Changes and Choices: Principal Leadership Responsibilities and Student Achievement

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Lawrence Rogien


Prominent theories and research have been influential in guiding school leaders toward the achievement of increased student performance goals. Some research has organized school leadership into a set of 21 responsibilities (Marzano, Waters & McNulty, 2005b) that can guide leader behaviors toward the realization of these goals. Predictions are that positive growth in leadership responsibilities contributes to positive growth in student achievement. Other studies on the effects of leadership responsibilities on student achievement reported varying results. While all schools have the same AYP requirements, high schools have an additional AYP requirement – graduation rate. Two factors that have been shown to influence student achievement are socioeconomic status (SES) and principal’s years of experience. This study investigated three years of high school student achievement on the Wyoming State test (PAWS) with 21 leadership responsibilities. Influences of SES and principal’s years of experience were controlled. Seventy-eight out of 84 high school principals participated in a leadership responsibility survey. Principal responses were regressed through the use of linear and logistic methods with three years of student achievement results, graduation rates, and AYP status. When SES and principal’s years of experience were controlled, some variability was explained. Analyses indicated significance with six of the 21 principal leadership responsibilities (C8 Classroom Oversight, C14 Relationship, C15 Change Agent, C16 Optimizer, C18 Monitor and Evaluate, and C21 Intellectual Stimulation).


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