Effective leadership characteristics for student performance as perceived by high-performing Texas high school principals: a Delphi study
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The purpose of this study was to identify leadership characteristics of highperforming Texas high school principals that positively affect student performance. A secondary purpose of the study was to determine the degree of agreement between conceptualizations of leadership presented in existing research and those of successful practitioners. A Delphi panel of sixteen high school principals participated in the study. Over the course of three rounds, the members of the expert panel provided feedback to both the researcher and other members of the panel as to which leadership characteristics they felt were of critical importance to student success. The characteristics presented in the questionnaire were based upon a sound theoretical framework resulting from a thorough review of existing research. At the completion of Round Three, it was decided that consensus had been reached among the members of the panel and the data collection period was ended. Each of the questionnaires used in the study, as well as the relevant statistical analysis and frequency distributions, can be found in the appendices of this document. The major findings of the study affirm the importance of leadership and its positive impact on student achievement. First, there seems to be agreement between the body of research on leadership and the viewpoint of successful practitioners as to which leadership characteristics are essential for student success. Second, vision for goal achievement, response to diversity, and ethical practice head the list of critical leadership attributes for high school principals. Third, leadership characteristics presented in the literature base are, at least in the opinion of the high-performing high school principals involved in this study, comprehensive and are not missing any major components for student success. The conclusions and recommendations of this study could affect the performance of high school principalsÃ¢ÂÂ leadership in school improvement. Its major significance can be found in its potential effect on the daily practice of individuals currently serving as school leaders, the professional growth plans of practicing administrators, and the components and focus of principal preparation programs.
Young, David Earle (2003). Effective leadership characteristics for student performance as perceived by high-performing Texas high school principals: a Delphi study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from