High School Principals' Perceptions of Their Effectiveness in Leading District Initiated High School Reform: An Analysis of High School Principals Previously Engaged in High School Reform in an Urban Texas School District
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Current research has described a changed central office perspective that not only includes campus principals as part of the district's leadership team, but also focuses on developing principals' instructional abilities with the purpose of supporting school reform. However, to date, research has not provided examples of a successful relationship between campus principals as a collective group and the district (central office) leadership team attempting to implement district-wide high school reform. This study was conducted in order to examine the perceptions of high school principals (in an urban school district in Texas) toward district-wide initiated high school reform. Methods used for data collection included semi-structured interviews, review of available artifacts, and case profile development. Questions derived from the researcher's review of the literature and ongoing professional interest were the basis for dialogue during the semi-structured interviews. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and unitized. The data were further organized into categories and subcategories. The analysis of principals' perceptions provided insight and helped develop an understanding of obstacles that high school principals perceive in implementing district-led high school reform. This study has concluded that the district goals and mission do not define the daily operations of a campus. Instead, the district goals and mission are often reprioritized because principals are insecure, believe they have a better understanding of the local context than does the central office, and are oftentimes frustrated by the central office's political machinations. Recommendations include suggestions on how to eliminate these obstacles, improve the ability of principals to implement district-led high school reform, and how to suggest actions for the improvement of the high school reform process at the central office level.
Rios, Carlos (2012). High School Principals' Perceptions of Their Effectiveness in Leading District Initiated High School Reform: An Analysis of High School Principals Previously Engaged in High School Reform in an Urban Texas School District. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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