Principals' and Teachers' Perceptions of Elementary Turnaround Principals' Leadership Practices to Reading Achievement in One Virginia School Division

dc.contributor.authorSlater, Tamara Leeen
dc.contributor.committeechairPrice, Ted S.en
dc.contributor.committeememberCash, Carol S.en
dc.contributor.committeememberFisher, Cheri Bethen
dc.contributor.committeememberBrinkmann, Jodie Lynnen
dc.contributor.departmentCounselor Educationen
dc.description.abstractElementary students continue to fall below proficiency levels in reading as measured by reading achievement tests (NAEP, 2019; Virginia Department of Education, 2021). In 2019, The Nation's Report Card disclosed that 37% of fourth-graders performed at or above the proficiency level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading assessment (NAEP, 2019). Data from these assessments show gaps exist between specific subgroups of students. These statistics present a national crisis in the reading skills of elementary students sitting in America's schools. The Wallace Foundation (2021) research indicates that principals influence student achievement data as measured by standardized tests, and the impact of an effective principal is almost as great as having an effective teacher. The purpose of this study was to identify the leadership practices of elementary turnaround principals whose schools' reading achievement scores increased under their leadership. A basic qualitative research design was used and the study was conducted in one suburban school division in central Virginia. Two principals and four teachers were interviewed using semi-structured interviews to identify the leadership practices the principals employed as the literacy leader in the school. Interviews were coded and analyzed to identify trends and themes shared by participants. This study's findings include four themes emerging from the principals' interviews and three themes emerging from the teachers' interviews. One major finding from 100% of participants included the use of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to help build the professional knowledge of the teachers in understanding how to teach reading. An implication of this finding states that school leaders could develop the master schedule with established times for PLC meetings to occur during the school day. An additional finding from 100% of the participants included the principal's knowledge of the reading process as it allowed the principals to have constructive conversations with teachers around their reading instruction. An implication of this finding includes school leaders considering building their knowledge of the reading process by attending conferences or reading professional books. The data from this research study will contribute to the research of prioritizing principals' leadership actions for turnaround elementary schools.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralElementary students continue to read below proficiency levels. Student achievement data from standardized reading tests show the students sitting in America's schools are not meeting basic reading proficiency levels (NAEP, 2019; Virginia Department of Education, 2021); however, principals play a key role in their students' reading achievement levels in their schools. Research by The Wallace Foundation (2021) found "the effectiveness of the principal of the school is more important than the effectiveness of a single teacher" (p. xiv). Principals can have a positive impact on students' achievement in school. This research study investigated the leadership practices used by elementary principals to turn around their schools' reading achievement data. The study was designed to investigate the perceptions of principals and teachers on the leadership practices impacting the improvement of reading achievement scores in the school. A qualitative research design with semi-structured interviews was used to gather the perceptions of the principals and teachers in one suburban school division in Virginia. These data were collected and analyzed resulting in 10 findings and 10 implications. One finding in the Instructional Practices theme indicated that implementing professional learning communities helped build principals' and teachers' professional knowledge in teaching reading. An implication of this finding could be for school divisions to provide professional learning to teachers and administrators regarding how to implement professional learning communities. The findings from the research provide principals and school division leaders with a myriad of implications that could be used to change the trajectory of reading achievement scores in schools. One limitation of the study was the sample size of participants. A suggestion for future research would be to increase the sample size of the participants in the study.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Educationen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectPrincipal Leadershipen
dc.subjectInstructional Leadershipen
dc.subjectStudent Achievementen
dc.subjectTurnaround Schoolsen
dc.titlePrincipals' and Teachers' Perceptions of Elementary Turnaround Principals' Leadership Practices to Reading Achievement in One Virginia School Divisionen
dc.typeDissertationen Leadership and Policy Studiesen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Educationen


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