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Author Woods, Joann Thomas
Title Healing schools that hurt: The principal's impact on school improvement in high-stakes situations
book jacket
Descript 150 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-04, Section: A, page: 1311
Adviser: Rochelle Gutierrez
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
This qualitative study sought to discover how effective leadership skills may apply to the environment and conditions of urban schools placed in high stakes situations. The five high schools examined for this study were placed in a formal remediation program by their large Midwestern urban school district. This intercession program design required the reassignment of an effective urban principal that had experienced school improvement in their previous school to one of the five lowest performing high schools within the district. This change of administration was done in the attempt of realizing school improvement through effective school leadership. These schools faced the severe high stakes consequences of school closure, teacher dismissal, and student reassignment to neighboring schools, if they did not demonstrate acceptable growth in student achievement levels within a four-year time line
Justification for this administrative change was grounded in the research, which identifies the principal as the key factor for school improvement, (Larson, 1997, Murphy and Louis, 1994). The study examined the role these effective principals played and what strategies they used to impact staff development, parental and community inclusion, while creating a conducive student-centered learning environment. Research issues surrounding the effective schools literature within the urban context and the concept of caring leadership served as the theoretical framework for this study
The findings of this study centered on the identification of the effective schools themes as the skill sets that these principals employed to actualize school improvement. These schools were described as broken and in need of fixing by the teachers and principals interviewed. The element of care was expressed as a moral obligation by many of those interviewed
The findings indicated a priority by these principals in regard to effective schools skills in establishing a conducive student-centered learning environment. Principal and teacher interviews also highlighted many of the negative and demoralizing aspects of high stakes situations. Culturally relevant leadership may also be beneficial in educating students of color in our urban schools. A sense of school ownership and a caring leadership are instrumental in healing these hurting schools
School code: 0090
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 65-04A
Subject Education, Secondary
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Education, Administration
Education, Teacher Training
Alt Author University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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