.G. (1996) School based prevention for children at risk: The primary mental health project. Washi nton. DC: American Psychological Association. Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Cresswell, J. W. (2007) Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches Thousa nd Oaks, CA. Sage. Cuban, L. (1988). The managerial imperative and the practice of leadership in schools Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Cummins, J. (1986). Empowering minority students: A framework for intervention. Harvard Educational Re view, 56(1), 16 36. D'Angelo, C.J. (2004). The Principal Hiring Enigma: Being Aware of Excellent Leadership Practices and Behaviors of School Principals and Selecting Principals with Those Practices and Behaviors (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) Univers ity of La Verne, California. Doll, B., Spies, R.A., LeClair, C.M., Kurien, S.A., & Foley, B.P. (2010). Student perceptions of classroom learning environments: Development of the ClassMaps survey. School Psychology Review, 39 (2), 203 218.

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! O_` Doll, B., Zucker, S., and Brehm, K. (2004). Resilient classrooms: Creating healthy environments for Learning New York: Guilford. Donmoyer, R., & Wagstaff, J.G. (1990). Principals can be effective managers and instructional leaders. NASSP Bulletin 74(525), 20 29. Duke, D.L. (1987). School leadership and instructional improvement. New York: Random House. Dwyer, D.C. (1984). The search for instructional leadership: Routines and subtleties in the principal's role. E ducational Leadership 41(5), 32 37. Ebmeier, H. (1992). Di agnostic assessment of school and principal effectiveness: A reference manual. Topeka, KS: KanLEAD Educational Consortium Technical Assistance Center. Edmonds, R. (1979). Effective schools for the urban poor. Educational Leadership 37 15 24. Edmonds, R. (1982). Programs of school improvement: An overview. Educational Leadership 40 (3), 4 8. Edwards, M.R., & Ewen, A.J. (1996). 360 degree feedback: The powerful new model for employee assessment and performance improvement New York, NY: American Management Association. Emstad, A. (2011). The principal's role in the post evaluation process How does the principal engage in the work carried out after the schools self evaluation? Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 23 (4), 271 288. Ginsberg, R., & Berry, B. (1990). The folklore of principal evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education 3 205 230

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! O_a Ginsberg, R., & Thompson, T. (1992). Dilemmas and solutions regarding principal evaluation. Peabody Journal of Education 68 (1), 58 74 Go ldring, E., Porter, A., Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2009). Assessing learning centered leadership: Connections to research, professional standards, and current practices. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 8 (1), 1 36. Goldring, E., Cravens, X. C., Murphy, J., Porter, A. C., Elliott, S. N., & Carson, B. (2009). The evaluation of principals: what and how do states and urban districts assess leadership? The Elementary School Journal, 110 (1), 19 39. Griffen, G. (1996). An E xamination of Factors Contributing to Exemplary Schools in An Urban Public School District in the Midwest (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Gronn, P. (2000). Distributed properties: A new architecture for leade rship. Educational Management Administration & Leadership 28 (3), 317 338. Hallinger, P. (2005). Instructional leadership and the school principal: A passing fancy that refuses to fade away. Leadership and Policy in Schools 4 (3), 221 239. Hallinger, P., & Murphy, J. (1985). Assessing the instructional management behavior of principals. The Elementary School Journal 86 (2), 217 247. Hallinger, P. & Murphy, J. (1985). Characteristics of highly effective elementary school reading programs. Educational Leaders hip, 45(5), 39 42. Hallinger, P., & Murphy, J. (1986). Instructional leadership in effective schools. The Elementary School Journal 96 (5), 527 549 Hallinger, P., & Heck, R.H. (1996). Reassessing the principal's role in school effectiveness: A review of em pirical research, 1980 1995. Education

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! O_b Administration Quarterly, 32 (1), 5 44. Harris, A. (2007). Distributed leadership: Conceptual confusion and empirical reticence. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10 (3): 1 11. Heck, R.H., Larsen, T.J. & Marcoulides, G.A. (1990). Instructional leadership and school achievement: Validation of a causal model. Educational Administration Quarterly 26 (2), 94 125 Heck, R.H., & Marcoulides, G.A. (1996). The assessment of principal performance: A multilevel e valuation approach. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education 10 11 28 Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (2008). Educational leadership policy Standards: ISLLC 2008. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers. Johnson, L. (2007). Rethinking successful school leadership in challenging U.S. schools: Culturally responsive practices in school community relationships. ISEA, 35 (3), 49 57. Johnson, J. F. (1999) Hope for urban excellence: A study of nine high performing high poverty urban elementary schools. The University if Texas at Austin: Charles A. Dana Center. Austin, TX. Johnson, J.F. (2000). Equity driven, achievement focused school districts. The University of Texas at Austin: Charles A. Dana Center. Austin, T X. Knoop, R., & Common, R.W. (1985, May). A performance appraisal system for school principals. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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! O`L Kouzes, J.M. (1996). Leadership challenge: How to keep getting extraordinary things done in organizations San Francisco: Jossey Bass Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2002). The Leadership Practices Inventory: Theory and evidence behind the five practices of exemplary leaders. Unpublished document. Retrie ved February 12, 2010, from http://media.wiley.com/assets/61/06/lc_jb_appendix.pdf Krueger, R. K. (1988). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Ladson Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of Afr ican American Children San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Ladson Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal 32 (3), 46 Ladson Billings, G. (1995). But that's just good teaching! The case for cu lturally relevant pedagogy. Theory Into Practice 34 (3), 159 165 Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning (paper commissioned by the Wallace Foundation). Minneapolis: University of Minne sota. Leithwood, K.A., & Montgomery, D.J. (1986). Improving principal effectiveness: The principal profile. Toronto: OISE Press. Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2008). Linking leadership to student learning: The contributions of leader efficacy. Educational A dministration Quarterly 44 (4), 496 52 Leithwood, K., Mascall, B., Strauss, T., Sacks, R., Memon, N., & Yashkina, A. (2007).

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! O`O Distributing leadership to make schools smarter: Taking the ego out of the system. Leadership and Policy in Schools 6 (1), 37 67. L epsinger, R., & Lucia, A.D. (1997). The art and science of 360 feedback San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass/Pfeifer. Lezotte, Lawrence W. Revolutionary and evolutionary: The effective schools movement Okemos, MI: Effective Schools Products, LTD., 2009. (full text pdf) Lezotte, Lawrence W. Effective Schools: Past, Present, and Future Okemos, MI: Effective Schools Products, LTD., 2009. (full text pdf) Lipham, J.M. (1981). Effective principal, effectives school. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondar y School Principals. London, M., & Smither, J.W. (1995). Can multi source feedback change perceptions of goal accomplishment, self evaluations, and performance related outcomes? Theory based applications and directions for research. Personnel Psychology, 4 8 803 839. London, M., Smither, J.W., & Adsit, D.J. (1997). Accountability: The Achilles' heel of multisource feedback. Group and Organizational Management, 22 (2), 162 184. Magno, C., & Schiff, M. (2010). Culturally responsive leadership: best practice in integrating immigrant students. Intercultural Education, 21 (1), 87 91. Manatt, R. P. (1997). Feedback from 360 degrees. School Administrator, 54 (3), 8 13. Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research t o results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. McCleary, L. (1979). Evaluation of principals. Theory Into Practice 18 (1), 45 49.

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! O`K Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education (2 nd e d.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Murphy, J. (1988). Methodological, measurement, and conceptual problems in the study of instructional leadership. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 10 (2), 117 139. Murphy, J., & Hallinger, P. (1988). The character istics of instructionally effective school districts. Journal of Educational Research 81 (3), 176 181. Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., Goldring, E., & Porter, A. C. (2007). Leadership for learning: A research based model and taxonomy of behaviors. School Leade rship and Management, 27 (2), 179 201. Murphy, J. F., Goldring, E. B., Cravens, X. C., Elliott, S. N., & Porter, A. C. (2007). The Vanderbilt assessment of leadership in education: Measuring learning centered leadership. Journal of East China Normal Univers ity, 29(1), 1 10. Nowack, K. M. (1993). 360 degree feedback: The whole story. Training and Development, 1993 69 72. Orr, M. T., Byrne Jimenez, M., McFarlane, P., & Brown, B. (2005). Leading out from low performing schools: The urban principal experience. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4 23 54. Polanyi, M. (1967) The tacit dimension Doubleday: New York Porter, A. C., Murphy, J. F., Goldring, E. B., & Elliot, S. N. (2006). Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University. Richards, H. V., Artiles, A. J., Klingner, J., Brown, A., (2005). Equity in Special Education Placement: A School Self Assessment Guide for Culturally

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! O`^ Resp onsive Practice. National Center of Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) http://www.nccrest.org/publications/assessment.TOOL.formA.pdf Sammons, P., Hillman, J., & Mortimore, P. (1995). Key characteristics of effective schools: A review of sc hool effectiveness research London: International School Effectiveness & Improvement Centre Schšn, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. London, England: Ashgate. Schšn, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Schšn, D. A. (1991). The reflective turn: Case studies in and on educational practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Seashore Louis, K., Leithwood K., Wahlstrom, K.L., & Anderson, S.E., (2010). Learnin g from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. Final Report of Research to the Wallace Foundation University of Minnesota. Sebring, P.B., & Bryk, A.S. (2000). School leadership and the bottom line in chicago. Phi Delta Kappan 81 (6), 440 443. Silva, J.P., White, G.P., & Yoshida, R.K. (2011). The direct effects of principal student discussions on eighth grade students' gains in reading achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly 47 (5), 772 793. Southworth, G. (2002). Instruc tional leadership in schools: Reflections and empirical evidence. School Leadership & Management 22(1), 73 92.

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! O`S Spillane, J.P., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. B. (2001). Towards a theory of leadership practice: A distributed perspective. Institute for Policy Research Working Article. Northwestern University. Spillane, J. P., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. B. (2004). Towards a theory of leadership practice: A distributed perspective. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 36 (1): 3 34. Spillane, J. P. (2006). Distributed leadership San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Stufflebeam, D., & Nevo, D. (1993). Principal evaluation: New directions for improvement. Peabody Journal of Education 68 (2), 24 46 Vandenberghe, R. (1988). Development of a questionnaire for assessing principal ch ange facilitator style. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Walker, A.G., & Smither, J.W. (1999). A five year study of upward feedback: What managers do with their results matters. Perso nnel Psychology, 52 393 423. Waters, T., Marzano, R. J., & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on school effectiveness Denver, CO: McRel. Warech, M. A., Smither, J. W., Reilly, R. R., Millsap, R. E., & Reilly, S. P. (1998). Self monitoring and 360 degree ratings. Leadership Quarterly, 9 (4), 449 473. Wittgenstein, L (1953) Philosophical investigations (GEM Anscombe, translator). Macmillan: N ew York. Witziers, B., Bosker, R.J., & KrŸger, M.L. (2003). Educational leadership and school effectiveness: The elusive search for an association. Educational Administration Quarterly 39 (3), 398 425.

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! O`W Wolcott, H. F. (1994). Transforming qualitative data: Description, analysis, and interpretation Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wolcott, H. F. (1973). The man in the principal's office (2 nd ed.). Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press. Woods, A. (2004). Variabilities and dualities in distributed leadership: Findings from a systematic literature review. Educational Management Administration & Leadership 32 (4), 439 457. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3 rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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! O`_ APPENDIX A SURVEY CODING Essential Support Core indicator Full Code School Leadership School leadership SL SL Parent community school ties teacher's ties to the community PCT TtC Parent community school ties parent involvement PCT PI Professional Capacity teacher background PC TB Professional Capacity frequency of professional development PC FPD Professional Capacity quality of professional development PC QPD Professional Capacity changes in human resources PC CHR Professional Capacity work orientation PC WO Professional Capacity professional community PC PC Student centered learning climate safety and order SCLC S&O Student centered learning climate academic support and press SCLC AS&P Instructional guidance curriculum alignment IG CA Instructional guidance basic skills IG BS Instructional guidance application emphasis IG AE

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! Oa^ APPENDIX C Class Maps Survey (Primary: K 2) Student Directions: The following questions ask what you think is true about your class. Do not put your name on the paper. No one will know what your answers are. For each question, color in the face that matches what you believe about each statement. Believing in Me Yes Someti mes No 1. I understand how to do my work. # 2. I can help other kids in this class. # 3. I can be a very good learner in this class. # 4. I can do work even when it is hard in this class. # 5. I know I can do well when I try my best in this class. # Taking Charge Yes Sometime s No 6. I am excited about what I am learning and want to know more. # 7. I work as hard as I can in this class. # 8. I know it is my job to learn in this class. # 9. When the work is hard in this class, I do not give up. # Following the Class Rules Yes Sometime s No 10. Most kids in this class listen carefully when the teacher gives directions. # 11. Most kids follow the rules in this class. # 12. Most kids in this class pay attention when they are supposed to. # 13. Most kids do their work when they are supposed to in this class. # 14. Most kids in this class behave well in this class. # My Teacher Yes Sometime No

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! OaS s 15. My teacher believes I can learn. # 16. My teacher is nice to me. # 17. My teacher cares about me. # 18. My teacher listens to my ideas. # 19. My teacher expects good work from me. # 20. My teacher asks me to do work that is challenging for me. (not too easy) # 21. My teacher makes it fun to be in this class. # 22. My teacher is fair to me. # My Friends Yes Sometime s No 23. I enjoy learning with my friends in this class. # 24. My friends care about me a lot. # 25. I have friends to eat lunch with and play with at recess. # 26. I have friends who will stick up for me if someone picks on me, teases me, or calls me names. # Talking with My Family Yes Sometime s No 27. My family and I talk about what I am learning in this class. # 28. My family and I talk about my homework in this class. # 29. My family helps me with my homework when I need it. # 30. My family and I talk about ways that I can do well in school. # 31. My family and I talk about good things I have done in this class. # 32. My family and I talk about problems I have in this class. # I Worry That Yes Sometime s No 33. I worry that other kids will do or say mean things to me. #

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! OaW 34. I worry that other kids will tell lies about me. # 35. I worry that other kids will hurt me on purpose. # 36. I worry that other kids will leave me out on purpose. # 37. I worry that other kids will try to make my friends stop liking me. # 38. I worry that other kids will make me do things I don't want to do. # Kids In This Class Yes Sometime s No 39. Kids in this class argue a lot with each other. # 40. Kids in this class pick on or make fun of each other. # 41. Kids in this class say bad things about each other. # 42. Kids in this class hit or push each other a lot. #

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! Oa_ APPENDIX D Class Maps Survey (Intermediate Grades 3 6) Student Directions : The following questions ask what you think is true about your class. Do not put your name on the paper. No one will know what your answers are. For each question, place an "X" in the box of the choice that is true for you. Believing in Me Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 1. I can do my work correctly in this class. 2. I can do as well as most kids in this class. 3. I can help other kids understand the work in this class. 4. I can be a very good student in this class. 5. I can do the hard work in this class. 6. I know that I will learn what is taught in this class. Taking Charge Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 7. I want to know more about the things we learn in this class. 8. In this class, I can guess what my grade will be when I turn in my work. 9. I work as hard as I can in this class.

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! Oa` 10. I find and fix my mistakes before turning in my work. 11. I learn because I want to and not just because the teacher tells me to. 12. When the work is hard in this class, I keep trying until I figure it out. 13. I know the things I learn in this class will help me outside of school. Following the Class Rules Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 14. Most kids in this class listen carefully when the teacher gives directions. 15. Most kids follow the rules in this class. 16. Most kids in this class pay attention when they are supposed to. 17. Most kids do their work when they are supposed to in this class. 18. Most kids in this class behave well even when the teacher isn't watching. My Teacher Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 19. My teacher listens carefully to me when I talk. 20. My teacher helps me when I need help.

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! Oaa 21. My teacher respects me. 22. My teacher believes that I am an important member of this class. 23. My teacher makes this class interesting. 24. My teacher is fair to me. My Classmates Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 25. I enjoy learning with other kids in this class in small groups and as a whole class. 26. I prefer to work by myself in this class. 27. I have friends in this class who care about me a lot. 28. I have friends in this class who will stick up for me if someone picks on me. 29. I have friends in this school who I like spending time with outside of class. Talking with My Family Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 30. My family and I talk about my grades in this class. 31. My family and I talk about what I am learning in this class.

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! Oab 32. My family and I talk about my homework in this class. 33. My family helps me with my homework when I need it. 34. My family and I talk about ways that I can do well in school. 35. My family and I talk about good things I have done in this class. 36. My family and I talk about problems I have in this class. I Worry That Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 37. I worry that other kids will do or say mean things to me. 38. I worry that other kids will tell lies about me. 39. I worry that other kids will hurt me on purpose. 40. I worry that other kids will leave me out on purpose. 41. I worry that other kids will try to make my friends stop liking me. 42. I worry that other kids will make me do things I don't want to do. Kids In This Class Almost Always Often Sometimes Never

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! ObL 43. Kids in this class argue a lot with each other. 44. Kids in this class pick on or make fun of each other. 45. Kids in this class hit or push each other a lot. 46. Kids in this class say bad things about each other. ! ! ! !

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! ObO APPENDIX E Class Maps Survey (Secondary Grades 7 12) Directions: The following questions ask what you think is true about your class. Do not put your name on the paper. No one will know what your answers are. For each question, place an "X" in the box of the choice that is true for you. Believing in Me Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 1. I can do the required work correctly in this class. 2. I can do as well as most students in this class. 3. I can help other students understand the work in this class. 4. I can be a very good student in this class. 5. I can do the hard work in this class. 6. I know that I will learn what is taught in this class. Taking Charge Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 7. I want to know more about the things we learn in this class. 8. In this class, I can guess what my grade will be when I turn in my work. 9. I work as hard as I can in this class. 10. I find and fix my mistakes before turning in my work.

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! ObK 11. I learn because I want to and not just because the teacher tells me to. 12. When the work is hard in this class, I keep trying until I figure it out. 13. I know the things I learn in this class will help me outside of school. Following the Class Rules Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 14. Most students in this class listen carefully when the teacher gives directions. 15. Most students follow the rules in this class. 16. Most students in this class pay attention when they are supposed to. 17. Most students do their work when they are supposed to in this class. 18. Most students in this class behave well even when the teacher isn't watching. My Teacher Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 19. My teacher listens carefully to me when I talk. 20. My teacher helps me when I need help. 21. My teacher respects me. 22. My teacher believes that I am an important member of this class.

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! Ob^ 23. My teacher makes this class interesting. 24. My teacher is fair to me. My Classmates Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 25. I enjoy learning with other students in this class in small groups and as a whole class. 26. I prefer to work by myself in this class. 27. I have friends in this class who care about me a lot. 28. I have friends in this class who will stick up for me if someone picks on me. 29. I have friends in this school who I like spending time with outside of class. Talking with My Family Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 30. My family and I talk about my grades in this class. 31. My family and I talk about what I am learning in this class. 32. My family and I talk about my homework in this class. 33. My family helps me with my homework when I need it. 34. My family and I talk about ways that I can do well in school.

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! ObS 35. My family and I talk about good things I have done in this class. 36. My family and I talk about problems I have in this class. I Worry That Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 37. I worry that other students will do or say mean things to me. 38. I worry that other students will tell lies about me. 39. I worry that other students will hurt me on purpose. 40. I worry that other students will leave me out on purpose. 41. I worry that other students will try to make my friends stop liking me. 42. I worry that other kids will make me do things I don't want to do. Students In This Class Almost Always Often Sometimes Never 43. Students in this class argue a lot with each other. 44. Students in this class pick on or make fun of each other. 45. Students in this class say bad things about each other. 46. Students in this class hit or push each other a lot.

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! ObW APPENDIX F CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICE SURVEY

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