Improving Student Learning and Achievement with Educational Leadership

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1 roject Learning from Leadership p Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning Final report o F r esearch Findings z z z Kyla l. Wahlstrom Kenneth l stephen e. anderson ouis Karen seashore l eithwood commissioned by University of Minnesota University of Toronto The Wallace Foundation ontario institute for center for applied research studies in education and educational improvement

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3 Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning Final Report of Research to the Wallace Foundation ity of Toronto Univers University of Minnesota Karen Seashore Louis Kenneth Leithwood Wahlstrom L. Stephen E. Anderson Kyla Blair Mascall Michael Michlin Molly Gordon Tiiu Strauss Shawn Moore Emanda Thomas J uly 2010 Financial support for this research was provided by a generous grant from the Wallace Foundation. The findings, conclusions and recom mendations herein are those of the authors and do not represent the official positions or policies of the funder or of the educational institutions of the researchers. ® Copyright ©2010 by the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

4 About the Organi zations The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota links empirical research to real world applications for - educational leaders in Minnesota and across the United States. To do so, CAREI conducts com prehensive studies that provide information about challenges confronting schools and practices leading to educational improvement. For information on our technical reports and resources, please visit our Web site: www.cehd.umn.edu/CAREI/ The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) is the largest professional school of education in Canada and among the largest in the world. It offers initial teacher education, conti nuing education, and graduate programs, all sustained by faculty who are involved in research across the spectrum of issues connected with learning. to.ca Please visit our Web site for more information: www.oise.utoron The Wallace Foundation seeks to support and share effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: • Strengthen education leadership to improve student achievement • Enhance out - of - school learning opportunities • Expand participation in arts and culture For more information and research on these and other related topics, please visit our undation.org Knowledge Center at www.wallacefo . 2

5 Acknowledgments Without the careful reviews and long standing support of our Wallace Foundation - project officers, Dr. Mary Mattis and Dr. Edward Pauly, this report would not be the thorough and comprehensive document that has been produc ed. We value, in particular, all of the feedback that Mary gave us as we moved into our analysis phase, and her skill at creating consensus about what was needed, from both the perspective of the Wallace Foundation and h team. from among the members of our researc Our study is strong and comprehensive due to the incredible generosity of over a thousand educators and policy - makers who participated. We extend heartfelt thanks to the superintendents, principals, district administrators, teachers, school board and community members, and state leaders in education who welcomed us into their busy work lives, providing time to talk with us, to observe in classrooms, and to complete surveys, all of which gave us the most complete national data set ever assembled to better understand issues in educational leadership. Your anonymous contributions will be forever giving , as leaders use this information to initiate and guide changes in our schools. back This document would still be hidden somewhere in our computers if it were not for Gabrielle de Montmollin, whose editorial assistance and general ability to keep things rolling in a large and complex project have been valuable assets since this project began in 2003. A number of people who are not primary authors of this report made substantial contributions in a number of ways. At the University of Minnesota a very special thanks goes to Judy Meath who coordinated all survey data collection activities, all transcription oversight, and who was frequently a team leader for site visits. Dr. Beverly Dretzke provided excellent and thoughtful work in conducting path analyses of our data. Additional support from Dr. Judy Hornbacher - and Diane Cirksena, with their grounded knowledge for on site data collection, was invaluable. Gra duate research assistants at the University of Minnesota have been essential Sarah Berman Young , partners as well in the data collection and analysis activities, including - Chad Schmidt, Monica Jacob, and Sarah Frederickson . Andrea Peterson provided excell ent - administrative and technical support for a myriad of clerical and computer related tasks throughout the entire project. At the University of Toronto, Dr. Suzanne Stiegelbauer played a substantial role in site - visit data collection and analysis in Texas and New Mexico. Doris Jantzi, Robin Sacks, and Jing Ping Sun contributed significantly to the analysis of our survey results. We are also grateful to professor Stephen Jacobson (SUNY) for his help with first - round site visits in New York. Finally, succ essful execution of the site visits would not have possible without the assistance of several research assistants from the University of Toronto, including Leanne Foster, Carol Brayman, Carol Slater, and Joelle Rodway Macri. In the end, and scholarly document, which was ably edited by Dr. Richard Western. we produced a long his project has been about team work. We have been researching From start to finish, t leadership, and the authors want to acknowledge the incredible effort that all have given in leading this journey. As a team, we have shared our wisdom, skills, and voices, with each person stepping forward when such leadership was most needed. We have grown in knowledge of ourselves and within our discipline. In the end, our deepest thanks goes to The allace Foundation for supporting us in this monumental work. W 3

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7 Contents ... Starting Points ... 7 ... ... ... 1 6 . Part One: What School Leaders Do to Improve Student Achievement ... Preface ... ... 1 6 ... ... ... ... 1 1.1 Collective Leadership Eff ects on Teachers and Students 9 Effects on Teachers and Students of Principals and 1.2 Shared Leadership: ... ... ... 3 7 eachers Leading Together T ... 1.3 Patterns of Distributed Leadership by Principals: Sources, Belief s, Interactions, and ... ... 5 4 ... Influences... l by High Performing 1.4 Leadership Practices Considered Instructionally Helpfu ... ... ... Principals and Teachers ... 6 6 1.5 Instructional Leadership: Principal and Teacher Elementary vs. Secondary ctions and Student Outcomes ... ... 7 7 Intera ... 1.6 Poverty, Size, Level and Location: The Influence of Context Variables on What ... o and What They Accomplish ... ... Leaders 9 4 D ice about School Leadership ... 10 1.7 A Synthesis of Implications for Policy and Pract 3 Part Two: Districts and Their Leaders: How They Foster School Improvement ... ... ... ... 10 5 and Student Learning ... ... ... ... ... 10 5 Preface 2.1 How Districts Harness Family and Community Ener gies for School Improvement ... 10 7 ects on Schools and Students 2.2 Principals‘ Efficacy: A Key to District Eff ... 12 7 2.3 How Districts Build Principals‘ Sense of Eff icacy for School Improvement ... 14 8 ctive Leadership Su ccession ... ... ... 16 5 2.4 Ensuring Produ ... ... 17 9 2.5 Data Use in Districts and Schools: Findings and Lim itations oving Teaching and Learning ... ... 19 7 2.6 District Approaches to Impr 2.7 A Synthesis of Implications for Policy and Practic e about District Leadership ... 21 5 Part Three: State Lea elationships with Districts ... ... 21 8 dership and R Preface ... ... ... ... ... 21 8 3.1 State Political Cul tu res and Policy Leadership ... ... . 220 3.2 The Changing Leadership Role ... ... 23 1 of State Education Agencies 6 sponses to State Leadership ... ... 24 3.3 District and School Re 3.4 State Leadersh ip for School Improvement: A Synthesis of Implications for Policy an d Practice ... ... ... ... 27 9 ... ... ... ... .. 2 8 2 Conclusion References ... ... ... ... .. 28 5 9 30 Appendices ... ... ... ... . 5

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9 Starting Points Purposes for the Study als Education is widely held to be crucial for the survival and success of individu and countries in the emerging global environment. U.S. politicians of all stripes have placed education at the center of their political platforms, and education has been at the center of many European and Asian policy agendas. Comparable agreement is also evident about the contributions of leadership to the implementation of virtually all initiatives aimed at improving student learning and the quality of schools. It is therefore n than research difficult to imagine a focus for research with greater social justificatio about successful educational leadership. That was the broad focus for this six - year study funded by the Wallace Foundation: to identify the nature of successful educational leadership and to better understand how such leadership can improve educational practices and student learning. More specifically, we sought to do the following:  Identify state, district, and school leadership practices that directly or indirectly foster the improvement of educational practices and student learning.  Clarify how successful leadership practices directly and indirectly influence the quality of teaching and learning.  Determine the extent to which individuals and groups at state, district, school, and classroom levels possess the will and skill required t o improve student learning, and the extent to which their work settings allow and encourage them to act on those capacities and motivations.  Describe the ways in which, and the success with which, individuals and groups at the state, district, school, and classroom levels help others to acquire the will and skill required to improve student learning. Identify the leadership and workplace characteristics of districts and schools that  encourage the values, capacities, and use of practices that improve stud ent learning. The Educational Leadership Effect Although leadership is widely thought to be a powerful force for school effectiveness, this popular belief needs to be justified by empirical evidence. There are five types of such evidence, each offering i ts own estimate of the size of leader effects. qualitative case studies . Studies providing this type of One type is evidence from evidence typically are conducted in exceptional school settings, selected as exemplars of 1 effectiveness. Some such studies report large leadership effects — on student learning and on an array of school conditions . Other qualitative studies focus on ―typical‖ schools 1 e.g., Gezi (1990); Reitzug & Patterson (1998). See, 7

10 rather than outliers; these studies often produce complex pictures of how leadership 2 operates in different settin Many educators and scholars find the descriptions gs. provided by case studies to be interesting and informative. But descriptions of a small number of cases do not yield explanations of leadership effects for a more general 3 population of schools. econd type of evidence derives from large - scale quantitative studies of The s . Evidence of this type, as reported and leadership effects on schools and students 4 suggests that the direct and indirect effects reviewed since about 1980, school of leadership on stu dent learning are small but significant. Leadership explains five to seven percent of the variation in student learning across schools (not to be confused with the very large within - school effects that are likely). Five to seven percent, however, is about one quarter of the total across - - school variation (12 to 20 percent) explained by all school 5 (Classroom level variables, after controlling for student intake or background factors. arch of this sort factors explain more than a third of the variation.) To date, however, rese has done little to clarify how leaders achieve the effects in question, and its implications for leadership practice are, therefore, limited. A third type of evidence derives from studies (also large - scale and quantitative) focused on th effects of specific leadership practices . Some evidence of this sort can be e found in the research briefly summarized above. But a meta - analys is conducted by Waters, Marzano and McNulty (2003) extends our understanding of the explanatory type of research. Waters potential o f this et al. identify 21 leadership ―responsibilities‖ (behaviors); then they calculate an average correlation between each responsibility and the measures of student learning used in the original studies. From these data they estimated effects of the respective responsibilities on student test scores. For calculate example: there would be a 10 percentile point increase in student test scores resulting from the work of an average principal if she improved her ―demonstrated abilities in a ll 21 responsibilities by one standard deviation‖ (2003, p. 3). Extending this lin e of inquiry, - level Marzano et al. (2005 ) provide a comparable analysis of research on district leadership, identifying five broad categories of superintendent leadership. leadership effects on student A fourth type of evidence derives from studies of , as distinct from effects on student learning. Some evidence suggests that engagement 6 Recently, at least 10 large student engagement is a strong predictor of student learning. - scale, quantitative studies, similar in design, have assessed the effects of leadership 7 behavior on student engagement; all have reported significant positive effects. 2 Spillane, Diamond, & Burch et al. (2002). 3 e.g., Mortimore (1993 ), and Scheurich (1998). See, 4 See, e.g., Hallinger & Heck (1996b); Leithwood & Jantzi (2005); Marzano, Waters & McNulty (2005); and Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe (2008 ). 5 Creemers & Reetzig (1996), and Townsend (1994). 6 See Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris (2004) f or a review, especially at p. 70. 7 Silins, Leithwood & Jantzi (1999a, 1999b); Leithwood et al. (2004a) ; Silins & Mulford (2002b); and Mulford, & Zarins (2002). 8

11 Finally, a different but quite compelling sort of evidence about leadership effects erives from research on leadership succession. Unplanned principal succession, for d example, is a common source of adverse effects on school performance, regardless of what teachers might do. Studies by Macmillan (2000) and Fink & Brayman (2006) the devastating effects of rapid principal succession, especially on initiatives demonstrate intended to increase student learning. And rapid succession is very common. Clearly, leadership matters. In developing a starting point for t - year study, we claimed , based on a his six 8 preliminary review of research, that leadership is second only to classroom instruction as an influence on student learning, After six additional years of research, we are even more confident about this claim. To date we have not found a sing le case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership. Why is leadership crucial? One explanation is that leaders have the potential to unleash latent capacities in organizations. Put somewhat differently: most school variables, considered separately, 9 have only small effects on student learning . To obtain large effects, educators need to create synergy across the relevant variables. Among all the parents, teachers, and policy cation, educators in leadership positions are makers who work hard to improve edu uniquely well positioned to ensure the necessary synergy. Meanings of Leadership Leadership can be described by reference to two core functions. One function is providing direction ; the other is exercising i nfluence . Whatever else leaders do, they provide direction and exercise influence. This does not imply oversimplification. Each of these two leadership functions can be carried out in different ways, and the various modes of practice linked to the function s distinguish many ―models‖ of leadership. In carrying out these two functions, leaders act in environments marked variously and change . These conditions interact in complementary relationships. by stability While stability is often associated with res istance and maintenance of the status quo, it is in fact difficult for leaders and other educators to leap forward from a wobbly foundation. improvement To be more precise, it is stability and that have this symbiotic relationship. Leaping forward from a w obbly foundation may well produce change, but not change of — falling flat on your face is the image that comes to mind. the sort that most of us value Wobbly foundations and unwise leaping help to explain why the blizzard of changes adopted by our schools o ver the past half century have had little effect on the success of our students. School reform efforts have been most successful in those schools that have 10 These have been schools with well needed them least. - established processes and capacities in place, — in contrast to those providing foundations on which to build schools, the ones most often of concern to reformers, short on essential infrastructure. How do these concepts come together in a clarification of leadership ? Leadership is all about organizat ional improvement; more specifically, it is about establishing 8 Leithwood, Louis, Anderson & Wahlstrom (2004) 9 Creemers & Reetzigt, 1996 10 Elmore (1995) 9

12 agreed - upon and worthwhile directions for the organization in question, and doing whatever it takes to prod and support people to move in those directions. Our general definition of leadership highlights these points: it is about direction and influence. Improvement is the goal of Stability is the goal of what is often called management. leadership. But both are very important. One of the most serious threats to stability in a frequent turnover in the ranks of superintendents, principals, and vice school district is principals. Instability at the school level often reflects a failure of management at the district level. Alternative Models of Leadership Reflected in the Literature Research on leadership in non on school contexts . Leadership in n - - school contexts is frequently driven by theory referred to by one of our colleagues as ―adjectiv al leadership models.‖ A recent review of such theory identified, for example, 21 leadership approaches that have been objects of considerable theoretical and empirical 11 Seventeen have been especially attractive, and some of them have development. 12 informed research in school contexts. Here are some examples.  Contingent leadership. Encompassing research on lead ership styles, leader problem solving, and reflective leadership, this two dimensional conception of leadership - explains differences in leaders‘ effectiveness by reference to a task or relationship style and to the situations in which leaders find themselv es. To be most effective, according to this model, leaders must match their styles to their settings.  Participative leadership. Addressing attention to leadership in groups, shared 13 14 and teacher leadership, leadership, this model is concerned with how lea ders involve others in organizational decisions. Research informed by the model has investigated autocratic, consultative, and collaborative sharing styles.  This model focuses on ways in which Transformational and charismatic leadership. - influence over their colleagues and on the nature of leader leaders exercise follower relations. Both forms of leadership emphasize communicating a compelling vision, conveying high performance expectations, projecting self confidence, modeling appropriate roles, expressin g confidence in followers‘ ability to achieve goals, and 15 emphasizing collective purpose. Leadership research also has been informed by models Leadership in education. developed specifically for use in school and district - level settings. Of these, the - i nstructional leadership model is perhaps the most well known. (It bears some 16 resemblance to more general, task - ) The instructional oriented leadership theories. leadership concept implies a focus on classroom practice. Often, however, specific 11 Yammarino, Dionne, Chun, & Dansereau (2005). 12 Leithwood & Duke (1999). 13 E.g., Pearce & Conger (2003). 14 E.g., York - Barr & Duke (2004). 15 E.g., Leithwood & Jantzi (2006). 16 Dorfman & House (2004). 10

13 leadership p ractices required to establish and maintain that focus are poorly defined. The main underlying assumption is that instruction will improve if leaders provide detailed feedback to teachers, including suggestions for change. It follows that leaders must hav e the time, the knowledge, and the consultative skills needed to provide teachers — in all the relevant grade levels and subject areas — with valid, useful advice about their instructional y rest on shaky practices. While these assumptions have an attractive ring to them, the ground, at best; the evidence to date suggests that few principals have made the time and 17 demonstrated the ability to provide high quality instructional feedback to teachers. Importantly, the few well - developed models of instructional lead ership posit a set of responsibilities for principals that go well beyond observing and intervening in 18 — responsibilities touching on vision, organizational culture, and the like. classrooms In addition, studies of school leadership are replete with othe r adjectives purporting to capture something uniquely important about the object of inquiry — for example, learning 19 20 21 constructivist leadership, leadership, and change leadership. Few of these efforts, however, have been products of a sustained line of inqu iry yielding the sort of evidence needed to justify their claims. This observation influenced our approach as we began our study. Eschewing any particular model of leadership, we examined the actual practices, across models, for which there was significant evidence of desirable effects. Significant Features of Our Research The investigation reported here was among the largest of its kind at the time we conducted it. Its particularly noteworthy features, as against other educational leadership studies, in clude the size of the data base, the use of multiple theoretical and methodological approaches to the research, and the comprehensive sources of leadership examined. Size of data base. We collected data from a wide range of respondents in nine the states , 43 school districts, and 180 elementary, middle, and secondary schools. At the state level, we conducted interviews with legislators, stakeholders, and members of state rd education agencies. In districts, we interviewed senior district leaders, elected boa members, representatives of the media, and other informants. We used survey instruments and interviews with teachers and administrators, and we conducted classroom observations with most of the teachers we interviewed. We collected survey rst and fourth years of the study; we conducted interviews in districts and data in the fi schools in three cycles over the five years of the project. These efforts yielded, by the end of the project, survey data from a total of 8,391 teachers and 471 school administrato rs; interview data from 581 teachers and administrators, 304 district level informants, and 124 state personnel; and observational data from 312 classrooms. Finally, we obtained student achievement data for literacy and mathematics in elementary and secon dary grades, using scores on the states‘ tests for measuring Adequate Yearly Progress as 17 E.g., Nelson & Sassi (2005). 18 Andrews & Soder (1987), Duke (1987), and Hallinger (2003). 19 Reeves (2006). 20 Lambert et al. (1995). 21 E.g., Wagner et al. (2006). 11

14 No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 mandated by the . (For a detailed description of the data base, see the Methodological Appendix.) ed qualitative and quantitative Multiple methodological approaches We us . methods to gain certain advantages associated with multiple - methods research. The validat ing and cross advantages typically include ―rich opportunities for cross - - procedures, findings, and theories ‖ (Brewer & Hunter, 1989, p. 13). Our fertilizing... particular use of multiple methods offered opportunities that we had not fully appreciated in the early stages of our work. These included opportunities to discover significant titative evide patterns and relationships in our quan were then able to pursue nce, which we in greater depth, thanks to our qualitative evidence. One example appears in Section 2.2. - round survey data we found that one of the most powerful From the analysis of our first sources of districts‘ influence on scho ols and students was through the development of school leaders‘ collective sense of efficacy about their jobs. With this connection well established quantitatively, we then mined principal interview data to learn in greater - detail what districts actually d id to develop a sense of efficacy among principals. Similar examples of this approach to our data can be found in Sections 2.4, 2.5, and (taken as a whole) Sections 1.1 to 1.3. Multiple theoretical perspectives. In collecting data and working to make sens e of our results, we drew upon conceptual tools from sociology, socio - psychology, political science, and organizational theory. Sociological concepts informed our understanding of shared leadership (1.2), contexts for leadership (1.5), and community engage ment (2.1). Socio - psychological perspectives helped us analyze leader efficacy (2.2) and (along with organizational theory) the nature of successful leadership practices (1.4), as well as the use of evidence in districts and schools (2.5), and leader succe ssion (2.4). Political science concepts framed our research about state leadership (3.1). Our goal with this seemingly eclectic approach was to draw on the theoretical — an approach especially well suited to a perspectives best suited to the question at hand project like ours with multiple principal investigators who had studied and used each strand of theory in their prior work. We shared the view that using multiple methods and f theoretical perspectives can provide a powerful antidote to the unintended sel deceptions - that sometimes arise from the use of more unitary approaches. Our approach, however, also challenged us to develop a valid and coherent storyline from the data. In that effort, inevitably, we have sacrificed some measure of coherence in order to present a rich account of our findings. Comprehensiveness of sources of leadership. Most leadership studies in education focus on a single institutional role. The bulk of it focuses on the principals‘ 22 23 with a growing but still modest body of att ention to district - role, level leadership. Over the past decade, researchers have also begun to study leadership provided by 24 teachers. 22 E.g., Robinson et al. (2008). 23 Marzano, Waters & McNulty (2005). 24 Barr & Duke (2004). - York 12

15 The recent flurry of attention to a broader spectrum or distribution of leadership has begun to sensitize us to the remarkab le array of people who exercise formal or informal leadership in schools and districts. Research of this sort also shows that the influence of leadership on organizational outcomes arises from the behaviors of these various people acting as leaders in eith er an ―additive‖ or ―holistic‖ manner (Gronn, 2009. We cannot push our understanding of leadership influence much further without considering the many sources of leadership in the education system and also the web of interaction created by these sources. T o date, our study is one of only a few to have examined leadership at each organizational level in the school system as a whole — state, district, school, classroom, and community. The comprehensive approach reminds us that every leader is at the same time constrained and enabled in some measure by the actions of others (including other leaders), and by the consequences of those actions. Without a better understanding of such antecedents and consequences, we are left with an impoverished appreciation of why leaders behave as they do. Invoking social theory, the more comprehensive perspective has the potential to shift the field of educational leadership research from a dominant preoccupation with ―agency‖ (explaining leaders‘ behaviors as a function of indiv idual capacities, motivations, and traits), toward a more balanced understanding of how the structures within which leaders work also shape the work that they do. Framework Guiding the Study The framework guiding our study emerged from a review of schola rship 25 According to completed prior to our data collection and summarized in Figure 1. information summarized in this figure, features of state and district policies, practices, and other characteristics interact with one another and exert an influence on what school leaders do. These features also influence conditions in schools, classrooms, and the professional community of teachers (for the sake of simplicity, we do not connect these variables in Figure 1). Other stakeholder groups, including the media, unions, professional associations, and community and business groups also influence school leadership practices. And of course leaders are influenced by their own professional learning experiences and by student and family backgrounds. 25 Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom (2004). 13

16 State Leadership, Student/ Family Policies and Background Practices School Conditions District Leadership, School Student Policies and Teachers Leadership Learning Practices ’ Leaders Classroom Other Professional Conditions Development Stakeholders Experiences Figure 1. Leadership Influences on Student Learning School leadership, from formal and informal sources, helps to shape school conditions (including, for example, goals, culture, and structures) and classroom of instruction, the size of classrooms, and the pedagogy conditions (including the content used by teachers). Many factors within and outside schools and classrooms help to shape teachers‘ sense of professional community. School and classroom conditions, teachers‘ professional communities, and student/family background conditions are directly responsible for the learning of students. Overview of the Report six year study reported here focuses on leadership at the school, district, and The - state levels. The report is organized in three mai n parts, with one part dedicated to each leadership level. Within each part (following a preface) there are three to six sections - describing the results of sub studies conducted within the larger project, in pursuit of specific research goals. Each secti on begins with an overview of the significant findings for that particular sub - study. We chose to provide the Key F indings at the beginning as a way to orient the reader‘s attention to the details that follow. Also, each section concludes with s for Policy and Practice‖. Again, we wanted to direct the reader‘s thinking ―Implication to what could or should be done in schools and districts to support or improve reform efforts. Our assertions for changes in policy and practice, as based on our findings, are not intended to be definitive, but rather as a starting place for the reader. Part One focuses on school - level leadership. It summarizes three perspectives on - the sources and distribution of school level leadership practices; it identifies effects on 14

17 stude nts and features of the school that influence the size of those effects; and it describes successful leadership practices. Part Two focuses on school district leadership. It describes ways in which districts engage parents and the community in their scho ol - improvement efforts; it explores the impact of such engagement on students; it tells how districts develop school leaders‘ sense of efficacy; it explains what districts can do to ensure productive leader succession; and it describes ways in which typica l and exemplary districts use school data. One section of Part Two paints a broad and integrated picture of district approaches to improving teaching and learning. - Part Three focuses on state level leadership. Three sections describe variations in the fo rms of leadership exercised by states through the development and implementation the leadership provided by state education of education policy . A fourth section describes agencies and the quite different relationship districts develop with their states. 15

18 Part One What School Leaders Do to Improve Student Achievement Preface - level leadership, Part One seeks to identify, elaborate, With its focus on school and clarify existing knowledge about successful leadership practices. Because leadership is enacted by many people in schools, we begin by addressing the nature, causes, and consequences of the alternative forms and patterns of leadership among school and district staff members. Our evidence about leadership distribution contributes to an ongoing convers ation among researchers and practitioners aimed at determining 26 implications for school improvement. To obtain evidence about leadership distribution and its effects, we conducted our examination through the use of distinctly different lenses. Our observa tions made by way of these lenses yield a richer understanding of leadership distribution than we could have attained via a narrower approach. Section 1.1 is concerned with the influence various stakeholders (parents and ple) may have on school decisions. Our work in this other community members, for exam leadership. Many texts describe leadership section has some bearing on the definition of 27 Indeed, Stogdill argued as an ambiguous, evolving concept, yet to be clearly defined. many years ago that ―there are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept‖ (1974, p. 259). Our own reading suggests, however, that Yukl is correct in claiming that almost all definitions assume leadership entails at least s ome form of social influence which might be ―viewed as a property of an individual or a property of a social system‖ (1994, p. 3). Collective leadership , for our purposes, is defined by this minimalist but basic conception of leadership - - influence — and as a property of the system rather than an individual. as Evidence about collective leadership reported in Section 1.1 reveals the extent of influence exercised by most stakeholders in and around schools on decisions in the that there is considerable variation across schools in school. This section also indicates the nature and extent of stakeholders‘ influence, and it suggests that student achievement benefits from relatively greater influence by all stakeholders in school decisions. Section 1.2 adopts a ―s hared‖ conception of distributed leadership, one typically reflecting a group - or team - level approach in which all members share responsibility for 28 leading contingent upon the task, the time required, and the expertise needed. In their ed leadership, Pearce and Conger (2003) trace the roots of this recent text on shar conception to two early studies. The first of these (Follett, 1924) essentially advocated 26 C omprehensive overviews of this research can be found in Harris (2009), and Leithwood, Harris & Hopkins (2008), for example. 27 E.g., Rost (1991). 28 Yammarino et al. (2005). 16

19 leadership through expert rather than positional power, whereas the second (Bowers & rovided evidence that peer sources of leadership in large organizations Seashore, 1966) p could have significant effects on organizational outcomes. We stipulated a narrower conception of shared leadership for the research reported in Section 1.2. This conception is orien ted toward shared and contingent responsibility, but it focuses on leadership exercised by those most directly responsible — principals and teachers. Section 1.2 examines the effects on for student learning responsibility for leadership; it also students of principals and teachers assuming shared identifies some conditions that influence the emergence and mediate the effects of this approach to leadership in schools. The examination of distributed leadership in Section 1.3 introduces explicit leadership pra ctices. By reference to a qualitative data set, this section discloses who enacts which practices, how different patterns of leadership enactment emerge, and whether variation in such patterns makes a difference for schools and students. Viewed from a prin cipal‘s perspective, this research also suggests implications for how leadership might be distributed more productively in schools. Sections 1.4 and 1.5 identify the actual practices or behaviors, however distributed, giving rise to leadership influence on teaching and learning. Both sections report the perceptions of principals and teachers, selected according to quite different criteria, about the leadership practices they believe are helpful in improving classroom instruction. Section 1.4 is informed b y a synthesis of results from a body of prior evidence about leadership practices demonstrably successful across organizational sectors 29 and national cultures . Using qualitative evidence from principals and teachers, this these practices across different school contexts and section assesses the relevance of provides greater detail about how they are enacted in those contexts. In Section 1.5, we take an additional step in our efforts to identify productive leadership practices. We adopt a grounded - theory approach to a different set of data, also collected from principals and teachers. This sub - study distinguishes between efforts by school leaders to create a vision and climate among staff members, on the one hand, and, the actions leaders tak on the other, e to realize that vision. Together, Sections 1.4 and 1.5 offer a detailed account of the leadership behaviors deemed by those closest to the action to be influential in shaping teachers‘ work with students. These sections also point to substantial differen ces in the extent to which these actions are enacted by formal leaders in elementary as compared to secondary schools. Section 1.6, building on analyses from the previous two sections, demonstrates that leaders, to be successful, need to be highly sensit ive to the contexts in which they work. From one perspective, such contexts moderate (enhance or mute) the influence of any given set of leadership practices. From a more practical perspective, different 29 . (2003). For example, see Leithwood et al. (2006); Robinson et al. (2008); and Waters et al 17

20 contexts call for quite different enactments of the same basic set of successful leadership practices. Section 1.7 synthesizes implications for policy and practice arising from the six sections in Part One. 18

21 1.1 Collective Leadership Effects on Teachers and Students Key Findings Collective leadership  has a stronger influence on student achievement than individual leadership.  Almost all people associated with high - performing schools have greater influence on school decisions than is the case with people in low - performing schools. Higher - performing schools award greater influence to teacher teams, parents, and  students, in particular.  Principals and district leaders have the most influence on decisions in all schools; however, they do not lose influence as others gain influence.  Schools leaders ha ve an impact on student achievement primarily through their influence on teachers‘ motivation and working conditions; their influence on teachers‘ kn owledge and skills produces less impact on student achievement. Introduction Collective leadership , a s the term is used in this component of our study, refers to the extent of influence that organizational members and stakeholders exert on decisions in their schools. This relatively narrow but fundamental perspective on leadership focuses attention on the combined effects of all sources of leadership, along with possible differences in the contributions made by each of these sources (e.g., administrators, teachers, students, parents). Guided by this conception of leadership, the sub - study set out to estima te the following: the relative influence on school decision making of each of the individuals or groups  potentially contributing to a school‘s collective leadership;  the impact of collective leadership on teacher feelings and beliefs and on student lear ning; and whether differences in the extent of influence exerted by the respective participants is  related to differences in levels of student achievement. 19

22 Prior Evidence Leadership as Influence The conception of collective leadership used for this stu dy overlaps with Rowan‘s 30 conception of organic management, defined as follows: a shift away from conventional, hierarchical patterns of bureaucratic control toward what has been referred to as a network pattern of control, that is, a pattern of control in which line employees are actively involved in [making] organizational decision[s,] [and] staff cooperation and collegiality supplant the hierarchy as a means of coordinating work flows and resolving technical difficulties. (Miller & Rowan, 2006, p. 219 - 220 ) Conceptualizing collective leadership as a network of influence and control also locates our study in relation to other research about organizational control structures. A seminal paper by Tannenbaum (1961), for example, introduced the ―control graph ‖ as a means of displaying patterns of control in formal organizations. The horizontal axis of a control graph designates each of the ―levels‖ (designated positions) in the organization, while the vertical axis represents the degree of perceived influence or control exercised at each level. Tannenbaum used the control graph to illustrate four prototypical control modes or approaches to leadership: autocratic (influence rises with the hierarchical level of the role), democratic (higher levels of influence ar e ascribed to those in hierarchically anarchic lower levels or roles), (relatively little influence by any level or role), and polyarchic (high levels of influence by all levels or roles). Reflecting Rowan‘s (1990) expectations for organic management under conditions of uncertainty, Tannenbaum also hypothesized that organizational effectiveness will be related to: (a) more democratic, and (b) more polyarchic forms of control. The first of these hypotheses arises from two sets of expectations. First, more democratic forms of control will be more consistent with employees‘ beliefs and values in a democratic society and contribute to higher levels of job satisfaction and morale, whereas autocratic forms of control are expected ―to reduce initiative, inhibit i dentification with the organization and to create conflict and hostility among members‖ (Tannenbaum, 1961, p. 35). Second, more control by those lower in the hierarchy will lead to greater acceptance of jointly - made decisions along with an increased sense of responsibility for and motivation to accomplish organizational goals. Such participation may also contribute to more effective coordination through mutual influence mechanisms. The second of Tannenbaum‘s hypotheses, sometimes called the ―power equaliz ation‖ hypothesis, is justified, Tannenbaum claims, by certain results — by improved organizational efficiency realized when more control is exercised by those lower in the hierarchy, and by improved motivation and identification with the organization on the part of those whose power is enhanced. Reasons offered in the 30 Miller & Rowan (2006); Rowan (1990). 20

23 current literature about distributed leadership are quite similar to the justification Tannenbaum‘s offers for his two hypotheses. Collective Leadership Effects What evidence is there to show that democratic, supportive, and shared forms of leadership are effective? Some empirical evidence may be found in research on teacher 31 participation with peers in planning and decision making and in research on 32 Several lines of related theory also give rise to expectations transformational leadership. of a positive association between organizational effectiveness and the distribution of 34 33 influence, including theories of organizational learning, distributed cognition, and 35 communities of practice. None theless, there is substantial evidence to the contrary, especially from research in which organizational effectiveness is defined as the organization‘s bottom line (some measure of productivity) and assessed using objective indicators, such as student test scores. Tannenbaum was able to provide only limited support for his hypotheses about organizational control structures. And after about 15 years of programmatic research about organic management, Miller and Rowan reported that ―the main effects are weak[, ] and positive effects appear to be contingent on many other conditions‖ (2006, p. 220). A recent, comprehensive review of research on teacher leadership found only a small handful of studies in which researchers had actually inquired about effects of teac her 36 leadership on students, and the results were generally not supportive. To date, most research about school leadership has focused on the work of teachers and school administrators. It is certainly possible, however, to conceive of people acting in ot her roles — as parents, students, interested members of the community — to exercise influence in schools. The work of Pounder, Ogawa and Adams (1995) provides one example (there are not many) of research that examines leadership exercised by a broader array of participants. Pounder et al. test a model of the influence of principals, teachers, parents, and secretaries on a number of mediating variables, as well as a range of school outcomes, providing a useful model for our approach a decade later . The curren t sub - study looks beyond the school setting in its examination of leadership. Staff members in district roles also have an obligation to influence what schools do, although most studies of collective, shared, and distributed leadership have 37 not examined th Our study concerned itself with all e contribution of district personnel. of these potential sources of influence. 31 Talbert & McLaughlin (1993). 32 Leithwood & Jantzi (2005). 33 Hutchins (1996). 34 Perkins, 1993; Tsoukas (2005). 35 Wenger, McDermott & Snyder (2002). 36 York - Barr & Duke (2004). 37 d Firestone & Martinez (2007). But see Firestone (1989), an 21

24 Antecedents of Teacher Performance Miller and Rowan (2006) sought to assess certain effects of organic management. id not attend to variables potentially mediating the effects of leaders In this effort they d on student learning. This is an important limitation, given prior work (Pitner, 1988; Hallinger & Heck, 1996 a ) showing that the effects of leadership on students are largely indirect. Studies designed to explore direct effects of leadership rarely detect significant effects, whereas many studies of indirect effects do. Most studies since 1996 have been 38 guided by complex causal models which include a wide array of potential mediators. The framework for this sub - study assumed indirect leadership effects and conceptualized as mediators a set of teacher performance antecedents including motivation, capacity, and the situations in which people work. These are variables in a general model o f employee performance and how it improves. Our own modification of this framework is based on theoretical and empirical accounts of the conditions required for development of motivation and capacity on the part of school people to engage productively in i mprovement efforts. Our modification also incorporates accounts of organizational conditions and characteristics of the infrastructure which facilitate the successful implementation of large - scale reform, or what van den Berg, Vandenberghe, 39 and Sleegers (1 999) refer to as the organization‘s ―innovative capacity.‖ New Evidence Method Sample . This sub - study is based on data collected in the first round of surveys for the larger study. The achieved sample included responses by 2,570 teachers (77% response rate) from a total of 90 schools in which seven or more teachers completed 40 usable surveys and for which usable student achievement data were available. Table 1.1.1 below presents a summary of the characteristics of our achieved sample. TABLE 1.1.1 Samp le School Characteristics Mean SD 1.97 .71 Student Diversity (1=Low, 3 = High) Percent of Students Eligible for Free Lunch 43.82% 27.67 Achievement (Mean % at Proficiency or Above) 67.19% 24.27 38 For example, Leithwood & Levin (2005) and Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom (2004). 39 For a more detailed explanation of how these variables were defined and measured, see Leithwood & Jantzi (2008). 40 generate data on the SES of only 76 of these schools, so the calculations for tables We were able to drawing on SES have been adjusted to use this smaller sample. 22

25 Sources of evidence. oss schools, we To measure student achievement acr - - wide results on state collected data from state websites. These data comprised school mandated tests of language and mathematics at several grade levels over three years (2003 to 2005). We represented a school‘s level of student achievement by the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the proficiency level (usually established by the state) on language and mathematics tests. We averaged these percentages across grades and 41 arriving finally at a single subjects in order to increase the stability of scores, achievement score for each school for each of three years. Our analysis also included an achievement change score, calculated as the gain in percentage of students attaining or exceeding the state established proficiency level from the first to the third year for which - we had evidence. Teacher responses to 49 items from a 104 - item survey provided the remaining data for this sub study. The survey, which required about 20 minutes to complete, measured the collective leadership and teach - performance antecedents described in our er framework: 9 items measured collective leadership, 9 items measured teacher capacity, 17 items measured teacher motivation, and 14 items measured teacher work settings or conditions. Each of the nine items used t o measure collective leadership pertained to a single source of influence from a set including district administrators, principals, other school administrators, some individual teachers, teachers with designated leadership roles, staff teams, some individu al parents, parent advisory groups, and students. About each source of influence, we asked respondents to rate the extent of direct influence on school decisions (on a 6 - point scale). We also asked respondents to rate the extent to which they agreed with s tatements about each of the three antecedents of teacher performance, also on a 6 - point scale. Analysis We merged individual responses to the teacher survey, aggregated to . level student achievement results. We used SPSS to - the school level, with school calculate means, standard deviations, and reliabilities (Cronbach‘s alpha) for scales - sample t - tests to compare mean ratings of measuring the four variables. We used paired les various sources of leadership. We tested the factor structure of the teacher variab included in the study. We used hierarchical multiple regression to examine the moderating effects of student SES on some relationships in our framework. Finally, we used LISREL to test a model of the relationships among collective leadership, teacher otivation, capacity and setting, and student achievement. This path - analytic technique m allows for testing the validity of causal inferences for pairs of variables while controlling for the effects of other variables. We analyzed data using the LISREL 8.80 analysis of 42 covariance structure approach to path analysis and maximum likelihood estimates. We used four goodness of - fit statistics to assess the fit of our path model with the data: the - Root Mean Square Error of Approximation test (RMSEA), the Norm - fit index (NFI), the adjusted Goodness of Fit index (GFI) and the mean Root Mean Square Residual (RMR). 41 Linn (2003). 42 . Joreskog & Sorbom (1993) 23

26 Results We begin with a summary of responses to the teacher survey and with information about the statistical properties of our measures, including the results of a factor analysis of the measures of teacher capacity, motivation, and setting. The remaining sections report evidence relevant to each of three questions addressed by the study: the impact of collective leadership on key teacher variables and s tudent learning; the relative influence of different collective leadership sources; the relationship between different patterns of collective leadership and student achievement. Table 1.1.2 reports the internal reliabilities (Cronbach‘s alpha) of the sca les used to measure each of the three antecedents of teacher performance — capacity, motivation and work setting — and the measure of collective leadership. Overall mean ratings of the three antecedents are not reported because z - scores had to be calculated to accommodate the use of different response scales. We calculated variable reliabilities using z scores. - Responses to all variables ranged between slight agreement and moderate agreement, with low to moderate standard deviations. All scales achieved accepta ble levels of reliability (between .72 and .96). TABLE 1.1.2 Scale Reliability for Variables (N = 90 Schools) Cronbach‘s Alpha Capacity .86 Motivation .96 Setting .91 Collective leadership .72 - Note: z ues for the capacity, motivation, and setting scales. scores were used to calculate the aggregate val Collective leadership was calculated from the sum of nine sources of leadership, each rated on a 6 - point scale from ̳no influence‘ to ̳very great influence.‘ Of the 40 items used to measure the three teacher antecedents, 9 measured capacity, 17 measured motivation, and 14 measured work setting. We analyzed the dimensionality of these 40 items using principal component factor analysis. We used the scree test and the interpretability of the factor solut ion to determine the number of factors to rotate. We rotated three factors using a Varimax rotation procedure. The rotated solution yielded three interpretable factors which corresponded very closely with the three variable categories: capacity, motivation , and setting. The capacity factor accounted for 14.4% of the item variance; the motivation factor accounted for 13.9% of the item variance; and the setting factor accounted for 8.6% of the item variance. Although our initial conception of the three teac her variables suggested a number of distinct sub - dimensions, these were not supported by the factor analysis. Thus, we - used aggregate scores for each of the three teacher performance antecedents in all 24

27 subsequent analyses. Also in response to the results o f the factor analysis, we omitted two of the original items measuring capacity and seven of the items measuring motivation from subsequent analysis. Collective Leadership Effects on Teachers and Students Table 1.1.3 reports correlations among measures of all variables in the study. As these results indicate, collective leadership is significantly related to all three teacher variables. The strongest relations are with collective leadership and teachers‘ work setting (r =.58), followed by teacher motivatio n (r=.55). All variables but teacher capacity are significantly related to student achievement: teachers‘ work setting has the strongest relationship (r = .37), followed by teachers‘ motivation and collective leadership (r= .36 dicate significant relationships among the teacher variables. and .34). These data also in 25

28 TABLE 1.1.3 Relationship between Survey Variables and Student Achievement Pearson Product - Moment Correlation Coefficients (N = 90 Schools) Setting Motivation Capacity Coll. Lead. Achievement 1.00 .34** .58** .55** .36** Collective leadership .36** 1.00 Capacity .44** .20 .01 .55** Motivation .36** .54** 1.00 .44** .54** .37** 1.00 .20 .58** Setting Achievement .34** 1.00 .37** .36** .01 - tailed). ** p < 0.01 level, (2 scribed in Figure 2 (using LISREL) and Table 1.1.4 provides a The path model de further test of relationships among collective leadership, teacher capacity, motivation and work setting, and student achievement. This model is an excellent fit to the data (RMSEA .03; AGFI = .93; NFI = .99) and, as a whole, explains 20% of the variation = .00; RMR = in student achievement. Collective leadership has significant direct effects on all teacher variables. Its strongest effects are on teachers‘ work setting (r = .58), followed by tea cher capacity (r = .36) and motivation (r = .25). Collective leadership accounts for only 13 % of the explained variation in teacher capacity. Capacity - .17 .36* .28* .30* .25* Student Collective Motivation Leadership Achievement .58* .25* .34* . 28* 28* . 28* . * Setting * * 43 Figure 2. Testing a model of collective leadership effects on student ach ievement 43 lationships in a variety of ways, we While a number of iterations of our framework were run, testing re present here only the results that have proved statistically significant. The LISREL model presented has - square = 1.97, df = 2, p = .37. Chi 26

29 The paths linking the three teacher variables to student achievement indicate that collective leadership influences student achievement through teacher motivation and work setting. The effect of teachers‘ work setting on achievement is significa nt (.25), but the effect of teacher capacity is insignificant. Total effects on student achievement are greatest for work setting, followed by teacher motivation and the indirect influence of collective leadership. The higher effect for setting is explaine d by its indirect effect through motivation, as indicated in the data presented in Table 1.1.4. Table 1.1.4 Results of Structural Equations Modeling Total Effect on Achievement Residuals (Explained Indirect Direct Total Variables) Variable ment .80 (.20) Achieve .17 .08 ─ ─.09 Capacity .87 (.13) .56 (.44) Motivation .30* .30* Setting .66 (.34) .10* .25* .35* Collective Leadership .24* .24* Fit Indices .00 Root mean square error of approximation Root mean square residual .03 Adjusted goodness of fit index .93 Norm fit index .99 2 Note: R = .20 < .05 * p In order to estimate the contribution of student SES (calculated as the percentage of students in a school eligible for free or reduced lunch) to relationships described in the path model between the three teacher variables and student achievement, we computed three hierarchical regressions. In each regression equation SES was entered first, 44 collective leadership second, and one of the teacher variables third. Results of these hierarchical regressions, desc ribed in Table 1.1.5, indicate that only motivation explains a unique and significant proportion of variation in student achievement after controlling for student SES. Motivation, on its own, explained 6% of the variation in achievement, whereas setting in creased the variation explained by only 1% in combination with SES and leadership, and capacity decreased the explained variance by the same amount. 44 Readers should note that the order in which variables are added to the mode l has an influence on the strength of the relationship. In our analysis, leadership adds 3.6% to the 11.3% explained variance from SES. Entering collective leadership first explains 9.2%; introducing SES at step 2 provides an additional otal of 14.9%. If they are entered at the same time, SES explains 6.8%, leadership 5.7% for the same t explains 4.6%, and their combined effect explains the other 3.5% to the total 14.9%. 27

30 Table 1.1.5 Results of Hierarchical Regression Measuring Effects of Teacher Capacity, , and Setting on Student Achievement Teacher Motivation after Controlling for SES and Collective Leadership (N = 76 Schools) 2 F Capacity R 10.57** Step 1: Percentage of Students Eligible for Free Lunch (SES) .11 .15 7.55** Step 2: Add Collective Leadership Step .14 4.99** 3: Add Teacher Capacity 2 Beta t Step 3 Significant Unique Effects Unique R ─.27 2.39* .06 SES 2 F Motivation R .11 10.57** Step 1: Percentage of Students Eligible for Free Lunch .15 7.55** Step 2: Add Collective Leadership Step 3: Add Teacher Motivation .20 7.23** 2 Step 3 Significant Unique Effects Beta t nique R U SES ─.29 2.66* .07 Motivation ─.29 2.37* .06 2 Setting F R Step 1: Percentage of Students Eligible for Free Lunch 10.57** .11 Step 2: Add Collective Leadership .15 7.55** Step 3: Add Setting .16 4.60** 2 Step 3 Sign ificant Unique Effects Beta t Unique R ─.24 2.04* .05 SES In sum, these results indicate the following:  O ur model as a whole explains a significant proportion (20%) of variation in stu dent achievement across schools.  C ollective leadership has mod est but significant indirect effects on student achievement. 28

31  f the three teacher variables, the influence of collective leadership on students O motivation and work setting. operates through its influence on teacher W hile collective leadership does have a significant effect on teacher capacity, this  variable is not significantly linked to student achievement. These results confirm, in some respects, and contradict, in others, evidence from two of our earlier studies. One earlier studies incorporated approx imately the same 45 measures used in the present study of teachers‘ capacity, motivation, and work setting. Instead of collective leadership, however, that study used a measure of individual leaders‘ transformational practices. In that study, as in the prese nt one, leadership was most strongly related to teachers‘ work setting and had weaker effects on teacher capacity than on teacher motivation. This earlier study also reported weaker effects of (likely tices on student achievement as individually provided) transformational leadership prac compared with the effects of collective leadership in the present study. This comparison of results provides encouragement, at least, for claims about benefits accruing to students in schools. when leadership is more widely distributed Our second earlier study also differed in several important respects from the 46 present study, but it addressed several of the same questions. Student engagement rather than student achievement was used as the dependent variable, and the varia bles mediating leaderships‘ influence on students were different from those used in the present study. The measure of collective leadership, however, was almost identical to the measure used in the present study. In contrast to the main findings of present study, this earlier study found non - significant, negative effects of collective leadership on students. This important difference in results offers at least modest support for the argument that the choice of mediating variables is a crucial matter in stud ies of leadership effects on 47 students. The differences we have noted among our three studies might well be accounted - trivial differences in their designs. To this point, consistency is greatest in for by non respect to the effects of collective leadershi p on teachers‘ internal states. Specifically, collective leadership has so far not been shown to have a demonstrable impact on our measures of teacher capacity. Also, claims that collective leadership has significant impact on students have received mixed support. Evidence from other recent studies, however, seems to provide further support for this claim, although this evidence has been collected in contexts quite unlike the schools for which we have data. For example, Hiller, Day and Vance (2006) recently reported significant effects of collective leadership on supervisor rated team performance in a road maintenance department. They also - reviewed evidence from six other studies of collective leadership effects on team effectiveness, concluding that collect ive leadership is likely to be effective: 45 Leithwood & Jantzi (2006). 46 Leithwood & Riehl (2005). 47 Hallinger & Heck (2002). 29

32 when teams are engaged in complex tasks that require large amounts of interdependence, but under more routine conditions...the benefits of collective leadership have yet to be demonstrated (2006, p. 388). The Relati ve Influence of Collective Leadership Sources To address this issue, we analyzed teachers‘ ratings of the extent of influence on school decisions of the nine measured sources of collective leadership. Table 1.1.6 reports the mean response of teachers to ea ch source. We calculated paired samples t - - tests to estimate the significance of differences in these ratings. As Table 1.1.6 indicates, principals and district administrators were given the highest, almost identical ratings (M ). The small standard deviations of these ratings indicate = 5.30 and 5.28, respectively considerable agreement among respondents about the perceived influence of people acting in these two roles. There is a significant drop in the rating of the next most - - influential role: building el administrators other than the principal, typically the lev assistant principal (M = 4.75). TABLE 1.1.6 Means and Standard Deviations for Sources of Leadership Ranked from Least to Most Direct Influence (N = 90 Schools) Mean SD Students 3.49 .41 Par ent Advisory Groups 3.84 .58 .49 Some Individual Parents 3.96 4.28 .30 Some Individual Teachers Staff Teams (e. g., depts. grade levels) 4.36 .41 Teachers with Designated Leadership Roles 4.43 .37 .41 Other (not principal) Building - level Administrato rs 4.75 - level Administrators 5.28 .31 District Principals 5.30 .28 Collective Leadership Aggregate 4.42 .24 Rating Scale: 1 = None, 2 = Very Little, 3 = Little, 4 = Some, 5 = Great, 6 = Very Great Among teacher sources of influence, teachers wi th designated leadership roles were perceived to have the strongest influence (M = .4.43), followed by staff teams (M = 4.36) and then some individual teachers (M = 4.28); the ratings of teachers with formal the ratings of staff teams (t = 3.51, p<.01) leadership roles were significantly higher than or some individual teachers (t=5.54, p<.001), and the rating of staff teams was significantly higher than the rating of individual teachers (t=2.19, p<.05). 30

33 Ratings for parents (some individual parents, and par ent advisory groups) were considerably lower than for teachers, ranging from means of 3.84 to 3.96, a statistically significant difference (t = 3.16, p<.01). Respondents perceived students to have the = 3.49). The very low standard lowest level of direct influence on school decisions (m deviation of ratings for all sources of influence, especially for principals, reduces the potential strength of relationships with any other variable in our study. Table 1.1.7 reports the relationships between each of the i ndividual sources of collective leadership and both teacher variables and student achievement (mean annual achievement over three years). Among the teacher variables, work setting has a significant (not principals or individual relationship with seven of the nine sources of leadership teachers). This surprising result for principals may be a reflection of the low level of variation in the ratings noted above. The strongest relationship is between motivation and staff teams (r = .71). Capacity was the only v ariable significantly related to principal influence (r=.22); teachers‘ work setting was the only variable related to other building - administrators (r =.32) and district level administrators (r =.41). Teachers in formally designated roles were significant ly related to all three teacher variables but not to student achievement. Staff teams, individual parents, parent advisory groups, and students all have significant relationships with student achievement. Student her motivation (r =.55). Parent advisory teams are leadership is most strongly related to teac most strongly related to motivation (r =.44) and achievement (r =.56); individual parents are most strongly related to achievement (r =.43) and weakly to setting (.34). There appears to be a differentiatio n between those leaders who are members of the school staff and those who are not. Staff teams have stronger relations with all three teacher variables than any of the other within - school collective leadership sources, and staff teams are the only in - schoo l source of collective leadership related to achievement (r=.28). TABLE 1.1.7 Relationship between Sources of Leadership, Mediating Variables, and Achievement Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficients - (N = 90 Schools) Capacity Motivation Setting Achievement .36** .55** Collective leadership .58** .34** .13 District Admin. .04 .09 .41** .20 .12 Principal - .06 .22* - .01 - .02 Other Bldg. Admin. .11 - .32** .09 .35** Teachers Formal .34** .54** Staff teams .44** .71** .44** .28** .17 Individual Teac .08 - hers .24** .23* .10 .16 .34** .43** Individual Parents Parent Advisory .32** .44** .40** .56** .17 Students .30** .55** .52** 31

34 We were intrigued to see that the two sources of leadership consistently showing significant relationships with all t hree mediating variables, and with student achievement, were collectives: staff teams and parent advisory groups had significant correlations with all our mediators and with student achievement. In schools with high levels of student ratings for capacity, motivation, and setting, we are more likely to achievement, and high see higher levels of influence from staff teams and parent advisory groups. This suggests that there may be something about the collective nature of these roles which adds to their influe nce in the schools. In sum, our results indicate the following:  School decisions are influenced by a broad array of groups and people, reflecting a distributed conception of leadership.  The degree of influence exercised by these people and groups refle cts a traditional, hierarchical conception of leadership in organizations. Teachers rate the influence of - traditional sources. traditional sources of leadership much higher than they rate non  Among teacher roles, the more formalized the leadership expecta tion, the greater the perceived influence. Nonetheless, the influence of parents and students is significantly related to student  achievement. This result may reflect the well - known effects of student SES on achievement. If the profession has become ena mored of distributed forms of leadership, as one might infer from current scholarship, the responses of teachers surveyed here suggest that few changes detectable by teachers have actually occurred in schools. The ground swell nceptions of leadership may well be a kind of ―meta rhetoric‖ of support for distributed co - denoting little reality ―on the ground.‖ This possibility is consistent with a familiar criticism of schools: that as a means of legitimizing their work, they are more concerned with the appeara nce than the substance of change. - long effort to restructure schools — in part, at least, to give Despite a decades parents a greater voice in school decisions — we see little evidence that teachers perceive 48 is outcome probably reflects the well Th much influence from parents, or from students. - known and persistent challenges teachers and administrators face in creating authentic relationships with parents for school improvement purposes. Our results also reinforce - in schools requires much more than two other claims. First, significant change 49 strategies which have often been relied on to encouragement and rational argument, promote greater parent influence. Second, as Jaques (2003) has long maintained, hierarchy is a necessary, unavoidable feature of any larg e organization, even when participants add structures and procedures to encourage lateral influence within the 48 Be ck & Murphy (1998). 49 Desimone (2006) 32

35 hierarchy. If Jaques is correct, current expectations about the extent to which leadership distribution is both possible and desirable in schools will need to be severely modified. Patterns of Collective Leadership and Student Achievement As we reported above, teachers on average perceived influence in their schools to be exercised in a distributed but still hierarchical manner. Nevertheless, pro mpted by widespread claims by many organizational theorists about the benefits of more distributed forms of leadership, we sought to learn whether variations in these perceptions of influence were related to levels of student achievement in schools. To add ress this question we returned to Tannenbaum‘s early work (reviewed above) on 50 control graphs. 5.5 5.0 4.5 Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Q 4 (Rating Scale: 1 to 6) 4.0 Q 5 Ratings 3.5 3.0 Student Ind T ea Sch T eam Par Adv Other S A Principal District Ind Par T ea Role Leadership Sources Figure 3. Relationships between Sources of Collective Leadership Influence and Student Achievement Schools were divided into quintiles based on the mean achi evement of their students on test scores over three years. So, for example, Quintile 1 = schools with the lowest mean achievement over three years and Quintile 5 = schools with the highest mean achievement over three years. To distinguish schools by mea n levels of achievement averaged over three years, we constructed a control graph of our own. As Figure 3 indicates, we first divided the schools in our sample into quintiles on the basis of mean annual student achievement scores. Then we compared teachers ‘ ratings of each source of collective leadership influence across quintiles. 50 Tannenbaum (1961). 33

36 Results displayed in Figure 3 indicate that teachers in the highest - achieving schools (Quintile 5) generally attributed higher levels of influence to all people and groups than did teachers in lower - achieving schools. Even though they attributed greater - traditional leadership roles in higher - achieving schools, teachers influence to non relative amount of perceived that those in traditional leadership roles had the same influence . For example, an increase in the influence of staff teams or parents does not mean less influence for principals and district administrators. Furthermore, teachers in schools whose students achieve in the highest and second - highest quintiles award signifi cantly more relative influence to staff teams; teachers in the highest - quintile schools award significantly more relative influence, as well, to individual parents and to groups of parents. Although we do not include a table reporting all correlations, we found SES to be — a possible explanation significantly (and unsurprisingly) related to student achievement for the high level of influence parents and students apparently exercise in schools in the higher quintiles of performance, which generally serve high er SES students. Three correlations seem especially interesting: those between SES and the influence of individual parents (r = .35), parent advisory committees (r = .53) and students (r = .36). as strongly as student The influence of staff teams was also related to student SES 51 influence was (r = .34). Bidwell, Frank, & Quiroz (1997) provide evidence of the relationship between SES and parental involvement, and, more interestingly, between SES and levels of collegial control in schools. Schools in high - SE S communities, Bidwell found, tend to build collegial professional practice among teachers and to have a particularly high focus on student learning. This evidence indicates, in sum, that participants acting in traditional leadership influential in high - performing schools, a result not evident from the roles remain highly correlation analyses reported in Table 1.1.6. Reflecting a distinction by Dunlap and - over and power Goldman (1991) between power through, our results illustrate the point - that influence in schools is not a fixed sum. In the highest - performing schools, everyone seems to have more influence than participants in low - performing schools, where leadership may be ―laissez - faire‖ — an approach to leadership almost invariably found to 52 be ineffective . Overall, we also see continuing support for Jaques‘ (2003) claim about the inevitable presence of hierarchy in large organizations. Theorists who regard the attainment of ―flat‖ organizational contours as something like a holy grail are running ahead of the evidence. Indeed, the evidence we have reviewed and the implications it suggests conform quite closely to a hypothesis prompted by Tannenbaum‘s conception of control graphs (and proposed by McMahon and Perritt). A decade after Tannenbaum‘s publicati on, McMahon and Perritt (1971) argued that organizational effectiveness may have less to do with ―power equalization‖ than with perceived ―concordance‖ or agreement across roles in control structures. Their research evaluated the degree to which people in different roles in the organization were in agreement about who was most 51 These correlations are all significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed). 52 Avolio (1994). 34

37 influential. Their conclusion ―emphasizes the importance of agreement on the perceptions of the control structure of various hierarchical echelons within an organization‖ (p. 339). We are unable to test this claim directly with our own data, since teachers‘ perceptions are all we have; but it is a hypothesis worthy of further research, especially in light of widespread, unfounded claims about the positive consequences of distributed leadership and flat organizational structures. The pattern of leadership distribution - achieving schools in our study reflects none of Tannenbaum‘s evident among the highest ses with prototypical models. It is, rather, a hybrid composed of ―autocratic‖ (influence ri hierarchical level) and ―polyarchic‖ (high levels of influence for all) prototypes. If one were to accept the inevitability and value of hierarchy in organizing, this hybrid could serve as a best - case scenario. Let‘s call it ―intelligent hierarchy ‖ to reflect the opportunities this hybrid approach affords to ensure that organizations take advantage of the capabilities and strengths of most of their members while at the same time ensuring careful coordination of effort in a common direction. Impli cations for Policy and Practice Three implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. 1. In their efforts to improve student achievement, school - and district - level leaders nificant decisional influence should, as a matter of policy and practice, extend sig to others in the school community. (See also Section 2.1.) - Compared with lower achieving schools, higher achieving schools provided all stakeholders with - greater influence on decisions. The higher performance of these schools might be explained as a consequence of the greater access they have to collective knowledge and wisdom embedded within their communities. 2. Superintendents and principals working to extend influence to others should not be unduly concerned about losing th eir own influence. Results reported here show that higher - performing schools awarded greater influence to most stakeholders; at the same time, little changed in these schools‘ overall hierarchical structure. Our data depict the hierarchical structure of in fluence typically associated with roles and responsibilities in schools and districts — a structure that conforms, we believe, with Jacques ‘ (2003) claim about requisite hierarchy in social organizations large enough to place significant demands on the coord ination of its members‘ actions. 3. In responding to demands that they focus sharply on improving their teachers‘ instructional capacities, school and district leaders should not overlook the s to motivate influence they can have on classroom practice by continuing effort their teachers, and to align their teachers‘ work settings with what is known about effective instructional practice. 35

38 Our results show that collective leadership is linked to student tivation and teachers‘ achievement indirectly, through its effects on teacher mo 53 workplace settings. As in several of our previous studies, we found significant but much weaker relationships between leadership and teacher capacity. At least in part, our measure of teacher capacity may explain these results. It w as primarily a measure of professional development opportunities — that is, opportunities to learn from colleagues in a variety of ways — rather than a direct measure of the knowledge and skills teachers need to foster student achievement. In effect, while pri ncipals and their co - leaders exert a significant influence on teacher access to professional learning opportunities, their power to influence the quality and impact of those activities on teacher knowledge and skills may be more limited. Thus, our finding of the absence of a strong relationship between the indirect measure of teacher capacity that we used and student achievement may simply reflect the low quality of typical professional development inputs available to teachers in schools. This qualificati on, however, does not diminish our finding that motivation and work settings — factors subject to leadership influence — have significant effects on student achievement. In light of this, a narrow focus on leadership efforts aimed only at building teacher capa cities would be misguided. 53 Leithwood & Jantzi (2006); Leithwood et al. (2004a). 36

39 1.2 Shared Leadership: Effects on Teachers and Students of Principals and Teachers Leading Together Key Findings Leadership practices targeted directly at improving instruction have significant  effects on teachers‘ working relationships and, indirectly, on student achievement.  When principals and teachers share leadership, teachers‘ working relationships are stronger and student achievement is higher.  Leadership effects on student achievement occur largely because effectiv e leadership strengthens professional community — a special environment within which teachers work together to improve their practice and improve student learning. Professional community, in turn, is a strong predictor of instructional practices that are str ongly associated with student achievement. The link between professional community and student achievement may be  explained by reference to a school climate that encourages levels of student effort srooms. above and beyond the levels encouraged in individual clas  Students in elementary schools perform better on state tests than students in upper grades. Principal leadership practices are unable, by themselves, to overcome this difference.  The factor of trust is less significant than the factors of instruc tional leadership and shared leadership (although it is associated with both). Introduction Section 1.1 describes the extent to which a wide array of stakeholders may influence school decisions; it also describes the effects of broadly based influence on student learning. Section 1.2 focuses more narrowly on relationships among actors within schools, examining leadership shared by principals and teachers as it may affect classroom practice and student learning. We focus here on principals and teacher s for two main reasons. First, professionals acting within schools are uniquely well positioned to affect students‘ classroom experience. Second, the narrower focus pushes us beyond a simple definition fication of the functions responsible for of leadership as influence, to a more explicit speci such influence. 37

40 Section 1.2 addresses two questions: the sharing of Do three specific attributes of principals‘ leadership behavior  — onals, leadership with teachers, the development of trust relationships among professi — and the provision of support for instructional improvement affect teachers‘ work with one another, and their classroom practices? Do these leadership behaviors and attributes contribute to student achievement?  Prior Evidence Prior evidence rel evant to this component of our study identifies factors related to shared leadership, school conditions mediating the effects of shared leadership, and effective classroom instruction. We focus on variables that may contribute to a school‘s mate, including (1) variables on which principals can have some direct culture and cli - teacher relations, trust, and shared leadership; (2) variables on effect, such as principal to - which principals may have less influence, such as teacher - teacher relations in professiona l communities, and collective responsibility; and (3) variables on which the principal has indirect control, such as teachers‘ sense of personal efficacy, and the quality of instruction. We assume that the effects of principal leadership on students are a lmost entirely 54 indirect. The long line of research on school effectiveness shows that classroom environment and the quality of instruction are the variables linked most strongly to student learning (although some questions remain about the relative effect iveness of 55 Teacher characteristics (such as type of degree or specific modes of instruction). 56 certification) have limited effects, operating for the most part indirectly, through their 57 impact on instruction. In other words: to learn how leadership contr ibutes to student 58 learning, we must ask how leadership affects instruction. Starting with Instruction Various models of good instruction have evolved over the last several decades, but differences among them remain only partially resolved. An early revi ew of research — showed that certain instructional practices e.g., using academic objectives to establish learning expectations, using particular strategies for classroom management, and pacing instruction appropriately, given the content to be taught and th e characteristics of the 59 learners — were consistently associated with student achievement. After the late 1980s, theory and research increasingly emphasized inquiry - based instructional models, in which the teacher‘s most important role was in designing less ons or learning experiences 54 Witziers, Bosker, & Kruger (2003). 55 Cohen, Raudenb ush, & Ball (2003). 56 Wayne & Youngs (2003). 57 Smith, Desimone, & Ueno (2005). 58 Wahlstrom & Louis (2008). 59 Brophy (1986). 38

41 that involved guiding students toward new understanding through exploration and 60 While some approaches to constructivism emphasized modest roles for induction. nsibilities consistent teachers (as ―guides on the side‖), others gave teachers clear respo with traditional roles, but also for organizing learning environments that develop 61 students‘ sense of responsibility for their own learning. Researchers today rarely address ―time on task‖ as a simplistic factor. Still, a growing body of evidence shows that student learning is enhanced when teachers 62 at least when the exercise appropriate control over the pacing of classroom work, activity in question is based on rich materials and stimuli. Recent reviews have begun to 63 reemphasize the role of the teacher in directing student learning. A particular problem is that research based on observations of instruction in widely varying settings (e.g., different disciplines, different grade levels) often yields little in the way of details sufficiently specific to understand the choices particular 64 teachers must make. Taking adequate account of the complexity of classroom instruction is very difficult. As Cohen, Raudenbush, and Ball (2003) note, this is because teachers and students are ind ependent and idiosyncratic actors. What happens - specific, making it difficult to generalize instructionally in a given situation is context validly about particular reform efforts aimed, for example, at developing shared ty. Moreover, research to date has done little to leadership and professional communi identify direct links between the policies and practices of school - level leaders and the provision of high - quality instruction, whether teacher - directed or teacher - guided. In a previous paper we used fact or analysis to demonstrate that teachers report a distinctive style of teaching — one that incorporates direct influence over the pacing and content of classroom work while also providing opportunities for students to take charge of their own learning and co nstruct their own knowledge. We called this style of teaching 65 66 In our view, if we overlook certain teacher - educator debates, ―focused instruction.‖ - our finding that ―real teachers‖ combine elements of a traditional teacher centered model with elements of constructivist models is consistent with other research on instructional 67 approaches that are linked to student achievement. Instructional Leadership instructional As Hallinger (2005) notes in a recent review of scholarship, leadership is an idea that re fuses to go away, although it has been poorly defined since it was first introduced in the 1970s. In the school building, the principal is expected to understand the tenets of quality instruction, and to have sufficient knowledge of the 60 Wiske (1998). 61 Fenstermacher & Richardson (2005). 62 Allington (2001); Knapp (1995); and Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole (2000). 63 Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark (2006). 64 see, for example, Newmann & Associates (1996). 65 Wahlstrom & Louis (2008). 66 Wilson & Peterson (2006). 67 Newmann & Associates (1996). 39

42 68 curriculum to ensur This e that appropriate content is being delivered to all students. presumes that the principal is capable of providing constructive feedback to improve teaching, or that she or he can design a system in which others provide this support. - informed support from principals makes a Research shows t hat consistent, well 69 and principals accordingly face increasing pressure to deliver (or at least difference, promote) better support for instruction. In their efforts to act as instructional leaders, some princip als benefit from support provided, for example, through professional development programs; those who do are 70 more likely than others to enact this leadership role consistently. While some scholars of curricular content and emphasize the importance of principals‘ deep understanding 71 others pay more attention to principals‘ support for improved instructional materials, 72 instruction. Typically, those who emphasize the importance of deep content knowledge 73 study elementary schools. Even in elementary schools, h owever, the principal‘s ability to provide support through effective interaction may be more important than his or her 74 specific content knowledge. Middle and high school principals cannot be expected to provide substantive support for instruction, given the multiple disciplines that are taught in their schools. Thus, many studies of instructional leadership in secondary schools emphasize the development of improved learning environments for teachers, focusing on the ability of 75 principals to stimulate tea Because our study includes chers‘ innovative behavior. secondary schools, we chose to emphasize supportive behaviors as well as direct coaching or modeling of instruction. Shared Leadership For more than three decades, reform proposals have recommended the inclusion of teachers in shared leadership roles. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, efforts to promote school - based management often included formal representation of teachers in decision making — k although many investigations of these efforts report wea 76 implementation. Recent policy discussions (within, e.g., the Education Commission of the States, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and teacher professional associations) suggest broad support now for expanding teachers‘ participation in leader ship and decision making tasks. These discussions are compatible with findings - from some research which suggests that increasing teacher influence may improve 77 schools significantly. Other research, however, suggests that teachers‘ involvement in 68 Marzano et al. (2005). 69 Hallinger (2005); Mosenthal, Lipson, Torncello, Russ, & Mekkelsen (2004). 70 Camburn, Rowan, & Taylor (2003). 71 Stein & Nelson (2003). 72 Leithwood (2001) ; O'Donnell & White (2005). 73 Burch & Spillane (2003). 74 Spillane, Hallett , & Diamond (2003). 75 Halverson, Grigg, Prichett, & Thomas (2007); Silins & Mulfor d (2004). 76 Anderson (1998); Malen (1994). 77 Leithwood et al. (2007); Leithwood et al. (2008); Mayrowetz & Smylie (2004); Spillane, Halvorson, & Diamond (2004). 40

43 cision formal de making or leadership roles will have limited impact on student - 78 achievement. Still, what constitutes and promotes the distribution or sharing of leadership in a school is somewhat unclear. Sharing leadership may have its greatest impact by reducin g 79 teacher isolation and increasing commitment to the common good. Experiencing informal influence and feedback through professional discussions encourages a focus on 81 80 In this paper shared practices and goals, and it may foster organizational innovation. we define shared leadershi p broadly to denote teachers‘ influence over, and their - wide decisions with principals. This view of shared leadership participation in, school reflects an emerging consensus among scholars about the people who are concerned with formal and informal enactments of leadership roles; it also distinguishes our approach shared leadership from the approach of scholars who blend the concept of with 82 . instructional leadership Trust The concept of has been a staple o f organizational research organizational trust for some time. It matters a great deal whether participants in an organization trust the decision - making capacity of the organization‘s leaders. Driscoll (1978) found that such trust predicts overall satisfaction with the organiza tion better than employee participation in decision making. A more recent study examined changes in levels of trust within work teams; it found that the perceived ability of colleagues was a strong predictor of trust, and 83 taking behaviors. ctor for risk - that trust was a significant predi In the past two decades, studies of trust as a factor in school improvement have begun to illuminate certain actions leaders take to alter the culture in a school 84 In a sample of secondary schools, Tarter et a l. (1989) found that supportive positively. principal behavior and faculty trust were significantly correlated. In schools with higher levels of engaged teachers, moreover, teachers expressed higher levels of trust in their colleagues. Tarter‘s study implies that prin cipals can build trust indirectly through supportive behavior, but they cannot make teachers trust one another through direct action. Similarly, Bryk and Schneider‘s (2003) study of Chicago elementary schools d for teachers, competence in core role found that principal respect and personal regar responsibilities, and personal integrity were associated with relational trust among all adult members of the school. Louis (2007) identified similar principal behaviors that ared leadership. High trust schools exhibited more affect trust, and also linked trust to sh - collective decision making, with a greater likelihood that reform initiatives were widespread, and with demonstrated improvements in student learning. Tschannen Moran - also outlined key leadership behaviors and specific actions that engender trust. For 78 Marks & Louis (1997); Smylie, Conley, & Marks (2002). 79 Pounder (1999). 80 Chrispeels, Casti llo, & Brown (2000); Marks & Printy (2003). 81 Harris (2009 ). 82 Marks & Printy (2003). 83 Serva, Fuller, & Meyer (2005). 84 See, e.g., Bryk & Schneider (2003); Hoy & Sweetland (2001); Louis (2007b); Tarter, Bliss, & Hoy - Moran (2004). (1989); Tschannen 41

44 example, ―Competence‖ is enacted by ―engaging in problem solving, setting standards, buffering teachers, pressing for results‖ (2004, p.34). More recently, trust has been shown et their superiors‘ ability to carry out more technical and to predict how educators interpr 85 transformational leadership functions. Embedded in the notion of trust is the key distinction between the ―trustee‖ and n a particular the ―trustor,‖ that is, those having more or less power (or dependence) i — 86 Teachers‘ views of trustworthy principals tend to be based on the leadership situation. characteristics outlined above. However, we have much less information about why principals do or do not trust their teachers. rofessional Community Teacher Leadership and P teacher trust, - While we have focused thus far on shared leadership and principal - teacher relationships are even more important as a foundation for the way in teacher 87 and how they are affe which teachers work to improve instruction, cted by the leadership 88 behavior of principals. Here we emphasize the importance of professional community , largely because accumulating evidence shows that it is related to improved instruction, 90 89 and one of our leadership variables (s hared leadership). student achievement , - Barr and Duke (2004) view professional community as a vehicle for the York exercise of teacher leadership, a perspective that we adopt in this paper. Supportive interaction among teachers in school wide professional communities enable them to - assume various roles with one another as mentor, mentee, coach, specialist, advisor, nts to more than just facilitator, and so on. However, professional community amou support; it also includes shared values, a common focus on student learning, col laboration in the development of curriculum and instruction, and the purposeful sharing of 91 practices all of which may be thought of as distributed leadership. — Findings from several studies cited above suggest that when the professional community focuse s on the quality of student learning, teachers adopt instructional practices that enhance students‘ learning. While many factors affect whether or not y significant factor is strong professional community exists in a school, one highl 92 Professional community is closely associated with leadership by principa ls. organizational learning, and the term ―professional learning communities‖ has become a common shorthand expression among practitioners. Thus, the presence of a professional collective learning of new practices community appears to foster when there is — 93 principal leadership. 85 Daly & Chrispeels (2008). 86 Driscoll (1978). 87 Louis (2006). 88 Wiley (2001). 89 King & Newmann (2001); Louis & Marks (1998); Smylie & Wenzel (2003). 90 - Barr & Duke (2004). Scribner, Sawyer, Watson, & Myers (2007); York 91 Hord & Sommers (forthcoming); McLaughlin & Talbert (2002). 92 See, e.g., Bryk, Camburn & Louis (1999), and Louis & Marks (1998). 93 Marks, Louis, & Printy (2002). 42

45 School Level Many characteristics of schools may moderate leadership effects. In this paper, we focus on potential differences between elementary and secondary schools. Investiga tions of principal leadership effects on teachers and students are often carried 94 out using only one type of school. Those that use samples from all levels (e.g., Marks & ber Printy, 2003) are based on a small number of cases, while those based on a larger num 95 Nevertheless, of schools often use a convenience sample drawn from a single district. there is reason to suppose that leadership practices and their effects may be different in elementary and secondary schools, given differences of school size and org anization. The principal in a very large school simply does not have time to work directly with all teachers. As Harris (2002) points out, secondary school principals seem to influence teachers and teaching practice because of the organizational climate th ey create, not through specific interactions or interventions. New Evidence An analytic framework derived from prior scholarship and our previous investigation of the relationship between principal leadership and instruction guided our 96 hared leadership. examination of s We assumed that both principal - teacher relationships (indicated by trust, instructional leadership, and perceptions of shared leadership) and teacher - teacher relationships (indicated by professional community) will affect classroom pract ice. Classroom practice — particularly the type of instruction that combines elements - of teacher directed and constructivist approaches — should, in turn, affect student learning. We emphasize the importance of classroom practice as the direct cause of increas ed student learning because there is little evidence, from either survey or qualitative research, that principal leadership can have a direct effect apart from changes in teacher practice. Our specific intention, once again, is to explore two questions: Do three specific attributes of principals‘ leadership behavior —  the sharing of leadership with teachers, the development of trust relationships among professionals, and the provision of support for instructional improvement — affect teachers‘ work with each other and their classroom practices?  Do these leadership behaviors and attributes contribute to student achievement? Method This component of our study utilized data from the first and second round of teacher surveys. Each of the two surveys contained s ome items from established instruments, as well as many new items. This section of our study is based on surveys of 94 Bryk & Schneider (2002); Cascadden (1998); Friedkin & Slater (1994); Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy (2000a); Harris (2002). 95 Leech & Fulto n (2008); Leithwood & Jantzi (1999a). 96 Wahlstrom & Louis (2008). 43

46 s, with a response rate of 67% 4,491 teachers in 43 districts in 157 school (for Round One, 34 with a response rate of 55% schools, in 2005), and 3,900 teachers in 40 districts in 1 97 (for Round Two, in 2008). It combines some measures from the first teacher survey (principal leadership variables) with some from the second teacher survey (measures of trust, and an improved measure of focused inst ruction). We measured each of the variables in the surveys using multiple items. The items and their alphas are shown in Table 1.2.1. We wish to draw particular attention to the Focused Instruction variable, which combines elements of constructivist (stu dent controlled) and direct (teacher controlled) behaviors. The other measures are based largely on items that we adapted for this study from previous surveys. 97 The method of survey administration, which involved filling out surveys during a faculty meeting, makes a completely accurate response rate difficult to determine, largely because of incom plete staff lists at the building level. In addition, a few schools that participated in 2004 dropped out for 2008, and were replaced. Because we use data from both surveys, our N of schools is thus reduced to 106 when missing achievement in. data are factored 44

47 TABLE 1.2.1 Scale Reliability for Variables (N = 106 Schools) Alpha Sample Items Variable cused Fo 3 - 16 My instructional strategies enable students to construct their own .77 knowledge. Instruction 3 - 18 Disruptions of instructional time are minimized. - 19 Most students in my class are capable of taking charge of their own 3 learning in age - ap propriate ways. 20 I focus on developing a deep knowledge of the core subjects that I 3 - teach. Professional 4 Most teachers in our school share a similar set of values, beliefs, and - 2 . 85 Community attitudes related to teaching and learning. - 8 I n our school we have well defined learning expectations for all students. 2 - 3 17 How many teachers in this school take responsibility for improving the school outside their own class? 3 - 20 How often in this school year have you invited someone in to he lp teach your class(es)? 3 - 22 How often in this school year have you received meaningful feedback on your performance from colleagues? 23 How often in this school year have you visited other teachers' - 3 classrooms to observe instruction? often in this school year have you had conversations with 28 How 3 - colleagues about what helps students learn best? 3 The department chairs/grade - Shared level team leaders influence how money is - 2 .78 Leadership spent in this school. - - 5 Teachers have an effec tive role in school wide decision making. 2 2 - 19 Teachers have significant input into plans for professional development and growth. School's principal(s) ensures wide participation in decisions about school 4 - 9 improvement. Instructional 4 - 10 My school administrator clearly defines standards for instructional .82 Leadership practices. 4 - 13 How often in this school year has your school administrator discussed instructional issues with you? 4 - 16 How often in this school year has your school admin istrator observed your classroom instruction? - 18 How often in this school year has your school administrator attended 4 teacher planning meetings? 4 - 19 How often in this school year has your school administrator made suggestions to improve classroom behavior or classroom management? 4 - 21 How often in this school year has your school administrator given you specific ideas for how to improve your instruction? Trust 4 .90 - 24 When teachers are struggling, our principal provides support for them. 4 - 25 Our principal ensures that all students get high quality teachers. 4 - 26 If my principal promised to do something, s/he would follow through. 4 - 27 In general, I believe my principal's motives and intentions are good. work problems with my principal without fear of 28 I feel free to discuss 4 - having it used against me later. 45

48 Using the conceptual framework outlined above, we initially performed correlation analyses and stepwise linear regressions. We then used causal modeling (using the SPSS AMO S program) to examine the direct and indirect effects of leadership on achievement. We chose mathematics achievement as our dependent measure largely - because within school variability in instructional quality may be lower for mathematics 98 than for other sub jects. However, we also conducted comparable analyses using state literacy test scores, with results similar to those reported below. The Indirect Nature of Leadership Effects We initially assumed that the effects of leadership on student achievement are largely indirect, operating through other variables. We examined this assumption by examining correlations, which are presented in Table 1.2.2. The results indicate that on, achievement scores in mathematics are significantly associated with focused instructi professional community, and teachers‘ trust in the principal; they are not significantly associated with principal behaviors (instructional leadership and shared leadership), ional which provides support for our assumption. Trust in the principal and profess community, on the other hand, are both associated with achievement in mathematics, which suggests that relationships among adults may be important factors determining tter how well students perform. In our sample, students in elementary schools perform be than students in secondary schools on state benchmark tests. Table 1.2.2 Relationship between Survey Variables and Student Achievement: Correlation Coefficients (N = 106 Schools) 2004 - 05 Building Mean Building Mean Mean Math Building Mean Building Mean Building Mean Focu sed Proficiency for Shared Instructional Professional Instruction Trust T2 Leadership That Building Leadership T2 Community 2004 05 Mean Math 1 - Proficiency for That Building ** .269 1 Building Mean Focused Instruction .006 summed ** - .071 .310 Building Mean 1 Instructional .001 .475 Leadership T2 * ** ** .490 .436 1 Building Mean Trust .249 T2 .000 .000 .011 ** ** .330 Building Mean .106 .170 .256 1 Shared Leadership .276 .007 .000 .052 ** * ** ** ** .420 .510 Building Mean 1 .451 .597 .198 Professional .000 .000 .023 .000 .000 Community * ** ** ** * Bldg Level 0=Elem - .315 - .166 - .252 - - .209 .216 - .540 1 = Mid/Jr/Sr .013 .001 .086 .009 .014 .000 98 Newmann & Associates (1996). 46

49 If we look at the remaining cells in the corr elation matrix, it is clear that the measures of predictors are highly correlated. Our data are consistent with results from other studies in suggesting, for example, that on many measures the quality of teachers‘ work life (trust, professional community, experience of strong leadership) is lower in 99 secondary schools. In addition, teachers whose experience with other adults is positive on one of our dimensions tend to have similarly positive responses on the others. In sum, while the results are confirmato ry, they suggest a need for further analysis to investigate how the relationships among the variables may combine to affect teachers‘ classroom practice and student learning. We therefore conducted several stepwise regression analyses to address the two qu study. estions serving as the focus for this sub - Effects on Teachers’ Work of Selected Attributes of Leadership Behavior To address this question, we performed further analyses on results from our 100 earlier investigations , looking at the relationship bet ween principal behaviors and characteristics and teachers‘ instructional practice. The results of this regression are presented in Table 1.2.3. Table 1.2.3 Regression of Instructional Practice on Teacher and Principal Leadership (N = 106 Schools) Model F R(R2) Beta t Sig. 1 (Constant) 9.471 .000 6.102 .000 .37.24*** Prof. Community .51(.26) .510 2 (Constant) 9.138 .000 3.173 .002 Prof. Community .337 Instructional .674 .041 .422 Leadership .239 Trust in Principal 2.432 .017 d Leadership .096 1.014 .313 Share 12.15* .56(.32) (Constant) 3 8.141 .000 .280 Prof. Community .024 2.285 Instructional .051 .524 .601 Leadership 2.358 .020 Trust in Principal .233 Shared Leadership .113 1.167 .246 Building Level - .092 - .946 .346 9.9 .57(.33) Sig ≥.01 * Sig ≥ .001** 99 Louis & Marks (1998). 100 1998 ). Wahlstrom & Louis (2008); Louis & Marks ( 47

50 Using a 3 model approach, we first examined the relationship between professional community and focused instruction, adding principal behaviors and characteristics in model 2, and finally adding school level, which has been shown in previous studies to affect both professional community and instruction. The results suggest that professional community and trust in the principal are the only significant munity predictors. In addition, until building level is added in model 3, professional com seems to bear more weight than trust (the change in the relationship in model 3 is presumably accounted for by the negative relationship between being a secondary school that collegial relations hips and trusting the principal). It is apparently the case among - teacher or teacher - teacher , lead to stronger adults in the school, whether principal focused instruction. The Influence of Principal Leadership on Student Achievement To address the second question, about the effects of principal leadership on student achievement, we again used a 3 model approach. Table 1.2.4 Regression of Student Achievement in Math on Teacher and Principal Leadership Variables (N = 106 Schools) Model Standardized R(R2) Significance F/Sig. Coefficients Change t Sig. Model Beta - 1.372 1 .173 (Constant) Focused Instruction .267 2.785 .006 7.76** .27(.07) 2 (Constant) - 1.624 .107 1.887 Focused Instruction .208 .062 .119 1.076 .284 Prof. Community 4.46* .29 (.08) (Constant) - .695 3 .489 1.597 .114 Focused Instruction .179 Prof. Community .108 .761 .449 Bldg. Level - .154 - 1.398 .165 - .315 - 2.816 .006 Instructional Leadership Trust in Principal .243 2.102 .038 Shared Leadership - .059 - .534 .594 3.74** .44(.19 ) Sig ≥.01 * Sig ≥ .001** 48

51 We looked first at the instruction - learning relationship in model 1, then added - professional community (teacher teacher relationships) as a second step, and finally added both building level and leadership characteristics in a th ird stage (Table 1.2.4). The results indicate that instructional practices have a significant effect on achievement (Model 1), but that this effect is diminished when we introduce teachers‘ professional community (Model 2), and it is further diminished whe n we look at school level and school demographic characteristics (Model 3). The second regression model shows that adding professional community to the - achievement model barely raises the percentage of variance explained. simple instruction However, when the leadership variables are added in model 3, there is a large increase in the R and R2, which suggests that principal leadership, even if it operates indirectly, is important. Both trust in leadership and instructional leadership exhibit significant reg ression coefficients, while building level and shared leadership are insignificant . Overall, adding leadership variables and the building level control variable more than s double the percentage of explained variance in math ematics achievement . In other word , the regression evide nce is strong for a relatively important leadership effect. While the regressions support our assumption that leadership affects student assu med that it was unwise to over - interpret the regression coefficients , learning, we t he relatively high correlations among the predictor variables. In addition, the given results of the two regressions raise as many questions as they answer. Why, for example, he does instructional leadership exercised by principals have an insignificant effect in t regressions that focused on instruction as the dependent variable, while it shows a strong effect when the dependent variable is student achievement? We therefore moved to test our assumptions through causal modeling, guided by a set of possible interpr etations of the regressions, as well as the literature reviewed above. Figure 4 presents the model that illustrates the least complicated approach to answering the two questions motivating our inquiry. of Principals’ Leadership Behavior on Teachers and Student Figure 4: Effects Achievement 49

52 The model makes the simplifying assumption that we do not know enough to examine a causal relationship among the three measures of leadership ositioned, along with the dichotomous variable behavior/characteristics. They are, thus, p reflecting the building level (elementary/secondary) at the left side of the mo del. In light of prior research, we then assume that leadership behaviors and characteristics are the factors most likely to creat e the conditions for professional community to develop among teachers. We discuss additional assumptions in our interpretation of results, which follows. We used the maximum likelihood method for the path analysis. We assessed model and the data via three fit indices: the goodness of - fit - goodness of fit between the index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), and the comparative fit index (CFI). GFI, NFI, and 101 The CFI is CFI values greater than .9 indicate that the model is a good fit with the data. 102 ritical, since it is a useful statistic with relatively small samples. particularly c The values of the GFI (.952), CFI (.924,), and the NFI (.900) all meet the suggested criterion. Taken together, these results indicate that the fit between the model and the data is 103 equate. ad We interpret the findings of the path analysis as follows:  Although principal instructional leadership has significant effects on teachers‘ working relationships (professional community), its direct effects on instruction are limited. Shared  leadership was not assumed to have a direct effect on instruction, but rather an indirect effect through professional community as a locus for teacher leadership focused on instructional improvement. The model confirms this indirect relationship.  Trust , which represents the emotional bond between the principal and teachers, was assumed to have a strong impact on teacher - teacher relationships. The model suggests, however, that its impact on professional community is limited, compared to rship behaviors. the effect of leade Building level , as expected, has a strong effect on professional community (with  elementary schools being advantaged), and an equally strong direct effect on achievement (again, an elementary school advantage), but no significant effect on focused instruction. We did not expect the latter result; it suggests a need for further investigation to clarify the dynamics of professional community, instruction, and achievement in high schools. We explore this topic further in Section 1.5. Profes sional community has significant indirect effects on achievement, owing to its  strong relationship to focused instruction. 101 Bentler & Bonett (1980) . 102 Bentler (1990) . 103 The RMSEA is .45, which is considerably higher than the suggested value of .05. 50

53 Discussion Efforts to determine how principal leadership affects student achievement have a ysis provides the most extensive empirical test to date rich, albeit recent, history. Our anal of whether instructional leadership, shared leadership, and trust in the principal, when considered together, have the potential to increase student learning. The answer is an yes, but the unqualified findings are complex and suggest a need for further analysis. First, the emotional side of principal behavior — which we have assessed by reference to teachers‘ trust in the principals as ethical, caring, and competent — has on its own been shown to have a strong relationship to student outcomes. In our study, however, its relative significance diminishes when we take into consideration principal behaviors, as measured by our constructs of instructional leadership and shared epared, based on a single study and a simple path model, to leadership. Still, we are not pr discount the importance of the emotional side of leadership, which has been shown in studies in industry as well as education to have powerful effects on the way in which work. people engage with their Because trust is highly correlated with other key measures used in this study, we are inclined to say that our assumption — that trust is not reciprocal, for example, with professional community — is unwarranted . Further investigation is warranted to d etermine how the emotional side of leadership interacts with other leadership behaviors and with teachers‘ relationships with one another. Follow - up research might build on existing 104 work, but it also should attend more directly to instrumental leadership a ctions. Shared leadership and instructional leadership are important variables, but they are indirectly related to student achievement. Both seem to gain their influence because of their strong relationships to other variables: to the way in which teach ers organize themselves into professional communities, to reflective discussions about instruction, and to a sense of collective responsibility for student learning. This finding is hardly ich generally surprising when we consider the arguments for shared leadership, wh emphasize expanding the sphere of responsibility and creativity to meet pressing school needs. The largely indirect effects of instructional leadership are, however, equally significant. While principals may engage in classroom visits and mod el good teaching by working with individual teachers, individual interventions (which would have emerged as a direct effect on good classroom practice) seem less important than detailed 105 investigations of elementary schools suggest. The finding is importa shared leadership and instructional leadership nt because are often regarded as alternative strategies for reaching the desired end of student learning. Those advocating instructional leadership emphasize the need to maintain a singular focus on classroom practice as the key to improving student achievement, and they point to the important role of the principal as a model. Others who look at shared leadership point to the importance of creating a learning organization in which all eyes 104 Hargreaves (2001); Leithwood & Beatty (2007); Little (1996); Zembylas (2003). 105 Spillane (2005); Stein & Nelson (2003). 51

54 are focused on leade rship for learning. Our data suggest that these are complementary approaches, and that both may be necessary. Thus, using a larger and more diverse sample, we affirm Marks and Printy‘s (2003) work, which emphasizes the importance of ci (in their case, transformational and instructional). combining leadership fo The findings regarding differences between elementary and secondary schools are particularly important as we begin to develop theories of effective school leadership. Our results, as we have noted, suggest the need for further inquiry; still, it is clear that the job of fostering student achievement is far easier in elementary schools than in secondary schools. Implications for Policy and Practice Four implications for policy and practice emerg ed from this section of our study. 1. Teachers and educators holding formal administrative responsibilities need to acknowledge and act on the importance of collective, shared efforts to improve instruction. is regarded by some teach Professional community ers as a code term for an administratively initiated program designed to encourage teachers to analyze student achievement data and turn it into improved test scores. Our analysis suggests that the reality is more complex. Teachers do need to work together to improve instruction and student learning, but administrators also need to be part of the process. The process may be as simple as having principals participate in professional development activities for teachers, or as complex as reorganizing the forma l authority structure of the school. In any case, it requires a rethinking of the ―bright line‖ that often separates administration and teaching. 2. To realize their potential as instructional leaders, principals working in middle ed particular modes of support. They face a distinct schools and high schools ne challenge, shaped by the large, complex settings in which they work, and the level of support extended to them should be commensurate with their distinct needs. Simply increasing the pressure on princi pals is unlikely to bring about real improvements in principal - teacher collaboration and achievement levels in secondary schools. Many school districts, however, lack the capacity to do more than that. We suggest accordingly that entities at the state or t he regional/national level will need to be involved. Because we know from international studies ( PISA and TIMSS, e.g.) that secondary schools are the weakest link in our educational system, and that they show limited capacity for improvement under accountability policies, we suggest that designing and providing new current programs to support secondary school principals must become a policy priority. 52

55 Principal preparation and professional development programs should continue to 3. emphasize both the ―softer ‖ (emotional) and the ―harder‖ (behavioral) aspects of While our results suggest that principals‘ behavior is more important leadership. than the levels of trust principals evoke, behavior and levels of trust are empirically part of a bundle that is diffic ult to disentangle. Trust without instructional and shared leadership to support it may be of little consequence for students, but our data suggest that teachers‘ relationships with one another, and their trust in the principal, cannot be easily disaggrega ted. While public policy and community opinion increasingly put pressure on 4. principals to improve student performance, it is equally important to expect that principals also take actions that support instructional and shared leadership which ved student learning lead to impro . Increasing teachers‘ involvement in the difficult task of making good decisions and introducing improved practices must . be at the heart of school leadership. There is no simple short - cut 53

56 1.3 Principals : Patterns of Distributed Leadership by Sources, Beliefs, Interactions, and Influences Key Findings  While there are many sources of leadership in schools, principals remain the central source.  How leadership is distributed in schools depends on what is to be accomplished, on t he availability of professional expertise, and on principals‘ preferences regarding the use of professional expertise.  No single pattern of leadership distribution is consistently linked to student learning. Principals are involved in many leadership act ivities; others who act as leaders in  the school ordinarily do so in respect to one or a few initiatives.  Leadership is more distributed for practices aimed at ―developing people‖ and ―managing instruction‖ than it is for ―setting directions‖ and ―struct uring the workplace.‖  More complex and coordinated patterns of distributed leadership appear when school improvement initiatives focus directly on student learning goals, as distinct from the implementation of specific programs. Introduction Leadersh ip can be conceptualized and studied as an individual or an organizational phenomenon. The former conception orients us toward an analysis of the beliefs, actions, personal traits, and influence of individuals recognized by others as leaders. An organizati onal perspective suggests that leadership is unlikely to be constituted solely of the actions and influence of an individual. According to this view, we need to examine the range of leadership sources, beliefs, actions, interactions, and influences recogni zed by participants in those settings. Section 1.1 of our report describes influence arising from various sources of leadership as that influence comes to bear on school decisions, teachers‘ work, and student learning. Section 1.2 describes leadership sha red among principals and teachers as that leadership relates to instruction, trust, professional community, and student achievement. These two sections are based on evidence from teacher surveys and student 54

57 ed on evidence from principal and achievement data. In contrast, Section 1.3 is bas teacher interviews. We analyze this evidence in an effort to answer four questions: Who participates in leadership distribution?   What patterns does leadership distribution take? How is responsibility for ―core‖ leadersh ip functions (described in other sections)  distributed?  How is leadership distribution related to school improvement goals? Prior Evidence Scholars recently have focused considerable attention on the properties and ion in schools and districts — complexities of leadership distribut sources, focal points, 106 functions, interactions, contexts, and outcomes. We know that leadership may be distributed in various patterns, though consensus on a typology and terms remains elusive. Furthermore, we know little to n othing about how different forms of leadership distribution enhance or do not enhance the accomplishment of organizational goals. Gronn (2002) refers to holistic and additive models of leadership distribution. The additive model refers to a dispersed pa ttern of leadership in which multiple members of an organization provide leadership for varying goals and/or tasks. Different members may provide leadership for different purposes, without coordination or a shared focus. interdependency and coordination among varied The holistic model suggests greater sources, focused on shared goals and tasks. At a more micro level, Spillane (2006) identifies three arrangements for - distributing leadership responsibilities: division of labor (different leaders for differ ent tasks), co - performance (multiple leaders together for same task), and parallel performance (multiple leaders perform the same tasks but in different contexts). Similarly, Goldstein (2003) and Gronn (2002) distinguish between situations in which leaders hip for specific tasks is enacted by multiple leaders, together or separately. Spillane expands upon this formulation, defining three types of co - performance: collaborated distribution (multiple leaders jointly enact the same leadership practice in the sam e context); collective distribution (multiple leaders perform separate but interdependent tasks in different contexts and in support of the same goal); and coordinated distribution (interdependent actions of multiple leaders are performed in a particular s equence). Recently, Leithwood and his colleagues have conceptualized a typology that offers a more general theoretical framework for exploring the distribution of leadership in 106 MacBeath (2005) and S pillane (2006) 55

58 107 organizations. The framework, grounded in a research - based definition of le adership , identifies four categories of ―core‖ leadership functions: setting directions, developing 108 people, redesigning the organization, and managing the instructional program. This and in beliefs typology emphasizes variability in the alignment of leadership functions associated with different forms of alignment: planful alignment, spontaneous alignment, spontaneous misalignment, and anarchic misalignment. The analysis in Section 1.3 builds on past theory and research to explore the nature and patterns of leadership distribution in schools, focusing on sources of leadership influence and the relation of leadership influence to student performance. We pay particular attention to the role principals play in the distribution of leadership. New Evidence Method Data for our analyses arise from interviews with school personnel in a sub - sample of schools participating in the site - visit component of the larger study. The teacher survey administered to all participating schools during the first round of dat a collection included a set of items designed to measure the relative influence of those in multiple roles on school decision making (see Section 1.1). From these items, we derived a measure of collective leadership that enabled us to make comparisons acro ss schools by reference to the range of sources of leadership influence and the strength of that influence on teachers. We selected a purposive sample of site - visit schools for this analysis. First, we classified all site - r low on the collective leadership and visit schools as high, medium, o student performance measures. From the resulting matrix, we selected five schools for qualitative analysis of leadership distribution. These schools varied widely on collective e. The sample (Table 1.3.1) included elementary leadership scores and student performanc - and low - SES settings, and schools in inner - city, and middle schools, schools in high suburban and rural settings across four states (Texas, Missouri, Oregon, and New Jersey). We collected data for each sch ool, using all school administrator and teacher interviews conducted during the first site visit (8 - 10 interviews per school). We transcribed all interviews and entered the transcripts into an NVivo project data base that included leadership as one of the core codes. - stage process of analysis. In stage one we created We employed a three descriptions of leadership activities in each school derived from the NVivo data queries. We developed a findings template that drew upon Spillane‘s conceptualization of 109 eadership practice. The template enabled us to construct descriptions of (1) sources of l 107 Leithwood et al. (2007) 108 Justification for these categories is provided in Leithwood & Riehl (2005); Leithwood, Louis, et al. (2004); and Leithwood & Jantzi (2006). 109 Spillane (2006). 56

59 leadership linked to (2) specific actions and (3) goals in (4) specific contexts, along with - (5) the co participants in those situations, (6) the reported effects of t hose actions, and (7) - This analysis generated 15 the reported factors influencing those leadership variables. 25 leadership scenario templates per school. In stage two we recoded each scenario according to the core leadership practices ved from Leithwood & Jantzi, we used operational definitions deri exemplified (here 2006 ). Then we wrote an analysis of the leadership distribution patterns we discerned in the scenarios, applying concepts from research on leadership distribution as appropriate. three we wrote a case report for each school, integrating findings from In stage the scenario analyses and structured according to the research questions. The findings presented and discussed here highlight key themes and findings that emerged from the cross - case a nalysis. TABLE 1.3.1 Sample School Characteristics Student 111 Collective Leadership Setting School 110 Achievement Size: 537 Pupils High Diversity: High London Elementary High Poverty: High Size: 221 Pupils Low Overton Elementary High Diversity: Med Poverty : Med Size: 581 Pupils High High Gregory Elementary Diversity: Med Poverty: High Size: 345 Pupils Middle Diversity: High Low Playa Junior High Poverty: High Size: 443 Pupils Forest Elementary Low Diversity: High Low Poverty: Med Who Participates in L eadership Distribution? 112 we found that school personnel did not Consistent with the findings of others, attribute leadership actions and influence only to one source, and not always to the principal. The individuals or groups identified as providing leade rship included a mix of principals, assistant principals, teachers in formal leadership roles (e.g., grade or subject 110 Student achievement rankings calculated by comparin g the percentage of students scoring at or above - mandated assessments in reading and mathematics (2002 - minimum state proficiency standards on state 2005) relative to other schools in the states where these schools are located. 111 17% Medium=18% - 65% White; High=0 - 17% White); Poverty (Low=0 - Diversity (Low=66%+ White; F/R lunch; Medium=18% - 65% F/R lunch; High=66%+ F/R lunch). 112 Evidence of this is provided by Camburn, Rowan, & Taylor (2003); Hall (1992); Heller & Firestone Spillane (2006). (1995); Leithwood et al. (2004a); and 57

60 team leaders) and teachers with specialist positions (e.g., literacy specialists, technology specialists, counselors). Teachers also ident ified other teachers informally recognized by peers as influential; school leadership or management committees; school program teams or committees (e.g., Special Education, Gifted and Talented, Limited English Proficiency); parent involvement personnel; di strict administrators and professional staff; and external consultants linked to particular areas of curriculum, program, and teacher development priorities at the school level. What Patterns Does Leadership Distribution Take? Mere identification of the various individuals and groups contributing to school leadership provides scant insight into the actual distribution of leadership. Overall, principals were more likely than any other source to be implicated in multiple leadership responsibilities. Three o verall patterns of distribution appeared across the five schools:  Pattern One (London, Overton, and Gregory Elementary Schools). The leadership influence of the principal was evident across various focal points of school - improvement activity. Principals were seen to exercise influence in planful - collaboration with influential school based teacher leaders (individuals and groups) and with outside sources (district specialists, external consultants) associated with particular goal - oriented initiatives. In t hese schools there was a strong emphasis on professional collaboration among teachers, including teachers in instructional leadership roles that crossed curriculum and grade boundaries. These schools had sure. high collective leadership ratings on the survey mea  Pattern Two (Playa Jr. High School). The leadership influence of the principal extended across various focal points of school - improvement activity, but the evidence was less robust for influential sources of teacher leadership and for principal coll aboration with teachers and/or external change agents. Teacher leadership was - - specific structures, and there was less limited to traditional grade level or program - wide, on teacher collaboration. emphasis, school  Pattern Three (Forest Elementary School). The principal interacted administratively with various focal points of school - improvement activity, but she had little influence on implementation. Key teachers or external agents were identified with support for chers attributed little influence to their different improvement initiatives, yet tea enactment of those roles. Teachers did not report an emphasis on, or culture of, teacher collaboration within or across school organizational structures. These findings from the five schools are consistent wit h the higher collective leadership scores in London, Overton and Gregory Schools, and with the lower scores in Playa and Forest Schools. Sometimes leadership is conceptualized as a school - level phenomenon; sometimes it is conceptualized for a specific, goa l - oriented activity. Gronn‘s (2002) distinction between additive and holistic leadership is useful for describing leadership distribution here. Among our cases, Forest Elementary provides the clearest example of a school in which the overall pattern of lea dership distribution 58

61 corresponded to an additive pattern, at least in a formal, bureaucratic sense (teachers attributed little actual influence to those in formal positions of leadership responsibility). The distribution of leadership sources in London , Overton, and Gregory Schools conformed more closely to the holistic pattern of leadership distribution. This is clearly reflects the extension of the principal‘s leadership influence across various focal points of school improvement. Playa School did not clearly fit either an additive or a holistic pattern of distribution in leadership sources, in part because there was no strong teacher - leader presence. Teachers’ Collective Influence as a Pattern of Distributed Leadership alked about the collective influence of teachers, not Teachers in several schools t merely the influence of colleagues identified as teacher leaders. Collective influence, these teachers reported, was instrumental in school decisions and in broader decisions about school improvement. T hey framed it as a function of whether the principal and district authorities invited, valued, and acted upon input from teachers. This qualitative finding reinforces the teacher survey - based findings on collective and shared leadership presented in Sectio ns 1.1 and 1.2. In London School, for example, teachers reported that a previous principal rarely solicited teacher input; when she did, teachers said, she rarely acted in ways that acknowledged the value of that input. They felt unsupported, and increasi ngly they kept their opinions and ideas themselves, thereby decreasing the potential for broader teacher — one influence on decisions in the school. That changed when a new principal came in who was perceived as genuinely seeking and respecting teacher input and influence on school decisions. Teachers and principals in Overton and Gregory Schools also affirmed the presence and influence of a strong collective voice from teachers, facilitated by the principal‘s orientation to teacher input and to organizationa l structures enabling that input. These findings stand out in contrast to discussions , widespread in the profession, that focus narrowly on the leadership contributions of individually influential teachers. buted Leadership Formal Role Designations and Patterns of Distri It is tempting to associate the bureaucratic distribution of roles, responsibilities, and authority with the distribution of leadership sources and influence. Beyond the pervasive role of the principal, however, our findings paint a more complex picture. First, the bureaucratic allocation of responsibility to perform certain functions and tasks does not necessarily mean that the persons or groups so designated will be perceived as influencing what others think and do. Spillane (2006) ar gues that leadership sources and acts can be recognized as such even if they do not yield their intended effects. But that argument is difficult to sustain against evidence (from Forest School, for example) about people in formal leadership positions whose actions are not seen by school personnel to make much difference. Second, bureaucratic structures do not determine how patterns of leadership distribution will be enacted through any given bureaucratic structure. A given 59

62 bureaucratic structure may be co mpatible with more than one pattern of leadership - enactment. The schools examined here all had multi stakeholder school leadership committees and special program committees (e.g., special education, bilingual education); they all had a similar array of for mal teacher - leader positions, including subject and grade team leaders. Some had teachers assigned to instructional leadership roles associated with priorities for improvement in program and instruction (e.g., in literacy and mathematics). However, actual patterns of leadership influence varied from school to school. Even in single schools, we found examples of variation over time in how leadership was enacted and distributed through the same bureaucratic structures. Principal succession was a factor in eac h of these situations. In London School the current principal and her predecessor both worked with a - Based Management Team, grade - level teams, cross - grade subject teams, special School program committees (gifted education, bilingual education, etc.), and specialist roles (counselor, literacy teacher, parent involvement coordinator, etc.). Under the previous principal, the leadership distribution pattern had been highly additive, and the principal was uninvolved with school - improvement initiatives. These i nitiatives were mandated by the district; they proceeded in an uncoordinated manner, guided and managed by grade team leaders, specialists, and external consultants. The new principal took on a proactive g governance structures in a way that leadership role, exercising influence within existin spanned multiple focal points of school improvement activity. That change yielded a - more holistic pattern of leadership distribution. In Gregory Elementary School a previous principal led an effort to implement the ccelerated Schools comprehensive school reform model. This effort entailed formation A - site council, and a school - improvement planning of five curriculum cadres, a school on process. While the cadres and council were chaired by teachers, and teacher influence school directions, improvement plans, and professional development was reportedly strong, school personnel said that the previous principal played a more overt co - performance leadership role within those structures than the current principal. The curren t principal and assistant principal talked about deliberately stepping back from a co - performance leadership role to a more indirect advisory role in the cadres and site council. Teachers also reported that adherence to the needs assessment and planning pr ocesses became less stringent under the new principal. These cases show that formal organizational structures create an institutional framework for the distribution and enactment of leadership, but they do not determine how leadership plays out over time. In sum, it is important to distinguish the formal allocation of leadership roles and responsibilities from what Leithwood et al. (2007) define as the planful alignment of leadership sources, practices, and influence. Formal bureaucratic structures do not necessarily require or facilitate the kind of consensus building, communication, interaction, and collaboration that we would associate with the planful alignment of leadership. 60

63 How Responsibility for Core Leadership Functions Is Distributed Analyses of our case study data indicate that patterns of leadership distribution not only between schools and — and influence can vary by core leadership practices districts, but also for different focal points of activity within a given school. Overall, more commonly distributed for developing people and managing instruction leadership is than it is for setting directions and structuring the workplace. This emphasis probably reflects the influence of external policy, which may limit the freedom of principals and teach ers to set goals or to redesign the workplace. Principals‘ beliefs about their own expertise and expertise from other sources also affect direction setting, and they are a key factor shaping the distribution of leadership for developing people and program management. For all the schools and districts sampled in our study, state and federal curriculum policies, standards, and accountability systems influenced direction setting pervasively. Flexibility for principals and teachers depended greatly on the exte nt to which state and district authorities tended to mandate programs or to enable schools to select their own priorities and programs. Ultimately, however, leadership distribution for direction setting is shaped by how the principals view and enact their roles within the context of state and district policies, priorities, and leadership traditions, as illustrated in the following contrasting examples. The principal and teachers at Forest Elementary School portrayed themselves as complying with state - and district - mandated programs (e.g., in reading and mathematics) and procedures (e.g., curriculum mapping, student data reports). The principal described herself and the School Leadership Committee as managing the implementation of ons, not as setting directions per se. In contrast, the state and externally mandated directi district did not mandate commercial or local programs at Overton Elementary School. While district authorities established system priorities for improvement based on results from state testi ng (e.g., in mathematics), the principal focused her leadership influence less on setting or enforcing program or achievement targets for improvement than on structuring the workplace (e.g., through a Leadership Committee, curriculum teams, and coaches), f acilitating teacher learning (through lesson study and book study teams), and managing the instructional program (by monitoring teaching and teachers‘ professional learning plans) in ways that guided teachers to establish their own directions for improveme nt, collegially, in the context of state standards, test results, and district priorities. Our cases highlight two circumstances in which principals may be more prone to act directly and less collaboratively to influence school directions for improv ement: First, a principal known to possess specific expertise in curriculum or instruction may be inclined to press forward on the strength of that expertise. At London Elementary School, for example, the principal was well known for her expertise in reading. S he decided that children in her school would do better in reading if teachers were to adopt and implement a wider variety of teaching strategies. She communicated that goal to teachers, provided training herself and via an external expert, and she monitore d teachers‘ 61

64 implementation of new strategies in the classroom and in grade team meetings. At the same time, she facilitated ongoing improvement efforts mandated at the district level ial prior to her appointment (curriculum writing, implementation of a commerc mathematics program) — collaborating with grade team and subject leaders, specialist teachers, and trainers provided by the externally developed mathematics program. Second, a principal who believes that his or her teachers have become complacent inclined to press forward independently, launching efforts to set higher standards may be for teacher performance and student learning. At Playa Junior High School, for example, the principal sought school improvement through an effort to get teachers to be less didactic in their teaching, to broaden their repertoires of instructional strategies, and to focus on higher order learning expectations. She explained her initiative as a strategy to - motivate teachers and to help them improve student performance beyond t he predominantly ―acceptable‖ ratings the school had received under the state‘s accountability system. She reported that she coached teachers, and made use of external consultants for in - service training, with this in mind. Teachers at Playa were also invo lved in curriculum writing projects in response to a district mandate. The principal delegated responsibility for leading and managing the curriculum development work to traditional subject heads and teams. The general point of these accounts is that patt erns of leadership distribution and influence can and do vary for different dimensions of leadership practice (i.e., setting directions, developing people, workplace [re]design, and managing the instructional , but also for different focal points of program) — not only between schools and districts improvement within a given school. Here, as in many other areas of interest, professional practice is more varied and complicated than the simplified patterns that often stand out in scholarly discussions. Comple xity of Leadership Distribution as a Function of Goal Type and Breadth Leadership distribution patterns are affected by the goals that school personnel associate with leadership activity. Some goals (e.g., improving student performance in mathematics, str engthening professional community) are more encompassing than others (e.g., implementing a specific mathematics program, standardizing student discipline policy and practices). The more encompassing the goal, the greater the likelihood that multiple source s of leadership will be involved, and the greater the range of goal - related activities to which leadership might be attributed. Contrasting illustrations from Forest Elementary School and London Elementary School will help to clarify this point. Both sc hools were involved in implementing new, district - mandated, externally developed mathematics programs. Student performance in mathematics at Forest Elementary was below average levels for the state, and the school was not currently satisfying Adequate Year ly Progress expectations; nonetheless, school personnel did not explicitly identify improved achievement in mathematics as a goal. Instead, the goal (one of many program - specific goals in the school) was simply to 8 mathematics program. A district mathematics implement the district - mandated Grade 6 - consultant visited the school weekly to assist math teachers with implementation. At the same time, two potentially related initiatives were underway. First, the school counselor 62

65 data reports at the beginning of the year, to assist was preparing student assessment teachers with lesson planning and tracking student progress. These reports were to reach teachers a few weeks prior to state testing dates so that teachers could identify students who might need addition al coaching. The principal was reportedly keenly interested in student performance data, though no one could identify any actions that she had taken to influence the use of those data. Second, the school technology coordinator had been trained by district staff to facilitate the implementation of a computerized curriculum planning tool. The interview data for Forest Elementary School did mapping and lesson - not indicate that these strands of activity and the leadership sources and actions m were deliberately coordinated. The result, from a teacher‘s associated with the perspective, was a leadership distribution pattern of anarchic misalignment (see , Mascall, Leithwood et al., 2007). ving In London Elementary School, the principal‘s vision and goals included impro student success (not limited to mathematics), greater coherence in curriculum and teaching, and improved teamwork focused on student learning among teachers and with other ents stakeholders (e.g., parents). Although the percentage of London Elementary stud performing at or above state standards in mathematics was acceptable (and high, relative to similar schools in neighboring districts), the principal‘s goals emphasized the success of all students and the need to boost learning outcomes beyond those to uched on by the tests. Consultants working for the commercially developed mathematics program visited the school every six weeks to provide implementation training and assistance for the teachers. Not unlike the faculty at Forest Elementary, London Element ary faculty members were engaged in a curriculum project (mandated by the district but organized internally) that involved writing curriculum guides and common assessments keyed to the state curriculum in core subject areas. The principal arranged for the writers to get input from external program consultants. She relocated the writers‘ classrooms to ensure that all teachers had convenient, informal access to them for advice. Not only was the principal committed to and addressing student learning needs, she the use of assessment data for identifying - use training for teachers, and she sat in on grade - delivered data level team meetings to facilitate teachers‘ use of assessment data in their planning of six - week tutoring cycles. She also arranged for the parent coordinator to get trained in the mathematics program so that she could prepare ways to show parents how to help their children with mathematics homework. With the exception of the parent involvement piece, the activities related to mathematics program in London Elementary were similar to implementation of the activities at Forest Elementary (external program with in - service training, curriculum mapping aligned to state standards, assistance with data use). At London Elementary, however, these activities a nd varied sources of leadership were linked in a complex, collective pattern through the principal‘s actions. The overall effort encompassed multiple, core leadership practices (setting directions, developing capacity, workplace arrangements, managing inst ructional program) and multiple leadership sources associated with the focus on a shared learning goal. The pattern at London Elementary seems likely to produce a greater impact on student learning in mathematics than the pattern at Forest Elementary, wher e the focus was limited basically to program implementation. The leadership distribution scenario at London Elementary corresponds well to the concept of planful et al., 2007). alignment across core leadership practices (Leithwood , Mascall, 63

66 Student Learni ng and Leadership Distribution No general claims about the relationship between student learning and school leadership distribution can be made on the basis of evidence derived from qualitative research at five schools. We did not find any obvious relatio nship between alternative patterns of distributed leadership and state test performance of students in each school We, however, consider two explanations for the apparent lack from 2002/03 to 2005/06. changes in leadership personnel, and of any relationship related to distributed leadership: within - school variation in leadership distribution. First, any attempt to associate different patterns of distributed leadership with student learning must take into account the potential consequences of changes in ke y leadership positions. Among the five schools, only one of the principals had been in her position (at Forest Elementary) for more than two or three years. Teachers in London, Overton, and Gregory Elementary alluded to differences in leadership styles, di stribution, and practices between the previous and current principals. The impact that these changes in leadership might have on student learning would not necessarily show up in the first year or two of the principals‘ tenure. Second, our case study fi ndings highlight the need to be sensitive to the focus and scale of leadership distribution and action as they relate to student learning. At the micro - level of specific goals and leadership tasks, different patterns of distribution across exist in a school (e.g., improvement in leadership sourc es and actions often co - mathematics and reading performance at London Elementary). It would be a logical error to infer that leadership as it is distributed and practiced for one leadership scenario, such as leading a new reading initiative, would necessarily be similar to leadership distribution across other scenarios, such as changes made in the science curriculum. The influence of more general concepts and approaches to leadership distribution on student learning o utcomes, such as collective leadership (Section 1.1), shared leadership and professional community (Section 2.2) are more easily and empirically measurable than specific forms and arrangements of distributed leadership. Implications for Policy and Pract ice study Four impli cations for policy and practice emerged from this section of our . Efforts to promote greater sharing or distribution of leadership need to 1. operationally identify specific or desired leadership patterns. Simply invoking the ibuted leadership distr term is meaningless, given the many different patterns distributed leadership can take. To understand the distribution of leadership one needs to explore evidence of actual behaviors and influences associated with core improvement activity. leadership practices and specific focal points of school - Principals working in similar organizational structures may enact their leadership roles and engage in distributed leadership in quite different ways. 64

67 2. harness‖ any major school reform It would be a serious mistake at this point to ― While we now have a better effort cart to the distributed leadership ―horse.‖ understanding of some patterns of leadership distribution as they operate in practice, evidence about the effects of leadership distribution on s chool - improvement initiatives or student learning is extremely modest. That said, other evidence (see Sections 1.1, 1.2) does suggest that principals‘ sharing of leadership with others in planful, yet diverse, patterns of leadership distribution is probabl y a worthwhile way to approach improvement in student learning. 3. The task of encouraging more leadership distribution in schools should be viewed, first and foremost, as the task of nurturing principals‘ dispositions toward such leadership. As school prin cipals enact leadership roles, the beliefs and orientations they bring to the task matter a great deal. The extent to which leadership will be distributed in schools, and the forms it may take, are determined in large measure by what principals believe and feel about the key factors that come into play: external and internal influences on school direction setting, sources and uses of professional expertise (their own expertise, teachers‘ expertise, expertise from ed leadership. external sources), and participatory or shar Distributing leadership more widely in schools should not be viewed as a means 4. of reducing principals‘ workload. Leadership from teacher leaders and external sources is more likely to be goal - or initiative - specific. Principals, on the oth er hand, are responsible for a boundary - spanning role not typically performed by others, nor picked up by others in the absence of active principal leadership. Principals are typically involved in a great many leadership initiatives in their ding initiatives for which others have assumed lead roles. Their role schools, inclu to coordinate or link others‘ leadership efforts is essential. 65

68 1.4 pful by Leadership Practices Considered Instructionally Hel - Performing High Principals and Teachers Key Findings  P revious research has identified a set of core practices underlying the work of successful school and district - level leaders. About 15 in total, these practices can - be classified as Setting Directions , Developing People , Redesigning the Organization, M anaging the Instructional Program . and  Almost all leadership practices considered instructionally helpful by principals and teachers were specific enactments of these core practices.  Teachers and principals were in substantial agreement about the leadership practices they considered to be instructionally helpful.  Teachers generally agreed with one another in identifying helpful leadership practices. Teachers varying widely in the sophistication of their classroom instruction nevertheless identified as helpf ul most of the same leadership practices.  School level (elementary, middle, high school) had a small effect on the importance teachers attached to a small number of leadership practices. Teachers and principals agreed that the most instructionally help  ful leadership practices were: Focusing the school on goals and expectations for student ; achievement Keeping track of teachers’ professional development needs ; and C reating structures and opportunities for teachers to collaborate. Introduction In t he context of prevailing accountability policies, claims about successful or effective leadership practices are considered most defensible when they are justified by quantitative evidence linking the practices to standardized measures of student achievemen t. While other sections of this report provide such evidence, this section emphasizes the insights of principals and teachers. In striking this emphasis, we mean to 113 that has generated many useful insights in the past, extend a line of leadership research even though its influence on policy and practice is muted at present. Our main question for the research described in this section is, ―What leadership practices on the part of 113 See, e.g., Blase (1987, 1989). 66

69 school principals are considered, by principals and teachers, to be helpful in supporting and improving classroom instruction?‖ Readers might wonder, reasonably, why we have chosen to pursue a line of research now diminished in influence. There are two closely associated reasons. First, hard, quantitative evidence cannot, by itself , provide the guidance for policy and practice that many educators and policy makers now expect of it. For example, the ―grain size‖ of — this evidence is almost always impractically large that is, the leadership practices this sort of evidence tests are mea sured at a level of abstraction not directly implementable by real leaders in real organizational contexts. Furthermore, the data generated by these favored forms of research are far less conclusive than is sometimes claimed. The limitation is usually a fu nction of the constraints on research designs which can be used in field settings, and the weak causal claims that can be made about data resulting from such designs. Second, the line of inquiry we have chosen will enable us to reap certain benefits ass - methods research. Every style of research brings with it some ociated with mixed important advantages but also some serious limitations. Synthesizing results across studies varying in research style offers potentially more robust justification for 114 knowledg e claims. Success in creating schools that contribute substantially to student learning depends in some measure on interaction with the specific social and organizational contexts in which school - and district - level leaders find themselves working. rtheless, evidence from district, school, and non Neve - education organizations points to four broad categories of core leadership practices that appear to be effective across contexts. We begin Section 1.4 with a summary of these core practices. Then we prov ide a synopsis of results from our research about leadership practices perceived by teachers and principals to be instructionally helpful. Finally, we compare the instructionally helpful es identified by prior practices identified in our research with the core leadership practic research. Prior Evidence Four categories of core leadership practices have been identified by prior research. These categories are Setting Directions , Developing People, Redesigning the Organization Managing the Instructiona l Program . Each of these categories , and comprises from three to five more specific practices. Similar approaches to the classification of leadership practices are not difficult to find. Hallinger and Heck (1999) classify the practices in their instructional l eadership model as ―purposes,‖ ―people,‖ and ―structures and social systems.‖ Conger and Kanungo (1998) speak about ―visioning strategies,‖ ―efficacy - building strategies,‖ and ―context changing strategies.‖ Robinson 114 Brewer & Hunter (1989). 67

70 and her colleagues (2008) have generated the most recent set of categories, and they are quite compatible with those described here. Because we provided a comprehensive description of core leadership practices in 115 a review of literature prepared as the starting point for our larger project, e provide w only a brief summary of the core practices here. Our claim that these practices ought to be considered essential for successful leaders is based on reviews of empirical research 116 and on illustrative original studies carried out in educational cont exts. We also rely on a synthesis of evidence about managerial skills, compiled by Yukl (2002). Setting Directions This category comprises four specific practices: Building a shared vision, Fostering the acceptance of group goals, Creating high perform ance expectations , and Communicating the direction . Overall, it is a category of practices intended to establish what Fullan (2003) and others call ―moral purpose,‖ a basic stimulant for the work in question. focus to the individual and All of these practices are aimed at bringing a collective work of staff members in the school or district. Developing People The practices in this category are Providing individualized support and consideration, Offering intellectual stimulation, Modeling appropriate values and and practices. Practices of this sort should communicate the leader‘s respect for his or her colleagues, as well as concerns about their personal feelings and needs (Podsakoff et al., 1990). Encompassed by this set of practices are the ―supporting‖ and ―recognizing and 94 rewarding‖ managerial behaviors associated with Yukl‘s (19 ) Multiple Linkages model, as well as Hallinger‘s (2003) model of instructional leadership and the Waters et al. (2003) meta analysis. The primary aim of these practices is c apacity building , - understood to include not only of the knowledge and skills staff members need to accomplish organizational goals but also the disposition staff members need to persist in sition is individual applying those knowledge and skills. One critically important dispo 117 also a source of motivation in Bandura's (1986) — People are teacher efficacy model. And mastery experiences motivated by what they are good at. , according to Bandura, are the most powerful sources of efficacy. Building capacity that l eads to a sense of mastery is therefore highly motivational. Redesigning the Organization The four practices comprised in this category — Building collaborative culture s, Restructuring the organization to support collaboration , Building productive ships with families and communities, a Connecting the school to the wider relation nd y communit are intended to establish workplace conditions that will allow staff members — to make the most of their motivations and capacities. The organizational setting in which peo ple work shapes much of what they do. There is little to be gained by increasing 115 Leithwood et al. (2004a). 116 For example, Hallinger & Heck (1998); Leithwood & Jantzi (2005); Leithwood & Riehl (2005); Robinson et al. (2008); and Waters et al. (2003). 117 Bandu ra (1986). 68

71 peoples‘ motivation and capacity if working conditions will not allow their effective application. According to Bandura‘s (1986) model, people‘s beliefs about their situation form a source of motivation; people are motivated when they believe the circumstances in which they find themselves are conducive to accomplishing the goals they hold to be personally important. Managing the Instructional Program This category includes p ractices that focus on teaching and learning. They are taffing the program, Providing instructional support, Monitoring school activity, S and Aligning resources . Buffering staff from distractions to their work, New Evidence In this component of our la rger study we have sought to ground, illustrate, and (when warranted) elaborate our understanding of core leadership practices, based on the experience of teachers and principals. Evidence collected for this component also highlights certain differences, b y school level and by level of teachers‘ instructional expertise, in the values participants assign to the core practices. Method Sample. Evidence for this study derives from a sub - sample of 12 principals and schools initially based on one aspect of 65 teachers in 12 schools. We selected the 12 teachers‘ instructional practices, assessed during classroom observations collected in the first round of site visits. We selected six schools designated as High Scoring Schools - (HSS) from the larger sample because at least 60% of the teachers who had been observed received a high score on Standard 1 of Newmann's five standards for authentic instruction (described in more detail below). We selected six additional schools, designated Low - Scoring Schools (LSS), becau se at least 60% of their observed teachers received a low score on the same standard. We selected equal numbers of high - and low - scoring schools to represent elementary, middle, and secondary schools. To be absolutely the mean clear, then, in this chapter , ing of a high (HS S) or low (LSS) scoring school is in reference to the ratings of the quality of teachers‘ instruction. One might expect that significant variations in teaching quality across schools would be reflected in significant differences in studen t achievement among the HSS and LSS. This was not the case in these 12 schools, however. School size in those schools with a high proportion of teachers with highly rated instruction (HSS) ranged in size from 455 to 1,980 students, with an average of 924 students. There was greater variation in the sizes of schools with a high proportion of teachers with low ratings of instruction (LSS) (210 to 2,788 students), with an average enrollment of 1,081. In elementary and middle/ junior high schools, the average population of students was larger in the HSS than in the LSS (538 vs. 378 in elementary schools; 763 vs. 549 in middle schools). In the high schools, the average population of of the LSS was much larger (2317) than that of the HSS (1,561). We used percentage students eligible for free or reduced lunch as a proxy for socioeconomic status (SES). We 69

72 reported results in three categories: low poverty (less than 18% free or reduced lunch); mid poverty (18 to 65% high poverty); high poverty (66% or higher free or reduced lunch). There was an even distribution of schools across the SES levels. When averaged, the SES for both high and low - scoring schools was at the mid - poverty level. - We measured the degree of student diversity as the percentage of white students in a given school: low diversity level = 66% or more white students; mid diversity = more than 18% but less than 66% white students; high diversity = less than 18% white students. As with achievement and student SES, average levels of diversity were approx imately the same for both HSS and LSS . Teacher interviews . We asked teachers about their approach to teaching, the lessons we had observed, the principal‘s role in guiding and supporting their work, factors that have the greatest influence on student l earning, district influences, professional development opportunities, the school community, the extent of parental involvement, and what they would tell a new teacher about what it is like to work at this school. and vice principals about the Principal interviews We asked principals . principal‘s leadership in areas such as student achievement goals, vision for the school, and student learning; making decisions about instruction; leadership distribution in the school; professional development experiences f or principals and teachers; curriculum and instruction; school culture; state and district influences on administrators‘ and teachers‘ work in the school; and the impact of parents and the wider school community. Classroom observation . We conducted obser vations in Grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, in s language arts and mathematics classrooms. Each observation covered one instructional period (usually 30 40 minutes). Trained observers assessed the quality of instruction in - Newmann's Five Standards for authentic the lessons they observed, based on four of 118 instruction. - This instrument helps observers to rate dimensions of instruction on a five point scale, with 5 being the highest score. Observations focused particularly on the score teachers received on Standard 1: Hi gher - Order Thinking (―HOT‖ thinking), described as instruction that engages students in learning that goes beyond the recall of basic facts. Teachers received a high score on this standard when their whole lesson involved students in higher order thinking (e.g., synthesizing, generalizing, explaining, - hypothesizing, formulating conclusions that produce new understanding). For purposes of sampling, at least 60% of observed teachers in the six HSS scored either 4 or 5 on Standard 1. In the remaining six schoo ls, 60% or more of observed teachers scored only 1 or 2 on this standard. This method for sampling schools assumes that teachers are important sources of information about what their principals do and how their principals‘ actions affect their own class room practice. The method also assumes that variation in the quality of teachers‘ instruction will be related to variation in the quality of the principals‘ 118 Newmann, Secada, & Wehlage (1995). 70

73 instructional leadership. Apart from addressing our primary research questions, this study was also a test of the second of these assumptions. Data analysis. We transcribed all teacher and principal interviews and coded the transcripts, using the framework for the larger study. Two researchers went through all - checked their a nalyses for reliability. Classroom observers the transcripts and cross recorded specific details about what they saw and heard on a classroom observation form. Each school‘s level of student achievement was represented by the percentages of students meeting or exceeding the profici ency level, usually established by the state, on language and mathematics tests. We averaged these percentages across grades and 119 subjects in order to increase the stability of scores, producing a single achievement score for each school for each of three years. Our analysis also included an achievement change score, calculated as the gain in percentage of students attaining or exceeding the state established proficiency level from the first to the third year for which we had - evidence. We begin our repor t of results by describing the specific principal leadership practices that both principals and teachers identified as helpful in teachers‘ efforts to improve their instruction. Then we report the relationship between those practices and the framework of c ore leadership practices with which we began. Specific Leadership Practices Perceived to Help Improve Instruction A large proportion of both principals and teachers agreed on the importance of three specific practices: Focusing the school on goals and  expectations for student achievement (100% principals, 66.7% teachers).  (100% principals, Keeping track of teachers’ professional development needs 84% teachers). Although professional development was often prescribed, designed, and delivered at the dist rict level, principals were involved in managing teachers' attendance at workshops offered outside the school, as well as planning for, and sometimes providing, on site professional development. -  Creating structures and opportunities for teachers to colla borate (91.7% principals, 66.7% teachers). Principals supported collaboration among teachers by scheduling times for teachers to meet and discuss how they were working through the curriculum. Other practices attracting support from a smaller but still s izeable number of principals and teachers included the following:  Monitoring teachers’ work in the classroom (83.3% principals, 37.7% teachers). Principals mentioned formal classroom observations carried out for teacher evaluation 119 Linn (2003). 71

74 ioned less formal ways of monitoring such as classroom visits purposes; they also ment and checking lesson plans. Providing mentoring opportunities for new teachers (33.3% principals, 26%  teachers). Some teachers and principals referred to programs initiated by the district or th e school to support staff members who were new to teaching or new to the school. Being easily accessible (50% principals, 27.5% teachers). Principals spoke about how  they supported teachers' efforts in the classroom in a general way. Providing backup for  teachers with student discipline and with parents (25% principals, 23.1% teachers). School safety and the management of students‘ behavior were of concern to administrators and teachers. Teachers were particularly appreciative of administrators who could be relied on to back them up teachers when they faced challenging situations with parents. Staying current Finally, most principals (83.3%) considered to be a very important part of instructional leadership, although only one teacher seemed to be aware o f it. Instructional Leadership Differences across School Levels Do principals and teachers at different school levels differ in their assessments of principals‘ efforts to provide instructional leadership? To find out, we ran comparisons. incipals indicated almost no variation, by school level, in the number of Results for pr leadership practices identified as valuable. More variation across school levels was evident in the teachers‘ responses: Monitoring teachers’ classroom work was identified by only 30% of middle school  teacher by a slightly larger proportion of high school teachers (34.8%), and by s, 54.5% of elementary school teachers.  Creating structures and opportunities for teachers to collaborate was identified by 78.3% of high school teachers, 70% of middle school teachers, and 63.6% of elementary school teachers.  Allowing teachers flexibility regarding classroom instruction was identified by 55% of middle school teachers, 43.8% of high school teachers, and 40.9% of elementary school teachers. Instructional Leadership Differences and Teaching Quality Were the six principals in our HSS engaged in different instructional leadership practices than those in the LSS? This question prompted our study initially, and it led us to sample schools based on the proportion of teachers who were rated high or low on Standard 1 of the Newmann scale during classroom observations. While the observation guidelines and processes we used were of good quality, we observed only one lesson for and exploratory . each teacher, so our evi dence here must be considered suggestive 72

75 Principals and teachers concurred about differences in one leadership practice. Providing instructional resources and materials was identified as helpful by half of the achers in LLS, whereas only one principal and 6% of the principals and 25% of the te teachers in HSS identified this practice as helpful. We also note that teacher respondents in LSS (38%) attributed notably more importance to Providing Backup for teachers for and with parents student discipline than did teachers in HSS schools (18%). In short, it appears from this small sample that teachers in schools where our observation measures indicated less ambitious instructional practices were more likely to externalize their needs for instr uctional support (e.g., resources, backup for classroom management decisions) than to value support focused more directly on developing their instructional expertise. Our separate analysis of principals‘ responses also requires acknowledgment of a sampli ng problem. The small size of the sample means that percentage differences in the principals‘ responses are deceptive. A difference of two principals between the high - and low - scoring samples is evident in the case of only two practices:  their own professional development (6 HSS vs. 4 LSS) Participating in  Supporting community involvement in student learning (2 HSS vs. 4 LSS ) Relatively large differences appeared in the identifications of HSS and LSS for the following practices:  Supporting teacher co llaboration for purposes of instructional improvement (85% HSS vs. 56% LSS).  Helping to ensure consistent approaches to student discipline (18% HSS vs. 38% LSS). Providing teachers with instructional resources and materials (6% HSS vs. 25%  LSS).  Support ing parental involvement in student learning (88% HSS vs. 72% LSS scoring). Principals' and Teachers' Judgments Compared with Core Leadership Practices How do the practices identified as helpful by teachers and principals compare tion of core leadership practices? For an analysis pertaining to with our current formula this question, we used, on one side of the comparison, only those practices identified by a sizeable number of respondents (the practices discussed above). Table 1.4.1 lists those practices i n the right - hand column. The four sets of core leadership practices are listed in the left - hand column. Two sets of identified practices are closely aligned with core practices related to . Focusing the schools’ and teachers’ attention on goals and Setting Directions expectations for instruction and student achievement is part of Building a shared vision, Four . Fostering acceptance of group goals , and Creating high performance expectations 73

76 support component of Providing individualized identified practices are part of the Keeping track of teachers : ’ professional development (PD) Developing People needs, Being easily accessible, Providing backup for teachers for student discipline and with parents, Providing mentoring opportunities for new teachers. Only one s et of identified practices matched up with Redesigning the collaborate. organization. This was Creating structures and opportunities for teachers to Similarly, only one set of identified practices Monitoring teachers’ work — matched up — with Managing the inst ructional program. From these comparisons, two results stand out. First, for several core leadership practices, there were no analogues among the practices identified by our respondents. Of the 16 core leadership practices, 7 went unmentioned by teachers and principals in their identification of practices that are instructionally helpful. We cannot know exactly why this is the case. One possibility is that principals might have enacted certain leadership practices that were not visible to teachers. Anothe r is that, in fact, only some of the core leadership practices have much influence on teachers‘ classroom practice. Still another is that the principals in our study worked with a relatively narrow repertoire of leadership practices. Nevertheless, of the l eadership practices frequently identified as helpful, one or . more are associated with one of the four categories of core leadership practices 74

77 Table 1.4.1 Core Leadership Practices and Practices Deemed Helpful by Teachers and Principals Practices Identified as Instructionally p Practices Core Leadershi Helpful 1. Setting directions 1.1 Building a shared vision - Focusing the school on goals for student achievement 1.2 Fostering the acceptance of group goals - Focusing teachers' attention on goals for student achievement 1.3 Creating high performance expectations - Focusing teachers' attention on expectations for student achievement - Staying current 1.4 Communicating the direction 2. Developing people 2.1 Providing individualized support and - Keeping track of teachers‘ PD needs consi deration - Providing general support/ open door - Being easily accessible - Providing backup for teachers for student discipline and with parents 2.2 Offering intellectual stimulation r new Providing mentoring opportunities fo - teachers 2.3 Modeling appropriate values and practices 3. Redesigning the organization 3.1 Building collaborative cultures 3.2 Modifying organizational structures to - Creating structures and opportunities for teachers to collaborate nurture collaboration 3.3 Building productive relations with families and communities / 3.4 Connecting the school to the wider community 4. Managing the instructional program 4.1 Staffing the instructional program 4.2 Monitoring progress of students, teac hers Monitoring teachers' work in the classroom - and the school 4.3 Providing instructional support - Providing instructional resources and materials 4.4 Aligning resources 4.5 Buffering staff from distractions to their work 75

78 Implication for Policy and Practice s Four impli cations for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. Instructional improvement requires a school - wide focus on goals and expectations 1. for student achievement. 2. Principals play a key role in supporting and enc ouraging teachers‘ professional development needs. Leaders have a role to play in keeping track of those needs, as well as providing resources and materials to improve teachers‘ repertoire of instructional practices. Policy makers and practitioners should avoid promoting, endorsing, or being 3. unduly influenced by conceptions of instructional leadership which adopt an excessively narrow focus on classroom instruction. Classroom practices occur the extent to within larger organizational systems which can vary enormously in which they support, reward, and nurture good instruction. School leaders who ignore or neglect the state of this larger context can easily find their direct efforts to improve instruction substantially frustrated. 4. Principals must include c areful attention to classroom instructional practices, but should not neglect many other issues that are critical to the ongoing health and . welfare of school organizations 76

79 1.5 Leadership : Elementary vs. Secondary Principal and Instructional eractions and Student Outcomes Teacher Int Key Findings  The actions that principals take to influence instruction are of two complementary sorts. One sort aims to set a tone or culture in the building that supports continual C ). The second sort involves taking limate professional learning (Instructional explicit steps to engage with individual teachers about their own growth (Instructional Actions).  Principals whose teachers rate them high on Instructional Climate emphasize the value of research - based strategies a nd are able to apply them in the local setting.  Instructional Actions include principals‘ direct observations and conversations with teachers, in their classrooms and in team meetings. tudent  Setting a tone and developing a vision (Instructional Climate ) for s achievement and teacher growth is present in high performing (high student - achievement) schools of all grade levels, K - 12.  - level leaders engage in Secondary school teachers rarely report that school Instructional Action; this is the case for their principals, department heads, and other teacher leaders However, elementary school teachers working with highly rated principals report high levels of both Instructional Climate and Instructional Actions. Introduction As with the sub - study reported i n Section 1.4, this sub - study focuses on evidence about practices for successful instructional leadership as judged by educators close to the students — principals and teachers. Section 1.4 relied on evidence from schools selected for the high quality of the instruction their teachers provided. In Section 1.5, we examine evidence from schools in which principals received high effectiveness rat ings from their were of the 20 schools providing qualitative evidence for this Section teachers. Five included in the sample of schools for Section 1.4 77

80 Prior Evidence The Changing Role of the Principal from Manager to Leader principals traditionally have been responsible for managing a well - Historically, run school. Managing staff, developing rules and procedures, an d attending to the general operation of a building have always been part of the job. However, the conception of school management began to shift in the late 1970s. Highly influential school 120 asserted that effective schools are charact effectiveness studies erized by an or climate culture oriented toward learning, as expressed in high achievement standards and expectations of students, an emphasis on basic skills, a high level of involvement in decision making and professionalism among teachers, cohesiveness, clear policies on 121 matters such as homework and student behaviors, and so on. All this implied changes in the principal‘s role. A further shift in the principal‘s role, beginning in the mid - 1990s, involved the expectation that principals should provide instructional leadership. Theorists accepting this expectation contended that the principal‘s role had changed from management to 122 instructional leadership. What the concept of instructional leadership means, however, f how teachers use their time during instruction remains vague. For example, studies o have not focused on actions principals take to monitor or set expectations for the delivery 123 of high quality instruction. One purpose of our study is to clarify the concept, at least in some measure. has been written about the importance of the principal as an instructional Much 124 Often, however, this scholarship is markedly theoretical or vague (not the same leader. things), failing to reflect the messiness of what principals do on a day - to - day basis. Much 125 current research about instructional leadership is focused on distributed leadership or 126 on the leader‘s content knowledge. Meanwhile, questions about how and when the ctive principal might best engage with a teacher to address specific practices used by effe researched. - teachers have been under One recent example of research about the link between the principal and teachers‘ (Institute for Learning) professional development is provided by the study of IFL 127 districts. That study found that teachers implementation strategies in three urban school reported varying amounts of instructional support provided by their principals. Principals whose teachers rated them higher on an instructional leadership scale had participated in ocused on instructional leadership than had lower - rated more professional development f However, teachers‘ self - reports of their use of certain instructional strategies principals. 120 e.g., Brookover et al. (1978). See, 121 Wenglinsky (2004). For a review of changes in principal praxis and practice, see 122 E.g., Goddard (2002); Joyce, Calhoun, & Hopkins (2002); and Sergiovann i (2005). 123 Hargreaves (1992); Newmann et al. (2001); and Smith (1998). 124 E.g., Creemers & Reezigt (1996); Hallinger & Heck (1998); and Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond (2004); Wenglinsky (2002). 125 Spillane (2004). 126 Stein & Nelson (2003). 127 MDRC, 2007. 78

81 were not confirmed in classroom observations by researchers. Furthermore, principals who were described by their teachers as providing instructional leadership were not seen to be providing direct feedback and frequent observations of classroom instruction during the researchers‘ site visits. Here, similar to the procedure we followed in Section 1.4, we appro ach the identification of effective leadership practices using grounded theory to explore the perceptions of teachers and the actions of principals around instructional improvement. t high quality The theory of action shaping this investigation is based on the belief tha instructional leadership and high quality classroom instruction are linked, and together they impact students‘ learning. Thus, when either high quality instructional leadership or high quality instruction does not occur, student achievement outcomes can be variable as a result. New Evidence Our examination of instructional leadership in Section 1.5 is guided by the following questions. 1. What does instructional leadership look like to teachers? 2. Are teachers‘ reports of instructional leader ship similar in substance to what principals have to say about instructional leadership? 3. Does instructional leadership look different at the elementary and secondary levels? Method To address these questions we used both quantitative and qualitative d ata from our research. Quantitative data included items from the second teacher survey and student - performance data on state level achievement tests. Qualitative data were provided by individual interviews conducted with teachers and principals. As Appen dix A explains in considerably more detail, our instrument for the second survey of teachers includes 131 items. In that survey, we obtained 3,983 responses from 127 schools. The response rate was 74% for schools and 56% for teachers. We obtained qualitati ve data in a subset of 36 schools in 18 districts, randomly selected from the larger pool of 43 districts. We conducted site visits, using two - to four - member data - collection teams. During the site visits, we observed 10 - 12 classrooms in both elementary an d secondary schools, and we conducted individual interviews, using role - specific interview protocols, with district leaders, school principals, and classroom teachers. We recorded and transcribed all interviews. Quantitative data for this sub - study deriv ed from responses to 17 items from the teacher survey. These items asked about principal leadership behaviors deemed likely, in previous research, to influence teachers‘ instructional behavior. A factor analysis of factors. All 17 items loaded on one of two responses to the 17 items resulted in two 79

82 factors, and no question loaded on both. Ten survey items loaded on the first factor, with weights ranging from .707 to .867. The other seven items loaded on the second factor, with weights ranging fr om .640 to . 771. (See Appendix B for the factor analysis matrix.) To address the possibility that the results of the principal component factor analysis were due to the two different types of question stems, we also ran a principal axis analysis; this analysis confirm ed the initial results. As Table 1.5.1 indicates, the 10 items loading - Factor 1 (measured on a six on point scale) ask teachers the extent to which their principals create a productive climate in the school. Items in Factor 1 are about setting a tone of c ontinual professional growth in the school, where the work culture embraces inclusive decision making and the belief that factor. we can always do better. We call this the Instructional Climate 80

83 Table 1.5.1 128 lding on Factor 1 Top vs. Bottom 20% Mean Teacher Ratings per Bui Factor 1 Bottom Top 20% 20% (25 bldgs) (25 bldgs) Mean t - value p - value Mean <.001 85.68 3.68 5.38 Overall Mean on Factor 1 4 - 1 My school administrator develops an <.001 5.52 3.5 93.42 atmosphere of caring and trust. - hool administrator creates consensus 4 3 My sc <.001 5.35 3.63 76.16 around purposes of our district mission. 4 - 6 My school administrator is effective in building community support for the school's <.001 5.48 3.64 77.72 improvement efforts. 4 - 7 My school administr ator promotes leadership <.001 5.32 3.65 70.9 development among teachers. 4 - 8 My school administrator models a high level 5.58 <.001 3.74 85.64 of professional practice. - 9 My school administrator ensures wide 4 78.09 5.19 3.41 participation in decisions about school <.001 imp rovement. 4 - 10 My school administrator clearly defines <.001 5.31 3.77 62.11 standards for instructional practices. - 4 24 When teachers are struggling, our principal <.001 5.07 3.33 81.46 provides support for them. 4 - 25 Our principa l ensures that all students get <.001 5.16 3.70 55.09 high quality teachers. - 4 27 In general, I believe my principal's motives <.001 5.77 4.48 84.34 and intentions are good. Source : Teacher Survey Round Two Scale : 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Moderately d isagree, 3 = Slightly disagree, 4 = Slightly agree, 5 = Moderately agree, 6 = Strongly agree The seven survey items loading on Factor 2 measure the frequency with which specific actions with a direct focus on instructional improvement were enacted by th e principal with individual teachers. These questions (see Table 1.5.2) measure the frequency with which the principal and the teacher have regular, on - going dialogue about best practices; they ask about the principal being in the classroom, observing inst ruction, 128 ing Factor 1, we created a ranking of all 127 principals in whose buildings their teachers completed Us the survey. There were 25 buildings in the top 20% and 25 buildings in the bottom 20% of the continuum. 81

84 and providing specific feedback. Factor 2 is about making manifest the climate identified by Factor 1. We call this the Instructional Actions factor. Table 1.5.2 129 Top vs. Bottom 20% Mean Teacher Ratings per Building on Factor 2 Factor 2 Bottom Top 20% 20% (25 bldgs) (25 bldgs) value Mean t value p - Mean - 132.01 <.001 Overall Mean on Factor 2 3.73 2.46 - 4 13 How often in this school year has your 76.4 2.69 school administrator discussed instructional issues 3.86 <.001 with you? - 14 How often in this school year has your 4 4.27 3.12 70.43 <.001 school administrator encouraged collaborative work among staff? - 15 How often in this school year has your 4 2.65 <.001 3.87 school administrator provided or located resources 68.82 to help staff improve their teaching? - 16 How often in this school year has your 4 63.04 2.27 school administrator observed your classroom 3.44 <.001 instruction? - 17 How often in this school year has your 4 119.47 school administrator encouraged data use in 3.97 2.37 <.001 ual student needs? planning for individ 4 - 18 How often in this school year has your school administrator attended teacher planning <.001 4.06 2.31 97.35 meetings? - 4 21 How often in this school year has your for <.001 2.69 school administrator given you specific ideas 1.79 54.71 how to improve your instruction? Scale: 1 = never; 2 = 1 - 2 times; 3 = 3 - 5 times; 4 = 6 - 9 times; 5 = 10 or more times Principals whose teachers‘ ratings placed them in the top 20% on either or both of the two factors were labe led high - scoring principals; principals whose teachers rated them low on either or both of the factors were labeled low - scoring principals. 129 Using Factor 2, we created a ranking of all 127 principals in whose buildings their teachers completed the survey. There were 29 buildings in the top 20% and 30 buildings in the bottom 20% of the continuum. 82

85 We used student achievement data (mathematics proficiency in 2005 - 06 on state tratify the population of principals so that we could tests) as an independent variable to s - versus low - scoring principals‘ schools cluster differently, based on see whether high their students‘ mathematics proficiency scores. (See the methodological appendix for ievement scores.) Finally, we stratified the data further details on how we computed ach by using building grade level, elementary versus secondary, as the last independent variable. For purposes of our analyses, elementary schools are grades K - 6, and secondary schools are grades 7 - 12. Middle schools with grades 6 - 8 are included in the group of secondary schools. High - or low - scoring principals, high or low math achievement, and elementary or secondary level provided a sorting mechanism by which to identify the could begin an exploratory analysis of the interview data. specific schools where we Site - visit schools for which we had interview data were distributed across the 127 schools in our complete sample. We included all schools ranked highest and lowest on Factors 1 and 2, and for wh ich we had interview data, in the analysis. For the analysis, we used responses to three questions from the interview protocol for the teachers:  What role does your principal play in guiding and supporting your work in the classroom? How often does the  principal observe or visit in your classroom?  What kinds of feedback or suggestions does the principal give to help you improve your instruction? From the interview protocol for the principals, we examined the answers to the following questions: Tell  me about the last time you visited a classroom. What was the purpose of the visit? Describe what you were looking for.  What communication did you have with the teacher before, during, and after the visit?  instruction? How do you know that changes are being made in How often do you visit classrooms?  We aggregated responses to the interview questions by question, and we analyzed the responses thematically. From the 127 schools included in the factor analysis, we nd low - a analyzed data from a total of 20 high - scoring schools (86 teacher interviews and 20 principal interviews). Principals’ and Teachers’ Views of What Instructional Leadership Looks Like Our initial analysis of the teacher survey data pointed to a clear distinction orts to create a vision for learning, on the one hand, and what they between principals‘ eff 83

86 do to enact that vision, on the other. Setting a tone or culture of high standards for quality instruction appears to be different from what the principal does in order to be certain that high quality instruction actually occurs. Given that these two characteristics of instructional leadership emerged as unrelated factors, we examined them separately in m order to better understand possible reasons for why they were revealed as different fro one another. The second research question, ―Are teachers‘ reports of instructional leadership similar to what principals have to say about it?‖ is answered as the analysis of the teachers‘ and principals‘ interviews unfolds. The teachers and the principa ls were telling somewhat different stories. Factor 1: Instructional Instructional Climate . is about influencing the Climate context in which instruction takes place. Clearly, what gets the highly rated principals out of bed each morning is what keeps th em awake at night: they have a vision and believe that all students can achieve at high levels. They are focused on providing high - quality programs. One characteristic that clearly differentiates high - - scoring principals from low high scoring principals is that scoring principals want to stay in their current schools - until, as one principal put it, the ―mission is accomplished.‖ How do high - scoring principals establish a vision for the school that is centered on high student achievement? For one thing, they emphasize the value of research - based strategies. They speak about the amount of time that is invested in developing the school‘s vision, gathering research information, and then applying it to the local setting. An elementary principal passionately state d, ―I‘ve researched and researched and done all I can to meet the needs [of my teachers] because they are very bright.‖ Analysis of the teacher interviews in that school reveals the research - based approach as being real and respected by the teaching staff. One teacher said of her high - scoring principal, ―My principal is very firm in what she believes.‖ In a separate interview, her principal expressed the vision as being non negotiable: ―My expectations are high, and [the - went on to emphasize the importance of having an teachers] know that.‖ The principal ool. ―I simply put it out there: we‘ve got to kick open dialogue about the vision for the sch it up a notch.‖ The vision for high academic achievement among the principals who score high ludes a personal vision. As one principal stated, ―Our ultimate goal is on Factor 1 also inc that our economically disadvantaged children will break the cycle of generational poverty. [We seek] to challenge the status quo and create conditions in which our children have the op portunity to be more academically successful.‖ His focus stands in contrast to that of a low - scoring principal from a different school who emphasized ―the standards‖ without making any effort to connect the standards to a school - level vision. The emerging sense from the analysis of the principal interviews is that low scoring - principals care more about doing their job than impacting lives. - and low - The differences in ratings on items loading on Factor 1 between high sc oring principals are statistically si gnificant in all cases. This difference is at least one scale step and more often one - and - a - half or more steps. The largest difference was on - 1, which asked teachers about the extent to which their principal develops an item 4 84

87 atmosphere of caring and trus t ( =5.52 vs. 3.50). And the largest mean rating was on X - 27 ( item 4 =5.77), with teachers‘ agreement that, in general, the principal's motives X and intentions are good (see Table 1). . In order to turn their visions of high student Factor 2: Instructional Actions - scoring principals are actively engaged in providing direct achievement into reality, high instructional support to teachers. Instructional Actions in Factor 2 has to do with how the principal carries out th at task. The actions taken by the principal guide and support teaching and learning according to the goal of enhancing every teacher‘s practices. Responses from the teacher survey indicate that, in particular schools, teachers saw the principal as frequent ly providing direct instructional support. Differences were significant between high and low - - scoring principals on all items loading on Factor 2. In every case, the difference between top versus bottom 20% mean teacher ratings of principals is the diffe rence of at least one scale step (see Table 2). The largest difference among the items in Factor 2 for the top and bottom 20% of buildings for perceived principal leadership is on item 4 - 18, asking how often the principal attended teacher planning meetings ( = 4.06 vs. 2.31). And the largest mean X rating is on item 4 - 14, asking how often the principal encouraged collaborative work he among staff ( = 4.27). It is particularly noteworthy that the smallest difference and t X - 21, which asked how often the principal has given teachers specific lowest - rated item is 4 ideas for how to improve instruction. Teachers working with low - scoring principals - 2 times per year is the frequenc indicated that somewhere between ―Never‖ and 1 y with which that happens. Even for high - scoring principals, teachers reported that the principal gave teachers specific ideas about how to improve instruction less than 3 times per year, on average. Nonetheless, as high - scoring principals implement their mission, their actions are very intentional and focused on high student achievement. In order for students to - scoring principals claimed, teachers need to learn and learn and grow continually, high grow at the same time. Thematic analysis of the teacher interviews revealed three kinds of on - going activities or behaviors that clearly distinguished high scoring principals from low - - scoring principals. 1. High scoring principals have an acute awareness of teaching and learning in their - schools. One means by which high - scoring principles gain awareness is collecting and examining lesson plans. As one principal noted, ―I look at lesson plans and I attend team meetings.‖ A teacher in that building independently concurred: ―She makes sure my lessons are in line w ith the standard course of study.‖ Another teacher explained, ―If there are any questions on the lesson plans I turn in, she asks me, ̳Why are you doing this? Is this relevant to what you are doing to meet this objective?‘ ‖ Low - scoring principals - scoring principal describe d a ―hands - off‖ approach to instructional leadership. One low indicated that she delegates all instructional leadership to an instructional ―coach.‖ 85

88 However, this coach has no role in teacher evaluation and is discouraged from providing a ny negative feedback to teachers. 2. High - scoring principals have direct and frequent involvement with teachers, providing them with formative assessment of teaching and learning. - Both high - scoring principals said that they frequently visit classr ooms and low and are ―very visible.‖ However, differences between principals in the two groups come into sharp focus as they describe their reasons for making classroom visits. High - scoring principals frequently observed classroom instruction for short periods of time, making 20 - 60 observations a week, and most of the observations were spontaneous. Their visits enabled them to make formative observations that were clearly about learning and professional growth, coupled with direct and immediate feedback. High scori ng - principals believed that every teacher, whether a first year teacher or a veteran, can learn - and grow. High - scoring principals described how they ―meet each teacher where they are, by finding something good in what they are doing, and then providing fee dback in an area that needs growth.‖ In contrast, low - scoring principals described a very different approach to observations. Their informal visits or observation in classrooms were usually not for instructional purposes. Even informal observations were often planned in advance so that teachers knew when the principal would be stopping by. The most damaging finding became clear in reports from teachers in buildings with low - scoring principals who said they received little or no feedback after informal obs ervations. One of these teachers stated, ―I haven‘t had any feedback or suggestions to date.‖ Another teacher considered the lack of feedback as a signal that ―my principal has been in [my room] enough to know I am on top of things.‖ Often, the frequency of informal classroom observations by low - scoring principals decreases as the year progresses. Low scoring principals focus more on formal, - summative observations, providing limited, non - threatening feedback, primarily to non - tenured teachers. As to why the principals did not link their observations to any discussion about instructional practice, or any attempt at broader efforts to unite teachers around a vision for the school, teachers said, for example, ―He is supportive of my teaching philosophy.‖ Ins ofar as low - scoring principals do not regard the improvement of teaching and learning as an ongoing, long term process, a culture for continual learning is - compromised in their schools. 3. High - scoring principals have the ability and interpersonal skills to empower teachers to learn and grow according to the vision established for the school. These principals seek out and provide differentiated opportunities for their teachers to learn and grow. For example, one high - scoring principal led Saturday workshops for new teachers in order to catch them up to the rest of the staff. Another - high scoring principal got teaching assistants involved in a workshop designed to help 86

89 staff members implement a new reading strategy. In contrast, teachers reported, low - principals seldom suggested or supported professional growth opportunities. scoring Differences in Instructional Leadership between Elementary and Secondary Schools Do principals in elementary and secondary schools differ in their enactments of the instructio nal leadership role? In examining this question, we found some clear differences and some similarities. Elementary and secondary school teachers‘ perceptions Climate items (Factor 1) were similar. All reflected in their responses to the Instructional teach ers indicated the degree to which their principals were able to create a culture of professional growth and an emphasis on high student and teacher performance. However, r elementary and secondary teachers‘ responses to the Instructional Actions items (Facto 2) were quite different, as the evidence in Table 1.5.3 indicates. Table 1.5.3 Comparison of Teacher Ratings of Principals in the Top vs. Bottom 20% by Building Level Building Level Leadership Elementary Secondary 16 9 High 36% 64% (top 20%) Instructional Climate * (Factor 1) Low 18 7 28% (bottom 20%) 72% 10 19 High 66% 34% Instructional Actions (Factor 2)** 11 19 Low 37% 63% * Chi - Square (1, N = 50) = 6.52, p = .01. = 59) = 4.91, Chi - Square (1, N p ** = .03. entage of high or low - scoring principals differs by For Factors 1 and 2, the perc - building level; a higher percentage of elementary school principals scored in the top 20% on instructional leadership on both factors. The reverse is true for the bottom 20% on instructional leadership, with secondary schools in significantly greater numbers at the low end. These data confirm our qualitative results. According to interview data, elementary school teachers and principals characterize high scoring principals that are - effective instructiona l leaders as having a hands - on, direct role in instructional operations. They confirm that Instructional Climate Factor 1 is reinforced daily or continually. Teachers in elementary schools whose principals score in the top 20% on [new initiatives] will be supported because they are related to a Factor 1 say that ―things greater vision.‖ This point is consistent with findings from many studies of leadership which have focused on the importance of setting a vision. 87

90 Elementary school principals who scored hig h in both Instructional and Climate Instructional Actions also led schools in which student achievement was relatively high. An elementary school teacher vividly describes the way in which Factor 1 and Factor 2 interact: benefit that I see for me is really two His [the principal‘s] role and the - fold. One is that he is a strong instructional leader. He knows his stuff. It would not surprise me if he were walking in one day and could take over my classroom without skipping a beat. I think that he knows what he‘s talking about...when I sit down and talk with him about an observation that he has made, the questions that he asks, the suggestions that he gives, I know [that these] are from experience and I can trust them. They are the ones that are going to help mo ve me along the path of instructional excellence. So he is not just a principal in name, but he knows what he is talking about. But then on the flip side, he also allows me to be the professional that I have been trained to be. He is not going to mandate t hat I teach a particular way. He is not going to tell me I have to be on this page on this particular day doing this particular grade - level expectation or this has got to be my learning target. I don‘t have to be in lock step. When you are as old as I am, you‘ve been around a lot of different people and many times that is the expectation. That is one of the neat things I like about working at this school. [He gives the message that] ̳I‘m going to force you in a positive way to become better, but I‘m going t o allow you to bring your own personality into the classroom and make that happen.‘ So he is two - pronged on that way [that we are supported]. This combination of instructional and action blends on - going professional climate - learning with a hands ct role in instructional operations. High - scoring elementary on, dire school principals do both effectively. A different story emerges from our evidence about secondary schools. In the interviews, secondary school principals repeatedly said that there was not enou gh time in the day to complete all their responsibilities, and they told us directly that instructional leadership ―gets placed on the back burner.‖ Instructional leadership, or planning for it, takes place, instead, outside the school day. Secondary schoo l principals assert that they provide instructional leadership through a structural framework of teacher leaders, in which responsibility is delegated to department heads. In this way, many secondary school principals believe, they act as instructional lea ders even though they are one step removed from the process. Data from the teacher interviews reveals, however, that instructional leadership actions at the secondary school level are generally not happening. ―Administrators in general observe my classro om 1 - 2 times per year,‖ one teacher reported. Another stated, ―I‘ve never gotten any feedback that has affected my teaching or that has changed the way I teach besides broad initiatives that the school wants you to do, that everyone wants rom our analysis of the teacher survey we found that Factor 2, to see happen.‖ F 88

91 Instructional Actions, requires a direct role in instructional operations. As one teacher noted, ―The only time that I was observed was by an assistant principal. It was the second t. She was here five minutes...five minutes! And one of the things that she year I taugh hand side of the room. Do you call that observed about me was that I start on the left - feedback?‖ While principals pointed out that they frequently delegated instructional leadersh ip to department chairs, teachers did not regard that sort of delegation as a source of instructional leadership. Most teachers described their department chairs as being in charge of the departmental budget; they also said that teacher leaders have a onsibility to attend team - resp leadership meetings called by the principal. We did not find any evidence in our interviews with secondary teachers that their department chairs or - - going content area colleagues were providing instructional leadership in the form of on classroom visits and dialogues about instructional practices. This was true whether the principal scored high or low on Instructional Factor 1. Climate Even more surprising is the fact that secondary schools dominate the lowest achievement cell in our matrix of high - and low - scoring principals. Of the 31 schools in the bottom 20% in the ranking for all principals on Instructional Actions Factor 2, 20 schools were middle schools and high schools. Put differently, out of a total of 127 ng surveys, with 67 of those being secondary and 60 elementary, nearly schools returni 66% of all schools with principals scoring in the lowest 20% for taking direct action to support teachers‘ instructional practices were middle and high schools. The link to student ac hievement emerged from our quantitative analysis, with apparent differences between elementary and secondary levels emerging as a topic needing further investigation. From the initial sorting of all principals whose teachers rated them as either high - or l ow - scoring, there were five elementary schools and five secondary schools in the top 20% of all schools whose principals were rated high on - rated principals on Factor 1 and who also had high mathematics achievement. Low Factor 1 whose schools also had low mathematics achievement numbered three at the elementary level and eight at the secondary level. For Factor 2, there were four elementary schools but no secondary schools whose principals were rated high (i.e., in the top 20% of all schools) and who also had high mathematics achievement. Principals who rated low on Factor 2 and whose schools were lowest in mathematics achievement numbered 2 at the elementary level and 7 at the secondary level. See Table 1.5.4 below. 89

92 Table 1.5.4 Relationships between Inst ructional Leadership, School Level, and Student Achievement Elementary Secondary Leadership Math proficiency 5 5 High (top 30%) 8% 7% Factor 1 High 1 7 Low (top 20%) (bottom 30%) 2% 12% 1 High 0 2% Factor 1 Low 8 3 (bottom 20%) Low 5% 12% 4 High 0 7% 2 High Factor 3 7 Low 12% 5% 6 8 High 13% 9% Factor 2 Low 7 2 Low 3% 10% Note : The number in each elementary or secondary cell is the total number of buildings satisfying the characteristics of each respective cell. The percent is the number o f buildings in each cell divided by the 60 elementary or the 67 secondary buildings in the total Round Two survey sample. - 06 is used as a final sorting When mathematics proficiency for school year 2005 - vs. l mechanism (independent variable) for the high - scoring principals, the greatest ow differences, once again, appear at the secondary level. Factor 1 emerges as a significant positive feature of high - performing secondary schools, and the absence of Factor 1, or Instructional Climate , is strikingly eviden t in secondary schools with low mathematics performance. Findings for Factor 2 (Instructional Actions) are equally remarkable. There were no secondary school principals who scored high on Factor 2 whose schools also had high mathematics achievement. At t he other end of the scale, there were seven secondary schools whose principals ranked the lowest on Instructional Actions and who also had low mathematics achievement. Discussion About the concept of instructional leadership, a clear distinction appeare d in our data, suggesting a missing nuance in much of the existing scholarship. It is a distinction between principals who provided support to teachers by ―popping in‖ and ―being visible‖ as compared with principals who were very intentional about each cla ssroom visit and 90

93 conversation, with the explicit purpose of engaging with teachers about well - defined instructional ideas and issues. We did find that high - scoring principals emphasized the establishment of a vision for their schools. In many schools, ho wever, the principal‘s engagement with individual teachers to ensure that the vision would be realized appeared to not be occurring — especially not in middle schools and high schools. Some of these principals, mostly at the secondary level, wrongly assumed that if a vision of high - quality instruction was well articulated, then high - quality instruction would happen — without much further action on their part or through the delegation of necessary actions to department heads and other ne major finding is that department heads provide little to no teacher leaders. Indeed, o instructional leadership. They appear to be particularly well - situated to offer leadership to their colleagues, but that potential for leadership appears nonetheless to be a squandered resource . Why this might be so is a question worthy of further investigation. Unsurprisingly, our evidence also points to the continuing preference of many of teachers to be ―left alone.‖ These teachers typically view the presence of a principal in their classroo ms as unnecessary and sometimes bothersome. Said one teacher, ―I haven‘t been observed in 17 years, and that‘s OK with me.‖ Another teacher noted that her principal had previously been a school psychologist, not a classroom teacher, and for that reason the teacher believed that her principal had an insufficient grasp of the stresses of teaching and could not ―really give me any realistic suggestions of how to be a better instructor.‖ Maintenance of the status quo, which for most secondary school teachers ant not having direct and frequent contact with the principal (or anyone else, for that me matter) about ways to improve instruction, was preferred. If teachers do not look to principals as instructional leaders, where will they get feedback about their ins truction? Our findings indicate that discussions about teaching and learning occur informally between colleagues and peers; they occur less frequently in the context of structured team meetings, content - area meetings, or formal team leader - follower channel s. Infrequent provision of instructional leadership by principals, especially at the secondary school level, leaves little room for dialogue about teaching and learning between leaders and followers. Consistent with Supovitz‘s (2006) findings, indicates that under current secondary school structures, authority our research relationships tend to discourage candor about problems that secondary school teachers may be having. Our evidence did not provide a strong test of the impact of instructional leadership on student performance. Nevertheless, schools ranked in the bottom of the instructional leadership continuum for Factor 1 or Factor 2, with student achievement scores in the lowest 30%, were predominantly secondary schools. It is even more notable that th e raw number and relative percent of secondary schools with low ranking and low achievement were significantly higher than for elementary schools. Given that this study identified a random sample of districts across the United States as participants, and that we have data only for districts that chose to become 91

94 involved, actual differences between elementary and secondary schools nationwide may be even wider than those we have discovered. Supportive instructional actions, such as 2, may be extremely under provided in secondary schools. - those constituting Factor Furthermore, establishing a culture of professional learning, as identified by the actions in Factor 1, appears to have greater effect on student outcomes in elementary schools than it does in secon dary schools. Overall, secondary schools appear to suffer from a ―double low professional growth climate whammy‖ and few actions taken to support classroom — instruction appear to be indicators of lower student performance. Academic achievement in elementary schools, however, appears to be more sensitive to principals who score low on either Factor 1 or Factor 2. Implications for Policy and Practice Four implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of the study. District leaders should 1. acknowledge, and begin to reduce, ways in which secondary school principals are limited in their capacity to exercise instructional leadership by the work required of them in their role as it is currently structured. District administrators are normally aware of the managerial effectiveness of their principals regarding immediate tasks and problems. They may also be aware of principals‘ efforts to create an instructional vision in which student achievement is an explicit priority. Still, a troublesome pa ttern apparently persists: secondary school principals do not, according to our data, interact with teachers frequently and directly about instructional practice. District leaders need to find ways to help secondary and elementary school principals work wi th teachers in order to improve. They also need to help principals structure their work schedules in order to find sufficient time to do this. The role of department head should be radically redefined. 2. in secondary schools Department heads should be regar ded, institutionally, as a central resource for imp schools. Our evidence confirms the roving instruction in middle and high managerial role in which many department heads are now entrenc hed. Relegating them exclusively to a managerial role amounts to a gre at waste of a potential resource for instructional improvement. A radical redefinition of the role would help school districts solve the historical problem of inertia in secondary schools. Principals need to be held accountable for taking actions that ar e known to have 3. direct effects on the quality of teaching and learning in their schools. Creating a vision for instructional improvement is not enough. Districts should expect principals to take targeted action aimed at implementing instructional leadershi p within each school. depth discussions with their Most districts will need to have honest and in - 4. principals to develop procedures for systematically and practically monitoring . The needs and circumstances of of instructional leadership implementation 92

95 el ementary and secondary school principals may need to be differentially addressed, however the bottom line would have each principal expected to take specific steps to enact instructional leadership in his or her school. 93

96 1.6 ion: Variables Poverty, Size, Level and Locat The Influence of Context on What Leaders Do and What They Accomplish Key Findings  As the poverty and diversity of students served by a school increase, teachers‘ perceptions of the contexts in which they work become more negative.  As di strict and school size increases, teachers‘ perceptions of the contexts in which they work become more negative.  The leadership teachers experience is perceived to be more favorable in elementary as compared with secondary schools, and in small as compare d with large schools.  Greater district size is associated with increases in shared leadership.  Most features of the context in which teachers work are viewed as more positive in rural as compared to urban schools. Introduction Why do school leaders do the things they do? When they are successful, what explains their success? Scholarly and professional discussion of these questions has context consistently emphasized as a crucial factor. As Evans notes, ―school leaders negotiate multiple contexts and stakeholders, often with competing and overlapping interests‖ (2007, p. 159). Leadership success depends greatly on the skill with which leaders adapt their practices to the circumstances in which they find themselves, their understanding of the underlyin g causes of the problems they encounter, and how they respond to those problems. Context may also constrain leaders, particularly when 130 pressures in the environment are severe. In education, pressures arising from rapidly ders as they work to create more effective changing communities challenge lea organizations in the presence, for example, of competition from charter schools or — problems created by liberal district transfer policies. This chapter focuses on three important topics related to context: the socio - economic and racial mix of students who come to the school, characteristics of the community and the district, and the school‘s size and complexity. 130 Ruef (1997) . 94

97 Prior Evidence Several strands of well - tested leadership theory acknowledge the importance of asserts a prominent role for ―situational T xt. he multiple linkages conte model — the size of the work group, organizational policies and procedures, the prior variables‖ 131 — which mediate what the leader is able to do. For training and experience of members the size of the school will have a significant effect on how well teachers know example, other teachers; it also will affect the way in which teachers form workgroups or 132 departments to talk about their work. The fragmented nature of professional communities, rath er than size per se, becomes a constraint on how principals try to organize professional communities to focus on instruction and student learning. R esource dependence theory argues that organizations are dependent on obtaining resources from their environ ments, and that they adapt their organizational forms and 133 This functioning in order to survive in the settings in which they are located. perspective is consistent, for example, with the assumption that schools in wealthier settings are likely to have bet ter teachers, better leaders, more actively involved parents, 134 It also argues, however, that leaders are responsible for building and better results. bridges and adapting to the resource constraints that they experience. Schools in poor rural communities, f or example, may be more likely to build bridges to the state or to 135 - local funding sources, given the local constraints they face. other non Charter schools, which are particularly vulnerable to resource constraints, may need to depend more on 136 - education al community members than regular public schools do. non Institutional theories take a different view, arguing that schools (like other major social service sectors) are so constrained by public expectations that they have limited 137 options for becoming very different. Public agencies that have limited autonomy, owing to extensive public oversight, find it difficult to develop their own policies and 138 This does not mean that successful leadership activity in schools initiatives for change. t does not come easily. Institutional research suggests, furthermore, is impossible, but i the larger set of social expectations about issues, such as how discipline should be that handled or how much differentiation in curriculum is appropriate, can be more critical 139 than loca In the United States, for example, many parents expect that their l conditions. access to Advanced Placement or other advanced courses, and these children will have expectations may constrain efforts to adopt a uniform, standards - based curriculum for all students. 131 Yukl (2002) . 132 Le e, Bryk, & Smith (1993); Louis, Marks, & Kruse (1996) . 133 . Casciaro & Piskorski (2005); Romanelli (1991) 134 . Lee et al. (1993) 135 DeYoung (1995) . 136 Holyoke, Henig, Brown, & Lacireno - Paquet (2007); Renzulli (2005) . 137 Rowan & Miskel (1999) . 138 Boschken (1998) . 139 Arum (2000) . 95

98 Leadership research has been somewhat scattered in its examinations of context. At one extreme, researchers have claimed that local context trumps all other factors. - contrast, number case studies. In Claims of this sort often are based on single or small researchers working from quantitative studies treat contextual variables as factors to be controlled in inquiries about leadership effects. This approach essentially dismisses context as a substantive problem. Much less attention has been given t o the relationship 140 between contexts and the practice of education leaders. From the perspective of research design, contexts can be conceptualized as antecedents of leadership practices; they also can be conceptualized as mediators and moderators of leade rship effects on organizational outcomes. New Evidence Equity has been a key focus in our investigations of contexts and leadership. We have sought not only to learn about leadership that might yield equitable outcomes for students (although it was bey ond the boundaries of this study to look for leadership effects that were actually ―closing the gap‖); we also have asked whether leadership itself was equitably distributed among schools. Is the leadership that matters for student learning — shared leadersh ip and instructional leadership — well distributed so that all teachers and students have access to its benefits? In particular, does the leadership that matters vary across contexts:  between schools, depending on the types of students who attend? In other words, do poorer and wealthier schools have similar levels of leadership focused on improving schools and classrooms?  by the size and location of school districts? We know from other studies that larger, arly for lower - income students; but we urban districts tend to be less effective, particul do not know to what extent, or how, leadership effects might explain that pattern of outcomes.  between elementary and secondary schools? Might variability in leadership account for some of the differences we have ob served in student performance on state benchmarks, where secondary schools did not score as well as elementary schools? Method To address these questions, we examined evidence provided by the first and second rounds of principal and teacher surveys, each of which contained measures of leadership behaviors shown elsewhere in this report to be related to student achievement. Our analysis consisted primarily of analysis of variance, in which we compared mean scores of teachers in different settings on various leadership measures. 140 Hallinger (1996); Hallinger & Murphy (1986) . 96

99 In these efforts we emphasized our investigation of leadership variables pertaining to the distribution of leadership within a school. We examined teachers‘ perceptions of tions of their own leadership for principals‘ efforts to involve others, and teachers‘ descrip improvement (measured by sense of collective responsibility and the development of shared norms and values). In addition we examined the degree to which leadership is exercised to promote a focus on improved curriculum and instruction, both at the school and district level. Student Differences: Poverty and Diversity of the teacher survey indicate that, generally, a s Our results from Round One student poverty and diversity increase, teachers‘ experience of shared leadership (See Table 1.6.1 below, and C1.6.1 in Appendix devolving from the principal decreases ). We found C teachers‘ leadership focused on collective responsibility for student , learning to be more likely present in high poverty schools than in low poverty schools to share norms around teaching and but teachers are less likely in high poverty schools instruction. Also, teachers in higher - diversity schools report that teachers‘ leadership focused on collective responsibility for student learning is lower than that - found in low diversity schools, and, again, that teachers in low - diversity schools are less likely to share norms around teaching and instruction. Finally, the level of diversity is not statistically related to teachers‘ reports of the principal as an inst ructional leader ( F = 0.23, p = .797; see Table 1.6.2). Looking at teacher ratings of school climate, school openness to parents , and Round Two of the teacher survey), we find o nce again that as district support (from ers‘ ratings of climate, openness to parents, and poverty and diversity increase, teach 141 Table 1.6.1 below, and Appendix C 1.6.1). district support decrease (see Table 1.6.1 One - Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by Poverty Poverty Level Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts Low High Medium F p (B) A) (C) ( 3.88 .021 A > B 1 Parent Teacher Shared Leadership <.001 2 Principal as Instructional Leader 10.49 C > B C > A 3 Shared Leadership Within the School 9.59 <.001 B > C A > C 4 Collective Responsibility 7.88 <.001 C > B C > A 5 Shared Norms 41.73 <.001 A > B C > B A > C 141 he level of poverty, however, is not statistically related to teachers‘ reports of district support ( F = T Table 1.5.1 ). 1.31, p = .272; 97

100 6 Teachers‘ Perceptions of Parent Influence <.001 A > B B > C A > C 40.72 A > B .019 7 Principal as Trusted Colleague 3.96 52.35 <.001 8 Focused Instruction A > C A > B C > B te <.001 9 Teacher Ratings of School Clima A > B 9.36 p ( =.06) 10 Teacher Ratings of School Openness to A > B .013 4.43 Parents 11 Teacher Ratings of District Support .272 1.31 Source : 1 – 8, Teacher Survey Round One; 9 – 11, Teacher Survey Round Two. † se contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means For the planned pairwi < .05, t significantly different from each other at p tailed. If a contrast is not shown, the two means - - test two in question are not significantly different from each other. From nd Two of the principal survey, we constructed six variables that Rou parallel the teacher survey variables or are of conceptual interest on their own. They were Principal Self - Rating on Improvement - Rating on Shared Leadership Skills, Principal Self ocus, Principal Rating of District School Improvement Focus, Principal Rating Planning F of District Shared Leadership Skills, District Policies to Support Organizational Learning, - Ba sed Decision Making (see Table C1.6.2 in Appendix C ). and District Focus on Data On none of the six was there a significant main effect for poverty. Looking at the effect - Rating on Improvement of diversity, we find a significant main effect for Principal Self Planning Focus, Principal Rating of District School Improvement Focus, and Distr ict Focus on Data - Based Decision Making (see Table C1.6.3 in Appendix C ). On these three variables, principals in medium - diversity buildings gave higher ratings than those in low - 142 diversity buildings. Location Differences: District Size and Urbanicity from We found a significant main effect for district size on all eight variables and all three from Round One of the teacher surveys (see Table 1.6.2). Here, Round Two large districts have significant disadvantages on all principal and teacher leadership var iables: principal and teacher leadership diminishes as we move from small to large districts — with, however, a single exception. For shared leadership, there is a clear and opposite trend: the larger the district, the greater the degree of shared leadership as reported by teachers. Once again as district size increases, teachers‘ ratings of climate, openness to parents, and district support decreases. 142 In our examination of the leadership variable on th e six context variables from Round One of the principal survey, we found only a small number of statistically significant main effects, which is not unlike what we see in Table 1.5.2. Compared with the teachers in their buildings, principals ttuned to their building, district, or demographic context in their experience of are not much a leadership. 98

101 We found a significant main effect on only two of the six variables on the second round of the principal su shared leadership skills and rvey: Principal rating of district District policies to support organizational learning. On both, principals from small gave higher ratings rom large districts (see Table C1.6.4, districts than principals f Appendix C ). located in larger metropolitan areas exhibit Results also indicate that schools from principals as significant disadvantages regarding the presence of leadership — instructional leaders and from shared norms among teachers (Table C1.6.5, Appendix C ). ed leadership with parents ( F T = 1.99, p = .113) and teachers‘ collective eachers‘ shar F = 1.63, p were not statistically related to responsibility for student learning ( = .179) urbanicity. Teachers‘ ratings of climate and district support diminish as we move from rural to urban. Teachers‘ ratings on school openness to parents were not related to F = 1.12, p = .342). urbanicity ( Of the six variables from the second round of the principal survey, only one, - District Focus on Data F = 3.45, Based Decision Making, showed a significan t main effect ( = .018); principals in urban districts rated it higher than principals in suburban districts. p Table 1.6.2 Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by District Size - One District Size Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts Low Medium High F p (C) (A) (B) 1 Parent Teacher Shared Leadership <.001 7.96 B > C A > C 2 Principal as Instructional Leader 30.76 <.001 B > C A > C 3 Shared Leadership Within the School .005 B > A C > B C > A 5.31 B > C <.001 A > B A > C 4 Collective Responsibility 11.39 37.26 <.001 A > B B > C A > C 5 Shared Norms 6 Teachers‘ Perceptions of Parent Influence <.001 A > B C > B A > C 22.60 7 Principal as Trusted Colleague <.001 18.32 B > C A > C 8 Focused Instruction 24.09 <.001 A > B B > C A > C 9 T eacher Ratings of School Climate A > C B > C <.001 27.94 10 Teacher Ratings of School Openness to A > C B > C <.001 19.67 Parents 11 Teacher Ratings of District Support A > C B > C .001 7.32 Source : 1 – 8, Teacher Survey Round One; 9 – 11, Teacher Su rvey Round Two. † For the planned pairwise contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means - tailed. significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two 99

102 School Differences: School Level and School Size and middle schools, elementary schools experience Compared to high schools . higher levels of all forms of leadership associated with student learning (see Table 1.6.3) Teachers in middle and high schools are less likely to trust their principals, less likely to active as instructional ctively involve parents in decisions, and report that they a less leaders in their buildings. Also, teachers in elementary schools report higher ratings of climate, openness to parents, and district support. At the secondary level, high schools show a higher ―leadership deficit‖ than middle schools, as well as lower ratings on climate, openness to parents, and district support. School size matters, as well (see Table C1.6.6 in Appendix C ) . For our analysis we stratified school size (number of student s) into quintiles. We found a significant main effect for school size on all eight variables from Round Round One and all three from of the teacher surveys. Two As in large districts, large schools have significant disadvantages on all principal and teache r leadership variables; principal and teacher leadership diminish as we move from small to large buildings. Also, teachers‘ ratings of climate, openness to parents, and district support diminish as we move from small to large buildings. Table 1.6.3 One - Wa y Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by Building Level Building Level Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts Middle Elem High F p (B) (A) (C) 64.42 1 Parent Teacher Shared Leadership <.001 A > B B > C A > C 2 Principal as Instructional Leader 92.01 <. 001 B > C A > C A > B 3 Shared Leadership Within the School 3.76 .023 A > C 4 Collective Responsibility <.001 A > B B > C A > C 71.09 A > B <.001 5 Shared Norms A > C 115.09 20.17 <.001 A > B 6 Teachers Perceptions of Parent Influence B > C A > C 7 Principal as Trusted Colleague 76.38 <.001 B > C A > C A > B 8 Focused Instruction 10.46 <.001 A > B C > B 9 Teacher Ratings of School Climate B > C A > B A > C <.001 40.65 10 Teacher ratings of School Openness to C A > B > C A > B 26.31 <.001 Parents 11 Teacher Ratings of District Support B > C A > C <.001 9.77 † For the planned pairwise contrasts between the means, the comparisons shown represent two means tailed. - significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two 100

103 Poverty and District Size Our results indicate that student poverty and district size amount to a double disadvantage - poverty student populations are most likely to . Larger schools with high experience limited leadership — even when we control for the effects of school level an d urbanicity. Implications for Policy and Practice implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. Five 1. Policies and programs should be developed at the state level to address leadership deficits. While the leadership def icits we have uncovered cannot account in any direct way for the achievement gap, they do provide significant evidence that leadership is unequally distributed among U.S. schools. Because leadership deficits are most apparent in schools marked by many othe r disadvantages known to affect student achievement, it is reasonable to argue that improving leadership capacity in these schools could also help to boost programmatic and curricular initiatives to increase equity. In particular, principals in more disadv antaged school settings are likely to need more professional development and support in their efforts to sustain practices in — teachers and parents — and behaviors that will increase the involvement of others the work of improvement. The sharing of leadership increases the total energy available to support students in learning. 2. Policy makers and educators should avoid ―one size fits all‖ approaches to leadership development. In their efforts to develop strong programs of instructional and shared leadership, h igh school principals work at a distinct disadvantage compared with elementary school principals. One - size - fits - all models of professional development for principals (widespread throughout the United States), are unlikely to work well in complex and diffi cult high school settings (the same point holds for some larger middle schools). This does not mean, of course, that principals in elementary and secondary schools cannot learn from one another; but general leadership models provide only a start. po 3. High - - verty schools, especially large high poverty schools, need leadership development These are difficult leadership programs tailored to their specific needs. contexts that require additional interventions and support. While many whole - school reform models g eared to urban and high - poverty contexts provide excellent professional development for teachers, few provide anything that directly address the needs and experiences for principals in high poverty settings. As we have noted in our analysis of changes in s tate leadership, support needs to be targeted to schools that are needy, particularly schools and districts that are not meeting AYP targets. 4. Educators and policy makers should develop models of shared leadership and parent One reason why principals in urban and high - involvement that are context - re levant. poverty settings tend not to share leadership may be that they operate under 101

104 conditions in which that kind of involvement is not rewarded. Even where urban and - poverty school districts emphasize publ ic engagement, the policies and high preferences tend to ―trickle down‖ to schools only in the form of mandated representation on school councils — a weak strategy for distributing leadership. Without better models and support, principals will continue to focus o n the daily pressures of running the school, and not on creating a more democratic climate . Educators and policy makers should develop clearer programs to support instructional 5. uctional leadership, particularly in secondary schools. Many important studies of instr leadership have been conducted in elementary school settings. As valuable as much of this work has been, we know that instructional leadership in secondary schools must differ from instructional leadership in elementary schools, simply because hig h school principals cannot be experts in all subject areas. Many of the strategies that seem to work well in elementary schools do not necessarily work as well in high schools. We cannot expect to see significant improvement until this issue is addressed ore clearly. m 102

105 1.7 A Synthesis of Implications for Policy and Practice about School Leadership 1. In order for principals to devote more time and attention to the improvement of . instruction, their jobs will need to be substantially redesigned ools this In many sch will require the creation of other support roles with responsibility for managing the important tasks only indirectly related to instruction. The gap between how principals spend their time and what they are being encouraged to do has persisted f or at least a half century. By now it should be obvious that structural changes in the work of school leaders are a pre - condition for the emergence of this significant change: cajoling, demanding, advocating, explaining, and wishful thinking — typical strate gies used to date — — with different just will not do it. Differentiated administrative staffing administrators assigned to managerial and academic roles is one example of — changes that merit exploration. 2. Distribution of leadership to include teachers, parent s, and district staff is needed in order to improve student achievement . School and district leaders should, as a matter of policy and practice, extend significant influence to others in the school community as a foundation for their efforts to improve stu dent achievement. Such an expansion of influence to others will in no way diminish their own influence. 3. - level and state policy makers must assume the responsibility for nurturing District moting productive principals’ dispositions toward the distribution of leadership. Pro forms of distributed leadership in schools creates new challenges for principals, and without sustained encouragement and support from outside the school it is unlikely to become common practice. Distributing leadership more widely in sch ools is definitely not a means of reducing principals‘ workload, as has sometimes been suggested; neither is it likely to diminish the principal‘s own influence. This conclusion brings us back to our second point about the need for serious consideration of redesigning principals‘ jobs. 4. Policy makers and practitioners should avoid promoting conceptions of instructional leadership which adopt an exclusive or narrow focus on classroom instruction . Our study suggests that successful school level leadership inv olves significant attention to - classroom instructional practices, but it also includes attention to other issues critical to the health and welfare of schools. Furthermore, school leaders can have a significant influence on teachers‘ classroom practices th rough their efforts to motivate teachers and create workplace settings compatible with instructional practices known to be effective. 5. Significant additional support should be provided for middle and high school principals to foster the kind of instruction al leadership that is “workable” in their larger and more complex settings . Our data suggest that efforts must be made to develop instructional leadership capacities in the middle level leaders in these - 103

106 settings. Secondary school leadership - development ini tiatives should focus at least as much effort on improving the leadership capacities of department heads as principals and vice principals. a void “one size fits all” leadership development 6. Educators and policy makers should programs . In particular, more d edicated programs should be developed to: (a) support instructional leadership in secondary schools, and (b) address the specific leadership needs of large, high - poverty schools. Principal preparation and professional development programs should continue t o emphasize both the ―softer‖ (emotional) and the ―harder‖ (behavioral) aspects of leadership. 104

107 Part Two Districts and Their Leaders: How They Foster School Improvement and Student Learning Preface es that suddenly becomes Much like an obscure actor cast in a television seri wildly popular, school districts and their leaders have recently been rediscovered in the ongoing drama of school reform. Today the specter of ―Desperate Superintendents‖ lights up the education screen wherever a child has been lef t behind. This development stands in stark contrast to scenarios played out across the United States not much more than a decade ago, when districts were pretty much ―restructured‖ out of the leadership game by the attraction of site based management. In a n effort to rid education of its ―stifling - bureaucracies,‖ policy makers in many areas devolved authority for school governance increasingly to principals (and sometimes to teachers and parents) in regular as well as charter schools, and these newly empowe red authorities gained a dubious opportunity to spend time dealing with bricks, buses, and budgets. Such restructuring did not do much to 143 improve the quality of students‘ experience. Now districts and their leaders have re - emerged, thanks in part to res ponsibilities assigned to them by legislators. The federal No Child Left Behind Act, for example, extends accountability for student learning beyond the school house to the organizations that, in all states, continue to make crucial decisions about the use of resources for school improvement. The Act also specifies new roles for school districts in reform activity. In Part Two, our investigation of leadership and student achievement examines in ome previously identified — see further detail certain characteristics of school districts (s Section 2.3; others introduced here) as they shape the role districts play in initiatives aimed at change. We also examine how these characteristics interact to yield productive consequences for students. In prior research we found some support for bolstering the role of school districts in reform activity; we also found that the research base for many confident assertions about that role was relatively thin, consisting primarily of outlier case studies and examinations of lar ger data bases that are not representative of U.S. districts as a whole. In particular, prior research fails to provide consistent evidence that links district actions to student learning. Given the central role school districts play in American education, this is a serious gap. Taking note of it, we made the link between district action and student learning a main focus. Our design focuses on providing evidence, direct or indirect, about the effects of district policies and practices on schools, classrooms , and student learning. 143 . (Borman et al., 2003) 105

108 Section 2.1 extends the analysis of collective leadership presented in Section 1.1 to include district efforts to involve community members and parents. Sections 2.2 and 2.3 also build on earlier sections, examining ways in which d istricts contribute to the development of individual and collective efficacy, which we show to be important predictors of student achievement. In section 2.4, we move to a topic that has rarely been examined, looking at principal turnover and its effects o n teachers and students. In section 2.5 we examine ways in which districts use data to improve student learning. In section 2.6 we examine district policies and practices as they foster or do not foster improvement in curriculum and instructional programs across districts and within the individual schools. Although we will take up the question of how our findings can be translated into recommendations for policy and practice in subsequent sections, we can state our overall finding here: School districts ma tter. District policies and practices affect student achievement. Our elaboration follows. 106

109 2.1 How Districts Harness Family and Community Energy for School Improvement Key Findings Districts promote participatory democratic structures in schools by c reating  policies and expectations for participation on the part of a wide array of people and groups outside of the school.  Districts have more difficulty creating leadership teams that include diverse families and community members in more, as compared w ith less, affluent communities.  Outside of establishing traditional site - council structures, Districts typically do not have a strong impact on principals‘ openness to community and parental involvement.  Schools with more community stakeholders on their site councils or building leadership teams tend to have principals who are more open to community - level involvement.  Student achievement does not seem to be influenced positively by principals‘ openness to community involvement. Student achievement is h igher in schools where teachers share leadership and  where they perceive greater involvement by parents. Introduction The review of research we cite in the Preface to Part Two makes no mention of district efforts to engage families and the broader co mmunity more fully in school improvement work. Yet family and community engagement has been an active research area for many years. Considerable evidence links family background to student achievement — a sufficient warrant for attention in its own right. Ou r interest, however, arises also from democratic assumptions underlying the organization of the U.S. school system and from the traditional resistance of schools to greater community - level participation. In light of this background, we examine five questio ns about family and community engagement: site councils or leadership  What influences the diversity of membership on school - teams? 107

110  What factors influence principals‘ openness to parental and community involvement? Is a principal‘s openness to communit  y involvement related to student learning?  How are participatory and collective leadership structures related to student learning? Which district policies and practices foster or inhibit family and community  engagement aimed at increasing student learn ing? Prior Research Five strands of prior evidence informed our approach to this research: (1) evidence linking family engagement with student learning, (2) studies of recent efforts to create more democratic or participatory structures in schools, (3) studies of changing power structures in schools, (4) evidence about collective leadership, with a particular emphasis on the inclusion of people not in designated or positional leadership roles, and (5) studies about district and school characteristics th at may support or inhibit family and community participation. Family Engagement and Student Learning Findings from two meta - analyses by Jeynes (2003 and 2007) add credible arguments for the case of family involvement leading to increased student achieve ment. The first (Jeynes 2003) concluded that family involvement affected academic achievement for the minority groups under study, but in different ways. For African Americans, effect sizes were positive for parenting style and for family attendance at var ious school events, but those variables were not statistically significant for other groups. The second (Jeynes 2007), focusing exclusively on studies of urban secondary school students, found that family involvement had a significant effect on student ievement for minority and white students. ach ―Subtle‖ aspects of family involvement — parenting style and parental expectations, for example — may have a greater impact on student achievement than more ―concrete‖ forms such as attendance at school conferences o r enforcing rules at home 144 regarding homework. Some researchers, policy makers, and practitioners argue that 145 these subtle forms of family involvement are not easily influenced by schools. In contrast, we argue that the value of creating participatory stru ctures in schools lies in its potential for increasing family and community members‘ sense of engagement in 144 Fan (2001); Feuerstein (2000); Jeynes (2007); Lee & Bowen (2006); Sanders (1998); and Sheldon (2003). 145 Other factors affecting family involvement in schools include race, SES, family size, parent self - efficacy, g eographic location of school, educational attainment of parents, and grade level of child. See Bandura (1996) ; Crispeels & Rivero (2001); Epstein & Dauber (1991); Fan (2001); Feuerstein (2000) ; Dempsey et al. (1995); and Lee & Bowen (2006). Grolnick et al. (1997); Hoover - 108

111 children‘s education, and, as a consequence, augment and reinforce the subtle behaviors 146 responsible for improved outcomes. Creating Participatory or Democratic Structures In the last two decades, some educators and community members have shown an — interest in creating more democratic structures within and alongside schools by establishing and using various advisory councils, for example. This movem ent may be a within which families and community reaction against a longstanding school climate some more than others — have been viewed as outsiders, not as true members members — of the school community. In this movement, some researchers saw democracy in ac tion as power devolved from the state to local schools, sometimes culminating in outside 147 Many contentions about site - stakeholder involvement. based management, community control of schools, community schools, and school choice were based on democratic and 148 communitarian theory. Some researchers and policy makers influenced by economic theory have begun to view the relationship between schools and communities differently. Families and community members are clients or customers, not outsiders, according to this point of view, and schools should be accountable to their clients (see Riley & Louis, 2004, p. 9). Other observers remain suspicious of the community - - client view, for as various reasons. A school that is accountable to the community, in our view, ref lects local values and customs, has indicators of success that are visible and well communicated to - the public, and allows parents to choose schools if they are not satisfied with the 149 service. Changing Power Structures in Schools Site - based management initiatives rarely challenge existing power structures or 150 making patterns in schools. - Instead, these initiatives work to incorporate alter decision 151 152 outsiders into the school‘s frame of reference. Even where family and community e been mandated, observers have questioned the fidelity of involvement programs hav implementation efforts to mandated plans. Since it is easier for traditional power structures to remain in place when environmental factors remain ―stable and 153 congenial,‖ giving parents and teache rs authority to make some school decisions may 154 in some respects reinforce the status quo. In an examination of the contested nature of schools in a pluralistic society, Abrams (2002) found that ―school interventions seeking to change established practi ces and ideologies concerning parental involvement can become contested terrain, . . . exposing competing needs and concerns about children‘s education‖ (p. 384). However, 146 Sheldon (2005). 147 Anderson (1998, 1999); Schuller et al. (2000). 148 Anderson (1998, 1999); Crowson & Boyd (2001); Driscoll (1998); Keith (1999); Lee et al. (1993); and Riley & Louis (2004). 149 Anderson (1998, 1999); Mawhinney (2004); and R iley & Louis (2004). 150 Hess (1999); Malen (1994, 1999); and Malen & Ogawa (1988). 151 Anderson (1998). 152 This finding is challenged by some European studies, e.g., Møller (2006). 153 Malen & Ogawa (1988, p. 265). 154 Moran (2001). - Hess (1999); Malen (1994, 1999); Malen & Og awa (1988); and Tschannen 109

112 Abrams also suggests that schools can bring competing groups together by developing collaborative structures and involving families in shared decision making, thus building social capital. The model of community development as a mechanism to link schools and communities is a facet of social capital theory; its importance in education poli cy and 155 research has increased in the last fifteen years. About participatory structures and efforts to develop them, there is often a wide gap between rhetoric and practice. Cognizant of this gap, several scholars have investigated factors that actually make a difference in these efforts. For example, Miretzky argues that fostering communication between teachers and families can help to create a democratic community and support school improvement. While the parents and teachers Miretzky studied did not e spouse the value of democratic communities per se, the values they did espouse — investment in the school community, direct and honest communication, trust, mutual respect and mutual goals — ―all reflect the ̳communication requirements‘ of such communities‖ (2 004, p. 814). According to this view, some teachers and parents desire interaction within a democratic community, but they lack the language necessary to articulate that interest. Collective Leadership As we explain in section 1.1, collective leadership refers to influence exercised by school leaders and families and other stakeholders. The political argument for involving parents and other community members more substantially carries along with it an explicit 156 challenge to the traditional, hierarchical le adership and power structures in schools. According to Leithwood and Prestine (2002), the policies and reforms that call for decentralized decision making rest on certain important assumptions about the role of the control model of site principal and other school leaders. The community - - based management ―assumes that the school leader‘s role is to ̳empower‘ these people and to actively encourage the sharing of power formerly exercised by the principal. ...School f teams rather than sole decision makers, leaders, it is assumed, will act as members o - teaching others how to make defensible decisions and clarifying their decision responsibilities‖ (p. 46). In this respect, strong leadership will be needed, somewhat paradoxically, to help establish collaborative p artnerships and to foster shared decision 157 making. The beneficial outcomes, Leithwood and Pristine argue, will include better decisions and, among participants, an enhanced sense of ownership in and responsibility for the outcomes of those decisions. Dis trict and School Characteristics That Support or Inhibit family and Community Participation While principals play a crucial role in school - improvement initiatives, the school culture or climate is also crucial. Important characteristics of school culture i nclude a caring atmosphere, significant family volunteering, and a supportive environment for 158 Widespread trust among participants promotes collaboration within teachers‘ work. 155 Mawhinney (2004). 156 Anderson (1999) ; Keith (1999). 157 Goldring & Sims (2005); Leithwood, Jantzi & Steinbach (1999). 158 Bauch & Goldring (2000). 110

113 159 schools and communities. Parental involvement benefits students, particularly; it also seems to benefit families, enhancing their attitudes about themselves, their children‘s 160 schools, and school staff members. Some principals and teachers assume that low levels of parental involvement reflect low levels of interest in the educati on of the children in question. The evidence — inner - does not support this view. Parents generally - income parents as well city and low 161 as others — care deeply about their children‘s education. Their level of interest is not always readily apparent. Some may n ot know how to be involved helpfully in their 162 children‘s education. Others may feel constrained by reticence arising from an inhibiting sense of class differences. For reasons like these, educators face a special challenge in seeking to foster increased f amily involvement. The policies and programs 163 currently targeted to that task are, in many districts, inadequate. 164 New Evidence Method We obtained data for this section from responses to the first round of principal and teacher surveys and from state - m andated measures of students‘ achievement in mathematics. Also, in order to compose three district - level vignettes, we analyzed data from interviews we conducted over three years with district and school staff members and community stakeholders. The survey s posed questions about principals‘ and teachers‘ perceptions of parental and community involvement in schools; they also asked about stakeholders‘ influence in schools, the composition of leadership teams, and principals‘ and teachers‘ perceptions of pare nt and community openness to and involvement in promoting student learning. A total of 260 administrators returned the principals‘ surveys (157 principals and 103 vice principals), for a response rate of 74.2%. - seven percent of teachers completed th Sixty eir surveys (a total of 4,491). The present analysis, however, focuses only on the principals‘ responses (n=157). For all survey items we used a six point response scale (from strongly agree to - strongly disagree rvey (all met conventional ). We calculated separate scales for each su standards of reliability); then we used step wise regression to analyze the principals‘ and - teachers‘ surveys separately. Factors measured by the principals‘ survey included the following: 159 Tschannen - Moran (2001). 160 - Vogal (2001). Smrekar & Cohen 161 Patrikakou et al. (1998). 162 Epstein & Dauber (1991). 163 Kruse & Louis (in press). 164 A full report of this study is available in Gordon & Louis (in press). Linking parent and community involvement with student achievement: Comparing principal and teacher perceptions of stakeholder American Journal of Education. influence. 111

114  lvement. All the items in this scale reflected Principals’ openness to community invo participatory democratic structures i.e., community members are our concept of — actively engaged in planning and setting school - improvement goals. District support for community and parent involvement . This s  cale measured the role of the district in helping or hindering principals in their efforts to obtain greater community and parental involvement.  Principals’ perceptions of parental influence. This scale measured and the extent to which parents were invol ved in decision making and the perceived level of influence parents exercised in setting directions for school - improvement efforts. We first examined elected versus non - elected in order to distinguish site councils between those that reflected democrati c participatory structures and those that did not. (Although some schools refer to their site councils as ―building leadership teams‖, for purposes of clarity, we will use the term ―site council‖ to refer to all such groups of people who participate togeth er to provide guidance and occasional decisions as a means of local leadership at the building level.) We focused on formally elected school site councils that were diverse (i.e., more than three groups of people represented on the teams, meaning those tha t included parents and community members). Forty - three percent of the teams were elected, and elected teams were more diverse than non - elected teams. For the first analysis of data from the principal survey, our outcome variables ty of membership on school site councils, and (2) the level of included (1) the diversi - principals‘ and teachers‘ openness to community and parental involvement in schools. the teacher survey, four variables were measured: For the analysis from  p. In schools demonstrating collective leadership, Parent/teacher collective leadershi principals and teachers are more likely to collaborate with parents and the 165 community.  District and school leadership influence. Using this variable we measured the degree to which administrators, at th e school and district level, retained control over decision making. Teachers’ perceptions of parental influence  . Using this variable we explored the relationship between teachers‘ perceptions of parental influence and student learning outcomes.  Teacher influence : Using this variable we distinguished between the influence of parents, administrators, and teachers in school decisions. 165 - Moran & Hoy (2000). E.g., Goldring & Sims (2005) ; Tschannen 112

115 We measured student achievement by reference to the school‘s performance on the 2005 sed poverty (the number of students - 2006 state tests in mathematics. We u price lunches) and type of school (elementary and secondary) receiving free or reduced - as control variables for all of our analyses because several studies examining community involvement specifically found them to be si gnificant influences on parental involvement 166 in schools. SES is also a significant factor in predicting student achievement. Site Councils Influences on the Diversity of School - diversity of In our first analysis we examined variables associated with the - We sought to determine which district and school membership on site councils. school leadership factors were associated with diversity. Using diversity of membership on the as a dependent variable, we used linear regression to examine the rel ationship site council district support for community involvement , controlling for poverty between diversity and level. Table 2.1.1 Factors Associated with Diversity of Membership on School Site Councils - (N=157) Standardized ed Adjust Predictors Sig R² t R² Coefficients (Constant) .000 3.648 Percent of Free or Reduced .009 2.656 - Price Lunch .260 Students District Support .022 2.324 .227 .092 .074 F = 5.092 * Significant at the .05 level Results show that poverty level and district support for community involvement - site councils. explain only 9% of the variance in the diversity of membership on school Nevertheless, diversity of membership on site councils is fostered by district support for community we found high - poverty scho participation and ols are more often diverse in site - council membership than other schools are. Influences on Principals’ Openness to Parent and Community Involvement In our second analysis, we examined which factors associated with principals‘ openness to community invol vement. With principals’ openness as our dependent variable, we used step - wise regression to assess the degree to which our independent variables ( district support , site council diversity ) accounted for variance in our dependent variable. Again, we used fr - price lunch (FRPL) and school level as ee and reduced controlling variables. 166 - Chu & Willms (1996). Henderson & Mapp (2002); Ho Sui 113

116 Table 2.1.2 Factors Associated with Principals’ Openness to Community Involvement (N=157) Standardized Adjusted t Sig R² Predictors R² Coefficients (Constant) 1 16.073 .000 Free or Reduced .785 - Price Lunch Percent of .274 .027 Students .001 - .009 F = .075 2 (Constant) .036 2.130 - Percent of Free or Reduced .172 Price Lunch .864 .017 Students District Support 1.673 .097 .169 Site Council Diversity 2.2 92 .024 .230 F change = 5.159* .095 .068 1.661 (Constant) .1000 3 - Price Lunch Percent of Free or Reduced .224 .808 .025 Students District Support .095 1.684 .171 Site Council Diversity 2.289 .024 .231 Elementary or Secondary School .726 .352 .035 .096 .059 F change = .124 * Significant at the .05 level Our results yielded four findings. First, poverty level does not influence site council diversity principals‘ openness to community involvement. Second, is the only statistically significant variable associated with principals‘ openness to community involvement; it accounts, however, for only about 9% of the variance. Third, district is not significantly related to community involvement, and it has only a limited support influence on principals‘ openness to community involvement. Fourth, school level is not associated with principals‘ openness to community involvement. Factors Related to Student Achievement Using data from surveys of principals, we examined factors related to stu dent achievement in mathematics. In these analyses we used site council diversity, district support, and principals’ openness to community involvement as independent variables; again, we used poverty and school level as control variables. 114

117 Table 2.1.3 Principal Survey: 2006 Student Achievement Scores in Math at the Building - Factors Associated with 2005 Level (N=157) Adjusted Standardized Sig R² Predictors t Coefficients R² 1 .000 17.617 (Constant) Percent of Free or Reduced Price Lunch - 4.413 .000 - - .416 Students .164 .173 F = 19.471** (Constant) 5.196 .000 2 Percent of Free or Reduced - Price Lunch 4.009 .000 - .405 - Students Site Council Diversity .394 .856 .087 District Support .335 .970 .096 Principals‘ Openness to Community .070 - 1.836 .180 - Involvement .210 .175 F change = 1.419 3 (Constant) .000 5.973 Percent of Free or Reduced - Price Lunch 4.784 - .000 - .496 Students Site Council Diversity .318 1.004 .099 District Support .419 .811 .078 Principals‘ Openness to Community 1.662 - .100 - .159 Involvement Elementary or Secondary School 2.649 .010 - .255 - .268 .227 .018* F change = 7 * Significant at the .05 level **Significant at the .001 level Our results show that poverty level accounts for 17% of the variance in student achievement in mathematics. With leadership variables factored in, we find that site council diversity, district support, and principals’ openness to community involvement do not relate significantly to student achievement. In sho rt, even if principals are open to community involvement and establish diverse school site councils, no significant effect on achievement will necessarily follow, over and above the effect of contextual factors (poverty and school level). This finding is onsistent with results from prior research: simply changing structures, or being open to c involvement, does not necessarily lead to increased student learning. 115

118 Participatory and Collective School Leadership Structures and Student Learning surveys of teachers, we analyzed the relationship of Using data from teachers’ Parent/teacher collective leadership, district/school leadership influence , and perceptions of parental involvement with student achievement in mathematics. Again, we used poverty and school le vel as control variables. Our results show that poverty level had a statistically significant inverse relationship with achievement in mathematics, accounting for 21% of the variance. With nd that parent/teacher participatory and shared leadership variables factored in, we fou collective leadership and teacher’s perceptions of parental influence were positively and significantly associated with achievement in mathematics, accounting for 23% of the variance. This finding is consistent with findings from pri or research . If teachers have more influence in decision making and practice shared leadership, they believe parents are also more likely to have influence and be involved actively in school improvement 167 efforts. Since other research has confirmed this rel ationship, we kept both constructs in the remaining analyses. Finally, while had a significant, inverse relationship with student school level achievement in mathematics, district/school leadership and teacher influence were not significantly related to achievement. These findings are consistent with findings from 168 prior research on site - which found that even when schools are based management charged with creating collective leadership and asked to be more inclusive with parents and community members, pri - ncipals and teachers, nevertheless, maintain decision making control . Our results show that where teachers‘ perceive greater involvement by parents, and where teachers indicate that they practice shared leadership, student achievement is ionships here are correlational, not causal; nevertheless, it appears that higher. The relat direct, active involvement by parents (as perceived by teachers) can have an impact on student learning. Although Feuerstein‘s (2000) research indicates that schools have less influ ence over ―subtle‖ forms of parent involvement, we found that teachers and principals have more influence on parental and community involvement, and its link to student learning, than others have thought. Because parental involvement is linked to student a chievement by correlation, we assert that teachers and principals can play a role in increasing student learning by creating a culture of shared leadership and responsibility not merely among school staff members, but collectively within the — y. wider communit 167 Tschannen - Moran (2001). 168 Hess (1999); Malen (1994, 1999); Malen & Ogawa (1988) . 116

119 Table 2.1.4 Teacher Survey: - 2006 Student Achievement Scores at the Building Level Factors Associated with 2005 (N=4,491) Standardized Adjusted t Sig R² Predictors R² Coefficients (Constant) 1 117.657 .000 Percent of Free or Reduced - Price Lunch 29.331 .000 - - .458 Students .209 .209 F = 860.303** 2 (Constant) 21.916 .000 Price Lunch - .000 Percent of Free or Reduced - 28.950 - .450 Students Parent/Teacher Shared Leadership .000 5.468 .097 District/School Leadership .269 .788 .004 Teacher Influence .290 1.059 .020 Teachers‘ Perceptions of Parental .001 3.276 .058 Involvement .228 .229 nge = 20.771** F cha 3 (Constant) 28.190 .000 - Percent of Free or Reduced 34.111 Price Lunch .000 - .544 - Students Parent/Teacher Shared Leadership .002 3.159 .054 rship District/School Leade .494 .683 .011 Teacher Influence 1.153 .249 .021 Teachers‘ Perceptions of Parental .011 2.530 .043 Involvement Elementary or Secondary School - 16.672 .000 - .268 F change = 277.955** .290 .289 **Significant at the .001 level On first glance, some of our results appear to be at odds with others. Principal‘s reports of their efforts to promote community involvement are not related to student achievement, but reports about parental involvement by teachers located in the same schools suggest a significant influence. One explanation may be that principals are simply poor reporters of their own behavior. They may inflate their reports, given the assumption that they are supposed to wor k on promoting community involvement. Teachers, in contrast, were asked to report on the indirect results of their principal‘s efforts and the school culture in general, not on their own behavior; in their task, they may have been more forthright. Respons e bias, however, is not the only possible explanation. It could also be the case that where teachers experience shared decision making, they feel more 117

120 ―empowered‖ as Leithwood and Prestine (2002) have suggested, and are therefore more willing to engage par ents as participants in their children‘s education. In addition, teachers who feel empowered may be more willing to accept parental and community input in setting directions for school improvement programs. In other words, a more - professionalized and influ ential group of teachers may seek to increase the resources available to improve student achievement (including parental involvement and influence). This possibility stands in contrast to an assumption made by some critics of professionalism — i.e., that pro fessionalized teachers will tend to claim exclusive knowledge and expertise. If it is the case that professionalized teachers are more likely to seek parental and community involvement, then the dynamic in education resembles a current movement within the medical profession, where many practitioners now seek to involve patients as partners in making complex decisions about health care. Still another explanation is that teachers might focus on the consequences of principals‘ efforts to promote community in volvement, rather than the structural components intended to provide for community involvement. This explanation could account for the unexpected finding that our initial factor analysis produced a variable that includes measures of both parental and teach er influence within the school. By itself, this finding suggests that principals, who have a great deal of influence over school culture, may exercise a subtle and indirect influence on student achievement insofar as they more democratic. This possibility is compatible with increase openness and make schools the assumption that it is not the structures that make a school democratic, but the everyday actions that encourage or discourage the flow of ideas and influence across institutional boundaries. The Di strict’s Role The results of our quantitative analyses suggest that districts can play a role in promoting participatory democratic structures in schools by creating policies and expectations for participation by a wide array of peoples and groups. In addi tion, districts can help schools create diverse school - site councils, at least in more affluent communities. In examining the factors influence principals‘ openness to community and parental involvement, we found that although district support for more inv olvement does correlate with the diversity of membership on site councils, districts do not have a strong impact on how principals‘ openness to community and parental engagement outside the traditional site councils. This finding suggests that districts ar e not creating the climate or expectation for schools to be open to community and parental involvement. The district role has been primarily to create policies that demand a certain level of outside participation in decision making. But these policies have only a weak and indirect effect on creating open, participatory environments in schools. However, when schools have more diverse representation on site councils, principals appear to be more open to community involvement. This finding is not it suggests that in schools where parents and other community members hold surprising; significant leadership roles, principals are more open generally to outside influences. Our 118

121 findings are also consistent with research that says leaders can and often do play a 169 sig nificant role in the level of parent and community involvement in schools. Overall, two generalizations stand out regarding district leadership aimed at e.g., setting fostering democratic participation in schools. First, district policy — who should be involved in making decisions does influence the range — expectations for of people who participate in school decisions. Second, district culture appears to have a limited influence on parental and community involvement at the school level. fforts to encourage widespread involvement have limited Although district e effects at the school level, and formal participation by parents and community members has limited impact on the achievement of students in the school, it does not follow that abandoned. these policies should be They may have symbolic value, creating effects that we have not measured. Our study does hint that as principals have more experience with community interaction (for example, through site councils with diverse representation), they become more open to influence in daily practices in their buildings. Case Vignettes: District Policies and Practices for Parent and Community Involvement (all district and persons’ names are pseudonyms) In order to examine our quantitative findings more thoroughl y, we turned to our qualitative data for an in - depth look at district level policies and practices intended to engage parents and community members in school - improvement efforts and, specifically, itative data, we examined efforts to increase student learning. In exploring our qual district policies and practices that may foster or inhibit parental and community engagement aimed at increasing student learning. From this examination we have developed the following vignettes to illustrate what three school dis tricts are doing to foster parental and community engagement. The three districts are located in different states and regions of the country. They range in size from 25,000 to 38,000 students, nts who qualify for from 22% to 42% minority students, and from 33% to 42% of stude free or reduced price lunches. - Glenhurst School District: A Commitment to Being Visible and Listening to Community Concerns . Glenhurst School District, located in a western state, is composed of 47 schools with a total enrollment of a pproximately 38,000 students. These students are about 42% minority and 33% free or reduced price lunch students. When the current - superintendent, Brad Cameron, was hired in 2003, he exhibited openness to hearing from all groups and a willingness to collab orate in pursuit of his primary goal: to increase student achievement in reading and mathematics. One administrator described the culture of the district as ―engaged,‖ ―lively,‖ but ―a little chaotic,‖ in a good way. Superintendent Cameron worked to change the culture of the district. For example, several district - level administrators in Glenhurst said that the district went through a lengthy process of 169 Anderson (1998); Goldring & Sims (2005); Leithwood, Jantzi, & Steinbach (1999); and Opfer & Denmark (2001). 119

122 ―sense - - organizing, focused on district goals and emphasizing making‖ and self ese efforts, the culture of the district changed, according to community outreach. With th the Board Chair, because of Superintendent Cameron‘s collaborative style, visibility, and ability to communicate with the public. visible in the Superintendent Cameron communicates his primary goal by being schools, where he holds regular, open talks on leadership, and outside the schools, where he meets regularly with various community groups to discuss district directions and to relationships, build gather public input. His style is to develop and sustain strong capacity, and maintain organizational transparency. Toward these ends, the district holds meetings with ―Key Communicators‖ every two months. These meetings are attended by an range of participants including business leaders, retired district employees, other retired citizens, past superintendents, and a small group of parents. During the meetings, district leaders bring up current issues and gather input and advice. In addition, superintendent meets regularly with a community clergy group and with different ethnic groups of parents every month. Along with other district leaders, Superintendent Cameron also holds ―listening sessions‖ in the community once every month. The meetings are held in different parts of pen to anyone who wishes to attend. The superintendent has stated the district and are o that listening sessions are not a venue for formal presentations by the district to the public; instead, the sessions provide an opportunity for district representatives to hear about issues and concerns from the community. In addition, during the summer, the superintendent and some of his staff visit local businesses during the lunch hour to have ―listening sessions‖ with business people and workers. According to the superintendent, these co mmunication efforts have been essential in building relationships and trust within the district. Superintendent Cameron receives several e - mails from parents and other community members every day and commits himself to a 24 - hour turn - around policy. He stat es that this turn - around time has been essential to keeping up the flow of communication. The Glenhurst district has three mandated, formal governance structures designed to include outside stakeholders in decision making. These are the elected Local Scho ol Committees (LSCs), elected Site Councils, and Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs. Superintendent Cameron meets with the LSCs approximately every two months to talk about their work and to listen to their concerns. The Site Councils are made up of teach ers and other community members, 50% each. The superintendent meets with all members of the Site Councils quarterly to listen to their ideas and concerns, and they update him on their school - improvement plans. Every school in the district is mandated to ha ve a PTO) designed to include parents in school operations. Actual influence of the PTOs varies tremendously by school, depending on the leadership styles of the respective principals. According to the Assistant Superintendent, the district has goals tha t are communicated to the public, but it has no formal policies to ensure involvement of outside stakeholders in decision making at the district level, beyond formal governance 120

123 structures. However, the district has several informal means of involving the c ommunity - in school improvement efforts. For example, community members and parents were invited to weigh in on curricular - adoption processes at the district level. In addition, the district website often features postings seeking parental and community inp ut on district programs, planning, goals, and visions. Although the district actively seeks input, district officials do not always know what to do when community members come forward with input. One sort of example arises when like - minded parents band t ogether if they do not like something, bombarding district offices with phone calls and e - mails and testifying at board meetings. This kind of community engagement can be intense and narrowly focused, the Assistant es slows processes down, but she believes that Superintendent has stated, and it sometim the voices of parents, happy and unhappy, need to be heard and taken into account. The school board vice chair, similarly, has stated that allowing all voices to be heard is valued by the district. ―You have to maintain a democratic public education system,‖ he said; ―you have to have the public involved.‖ In these various consultations, there is a group of parents and community members — white and relatively affluent — deemed very influential by district staff m embers. District officials struggle with the task of attracting a representative group of community members to help with school improvement efforts. Atlas School District: A Focus on Communication, Transparency, and Partnering The . Atlas school district, located in a Midwestern university town, has 52 schools that serve approximately 34,000 students — 22% minority and 38% of receiving free or reduced - price lunches. The district states that it has four primary goals: (1) to increase student achievement and g raduation rates, (2) to provide enough classrooms and other learning environments to support achievement, (3) to increase stakeholder involvement for increasing achievement, and (4) to increase communication with outside stakeholders, while emphasizing stu dent achievement. Prior to the tenure of the current superintendent, Michelle Sorenson, who came into office in 2005, the previous superintendent held the job for more than 10 years. That superintendent was not skilled in engaging with the community. Becau se there were complaints from community groups about the old superintendent, the school board engaged the community in helping to pick the new superintendent. Board members said that they looked for and hired an ―avid communicator.‖ When Superintendent Sor enson came on board, she made it a priority to get out into the community, repair relationships with stakeholders, build trust, and restore the reputation of the district. An executive vice president of a local children‘s foundation stated that the distr ict has improved since Superintendent Sorenson came on board — in openness and in soliciting community input for discussions of how the district operates. For example, the superintendent focused on being visible by giving approximately 80 presentations to co mmunity organizations in the first year she took office. She spoke to civic and business groups, attending Rotary lunches and meeting with other community agencies. Increased groups visibility has led to increased trust between the district and various community and parents, according to district representatives and community stakeholders. In order to build relationships, gain trust, and communicate the needs of the district, the 121

124 Superintendent engaged as many stakeholders as possible. For example, the dist rict recruited approximately 60 people from various community groups and parents to lobby for a bond measure. The bond measure passed because of the district‘s renewed commitment to the community. ership to maintain Superintendent Sorenson says it is important for her lead transparency in proceedings at the district level, and to communicate continually with the public. The district also brings people in on important district - level initiatives so that stakeholders feel part of the process. For example, the district established a Community Curriculum Council that meets monthly; its membership includes up to two parent representatives per school. Approximately 30 parents attend these meetings. As one parent explained, the Curriculum Council provides an opport unity for parents to meet with other parents, to discuss district issues related to curriculum and other important topics. According to another parent, the official role of the council is ―to advise the curriculum department on parents‘ views on different curriculum issues as well as to be educated by the curriculum department on what is going on with the curriculum.‖ The district‘s mission and goals are well known inside the organization and within the community. Annually, the district prepares and distrib utes a report to all Atlas residents that includes information such as test scores, results of follow - up studies from graduates, assessment results about the learning climate, financial information, and school demographic characteristics. In Atlas (as was also the case in Glenhurst), principals determine in large measure whether or not PTOs will operate as effective entities. Although PTOs are not mandated, there is a district policy encouraging each school to have a PTO. The school board ools with PTOs to focus on developing and maintaining volunteer encourages sch programs. Also, the district also does not mandate that each school must have a site council. Against this background, the district struggles, as Glenhurst does, to engage parents from diverse backgrounds. Atlas parents who serve on the Community Curriculum Council, join PTOs, or serve on site councils tend to be relatively affluent and white. Atlas district officials emphasize partnering with community organizations. For example, parents a nd other stakeholders report that the superintendent has focusing increasingly on connecting with the business community. The district created a partnership program with businesses called the ―Ventures in Partnership‖ program. It is s involved in businesses, and to get businesses involved in the designed to get student schools in a more formal way. Activities include tours of businesses, business representatives speaking in the classroom, and businesses giving gifts to students who do well academically. The district also partners with the local university — e.g., through joint projects such as an entrepreneur - focus program and math and science grants. The Superintendent meets on a regular basis with the Dean of the College of Education and with key staff member s to talk about possibilities for collaboration. For example, the district‘s Director of Evaluation helped a team of university people put together an assessment training program for experienced teachers. He also helps design teacher nd teaches certain college courses. And the district partners with a education curriculum a 122

125 local children‘s foundation that works with homeless students. Foundation staffer members work actively with Atlas school counselors and social workers; they also serve ommittees. on Atlas truancy c The Atlas district also partners with community organizations to operate independent community learning centers that are housed in Atlas schools. The learning centers offer two kinds of service. They provide tutoring and other forms of acade mic and after - assistance, and they provide affordable before - school care facilities. The district has approximately 19 community learning centers; each one is tailored to the needs of the community it serves. For example, parents from a neighborhood advis ory group for one Atlas school volunteer in a learning center to tutor or oversee activities. Two community liaison staffers work with the Atlas district office to engage businesses and other community partners (such as Family Services, Parks and Recreatio n, and the YMCA) to sponsor or act as a lead agency in community learning centers throughout the city. North White Pine County School System: An Emphasis on Creating Community Buy - In and Partnering . North White Pine County School System, located in a Sou thern state, has 35 schools with approximately 25,000 students — 39% minority and about 42% students on free and reduced price lunches. Because the district is located near a military - base, it continually faces high student - and teacher - turnover. A large fac tory in the community employs many of the parents whose children attend schools in the district. Because of parent work schedules, the district partnered with community 4H and extension services to provide affordable before - and after - school care programs. The district‘s primary goal is to ensure that every student is successful in school and goes on to become a productive member of the community. In general, the district accommodates ate and the demands and challenges of being in a community with a high mobility r difficult work schedules for parents. Also, because the district has been labeled as ―low wealth,‖ the superintendents and other district level leaders often turn to the community to find ways to meet state mandates. Leadership in the North Whi te Pine County district has been unusually stable compared to other districts in the state, and around the country. Superintendent Samuelson, who retired after the 2006 - 2007 school year, served the district for 16 years, and the superintendent before him s erved for 19 years. Because district leadership has remained stable for so long, the staff has been able to work through issues and challenges in a very systematic way, especially with the community. When Superintendent Samuelson retired, along with three - level leaders, a new superintendent, other district Sheila Wauters, took over the district. Superintendent Wauters was brought up through the North White Pine County ranks; she was already a part of the district when she took office. In the North White Pine County district, parents and community members can get involved with the schools, formally, in three ways (apart from getting elected to the school board). First, they may participate in school - level advisory councils or school - improvement team must have 50% parent - very school improvement teams. E 123

126 representation. Second, they may serve as representatives on the district - wide advisory mbers of PTOs (the district encourages schools but council. Third, they may serve as me TOs). does not require them to have P Although the district encourages community members to get involved, participation and influence by community members varies from school to school. Each principal is allowed to run his or her school, and the district only gets involved in school o perations only when there is a problem. For example, the district intervened when parents at one school complained the school‘s culture and claimed that a new administrative team was less responsive to them than previous administrators had been. The distri ct worked with the new administration and parents to make sure that a strong relationship was built. School board policy at North White Pine County states that the board has established its commitment to families and the community by creating and maint aining policies to provide for the transparency of public records, for having open board meetings, for allowing community groups to use school facilities, and for allowing visitors to have access to the schools. The district emphasizes the importance of pa rtnering with community groups and agencies. District officials believe that their message about being child - centered and open to community input has helped with such things as the passing of bonds, including one that passed recently by a positive vote of more than 70%. The district has a Director of Community Affairs (DCA) whose job it is to foster civic participation and promote good citizenship among staff members and students, encouraging them to sit on community and business boards, to reach out to the public, and to attend board meetings. — reaching parents, students, The district conducts an annual climate survey business people, faculty and staff members from local colleges, and other community partners including members of faith - based organization s — to learn what community people think about school and district programs and practices. In North White Pine County, the district coordinator of testing and evaluation said that reaching out to the community was ―second nature‖ and ―just the culture that w e have.‖ The district has a history of gaining buy - in prior to launching new programs, thus mitigating pressure of the sort that often arises in other districts. For example, prior to superintendent, the DCA, and the person in charge making decisions on redistricting, the of public relations took their ideas ―on the road‖ to every neighborhood in the district that would be affected, asking the public for input. Going out to talk about a controversial topic is, in the words of the DCA, ―not always fun,‖ but he adds that people in the community appreciate the chance to give input; they feel that they are valued by the district leaders. Partnering with local community groups and with other county personnel has wealth rth White Pine County because of its low been a necessity for district leaders in No - status. The district networks and partners often with local universities and community college faculty and staff members to provide teacher training and certification. For 124

127 example, the district partnered with mathematics and science professors to create a program to improve teachers‘ knowledge and skills in mathematics and science. The district also works with community agencies. The Rotary Club sponsors leadership local power company sponsors leadership activities for North White Pines students; a training for principals and has given awards for academic achievement to teachers and students; the Chamber of Commerce provides leadership training for district leaders. the regional Association of Colleges and Superintendent Wauters is also involved with Schools and serves as the state specialist in the area of district accreditation. The DCA manages and monitors most of the community partnerships for the district. The district has a 17 - year - old business relatio nship program called BASES (Businesses Assisting Schools in Educating Students). BASES works to foster business - a - school programs, involvement in the schools. Activities include participation in adopt financing mini - grants, sponsoring scholarships, provid ing training for employees to help them help their children learn, donating equipment or materials, serving on school committees, sponsoring field trips, providing tutoring and mentoring, and participating in a joint Chamber of Commerce and schools initiat ive. Through programs of this sort, the district has been able to make valuable connections with local businesses; when issues such as levies and bonds arise, district staff members feel that they have allies in the business community. While BASES programs emphasize business donations of time and money to the schools, the district also stresses its contributions to the community. In 2005, for example, the school system was the largest contributor to the local chapter of the United Way, and all schools parti - raiser for cipate annually in the community fund free cancer screenings. Looking Across the Cases The school districts de scribed in the above three case vignettes have much in common: a district - wide commitment to listening to public concerns; serious effort given to communicating district policies and practices to the public; and a focus on collaborating and partnering with individuals and groups from the community, including ys, and to business people. While the districts carry out these efforts in different wa varying degrees of success, district leaders from all three clearly understand the relevance of engaging with the community and are open to input from the public. In addition, the governance structures outlined in the cases mirror certain findin gs from our quantitative studies. For example, all three districts encourage or mandate governance structures (site councils, building leadership teams, PTOs) aimed at ensuring community members‘ participation in district and school - level decision making. Our case analysis is consistent, therefore, with our prior finding that districts set the policies and expectations for who should serve on these entities. The cases also shed light on a problem: although these districts provide a range of formal structure s for distributed leadership, all three struggle with the task of obtaining diverse representation from parents and other community members. Our case analysis is also consistent with our quantitative finding that district ence on community involvement at the school level. All culture has only a limited influ three districts modeled community engagement, partnering, and a willingness to listen to 125

128 public concerns, and all made efforts to include families and communities in district - level committees. In all t hree cases, however, the district stopped short of making sure that principals modeled these same behaviors. One reason may be that the districts are - off approach to day - to - day operations within committed to local control and a hands district leaders acknowledged that engagement with communities schools. In each case, varies from school to school, depending upon the leadership styles of the principals. communicated at the school level in the same way, even though district leaders espoused Leaders in all th ree districts were aware of research linking family involvement with increased student learning, but they did not believe it was their role to mandate engagement between schools, parents, and other community members. Reflecting on district - level policies and structures are necessary to maintain these cases, we note that communication and provide opportunities for engagement with parents and other community members. At the same time, we observe that establishing policies and providing structures will not ens ure widespread, genuine participation. To gain the benefits of widespread participation, district leaders will need to do more. They will need to focus more sharply and energetically on collective leadership by engaging teachers, nd community members in ongoing, reflective discussions of administrators, parents, a what each party can and should contribute to students‘ learning. Implications for Policy and Practice Three implications for policy and practice emerged from this component of our study. 1. Dis trict leaders need to engage in dialogues with principals about what openness to community and parental involvement means in practice, beyond merely establishing policies and structures. Pertinent topics for such discussions would nering with parents and community members in school - include the value of part improvement efforts, parents as vital partners in the learning process, the importance of shared leadership, and the critical role that the community plays in every child‘s life. 2. Principals need to engag e teachers and other staff members in similar discussions, focused especially on ways to involve parents in roles beyond the superficial tasks often allocated to them (e.g., coordinating social events, fundraising through bake sales). Many parents feel mar ginalized because they are given tasks that do not reflect the crucial role they could otherwise play in support of their children‘s education. Parent participation as tutors, mentors, or in other forms of classroom support are as vital as the roles they t ake on in site - council activities. 3. Districts should take an active role in teaching parents and other community members how to be involved in education. This effort should include providing . These informational and instructional sessions about shared governance discussions could help to create a sense of ownership among all staff parents, parents, and other community members, helping to increase student learning. 126

129 2.2 Principals’ Efficacy: A Key to District Effects on Schools and Students Key Findings  Districts that help their principals feel more efficacious about their school improvement work have positive effects on school conditions and student learning.  Principals who believe they are working collaboratively toward clear and common goals — with dis trict personnel, other principals, and teachers in their — are more confident in their leadership. schools  District size is a significant moderator of district effects on school - leader efficacy; the larger districts, the less the influence. School level a lso is a significant moderator of district effects on school - leader  efficacy, with districts having larger effects on elementary than secondary school leaders. Introduction One of the most powerful ways in which districts influence teaching and learn ing is through the contribution they make to feelings of professional efficacy on the part of school principals. Evidence justifying this claim is provided by quantitative and initiatives, qualitative studies. Principal efficacy provides a crucial link between district school conditions, and student learning. Our quantitative evidence was useful in addressing three issues:  the extent to which district leadership and district conditions influenced principals‘ sense of e fficacy for school improvement the influence of principal efficacy on: (a) principals‘ leadership practices, (b) learning  conditions in their sc hools, and (c) student learning  the extent to which personal and organizational characteristics moderate the influence of principals ‘ efficacy on student learning. Given the significant contribution that principal efficacy makes to school effectiveness, it is important to know what districts can do to build such efficacy. While our quantitative evidence provides a general response to this question, our qualitative evidence offers much more detailed answers. 127

130 Prior Evidence efficacy), or the Efficacy is a belief about one‘s own ability (self Relevant theory. - ability of one‘s colleagues collectively (collective efficacy), to perform a task or achieve - efficacy‘s most a goal. It is a belief about ability, not actual ability. Bandura, self prominent theorist, claims that : People make causal contributions to their own functioning through mechanisms of personal agency. Among the mechanisms of agency, none is more central or pervasive than peoples‘ beliefs about their capabilities to exercise control over their own level of functioning and over events that (1997a, p. 118) . affect their lives Most leader efficacy studies have been influenced by B andura‘s socio - - - efficacy (e.g., 1982, 1986, 1993, 1997a, 1997b) . In addition psychological theory of self self - efficacy and its several dimensions, this body of work to defining the meaning of efficacy feelings on a leader‘s behavior, and - identifies the effects of self the consequences of that behavior for others. This line of theory also specifies the direct antecedents of self efficacy beliefs and the mechanisms through which such beliefs - develop. Efficacy beliefs, according to this theory, have directive effects on one‘s choice of activities and settings, and they can affect coping efforts once those activities are begun. Such beliefs determine how much effort people will expend and how long they will persist in the face of failure or difficulty. The stronger the fe elings of efficacy, the longer the persistence. People who persist at subjectively threatening activities that are not actually threatening gain corrective experiences that further enhance their sense of efficacy. In sum, ―Given appropriate skills and adeq uate incentives...efficacy expectations are a major determinant of peoples‘ choice of activities, how much effort they will expend and how long they will sustain effort in dealing with stressful situations (Bandura, 1997a, p.77). to Bandura (1993), develop in response to cognitive Efficacy beliefs, according and affective processes. Among the cognitive mechanisms, and potentially relevant to our research, are perceptions about how controllable or alterable one‘s working environment is. These are perceptions about one‘s ability to influence, through effort and persistence, what goes on in the environment, as well as the malleability of the environment itself. Bandura (1993) reports evidence suggesting that those with low levels of belief in how controllable th eir environment is produce little change, even in highly malleable environments. Those with firm beliefs of this sort, through persistence and ingenuity, figure out ways of exercising some control, even in environments that pose challenges to change. This set of efficacy - influencing mechanisms may help to explain some results of our research on district conditions and initiatives that foster principal efficacy. - Self efficacy beliefs also evolve in response to motivational and affective processes. These bel iefs influence motivation in several ways: by determining (a) the 128

131 170 goals that people set for themselves, (b) how much effort they expend how long they persevere in the face of obstacles, and (c) their resilience in the face of failure. Also, motivation rel ies on discrepancy reduction as well as discrepancy production. That is, people are motivated both reduce the gap between perceived and desired performance and to set themselves challenging goals which they then work hard to accomplish. They 171 Such beliefs, we surmise, r skills and effort to accomplish what they seek. mobilize thei also are likely to be influenced by some of the conditions that principals experience in their districts. Pointing to the similarity of efficacy and self - confi dence, Previous research. - efficacy or confidence is likely the key cognitive McCormick claims that leadership self variable regulating leader functioning in a dynamic environment. ―Every major review of - confidence as an essential characte ristic for effective the leadership literature lists self leadership‖ (2001, p. 23) . That said, we know very little about the efficacy beliefs of 172 beliefs. According to leaders in particular, and even less about the antecedents of those Chen & Bliese (2002), most organizational research has focused on the outcomes of efficacy beliefs, with much less attention to their antecedents. Pescosolido (2003) has acy (LSE) and leaders' argued, in addition, that the antecedents of leaders' self effic collective efficacy (LCE) may well differ. For example, district leadership practices and organizational conditions may predict collective efficacy more immediately than they only indirectly to the more predict self efficacy because leadership practices relate proximal antecedents of individual efficacy, such as role clarity and psychological 173 states. Prior evidence about the antecedents of both self and collective - leader efficacy - warrants several conclusions. First, no single ante cedent has attracted much attention — from researchers. Second, the most frequently studied antecedents leader gender, leaders‘ years of experience, level of schooling, and compliance with policy or procedures have not found much evidentiary support, by any conventional social — science standard. Third, what evidence there is about the impact of various antecedents on leader efficacy suggests that results are either mixed or not significant. Finally, as far rt to understand district influences as we could determine, there has been very little effo on school - level leader efficacy. New Evidence 174 Method . Instruments The overall sampling strategy for our first round of surveys is described in the methodological appendix. Evidence for this sub - study was provided by responses to 58 items on the first round of teacher surveys and 5 8 items from the first 170 E.g., Locke & Latham (1984) . 171 Bandura (1993). 172 Chemers, Watson & May (2000); Gareis & Tschannen - Moran (200 5) . 173 Zaccaro, Blair, Peterson, & Zazanis (1995) . 174 study is reported in more detail in Leithwood & Jantzi (2008). This sub - 129

132 round of principal surveys. Principal survey items measured LCE (4 items), LSE (6 items), district conditions (30 items), and district leadership (18 items). We measur ed variables with the teacher survey: school leadership (20 items), class three additional conditions (15 items), and school conditions (21 items). The distribution of variables to be measured across the two surveys is based on judgments about which respon dents (teachers or administrators) were most likely to have the authentic information about each - source bias in our results. variable. This procedure also reduced the threat of same Previous efforts to develop adequate measures of leader efficacy beliefs have - failed to produce instruments completely suitable for our purposes. Gareis and e previous efforts and Moran (2004) , for example, describe many of thes Tschannen - report results of their research on the validity and reliability of :  a promising, vignette - based measure of individual leader efficacy developed by (1996) ; Dimmock and Hattie  a 22 - item adaptation of a measure of collective teacher efficacy originally developed by Goddard et al. (2000 b ) ; and item adaptation of a measure of individual teacher efficacy (eventually reduced  a 50 - - Moran and Hoy (2000 to 18 i tems) initially developed by Tschannen ). These authors reported disappointing results of their tests of the factor structures of the first two instruments, but the third measure proved to be more satisfactory in terms of its factor st - efficacy for ructure and its construct validity. Three factors emerged: self handling managerial aspects of the job, instructional leadership tasks, and moral leadership tasks. Because we focused in our larger study on leaders‘ influence on student learni ng, we incorporated into our principal survey the six - item scale measuring feelings of self - efficacy about instructional leadership tasks. We interpreted these items to be measuring you feel able . Beginning with the stem To what extent do efficacy for school improvement to , the six items included the following: 1. Motivate teachers? 2. Generate enthusiasm for a shared vision of the school? Manage change in your school? 3. 4. Create a positive learning environment in your school? 5. Facilitate student learning in your sch ool? 6. Raise achievement on standardized tests? We developed a new four - item scale for the principal survey to measure leaders‘ collective efficacy beliefs about school improvement. Beginning with the stem To what ded the following: extent do you agree that , these items inclu 130

133 1. School staffs in our district have the knowledge and skill they need to improve student learning? 2. In our district, continuous improvement is viewed by most staff as a necessary part of every job? In our district, problems are viewed as issues to be solved, not as barriers to action? 3. District staff members communicate a belief in the capacity of teachers to teach even 4. the most difficult students. Previous studies of school - leader efficacy have measured the effects of various demographic variables, but without much effort to explain why such variables might influence sense of efficacy. Few demographic variables have been shown to have a significant influence on leader efficacy. Personal characteristics measured in our study include leader race/ethnicity, gender, years of experience as a school administrator, and years of experience in one‘s current school. We also measured a handful of organizational characteristics plausibly related to leader efficacy including school and district size, s chool level, and number of different principals in the school over the past 10 years. We collected data on student achievement from school websites. These websites mandated tests of language and mathematics at provided school - wide results from state - sever al grade levels from 2003 to 2005. We averaged results across grades and subjects in order to increase the stability of the scores. We then estimated a change score, the average change in each school from 2003 to 2005, and recorded the annual achievement core for each of the three years. This score was the proportion of students in each school s achieving at or beyond the proficient level on the states‘ tests. . We aggregated individual teachers‘ responses to the teacher survey to Analysis the school level and then merged them with principals‘ responses to the school administrator survey. We used SPSS to calculate means, standard deviations, and reliabilities (Cronbach‘s alpha) for scales measuring variables of interest to this study. We conducted five types of analysis: (1) we calculated Pearson product correlations to estimate the strength of relationships between variables in the model; (2) we used standard multiple regression to determine the effects of a specific variable that differs other independent variables (e.g., the differing effects of LSE and from the effects of LCE on school conditions); (3) we used hierarchical multiple regression was to examine the effects of particular variables or sets of variables on the dependent variable, after controllin g for the effects of other variables (e.g., how the effects of district conditions on principal efficacy are moderated by district size); (4) we computed a t - test to determine the significance of leader gender; and (5) we used analyses of variance (one way ANOVA) to determine the significance of school level and leaders‘ race/ethnicity. leader - W e used LISREL to test a model of the causes and consequences of school efficacy. This path analytic technique allows for testing the validity of causal inferences for pairs of variables while controlling for the effects of other variables. We analyzed 131

134 data using the LISREL 8 analysis of covariance structure approach to path analysis and 175 maximum likelihood estimates. Nature of the Evidence by questions about (1) district antecedents of school Here we were motivated leaders‘ efficacy, and possible differences in the antecedents of individual as compared with collective leader efficacy, (2) consequences of school - leader efficacy for leader ol and classroom conditions, and (c) effects of leader efficacy on behavior, as well as scho student learning. We also examined the moderating effect of a handful of demographic variables. Table 2.2.1 reports the means, standard deviations, and scale reliabilities for o the teacher and principal surveys. These data are based on responses from 96 responses t schools and administrators (an 83% response rate) and 2,764 teachers (a 66% response rate). Table 2.2.1 red Means, Standard Deviations, and Scale Reliabilities for Variables Measu (N = 96) Mean SD Reliability Number Items 1 - Leader Collective Efficacy .82 LCE .85 4 4.80 2 - efficacy - LSE Leader Self 6 .60 .92 4.03 176 30 4.78 .72 .92 District Conditions 177 District Leadership 4.80 .85 .89 18 178 4.55 .52 School Leadership .95 20 Scho 4.10 .46 .83 21 ol Conditions Classroom Conditions 4.69 .25 .60 15 1 Rating scales: 1=Strongly Disagree to 6= Strongly Agree for all but the following variable. 2 Efficacy 1=Very Little to 5=Very Great. - Leader Self Analyses reported below include a se ries of correlations and regressions followed by a path model. Our data do not permit us to make strong claims about cause and effect relationships. Nonetheless, we use the language of ―effects‖ throughout as an indication of the nature of the relationship s in which we were interested. 175 Joreskog & Sorbom (1993) . 176 These conditions are described in more detail in Section 2.3. 177 For a full definition of how this variable was conceptualized, please see previous Section 1.4. 178 See previ ous Section 1.4 to view measures which were included from the teacher survey. 132

135 District Antecedents of School - Leader Efficacy . As Table 2.2.2 indicates, our aggregate district leadership District leadership variable is strongly related to LCE (.61) and significantly but moderately related to LSE ). Among the four dimensions included in our conception of district leadership, the (.32 strongest relationship with LCE is R edesigning the organization (.61) followed by (.55), M D (.53) and S etting eveloping people anaging the instructional program ( .42). With LSE, the strongest relationship is with M anaging the instructional directions (.33) followed by R edesigning the organization (.28), D eveloping people (.26) program S directions (.22). etting and Table 2.2.2 - Leader Efficacy: Correlation Coefficients District Antecedents of School (N = 96 schools) LCE LSE Combined District Leadership ** .32 ** .56 ** .61 * .42 ** .22 .39 ** Setting Directions Developing People .55 ** .26 ** .49 ** .28 .61 ** Redesigning the Organization ** .54 ** Managing Instruct. Program . 53 ** .33 ** .52 ** ** District Conditions .68 ** .44 ** .67 Focus on Quality .66 ** .39 ** .63 ** ** .52 ** .35 .52 ** Use of Data Targeted Improvement .61 ** .33 ** .56 ** * .51 ** .25 .46 ** Investment in Instruct. L. - embedded Pro D .40 ** .35 ** .45 ** Job Emp hasis on Teamwork .57 ** .45 ** .60 ** New School Relations .58 ** .35 ** .56 ** ** .61 ** .38 .59 ** District Culture ** p < .01 *p< .05 Results of a standard regression analysis show that our aggregate measure of district leadership (using the adjusted R) explains 8% of the variation in LSE, half of M anaging the instructional program; it also explains 40% of which is accounted for by the variation in LCE, of which significant contributions are made by Redesigning the organization (9%) and Managing the instr uctional program (4%). All eight sets of district conditions are significantly related to District conditions. leader efficacy, strongly so with LCE. The strongest relationship with LCE is the 133

136 district‘s expressed Focus on quality er, by District culture (.61), (.66), followed, in ord (.61), elations with schools and stakeholders (.58), Emphasis on Targeted improvement R (.57), Use of data (.52), Job - embedded professional development for teachers teamwork I the district and school levels (.51). nvestment in instructional leadership at (.40), and We consider the nature and significance of this last district condition in greater detail - piece in the improvement efforts of many districts. later in this section, since it is a center Relationships between district conditions and LSE are generally weaker, although still statistically significant. The strongest relationship here is with Emphasis on teamwork (.45), Focus on quality (.39), District culture (.38), Use of data (.35), J ob - embedded professional development for teachers (.35), R elations with schools and stakeholders (.35), Targeted improvement (.31), and Investment in instructional leadership (.23). Standard regression analyses indicate that the aggregate measure of district conditions explains 19% of the variation in LSE and 56% of the variation in LCE. Among the eight sets of conditions included in our district variable, significant contributions to explained variation in LSE were made by Emphasis on teamwork (18% with schools and of variation), District culture (13%), Fo cus on quality (12%), R elations stakeholders rofessional development for (11%), Data use (11%), Job - embedded p instructional leadership teachers Targeted improvement (9%), and Investment in (10%), (5%). For LCE, the contributions to overal l explained varia tion were: Focus on quality (42%), Targeted improvement (36%), District culture (36%), R elations with schools and Use of data stakeholders (33%), Emphasis on teamwork (31%), (26%), Investment in instructional leadership (25%), and Job - embe dded professional development for teachers (15%). Effects of Leader Efficacy on Leader Behavior, School and Classroom Conditions Table 2.2.3 reports correlations between LSE, LCE, an aggregated measure of efficacy and leader behavior (in the Combined colu mn), school conditions, and classroom School conditions conditions. The strongest relationships are between and Aggregated efficacy (.46) followed closely by the relationship between Classroom conditions and Aggregated efficacy (.40). Correlations between School leadership and both Aggregated efficacy and LSE are comparable (.30 and .32). LSE has substantially higher correlations with School leadership than does LCE. Correlations between LSE and the four separate dimensions of leadership are roughly similar , ranging from a low of .25 ( Developing people ) to a high of .39 ( Setting directions ); for LCE, the range is between .14 ( Managing Redesigning the organization the instructional program ) and .23 ( ). 134

137 Table 2.2.3 eader Practices Leader Efficacy Relationships with School L and School and Classroom Conditions (N = 96 schools) LCE LSE Combined .20 .32 ** .30 School Leadership ** Setting Directions .20 * .39 ** .35 ** .25 .18 Developing People * .25 * Redesigning the Organization .23 * .30 ** .31 ** .26 * Managing I nstruct. Program .14 .30 ** School Conditions .37 ** ** .46 ** .42 .36 ** .30 ** .40 ** Classroom Conditions ** p < .01 *p< .05 Standard regression equations were used to estimate the ―effects‖ of LSE, LCE, behavior as well as school and classroom and an aggregate measure of efficacy on leader conditions. The aggregate efficacy measure explained 9% of the variation in leader behavior; LSE explained 7%; and LCE had no unique effect. Both forms of efficacy combined explained more variation in School (19%) and Classroom (14%) conditions than either did separately; when examined separately, LSE and LCE explained roughly the same amount of variation in (4 and 8%), but only LCE explained School conditions any significant amount variation in (7%). Classroom conditions Effects of Leader Efficacy on Student Achievement Table 2.2.4 reports correlations between alternative estimates of student - efficacy measures. LSE is not significantly related to achievement and our three leader any of the estimates of student achi evement. However, there are consistent and significant relationships with each year‘s annual achievement scores (% of students achieving at or above the proficient level) for our other two efficacy measures. Two of ignificantly related to LCE (.33, .29). All three the three annual achievement scores are s annual achievement scores are significantly related to our aggregate efficacy measure (.28, .24 and .25). 135

138 Table 2.2.4 Leader Efficacy Relationships with Mean Achievement Gain and at State Proficiency Level Percentage of Students LCE LSE Combined Mean Achievement Gain - .03 .13 .05 (N = 77) Proficiency 2003 * .33 ** .16 .28 (N = 78) Proficiency 2004 .29 ** * .12 .24 (N = 79) Proficiency 2005 .25 .23 .21 * (N = 67) ** p < .01 *p< .05 Results of a regression analysis indicate that neither LCE alone, LSE alone, or an aggregate efficacy measure account for significant variation in the three - year mean student achievement change score. Leader efficacy, however, does explain significant variation in annu al achievement scores. The aggregate efficacy measure and LCE explain comparable amounts of variation in achievement scores for 2003 (7 and 8%), and 2004 (5 and 7%). In 2005 only the aggregate efficacy measure explains significant variation in al achievement scores (5%). LSE alone had no significant explanatory student annu power. Moderating Variables The variables we designated as moderators have potential effects on the relationship between district leadership, district conditions, and leader efficacy. Po tentially, they may also moderate the relationship between leader efficacy and conditions in the school and classroom, as well as student achievement. Our results indicate that some potential moderators had no influence on either set of relationships. Th is was the case for Leader gender , Experience, and Race/ethnicity , so District size we do not consider them further. On the other hand, School size , , School level , and of principals in the school over the last 10 years were significant Number moderators of the relationship between efficacy and conditions in the class and school, along with student achievement. District - leader efficacy relationships were unaffected by any of our potential moderators. To estimate the effects of the four remaining variables o efficacy, we entered n both types of leader efficacy, as well as the combined efficacy measure, into a series of regression equations, adding Number of , School size , School level , and District size : principals in the school over the last 10 years . As a grou p, these moderators 136

139  increased the variation in leader behavior explained by both sources of efficacy and by LCE alone from combined from 9% to 19%, by LSE alone from 9% to 19%, 3% to 16% increased the variation in school conditions explained by both sou  rces of efficacy combined from 20% to 34%, by LSE alone from 11% to 25%, a nd by LCE alone from 18% to 34%  increased the variation in class conditions explained by both sources of efficacy combined from 15% to 30%, from LSE alone from 8% to 22%, and from L CE alone from 14% to 30%  increased the variation in student annual achievement scores explained by both sources of efficacy from 8% to 14% The moderators did not add to the variation in student achievement explained by LSE. School level and District Size contributed unique variation to many of these relationships and should be considered the most powerful of the moderators included in this study. Both of these moderators depressed the strength of the relationships in which they were significant. In other words, the contributions of both LSE and LCE to most of the relationships with which they were associated were muted by increased district size and in secondary as compared with elementary schools. The Causes and Consequences of School Leaders’ Efficacy Beliefs: Testing a Model Figure 5 summarizes the results of testing a model of the causes and consequences of leader efficacy beliefs using path modeling techniques (LISREL). The model is an acceptable fit with the data (RMSEA = .00, RMR = .03, AGFI = .93 and NFI = .97). It indicates that the most direct ―effects‖ (standardized regression coefficients) of district leadership are on the creation of those district conditions believed to be effective in producing student learning (.77); these district leadersh ip effects account for 60% of the variation in district conditions. District conditions, in turn, influence aggregate school leader efficacy (.68); 46% of the variation in leader efficacy is explained by the effects of district conditions. School leader efficacy is moderately associated with school conditions (.22). Aggregate leader efficacy explains 14% of the variation in leader behavior and 57% of the variation in school conditions in combination with leader behavior, with most of this variation attrib utable to LCE. The model suggests both direct effects of school conditions on student learning (.44) and indirect effects through classroom conditions (.88); school conditions explain 58% of the variation in class conditions. The model as a whole explains 17% of the variation in student achievement. Most of these results seem reasonable, the exception having to do with classroom significant and negative direct relationship conditions. Our analysis produced a non - g. We have no firm explanation for this between class conditions and student learnin 137

140 surprising result, but the marginal reliability of the scale used to measure classroom conditions (alpha = .60) may provide part of the answer. (.54) (.42) (.43) (.83) LCE & LSE .68* .22* Class School District District .77* .88* .46* Achievement Conditions Leadership Conditions Conditions .65* .44* SLEADER (.40) (.86) Figure 5: Modeling the Relationship among V ariables Related to Leader Efficacy Fit Indices Standardized Total Effects on Student Achievement RMSEA .00 District Leadership .08* RMR .03 District Conditions .10* AGFI Combined Leader Efficacy .21* .93 School Leader Behavior .27* NFI .97 S chool Conditions .40* Class Conditions - .04 Analyses of our quantitative d ata can be summed up as follows:  The effects of district leadership on principals, schools, and students are largely indirect, operating through district conditions.  Dist rict leaders help to create conditions that are viewed by school leaders as enhancing and supporting their work. All four dimensions of district leadership were moderately to strongly related to  principal efficacy (arguing for district leaders‘ adoption of a holistic approach to their own practice).  The greatest effect of district leaders will be the outcome of engaging in all four sets of practices in a skillful manner. District conditions had larger effects on principals‘ collective efficacy than on — their individual efficacy providing some confirmation for Chen and Bliese's (2002) 138

141 expectation that such differences would likely exist. This expectation is based on the relatively direct influence of organizational conditions on collective efficacy, with less direct influence on individual efficacy. Common to both types of efficacy, however, is the strong influence of the district‘s focus on student learning and the quality of nditions seem instruction, as well as district culture. These mutually reinforcing district co likely to attract the collective attention of school leaders to the district‘s central mission. Also common to both types of efficacy is our discovery that the relationships between district investments in developing instructional leadershi p and both types of leader efficacy were the weakest of the relationships tested. Furthermore, district investments in instructional leadership had a substantially greater influence on leaders‘ collective efficacy than on their individual efficacy. Perhaps such an investment by districts has greater symbolic than instrumental value; it signifies the district‘s commitment to improving learning more than it actually develops greater capacity for the task. This conjecture on our part certainly warrants more di rect study. We found a modest effect of a combined or aggregate measure of individual and collective principal efficacy on the leadership practices of principals, mostly accounted for by individual efficacy. There was a stronger though still moderate effe ct of aggregate leader efficacy on both classroom and (especially) school conditions. Collective efficacy explained most of this variation. The relationship between principals‘ efficacy and their leadership practices or behaviors were weaker than we expe cted. One plausible explanation is that our measure of leadership practices did not adequately capture the consequences of different levels of efficacy (or confidence) for what leaders do and how they are perceived. These consequences may have less to do w ith the practices themselves and more to do with the ―style‖ of their enactment (e.g., acting with assurance, displaying a confident attitude, remaining calm in the face of crises). We found relatively small but significant effects of leader efficacy on student learning. The size of these effects is comparable to what others have reported about 179 school - leader effects on learning and other student outcomes. The extent of principal efficacy effects on schools and students is significantly - moderated by a ha ndful of organizational characteristics (school size, district size, school level, frequency of principal succession), but by none of the personal variables included in our study (i.e., leaders‘ gender, experience, race, or ethnicity). The moderating effec ts of organizational characteristics are to be expected, since district size and school size 180 almost always ―make a difference,‖ no matter what the focus of the research is. Elementary schools are typically more sensitive than secondary schools to leadersh ip influence, although previous leader - efficacy research has reported mostly non - significant 181 effects. And the rapid turnover of principals has been widely decried as anathema to 179 Ha llinger & Heck (1996b); Leithwood & Jantzi (2005) . 180 e.g., Lucas, 2003; Smith, Guarino, Strom & Reed (2003); and Walberg & Fowler (1987) . 181 DeMoulin (1992); Dimmock & Hattie (1996) . 139

142 182 school improvement efforts. Now we have some evidence that the positive effe cts of leader efficacy are also moderated by school and district size (the larger the organization, the less sense of efficacy among principals). Investments in Instructional Leadership Development: A Deeper Look Many districts consider development of t heir principals‘ capacity for instructional leadership — one of the district conditions included in our measures — to be a cornerstone of their improvement efforts. In light of this, we used quantitative evidence from our second survey to understand in greater depth how districts‘ efforts to bolster principals‘ capacity for instructional leadership influence schools and studen ts. More specifically, we asked: 1. How do principals assess the professional development and support their districts provide? 2. How does pr ofessional development, as principals experience it, affect principals‘ collective sense of efficacy? 3. How is development, as principals experience it, associated with student learning? How Do Principals Assess the Professional Development and Support The ir Districts Provide? The second survey includes a number of items reflecting principals‘ belief that district staff members were making efforts to develop their skills. We framed these items generically, in an effort to tap the respondents‘ belief that pr ofessional development and support were being provided by the district. Sample items are shown below. While in may cases we have chosen to look only at principals, rather than including assistant or associate principals, in this case we chose to include al l respondents (211), since there is no reason to assume that assistant or associate principals can or do receive fewer professional development resources, and our preliminary analysis suggested that there are no significant differences between the two grou ps. What becomes immediately apparent is that principals have a generally positive view of the districts‘ professional development efforts. The mean responses are, in all cases, above the midpoint, meaning that most principals agree, either slightly, mod erately or strongly, that their district provides the type of professional development indicated. In addition, in no case do we find principals strongly disagreeing that their district provides them with a particular type of support. Principals do, howev er, differentiate among the different categories of support and professional development expressed in the questions. The most positive view of district support occurs on three items: Most principals agree, either moderately or strongly, that district leade rs : 182 . Hargreaves & Fink (2006); Macmillan (1996) 140

143  encourage administrators and teachers to act on what they have learned in their professional development; encourage school administrators to work together to improve their instructional  leadership; and  work with school administrators who are struggli ng to improve their instructional leadership. Principals appear to be somewhat less positive about three other indicators. Many indicate that they strongly disagree, disagree, or are uncertain that district leaders T ake a personal interest in my professio nal development . Many also indicate that district leaders Provide quality staff development focused on priority areas only occasionally, rarely, or very rarely. They also give weak ratings to the frequency with which the district Provides work productively with colleagues from other schools. opportunities to M = 3.57 M = 3.49 SD = .90 SD = 1.08 N = 210 N = 208 D15. How frequently do your district leaders D2. District leaders take a personal . provide quality staff development focused interest in my professional development f instruction? on high priority areas o 141

144 M = 4.48 M = 3.23 SD = 1.20 SD = 1.06 N = 210 N = 208 D27. District leaders deepen my D16. How frequently do your district lead ers understanding of instructional leadership. provide opportunities for you to work administrative productively with your colleagues from other schools? M = 4.42 M = 4.19 SD = 1.45 SD = 1.44 N = 210 N = 207 D.35. District leaders work directly with D.32.Ddistrict leaders encourage school school administrators who are struggling to administrators to work together to improve instructional leadership? improve their instructional leadership? Figure 6: Pr incipals’ Views of District Actions to Support Professional Growth 142

145 An additional question concerns the distribution of professional development among different kinds of schools. Using analysis of variance, we examined differences in professional developme nt experiences among elementary, middle, and high schools, among larger and smaller schools, and among schools with more or fewer students in poverty. None of these variables appear to be significantly associated with principals‘ reports of their professio nal development experiences. How Does Professional Development, as Principals Experience It, Affect Principals’ Collective Sense of Efficacy? To explore this question, we examined professional development in the context of several other factors that mig ht affect principals‘ sense of collective efficacy. In particular, we wished to explore the general issue of whether professional development, for leadership, is more or less important than pressure which we view as targeted support which is a major component of state policy. We assumed that to increase achievement , effective leadership may require a combination of external support and pressure. In order to address this question we developed several new scales, using the second principal survey:  Profession al development scale . The six example items above (see Figure 6), and two H ow frequently d o your district leaders provide feedback to school additional items: ? nd , How frequently a administrators about the nature and quality of their leadership leaders encourage administrators and teachers to act on what they have do district ? were highly correlated, and we computed learned in their professional development a composite scale using the eight standardized items (α = .88). We conducted factor analyses for a number of additional items related to district initiatives for improvement. Of these, we selected one that seems pa rticularly pertinent to elaborating on the findings presented earlier in this section, since it emphasizes the district‘s accountability and pressure focus. In order to examine the relative importance of targets and accountability, we computed a new scal e: Our . This factor loaded highly on items such as District data use and targets scale  district has explicit targets beyond NCLB targets , Our district incorporates student and school performance data in district - level decisions , Our district assists schoo ls with the use of student/school performance data The district uses student , and achievement data to determine PD needs and resources. We used an additive score of five standardized variables in this analysis, with α = .87.  Collective sense of efficacy ( LCE). Our measure of collective sense of efficacy varied from the first survey, but it still emphasized the ability of leaders in the district to solve problems and improve student learning. Three items composed the scale for collective sense of efficacy: School staffs in our district have the knowledge and skill they n eed to improve student learning; In our district, continuous improvement is viewed by most staff as a necessary part of the job ; and In our district, problems are , not as barriers to action viewed as issues to be solve d . The alpha for this scale, using standardized variables, is .72. 143

146  In addition, we wished to include a measure Principal sense of efficacy scale (LSE). of individual sense of efficacy. Our measure here differed somewhat from the measure used in the first survey. In this case we focused on a longer battery of leadership competencies on which the principal rated him - or herself on a four point scale ranging from ―basic‖ to ―highly developed.‖ This scale included 10 items, self including rated expertise in instructional strategies, coaching, managing student - behavior, developing unity and teamwork among teachers, and motivating others (α = .74). To examine the effects of these variables on collective sense of efficacy, we used a re gression model, entering the key variables identified above in a first step, and then entering potential mediators: school size, the school level (elementary/secondary), percentage of non - white students, percentage of students in poverty, and the individua l‘s position (principal or assistant principal). The results are shown below in Table 2.2.5. This table indicates that district professional development and district targets both have a strong association with collective sense of efficacy (with pressure through targeted and data - focused expectations contributing more to collective efficacy). Individual sense of efficacy also makes a significant contribution to the relatively large percentage of variance explained. The school characteristics do not achieve a significant regression coefficient, nor does the Principal/Assistant Principal variable. The regression suggests that pressure and support are important predictors of collective sense of efficacy, but that pressure may be more important than support in the form of professional development for school leaders. How Is Professional Development, as Principals Experience It, Associated with Student Achievement? The bottom line for judging investments by districts working to develop instructional leadership i s whether such investments are linked to student achievement. Professional We examined this issue using causal modeling. The model assumes that evelopment of school leaders (Support) and Targets and d ata (Pressure) d are both 183 associated, directly and indire ctly, with student achievement. The model, which achieves a reasonable level of fit, explains approximately 7% of the variance in achievement, largely through the direct relationship assumed between collective e fficacy and students‘ test scores (.23). P rofessional development of school leaders has an insignificant direct path coefficient with student achievement, while Targets and Data has a significant negative relationship. This unexpected finding suggests that pressure, arising from targets and an emp hasis on data use, may backfire in the classroom unless it is balanced with support (in this case, through professional development), so that it works by building a strong collective leadership base in the district. 183 Based on analyses not shown here, we chose not to include Individual Principal Efficacy as a mediating has no significant relationship with achievement, and the more complex variable. Individual Efficacy model explains no additional variance. 144

147 In sum, the analysis suggests that inve stment in the professional development of school leaders will have limited effects on efficacy and student achievement unless districts also develop clear goals for improvement. On the other hand, setting targets and emphasizing responsibility for achievin g them is not likely to produce a payoff for students unless those initiatives are accompanied by leadership development practices that principals perceive as helping them to improve their personal competencies. 145

148 Table 2.2.5 se of Efficacy on District, Individual and School Characteristics Regression of Collective Sen (N=191) Unstandardized Standardized Coefficients Coefficients B Std. Error Beta t Sig. Model - - .103 (Constant) .045 .433 .665 .191 .061 District PD for Principals 3.125 .002 .184 Dis .611 .058 .628 10.588 .000 trict Use of Targets and Data .149 .067 Principal Sense of Efficacy 3.188 .002 .212 Percent of Nonwhite Students .199 .060 .156 .787 .433 Percent of Free or Reduced - - .244 - .086 .271 - 1.113 .267 lunch Students Total Number of 2.781E - 5 .000 Students .023 .421 .674 Your title (Prin/AP) .902 .123 .000 .002 .006 R2 = . .626 F = 44.079, sig. .000 The Effects of District Pressure and Support on Collective Efficacy and Achievement e District PD f or Principals f .18 .03 .07 .07 .63 .16 .23 Collective Ahievement Principal Efficacy .66 Efficacy 2005-6 -.19 -.11 .63 .10 .00 District Use of Targets %FRP and Data g Figure 7: The Effects of District Pressure and Support on Collective Efficacy and Achievement R2 for Collective Efficacy = .63 R2 for Achievement = .07 RMSEA = .268 CMin = 3.98, p = .55 NFI = .98 146

149 The findings about the importance of targets and data use, in combination with district professional development, are quite strong when moderated by principal efficacy. However, an analysis of data - use effects reported in Section 2.5, which did not use principal efficacy as a moderating variable, also reported significant data use effects on students, but only in elementary schools. Together, these analyses suggest that district ters, but further research will be needed before we fully understand the data use mat nature of that influence. Implications for Policy and Practice from this section of our study . Four implications for policy and practice emerged 1. District leaders should consider s chool leaders‘ collective sense of efficacy for school improvement to be among the most important resources available to them for increasing student achievement. 2. District improvement efforts should include, as foci for immediate attention, those s of conditions which the best available evidence now suggests have a eight set significant influence on principals‘ sense of efficacy for school improvement. 3. Principals who believe themselves to be working collaboratively toward clear, common goals with district p ersonnel, other principals, and teachers in their schools are more confident in their leadership. 4. It is not enough to merely launch initiatives aimed at improving the sense school leaders have of their efficacy for school improvement. Such initiatives and the conditions on which they depend can be well or poorly implemented. It will take high - quality implementation at the district level to produce higher levels of principal efficacy. 147

150 2.3 How Districts Build Principals’ Sense of Efficacy for School Impro vement Key Findings Districts contribute most to school leaders‘ sense of efficacy by the following  means: 1. Ensuring that teachers and administrators have access worthwhile programs of professional development, aimed at strengthening their capacities t o achieve shared purposes Assigning priority, unambiguously, to the improvement of stude nt 2. achievement and instruction 3. Making significant investments in the developm ent of instructional leadership nd maintenance of 4. Ensuring that personnel policies support the selection a est people for each school the b Emphasizing team work and professional community 5.  The efforts districts make to build principals‘ sense of efficacy can have positive or negative consequences, depending on the manner in which the initiativ es are implemented. Much depends upon the frequency, nature, and quality of experiences provided in the course of implementation. Introduction The concluding portion of Section 2.2 describes results from a quantitative onditions (investments in the development of instructional examination of three district c leadership, setting targets for improvement, engaging in data informed decision - making) - as they may affect the sense leaders have of their efficacy for fostering school improvement and student achi evement. This section extends that line of inquiry to all eight of these district conditions identified earlier, plus additional district factors that 184 emerged from our qualitative inquiries. 184 Readers wishing to know more about our conception of efficacy, background research relevant to our study of efficacy, and how we identified its importance in district efforts to improve student achievement . are referred back to Section 2.2 148

151 New Evidence Method e qualitative component of our larger . We conducted Sampling site visits for th - study in 18 districts (two per state) and 36 schools. We obtained evidence for this sub study from the 31 principals for whom complete data were available at the time of analysis. We visited two schools (one elementary , one middle school or high school) in each district to interview teachers and administrators and to observe classroom practice. - In addition, we conducted district level interviews focused on the study of leadership and learning. erviewed for this sub - study included 19 females and 12 The 31 principals we int males from 13 elementary, seven secondary, nine intermediate, one combined elementary/middle school, and one junior/senior high school. Principals in this sample had been leading their schools for an a verage of 4.67 years (ranging from 1 to 22 years), and had been working in their present districts for an average of 7.83 years (ranging from 1 to 27 years). While prior evidence paints a mixed picture of the influence of ficacy, the overall effect of such variables seems to be demographic variables on leader ef 185 weak or non - For example, virtually no evidence suggests that school level or existent. 186 teachers‘ age or total years of experience in education size, , student SES or student 187 ethnicity, influence lea der efficacy. Gender appears to be the most influential demographic variable. Although most 188 studies report no influence of gender, a few report women‘s professional efficacy 189 levels to be higher than men‘s. Here, we report interviewee demographic infor mation for descriptive purposes only. Instrument In interviewing principals we were guided by a 21 - question, semi - . structured protocol focused on principals‘ views of state and district initiatives, eadership in the principals‘ schools, principals‘ leadership practices, the distribution of l the professional development needs of teachers and principals, and relationships between the principals‘ schools and their communities. We recorded the interview sessions, which lasted an average of 60 minutes, and t ranscribed them. Because the importance of school - leader efficacy became apparent to us only after we analyzed our survey data, the interview protocol did not include questions designed to elicit leader - efficacy information. As a result, the distinction be tween personal and collective efficacy is less clear from these results than we would wish in an ideal world. 185 - Moran ( 2005). Gareis & Tschannen 186 But see DeMoulin (1992). 187 E.g., Gareis & Tschannen - Moran (2005); Lucas (2003); and Roberts (1997). 188 E.g., Dimmock & Ha ttie (1996); Roberts (1997). 189 Imants & DeBrabander (1996); Waskiewicz (2002). 149

152 Analysis. We examined interview transcripts for evidence of district conditions ed in two phases. In phase that would influence principals‘ efficacy. Data analysis proceed one, we coded relevant sections of the transcripts for each principal and culled excerpts under three headings linked to our conceptual framework: Indicators/feelings identified by principals of their ability to get the job don e. T 1. hese are statements providing evidence of the interviewees‘ sense of efficacy to perform their jobs effectively. The statements were often embedded in other statements about influential district or school - level conditions, as illustrated in the sample quote below. 2. Factors in the district that influence principals’ ability to get the job done. T hese are factors giving rise to Indicators/feelings. We separated factors according to their reported positive or negative influence on the principal‘s ability to get the job done. 3. District conditions. We coded each district factor according to nine district conditions (see Table 2.2.2). Some factors were related to more than one condition. For example, ―t he district holds regular meetings for administration gro ups to keep everyone up to date so people can act as supports and resources for one another‖ would be coded under Use of data as well as Emphasis on teamwork. Seven of the district conditions listed in Table 2.2.2 were based on Anderson‘s review of the literature on the school district role in educational change (Anderson, 2006). Two ) were added as they ( District personnel policies; District policy governing school choice emerged inductively from our analysis of the interview data. We recorded them and subsequently treated them like the original seven conditions. Initially, one analyst did all the coding. Then, to check on reliability, we asked two other researchers working on the larger project to code a sample of transcription data. For background, we provided them with an introduction to this study, information about the district conditions, a numbered list of the conditions with a brief explanation of each, and a chart of 25 uncoded ach quotation to an quotations from the principal transcripts. Their task was to match e appropriate district condition. Decisions by the two coders were the same as decisions by the original coder 88% (22 out of 25 quotations) and 84% (21 out of 25 quotations) of the time. 190 In the second phase of this analysis we used a p rocess of analytic induction to generate propositions that reflected our interpretation of findings grounded in the interview excerpts and related to the appropriate conceptual framework codes. For example, when a principal said : I am like a cheerleader for them [teachers] and they have to be there for the kids. But I recognize that they were not trained. They haven‘t had the training. Their curriculum was not there. They didn‘t have the materials to do what they wanted to do , 190 Glaser & Strauss (1967). 15 0

153 we coded t he statement under Indicators/Feelings, and we interpreted and summarized it , ―A new principal feels enthusiastic about the work in the school, in propositional form as but recognizes the teachers have been lacking training, curriculum, and materials for teaching.‖ T his statement was also coded as a district factor, which we interpreted as ―The , district is not providing adequate financial support for professional development or for instructional materials.‖ While the interpretive process in the conversion of qualitat ive data to statements of findings is always subject to concerns about validity, we believe that clear descriptions of the analytical procedures employed provide the reader with a legitimate basis for assessing the trustworthiness of the findings. Distric t Conditions Associated with Principals’ Efficacy for School Improvement Questions motivating this sub - study focus on the extent to which conditions associated in previous research with school district effectiveness were reported as influences on principal s‘ sense of efficacy, and whether additional district conditions also had such influence. Table 2.3.1 summarizes evidence about the number of respondents who identified each of the original district conditions, along with two more suggested by our data (number 4 and number 9) as having a bearing on their own sense of professional efficacy. The first column of Table 2.3.1 shows the relative rankings of the nine conditions and the efficacy - influencing enactments related to each condition (also ranked). Th e second and third columns show positive and negative effects on efficacy, and the fourth column shows the total number of respondents who made positive or negative comments. (Several respondents identified both positive and negative features of some condi tions.) Table 2.3.1 District Conditions Associated with Principal Efficacy Respondents Respondents 191 District Conditions Totals N=31 (Rank) N=31 (Rank) Negative Positive 16 (1) - 1. District 28 (3) 44 wide focus on student achievement and instruction vides clear sense of direction through establishment Pro 8 23 wide - of achievement standards and provision of district 192 curriculum and/or programs Provides human and financial resources to assist 11 15 - schools in achieving district established directions Co mmunicates high expectations for the work of 2 14 teachers and principals in accomplishing district directions and implementing effective instruction 191 Two conditions added to the original eight are identified by *. 192 are stated in the positive . All statements related to conditions 151

154 Respondents Respondents 191 District Conditions Totals N=31 (Rank) N=31 (Rank) Positive Negative 11 Allows schools sufficient flexibility in pursuing district directions Engages in ongoing or perio dic review of directions 5 and plans - 29 (2) professional development (PD) for 2. Job embedded 10 (2) 39 teachers Provides evidence to assist in the planning of teacher 4 PD Holds principals accountable for implementing and 19 2 learned during district – following up on what is sponsored PD 11 1 Encourages the use of school staff meetings for purposes of PD - variety of types of PD but insists Approves of a wide 17 they be meaningful for teachers and aligned with district goals and priorities 6 Provides adequate funds to support significant PD 13 May mandate participation in PD considered critical to 17 5 the achievement of district priorities. 3. Investment in both school - and district - level 30 (1) 3 (7) 33 instructional leadership Esta blishes teachers‘ work as the main focus of 28 attention for school leaders Provides a wide range of professional development 20 3 opportunities to help build the instructional leadership capacities of principals Holds principals directly responsible for student 23 achievement in their schools 22 (5) 10 (3) 32 4. District personnel policies Stability in district leader roles 3 10 District hiring policies ensure principals can select 9 4 outstanding teachers District leaders assume school leade rship roles when 4 needed 9 Competent principals are hired from within the district and their capabilities matched with school needs Principal succession is planned and minimized 4 2 5. Emphasis on team work and professional 28 26 (4) 2 (8) community Support and encouragement are provided for teacher 6 and principal collaboration Principals and teachers participate in district - wide 12 1 decisions that directly impact on their work Structures are established which allow for sharing of 10 informa tion and collaborative problem solving within and across schools District ensures that schools are kept informed about 13 152

155 Respondents Respondents 191 District Conditions Totals N=31 (Rank) N=31 (Rank) Positive Negative both state and district initiatives. - wide use of data 18 (7) 5 (5) 23 6. District - Insists on data 12 5 schools based decision making in Provides schools with much of the data they need to 4 - based decision making exercise data Assists schools in the interpretation and use of data for 4 decision making Creates structures which foster the sharing of 3 information across sch ools and between schools and the district 6 Uses data to determine the goals for principal and teacher professional development 7. Targeted and phased focuses for improvement 20 (6) 1 (9) 21 Requires the development of improvement plans in all 9 or school - developed) ools (either district sch - School improvement goals are clear and aligned with 7 state and district standards 7 School improvement plans are aligned with district improvement plans 6 developed improvement plan In cases of school - s, district provides a procedure for the development of the plan. Relations with schools and stakeholders (district, 16 (8) 4 (6) 8. 20 board, union, school) Provides significant opportunities for principals and 4 at the district level teachers to be involved in decisions 6 1 District staff keep well informed about school programs, priorities, initiatives, and programs Encourages communication across schools by 10 1 principals and provides opportunities for this to occur r schools in the enactment of 9 4 Permits flexibility fo district initiatives 0 9. District policy governing school choice 8 8 (4) District protects schools from rapid and dramatic 8 changes in curriculum and student population Our analysis prompted us to relocate one of the district sub - conditions and to add two new conditions. The sub - - school relationships. condition we have relocated is union Our previous review of evidence included this as part of Emphasis on teamwork and professional community ; we now think it should b e part of Relations with schools and stakeholders (condition #8, in Table 2.3.1). Principals in our sample spoke about the effects of strong unions, focused primarily on teachers‘ working conditions, as obstacles to creating collaborative cultures and enga ging teachers in school - and district - wide decision making. Our evidence shows this relationship with unions to be largely a drain on principals‘ sense of efficacy. Unlike the evidence from some studies negative — 153

156 reviewed by Anderson, none of evidence w e obtained from principals alluded to the the positive contributions teacher unions can make to school improvement efforts, which could enhance the principal‘s sense of personal and collective efficacy. Our evidence also suggest ed the need to add two distric t conditions not included District personnel in our original list of conditions associated with district effectiveness: policies and . These added conditions are District policies governing school choice discussed in more detail below. Evidence summarized in Table 2.3.1 indicates that principals viewed the enactments of the respective conditions in their own districts with a largely positive bias. The conditions making the greatest positive contribution to the principals‘ sense of efficacy were, in order, a District - wide focus on student achievement and instruction , Investment in Job professional development for teachers , embedded both school - and - district - level instructional leadership , and District personnel policies. Principals mentioned District policies governing school choice only as negative influences on their sense of efficacy. The conditions cited most frequently (by a third or more of the sample) as negative influences on efficacy were - wide focus on student achievement and District , J instruction - embedded professional development , and District personnel policies . ob These three conditions account for a disproportionate number of both positive and negative influences on efficacy very sharp, double - edged swords. — Our findings regarding the nine dist rict conditions and the related efficacy - producing enactments are described in the following section. The numbers in parentheses following efficacy - producing enactments indicate how many principals made comments that reflected a positive influence on their efficacy (e.g., 9+), or a negative influence on their efficacy (e.g., 3 ). Excerpts from principals‘ transcripts illustrate positive influences. - - wide focus on student achievement and the quality of instruction. This 1. District ve responses from 28 principals and negative responses from 16. condition elicited positi Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy include district - provided curriculum and performance standards, with flexibility for implementation; clear policies, - with a procedure for ongoing review and revisions; assignment of subject area facilitators to schools; and support for differentiated instruction. Enactments negatively associated with principal efficacy include district enforcement of common standards, with no credit given for large gains schools have made in cases in which standards have not yet been reached; adoption of initiatives based on conflicting assumptions or ideologies; adoption of a focus for student learning that narrows the curriculum and m inimizes the value of important fields of study; and excessive prescriptions about how principals and teachers must pursue the district‘s curriculum standards and achievement goals. 154

157 In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following:  Districts provide a clear sense of direction through the establishment of achievement standards and district - wide curriculum and/or programs. (23+, 8 - ) The fact that we have a more central focu s and central direction, I Excerpt: think , has improved student instruction and improved student learning, and forced us to take a hard look at what we’re doing with students.  Districts provide human and financial resources to assis t schools in achieving district established directions. (15+, 11 - ) - Excerpt: I think in general it’s really a privilege to work in a district like this. There’s a great deal of support, you know, budgetarily, which helps us to move things in a direction that we feel is positive, that’s g onna help the students, so, we have a lot advantages.  Districts communicate high expectations for the work teachers and principals do accomplish district directions and implement effective instruction. (14+, 2 - ) Excerpt: all campuses. The superintendents I would say the accountability at that we’ve had have put a lot of pressure on the principals, to make sure that the teachers feel more accountable for the students that they have.  Districts allow schools sufficient flexibility in pursuing district dire ctions. - ) (11+, 1 Excerpt: The impetus to tailor it to the school site has been very clearly indicated. But the initiatives have come out of the district office.  Districts engage in ongoing or periodic review of directions and plans, and make revisions as appropriate. (5+) Our district curriculum now has been rewritten to mirror the state Excerpt: curriculum but also all of that ties into our state testing. So the state testing now is more in alignment with what is actually being taught. 2. Job - embedd ed teacher professional development. Professional development is an important element in the enactment of most of the conditions we are investigating. It elicited positive responses from 29 of the 31 principals in our sample. Ten principals, however, ident ified some aspect of district - sponsored professional development as having a negative influence on their efficacy. Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy include ls and teachers to deliver better districts providing data and guidelines to help principa 155

158 instructional programs; district support for attendance at professional development conferences; encouragement to use school staff meetings for professional development ams with the district‘s curriculum; purposes; alignment of professional development progr district provision for flexibility such that schools may design their own professional development programs; and provision of adequate funding for various approaches to professional development. Enactments of this con dition viewed less favorably by principals include requiring excessive professional development for teachers and principals; allowing in - school professional development to crowd out time for teacher collaboration; setting limits on the use of substitute t eachers; setting restrictive limits on authorized absences from the school building for professional development; providing inadequate funding for professional development; and focusing on professional development for one initiative in such a way that othe r important initiatives are left unsupported. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following:  Districts hold principals accountable for implementing and following up on what is learned during district - sponsored professional development. (19+, 2 - ) Excerpt: I think fundamentally my role is to help hold people accountable that the professional development initiatives and activities ... are then reflected in practice so that it’s not just simply, “Here’s a good idea somebody thinks we should be talking about. ”  Districts approve many types of professional development but insist they be meaningful for teachers and aligned with district goals and priorities. (17+) Excerpt: I think we do have some direction from our central office and from our curriculum director about where we should go, but we also have flexibility about how we are going to do that.  Districts mandate participation in professional development considered critical to the achievement of district priorities. (17+, 5 ) - Excerpt: With that the district said how we were to do it. It provided professional development for the teachers, for myself, so that we could go and be trained in it. And then as a result we are expected to follow that curriculum.  Districts provide adequate funds to support significant professional development. ) (13+, 6 - 156

159 Excerpt: [ ] encourage [teachers] to attend professional development Districts that’s offered by the district. Encourage and/or financially support them to tside professional development attend ou  Districts encourage the use of school staff meetings for professional development. (11+, 1 - ) Excerpt: Because part of what we do is if the district office offers in - service kinds of things or profe ssional development, either the department chairs go, or they send stronger teachers to go and bring it back to the department.  Districts provide evidence to assist in the planning of professional development for teachers. (4+) Excerpt: Definitely a push towards using data . . . to create teacher leaders, recognizing that that’s where the staff development needs to happen. level instructional leadership. 3. Investment in both school - and district - T his condition elicited positive responses from all but on e of the 31 principals; it elicited negative responses from three. Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy include districts providing support for principals‘ professional support for principals, depending upon development; districts providing individualized the challenges they face in their schools; districts holding principals accountable for student achievement and teacher contributions to student achievement; districts giving principals responsibility for responding t o student data; districts providing district staff to - matter teaching in all elementary schools; districts providing a oversee subject curriculum with supporting professional development for principals and teachers. Enactments of this condition associate d with negative consequences for principal efficacy include districts not supporting principals‘ professional development; districts not providing enough professional development; and districts requiring teachers and principals to participate in excessive amounts of professional development. As these examples illustrate, enhancing efficacy through professional development requires something of a balancing act. Principal efficacy is fostered in a positive way by the right amount of professional development a nd in a negative way by either too much or too little. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following: Districts make teachers‘ work the main focus of attention for school leaders . (28+)  Excerpt: We have to participate, we have to help rather than manage. Although a lot of the job is still managing because there is still the paperwork. ... We also have to relate more to the teachers and the students. To actually know what they are d oing in the classrooms. 157

160  Districts hold principals responsible for student achievement. (23+) Excerpt: ic. I tell people, I tell our Frankly my communication is very simplist staff constantly that my goal and I expect it to be theirs is that we help the student achievement and that we do so in a caring a improve nurturing nd environment.  Districts provide a wide range of professional development opportunities to help build principals‘ capacity for instructional leadership. (20+, 3 - ) We have princip al meetings two times a month and then ... because I Excerpt: am a new principal this year, I get a third one. ... About every year I go to either a state or national conference and attend courses there ...and occasional workshops. 4. District personnel policies. This is one of the two conditions we added to the original list of seven. It elicited positive responses from 22 principals and negative responses from 10. Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy include encouraging promotion of principals from within the district and giving principals a significant role in selecting teachers. Respondents mentioned the importance of ―matching‖ teachers and principals to the mission or culture of the school, or allocating especially effective principals to especially challenging schools. Hiring district office staff into school leadership roles was typically viewed as adding strength to the collective capacity of schools in the district. Stable and consistent district leadership, which we incl uded as a feature of district personnel policies, also contributed to principals‘ sense of efficacy. Principals‘ commitment to directions established by the district, and confidence in being able to pursue them successfully, were significantly eroded by fr equent superintendent turnover. Principals‘ efficacy was especially challenged when principals were appointed to schools that had been experiencing frequent turnover of leaders in recent years. We are not suggesting that district personnel policies, or po licies governing school choice, should be regarded as additional dimensions of district effectiveness, as per the district conditions identified in Anderson‘s review (Anderson, 2006) ; it is simply the case that that they emerged in our analysis of princip al interview data as additional sources of district influence on principal efficacy. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following:  Districts provide stability in district leader roles. (10+, 3 - ) Excerpt: There have been a lot of changes in the district in the last couple of years. Some probably stem from the fact that there was a large turnover in leadership in the last couple of years. But education is constantly evolving. not a static thing It ’s 158

161  Districts hire competent principals from within, and principals‘ capabilities are matched with school needs. (9+) Excerpt: When I first took this building in 1989, I didn’t want to come back because the morale was terrible here. But I took the challenge, I had been asked to come back and so I did. I have not been sorry. It has turned out to be everything I wanted it to be. Now I can kind of sit back and enjoy it.  District hiring policies ensure that principals can select and retain ou tstanding teachers.(9+, 4) Excerpt: Well, the principals do almost all the hiring in the district. As a matter of fact, I will be hiring a new teacher. ... So we control over what our staff looks like. ... It is about hiring good people but it is not always a guarantee. It is about keeping good people.  District leaders assume school leadership roles when needed. (4+) Excerpt: When I was weighing whether to leave Central Office or stay or leave to go to the building level, it was ... [thi s school]. I was interv iewing r p o spective candidates for the principal here. No one knew anything about small schools. What they were going to do with this building was distressing me, you know?  Principal succession is planned and minimized. (4+, 2 - ) Excerpt: own leaders is very important ... which I really Cultivating our appreciate and admire about the school district. So that when you step into that position [of principal] you kind of know the district’s way of doing things and you are able to just pick up and go. 5. Emphas is on teamwork and professional community. This condition elicited positive responses from 26 principals and negative responses from two. Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy include keeping schools informed about sta te and district initiatives; providing support and encouragement for principal and teacher collaborative relationships; following through on state requirements in ways that led to greater collaboration within schools; and ensuring that district leaders mee t with principals frequently to work through decisions together. Efficacy was influenced in a negatively at one small school where involvement in the district meant the principal had to allocate 15 curricular liaison positions among 11 staff members withou t overwhelming anyone. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following: 159

162  - wide decisions that have a direct impact Principals and teachers participate in district 14+, 1 ) on their work. ( - The superintendent’s office, the curriculum department really was Excerpt: working with a group of teachers and supervisors, administrators to come up with a new form that would make it easier for you to observe forty teachers but really pinpoint some areas that we wanted to work on.  Schools are kept informed about state and district initiatives. (13+) Excerpt: That is my work. ... The district translates what the state expects ff, from us. ...We need to translate for our students, teachers, support sta parents, what that means.  Districts provide structures that allow for sharing of information and collaborative problem solving within and across schools. (13+) Excerpt: During the summer, the superintendent housed all the top administrators, the prin cipals and assistant principals for a whole week, and they had to learn to work together, not just within their campus, but within the district.  ) Districts support and encourage teacher and principal collaboration. (8+, 1 - Excerpt: erintendent has presented us with is he wants One thing that our sup us [principals and teachers] to be more collaborative. - wide use of data. This condition elicited positive responses from 6. District 18 principals and negative responses from five. Enactments of this conditio n positively associated with principal efficacy include district provision of data useful to schools in planning for professional development; involvement of schools in decision making related to the data; engagement of an external person to conduct a curr iculum audit, thus encouraging improved alignment within the district; and detailed guidance and support by the district for schools trying to interpret and use their data. Of the five respondents who claimed negative effects on efficacy for this conditio n, one said that his or her district required more information about student achievement than he or she could collect. Another was unnerved by having sole responsibility for explaining state requirements to students, parents and teachers. In these and othe r cases, resistance and negative feelings focused largely on state requirements over which the principals had no control. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the following: ) -  District s insist on data - based decision making in schools. (12+, 5 160

163 Excerpt: But the good news about all of that [district direction] is that we driven decisions now. We do a lot of assessments. Those are - make very data s. We use that information both local assessments and state assessment obviously to plan for our children. Districts use data to set goals for principal and teacher professional development. (6+)  One of them is the data part and the district calls it data sources. Excerpt: Everybody has a data sou rce. Then with the data source ... each teacher created a goal for him or herself in professional development. Districts provide schools with much of the data they need to practice data  - based decision making. (4+) Excerpt: g amount of data. And the people to [The district provides] an amazin help us interpret that data.  Districts assist schools in the interpretation and use of data for decision making. (4+) Excerpt: We have had . . . extensive training from our central office on understanding and utilizing test data.  Districts create structures that foster the sharing of information across schools and between schools and the district. (3+) Excerpt: As an entire district we have our hand on every kid’s test data. I don’t care if it’s elementary or high sc hool. We have weekly administrative meetings and you know those issues will come up and communication is really strong. Enactments of this condition 7. Targeted and phased focus for improvement. elicited positive responses from 20 school leaders and a ne gative response from one. Enactments positively associated with principal efficacy include district requirements for improved goal setting; the establishment of detailed school - improvement plans; requirements that community people participate in formulatin g school - improvement plans; clear articulation of expectations for student outcomes, derived from state policy; support for collaboration between high schools and middle schools; support for teachers engaged in using new instructional programs. Overall, p rincipals associate positive feelings of efficacy with a significant level of prescription by the district about the nature of school improvement plans and the process for creating those plans. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enh anced when enactment of this condition includes the following:  Requiring the development of improvement plans in all schools (either district - or - developed). (9+) school 161

164 Excerpt: The school improvement plan is a requirement that we all have to do he plan for school improvement. ys out staff development and t which la Clear school  improvement goals aligned with state and district standards. (7+) - But ...[the school - improvement plan] is campus - based. ... We have Excerpt: ’s improvemen t plan. to align it with the district  School improvement plans aligned with district improvement plans. (7+, 1 - ) The district and the school board have sent down a five - year goal for Excerpt: us. It’s to improve academic achievement for each and every child, especially in the area o f literacy and math.  In cases of school - developed improvement plans, district provision of a procedure for the development of the plan. (6+) year cycle. We involve teachers, administrators, Excerpt: We’re in a five - business people, parents, community peo ple, and we set forth a plan of how we can improve our schools. The process begins with parent surveys. . Relations with schools and stakeholders 8. This (district, board, union, school) condition elicited positive responses from 16 principals and negati ve responses from 4. Enactments of this condition positively associated with principal efficacy emphasize district sharing of key decisions with administrative staff members. In particular staying in touch with principals emphasized the importance of listening to staff members, them, involving principals and teachers in the writing of school plans, budgeting for implementation of those plans, and field - testing new programs. A number of principals also pointed to the small size of their districts as an impo rtant contributor to positive district - school relations. In smaller districts, they noted, district leaders were more likely to be in touch with the challenges principals and teachers face. Principal efficacy is undermined, principals said, when district s neglect to provide adequate information for schools and parents about expectations from the state level. Insufficient information leaves them in the difficult of position of having to explain requirements over which they have no control. Almost all com ments from principals focused on district - school relations. Not surprisingly, principals had little to say about board - district relations. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactments of this condition include the fol lowing:  Encouragement for communication among principals, across schools, and provision ) of opportunities for this to occur. (10+, 1 - 162

165 Excerpt: Monthly meetings really looking at our schoo - improvement plan and l chools and talk with them, to share having the opportunity to visit with other s ideas and find out what’s worked in one school that we might be able to look at as a possible intervention. Flexibility for schools in the implementation of district initiatives. (9+, 4  ) - Excerpt: I have a lot of auton omy as far as what kind of staff development I do for my own teachers on my campus ... and I make a lot of decisions with my team. District staff keeping themselves well informed about school programs, priorities,  initiatives, and programs. (6+, 1 - ) Excerp t: [The district listened] ... to the concerns of the teams. ... We felt that there was a need to kind of look at some parts of the instructional parts of things. ... So they came out and helped make that happen.  Significant opportunities for principals and tea chers to be involved in decisions at the district level. (4+) Excerpt: That is certainly a team that works at the district level and then that framework of curriculum comes back to our level and then our individual teams and departments work on it has wel l. 9. District policy governing school choice. This is the second condition we added to Anderson‘s original list. It elicited eight responses from principals who identified tively. instances in which a change in district policies had affected their efficacy nega The evidence shows that school - choice policies can create significant challenges and have adverse effects on principal efficacy. Creating an open choice policy, one principal recounted, meant that his school, serving a relatively stable group of local students quite well by all accounts, suddenly found itself serving students from a radius of about 14 miles. Another principal described how his school had changed ―overnight‖ also from serving a fairly stable student population to a highly diverse — g roup of students from the entire district, including members of more than 30 gangs. In sum, according to our evidence, principal efficacy is enhanced when enactment of this condition includes the following:  The district helps schools respond to rapid and dramatic changes in curriculum and ) student population. (8 - 163

166 Implication s for Policy and Practice Principal efficacy is a key link in the chain joining successful district leadership influence on such with student learning and district conditions have an important efficacy. Five implications emerge as a result: 1. District leaders should establish and maintain a district - wide focus on student achievement and instruction. Efficacy is enhanced when the district provides human and financial resources to assist schools in achieving those high expectations. Districts encourage teamwork and professional community by including both 2. principals and teachers in district wide decisions that directly impact their work. - 3. Districts should aim to provide stable district leadership as a contribution to principal efficacy. 4. District hiring policies should allow principals to select teachers they believe to be outstanding choices for their own school contexts. 5. Because principals have greater efficacy when distric ts have targeted and phased focuses for improvement, districts should require the development of improvement plans in all schools, with improvement goals expected to be clear eft and aligned with state and district standards, but with considerable discretion l to the school to determine the paths to goal achievement. 164

167 a new principal 1. – The average school experiences quite rapid principal turnover about every 2.78 years. Rapid principal turnover has a small but significant effect on student 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. achievement; 7. 8. 2.4 9. Ensuring Productive Leadership Succession 10. 11. Key Findings  On average, schools experience fairly rapid principal turnover: about one new principal every three to four years.  Rapid princi pal turnover has moderately negative effects on school culture.  Rapid principal turnover seems not to have much effect on classroom content or instruction.  Rapid principal turnover explains a modest but significant amount of variation in student achieve ment across schools. Coordinated forms of leadership distribution have the potential to mitigate at least  some of the negative consequences of rapid principal turnover.  Principals newly assigned to schools who initially work within the existing of their schools, rather than attempting to quickly, substantially change it, culture are more likely to avoid negative turnover effects. Introduction Our analysis of principal turnover and its effects appears in Part Two of our final report because principal turnover is fostered in part by district policies. Some districts, for 193 Many districts now example, still have policies requiring regular principal rotation. have increased accountability requirements for schools and principals to the point where 194 potentia Also, it is l candidates may be deterred from applying for leadership positions. typically the district‘s responsibility to find replacements for departing principals, whatever the reasons for departure. Principal turnover is a problem districts help to create, and so must help to resolve. While principal turnover is inevitable in every school, too rapid turnover — or succession — is widely thought to present significant challenges to districts and schools. Many districts, for example, struggle to find suit ably skilled and experienced principals, average replacement rates required by a bulge in the partly because of the above - proportion of incumbents currently becoming eligible for retirement. It is far from a lly rapid principal turnover, for example, trivial problem. Schools experiencing exceptiona 193 Macmillan (2000 ). 194 Blackmore (1996). 165

168 are often reported to suffer from lack of shared purpose, cynicism among staff about principal commitment, and an inability to maintain a school improvement focus long - 195 change. enough to actually accomplish any meaningful Our efforts to learn more about the nature and consequences of rapid principal turnover have been guided by five questions:  How frequently does principal turnover occur in the average school?  Does principal turnover significantly affect condit ions across the school and in classrooms?  Does principal turnover significantly affect student achievement?  Do coordinated forms of distributed leadership, as some evidence suggests, have the principal turnover? potential to reduce negative influences arising from frequent  What, if anything, can incoming principals do to minimize the negative effects of rapid principal turnover? Prior Evidence School and Classroom Conditions Influenced by Rapid Turnover For the most part, school leaders influence stu dents indirectly. Efforts to increase leaders‘ influence on students will therefore depend on identification of factors that mediate what leaders do. Rowan‘s (1996) framework identifies one promising set of mediators. This framework suggests that the perfo — clearly the most rmance of teachers 196 is a function of their abilities, powerful mediator of leaders‘ influence on students -- motivation, and the nature of the settings (or conditions) in which they work. It follows that leaders‘ influence on students will d epend on their success in improving teachers‘ abilities, motivations, and working conditions. In light of this background, we focus here on teachers‘ school and classroom working conditions, exploring the degree to which ipal turnover may influence school culture, as well as variations in the rapidity of princ curriculum and classroom instruction. We know from prior research that the impact of school leadership on student 197 achievement is mediated by school culture: shared values, norms, and contexts. Health y school cultures correlate strongly with increased student achievement and 199 198 School leaders who build productive ―cultures of change‖ can enhance motivation. 195 Fink & Brayman (2006). 196 Heck (2007). 197 Deal (1993); Nanavati & McCulloch (2003); Senge (1990); and Stoll (1999). 198 Macneil, Prater & Busch (2007); Stolp (1994). 199 Patterson & Rolheiser (2004). 166

169 200 teacher motivation, build teacher capacity, promote teacher efficacy, and create the 201 and student l unity and cohesion required for effective instruction professiona 202 Principals have a strong effect on school culture and on classroom success. 203 which, in turn, affect student success. — conditions Principal Turnover Effects Evidence about principal tur nover often associates it with negative consequences. Grusky (1963) and Bruggink (2001) report that changing principals disrupts staff members‘ focus on improving student achievement. Others argue that principal turnover disrupts school change processes wh en a leader who supports a project leaves and is 204 replaced by a leader with different priorities; when a ―charismatic principal departs 205 or who had 'radically transformed' the school in four or five years‖; 206 207 d school. w hen there is a poor ―fit‖ between the leader an While principal turnover often has negative consequences, the outcome is not consistently negative. Partlow (2004), for example, argues that student achievement operates independently of changes in school leadership. Miskel and Owens‘ (1983) s tudy of 89 schools in the midwest region of the U.S. found that principal succession had no significant effects on staff members‘ job satisfaction, communication, instruction, school discipline, or school climate. But there is considerable evidence to th e contrary. Leadership turnover does not have to occur every year or two to be problematic. Even in cases where a principal‘s tenure extends over a period of several years, teachers leadership rotation may remain alienated when principal turnover is the result of a district 208 policy. Teachers may become cynical and resistant to change because of the ―revolving door syndrome‖ — the uncertainty and instability turnover causes, and the perception of 209 the new leader as a ―servant to the system.‖ Some teachers d evelop a deep distrust of the new leader‘s loyalty, suspecting that - term welfare of the he or she is more committed to career advancement than the long school and community. Under conditions of regular principal turnover, teachers learn to 210 That is, teachers maintain barriers between themselves and new ―wait them out.‖ sustaining, ―immunized,‖ and leaders, ensuring that their school‘s culture becomes self - 211 impervious to change instigated by those in formal leadership positions. 200 - Moran, Woolfolk - Hoy, & Ho y (1998). Tschannen 201 Stewart (2000). 202 Sarason (1982); Schein (1993). 203 (E.g., Ross & Gray (2006); Waters, Marzano & McNulty (2003). 204 Corbett, Dawson, & Firestone (1984). 205 Fullan (1992). 206 Davidson & Taylor (1998, 1999); Ogawa (1995). 207 The notion of ―fit‖ between leader and school is central to district administrators‘ decision - making concerning principal placement. 208 Macmillan (2000). 209 Reynolds et al. (2008). 210 Hargreaves et al. (2003). 211 Macmillan (2000); Macmillan, Meyer & Northfield (2005). 167

170 Frequency of Principal Turno ver Nevertheless, principal turnover is nevertheless inevitable in all schools. It is therefore important to ask about the optimum frequency of turnover: how frequent is too frequent? How long is too long for a principal to stay in one school? We have been guided by two theoretical perspectives, stage theory and change theory, in our efforts to answer these questions. leadership succession as a process with distinct Stage theory conceptualizes 212 Patterns in the process have been phases and demands, rather than a singular event. identified, and the ways in which each phase of the succession process shapes and 213 influences the outcome of subsequent phases have been described. Most stage models predict that it takes at least five to seven years to build relatio nships of trust that can serve as a foundation for movement to later stages of the succession process — ―consolidation and refinement,‖ in Gabarro‘s (1987) terms. According to this view, principals need to be in their schools for about five years in order to have a positive impact. After five years, the principal‘s work may continue, but continuity from then on does not seem to be related to continued improvement. Change theory includes a concept of change as a process of initiation or adoption, 214 implementat ion, and institutionalization or continuation. According to Fullan (1991), all successful schools experience an ―implementation dip,‖ a drop in performance and confidence when people are faced with innovations that demand new knowledge, skills, strategies , and relationships. People who are experiencing fear and anxiety about their capacity to manage change require leaders they can trust, as well as leaders who are empathetic and socially skilled. Fullan asserts that, while there is no standard formula fo r changing the culture of an organization, sustainable improvement requires several years of effort to work through complex cultural issues such as resistance to change and acculturation of the new 215 leader. Turnover that occurs every two or three years mak es it unlikely that a principal will get beyond the stages of initiation and early implementation. Like stage theory, then, change theory also argues that leader - tenure much beyond three years is necessary if significant improvements are to occur in respon se to a principal‘s initiatives. This leaves us with questions about the upper limit of a principal‘s tenure in a school: is there a "best by" date for principals, beyond which they should move on, or be moved on? Does a principal become stale or stagnan t if he or she remains in the position for too long? We have little hard evidence bearing on this question, but that fact has not prevented some districts from creating policies reflecting the professional experiences of their staffs. District superintende nts, for example, often justify their principal rotation policies as a means of reinvigorating school administrators who seem to reach their peak 212 Hargreaves et a l. (2003). 213 Miskel & Cosgrove (1984); Miskel & Owen (1983); and Ogawa (1991). 214 Fullan (1991, 1993). 215 Fullan (1991); Hargreaves & Fink (2006). 168

171 216 effectiveness after five to seven years. Realistically, there is bound to be enormous ual principals, suggesting that districts should avoid a one size variation among individ - all approach to principal succession. fits Distributed Leadership Evidence about the effects of principal turnover assumes that a considerable ivered by the principal. But suppose school proportion of the leadership in schools is del leadership was more dispersed or distributed. Would more leadership distribution within 217 a school moderate the effects of rapid principal turnover, as some are now suggesting? Part One of this report reviewed res earch and theory about distributed leadership in some depth, as well as reporting new evidence on the concept. For present purposes, then, we describe only the conceptual choices we have made for this sub - study of principal turnover. Among the many diffe leadership distribution in the rent conceptions of 218 we have chosen to view it through a lens developed by Leithwood, Mascall, literature, and Strauss (2009). Leithwood et al. describe four patterns of leadership distribution observed in schools: . In this pattern, leaders‘ tasks and functions result from prior, Planful Alignment  planful thought by organizational members, and functions are rationally distributed in ways comparable to Gronn‘s (2009) holistic notion of ―institutionalized practice.‖  Spontaneo us Alignment . In this pattern, leadership tasks and functions are distributed with little or no planning, and tacit or intuitive decisions determine who should perform which leadership functions. Fortuitous, positive, short term working - alliances evolve.  Spontaneous Misalignment. Here there are disjunctions among leadership functions, - and long causing unpredictable outcomes and negative effects on short term - organizational effectiveness and productivity.  Anarchic Misalignment . This pattern is similar to the condition Hargreaves and Fink (2006) describe as anarchy: members of the organization reject or compete with one another in making claims of leadership regarding decisions, priorities, and activities. Recent scholarship suggests that leadership distr ibution may moderate the effects of principal turnover on school culture. Hargreaves and Fink (2006) conclude that the post - succession process is best managed when the departing leader leaves a legacy of stment, and capacity that ensures the distributed leadership marked by shared vision, inve sustainability of school improvement initiatives. This leads us to hypothesize that in times of frequent principal turnover (leader changes every one, two, or three years) — involving leaders shaped by different experien ces, priorities, and leadership styles — 216 Boesse (1991); Rebhun (1995). 217 Harris (2009). 218 E.g., Gronn (2002); MacBeath (2009); and Spillane (2006). 169

172 teachers are encouraged (or forced) to take leadership into their own hands, and to develop some stability by means of a self sustaining professional culture that operates - en will be distributed leadership in one form independently of the principal. The result th or another. Where teacher leadership evolves strategically (planned and aligned with school goals), a self - sustaining culture can become both collaborative and productive. When her planned nor aligned, then the self leadership distribution is neit sustaining culture - drifts, gradually loses its collective sense of vision and purpose, and becomes increasingly balkanized; each teacher focuses on his or her classroom, works in relative isolation from colleagues, an d takes responsibility only for his or her own work. The result is an ineffective organization of ―neglect‖ and ―anarchy,‖ where student achievement may remain unchanged, or even deteriorate. New Evidence Method We used quantitative and qualitative met hods to answer the five questions described in the Introduction to this section. Data from quantitative studies derive from responses to questions we posed about average principal turnover rates, effects on school culture, curriculum, and instruction, and student achievement. Data from qualitative studies derive from responses to questions we posed about the potential for some patterns of distributed leadership to mitigate the negative effects of rapid principal turnover, and ncipals might do, to minimize negative turnover effects. what, if anything, incoming pri Quantitative evidence . For this evidence we examined responses to 36 of the 104 items included in the first teacher survey. The construct for school culture comprises the - following seven items, rank ed on a 6 point scale, using the stem To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements :  Disruptions of instructional time are minimized.  Most teachers in our school share a similar set of values, beliefs, and attitudes hing and learning. related to teac  Students feel safe in our schools.  In our school, we have well defined learning expectations for all students.  Students in our school meet or exceed clearly defined expectations.  ts of intolerance on their We provide opportunities for students to discuss the effec lives. Our student assessment practices reflect our curriculum standards.  The construct for classroom, curriculum and instruction comprises the following five items, ranked on a six - point scale, using the same stem:  I have suff icient written curricula on which to base my lessons. My instructional strategies enable students to construct their own knowledge.  170

173  I maintain a rapid pace of instruction in my classes.  I feel adequately equipped to handle student behavior in my class. Our  school/district provides a rigorous core curriculum for most of our students. The achieved sample for this sub - study was 2,570 teachers (a 78% response rate) from a total of 80 schools in which four or more teachers completed usable surveys and for which usable student achievement data were available. The principal survey provided data on the number of principals in the school over the past 10 years for those same 80 schools. To measure student achievement across schools, we collected data from state we bsites. These data were school - wide results on state - mandated tests of language and mathematics at several grade levels over three years (2003 to 2005). For purposes of this study, a school‘s student achievement level is represented by the percentages of s tudents meeting or exceeding the proficiency level (usually established by the state) on language and mathematics tests. We averaged these percentages across grades and subjects in order to increase the stability of scores, producing in a single achievemen t score for each school for each of three years. Our data on student achievement for these schools covers only the most recent three years, yet the turnover of principals is measured over the past 10 years. The premise is that there would be a cumulative effect of principal turnover during this time, which would appear as an overall low level of achievement in the schools in the most recent three years. Qualitative evidence. From the 40 schools included in the first round of site turnover rates as case study schools, visits, we selected the four with the highest principal - based on the principal survey question about the number of principals that those 40 schools had had over the past 10 years. Each of these schools was located in a different state, and t he states were widely distributed geographically. We then conducted NVivo coding searches within the transcripts of the interviews with the principal and five teachers in each of the four schools. Principal Turnover: Frequency and Effects on Schools, Clas srooms, and Students Table 2.4.1 reports the means, standard deviations, and scale reliabilities (Cronbach‘s alpha) of variables for this sub - study. As the first row in this table indicates, the average number of principals in the school over the past 10 y ears was 2.78, for an average length of tenure of 3.6 years per principal. The standard deviation for this measure is a relatively large (1.34). 171

174 Table 2.4.1 Summary of Survey Results (N= 80 schools) Mean SD Reliability Variables 2 .78 1.34 Principal Turnover 4.34 .55 .83 School Culture Classroom Curriculum & Instruction 4.79 .29 .65 We calculated Pearson‘s correlation coefficients to assess the relationships between meditating variables, the independent variable (the number of principals in the school in the past 10 years), and the dependent variable (student achievement). Table 2.4.2 summarizes these relationships. Relationships among principal turnover and measures of school and classroom conditions are negative. Table 2.4.2 Relationships a mong the Variables Classroom Student School Variable Culture Achievement Curriculum & Instruction .37* - .33* # Principals in last 10 yrs - .17 - School Culture .77** .63** Classroom Curriculum & Instruction .46** * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2 - tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 - tailed). Principal turnover is moderately and negatively correlated with school culture and with classroom curriculum and instruction; it has a weak negative relationship with dent achievement. School culture is strongly related to both curriculum and instruction stu and student achievement; curriculum and instruction is moderately related to student achievement. ed to Figure 8 summarizes the results of a path model (using LISREL) we us explore the relationships among these variables more precisely. 172

175 School Culture .68* - .37* Principal Student .75* Turnover Achievement Curriculum & .05 - - .06* Instruction RMSEA = .00 Total Effects on Achievement RMR = .02 .24* Turnover: - .64* School Culture: AGFI = .96 NFI = .99 - .06* Curriculum & Instruction: Figure 8: Testing the media ted effects of principal turnover on student achievement This model is a good fit with the data (RMSEA = .00; RMR = .02; AGFI = .96; NFI = .99), and it explains 41% of the variation in student achievement. The total effects of principal turnover explai n 24% of the variation in student achievement. Principal .37), turnover has significant and moderately negative effects on school culture ( - although school culture has moderately strong, significant, effects on student achievement (.68). The effects of tur nover on curriculum and instruction are insignificant, and the measure of classroom curriculum and instruction is negatively, but very weakly, It is interesting to see that the partial correlations between related to student achievement. these mediating va riables and student achievement are strong and positive, but the addition of principal turnover to the model reduces the effect of curriculum and - .06). instruction on student achievement to a very low level ( In sum, results suggest that principal turnov er has significant negative effects on - level than classroom - student achievement. These effects are mediated more by school level conditions. The weaker impact of principal turnover on classroom variables might suggest that teacher classroom practice is in some way buffered from direct effects of changes in principal leadership. We speculate that teachers may continue to feel secure in their classrooms, regardless of the school culture around them. While buffering of this sort limits the negative effects of principal turnover, it may also limit positive effects of a principal‘s improvement efforts. Leadership Distribution and Leader Turnover Illustrated Given the significant influence of principal turnover on student achievement, l culture, we developed four case studies to examine this mediated primarily by schoo 173

176 dynamic in greater detail and to learn what part patterns of distributed leadership play in the relationships. The four schools are profiled below. Culbertson Elementary School Culbertson is an urb an elementary school with an enrollment of just over 600 - 5 students, almost all of whom meet state achievement expectations on the grades 3 standardized tests in reading, science, and mathematics. At the time of our study, three principals had been at the school in the last three years, and the current principal was promoted to the post from a district intern position. High principal turnover had become a challenge for the district, in part because a new state retirement policy had induced 20% of the distri ct‘s principals to retire in the year that a new option was announced. To deal with the challenges of principal succession, district leaders established a number of support mechanisms to help new principals acclimatize themselves in their new jobs; ncluded monthly meetings and a mentoring program with retired principals. these i Principal turnover in Culbertson had no measurable impact on student performance, positively or negatively. From 2003 through 2006, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding s tate norms held consistently to a range in the high nineties across all grades and subjects. The principal three years earlier had explicitly encouraged teachers to assume leadership roles in the school, in accordance with district policies that supported the leader positions. The principal also designation and implementation of formal teacher - saw to it that this leadership distribution was both planful and well aligned with the school‘s goals. By the time of our study, leadership had become distributed to a considerable extent, and teacher leaders were able to help introduce incoming principals - to the school culture. Since student achievement was not a source of concern in the school, there was little pressure to bring about any radical changes in teaching and learning. Consequently, new principals did not feel compelled to innovate either rapidly or radically. A planful alignment pattern of leadership distribution had stood the staff in good stead through two succeeding principals. The teachers were able to work together, share the leadership for that work, and sustain the learning of their students, despite changes in principals. The current principal seemed to be in tune with this approach to distributed leadership. Molina Elementary School Molina is a small elementary school in an urban community. At the time of our study, 31% of the students in the district qualified for free and reduced - price lunches, and the school had a 35% non - white (mostly Hispanic) population. Student achievement ven across grades and subjects: strong in grade 3, but weak in grade 4; scores were une strong in reading but not in writing. In the three years for which we had data, however, overall levels of achievement had been improving. 174

177 State policy on principal retirement was in flux at the time of our study. This was situation was encouraging some principals who were facing an uncertain future to get out "while the getting is good." Over the five years prior to our study there had been a high ict, and Molina had not been immune to this trend, level of retirements across the distr having had four principals in that period of time. District office staff remarked on early retirement as an ongoing problem and a significant source of stress on the system‘s capacity to train and replace its district and school leaders. The pressures of early — retirement as many as 20% of the total number of principals in the district changing in any one year — had spawned district initiatives to address the turnover problem. As a result of a District Literac y Initiative, there had been a structural shift to create teacher - leader Literacy Coaches in each school. Molina had five of these Literacy Coaches, with an additional Coach position scheduled for the next year. Literacy Cultural and emotional turmoil wa s apparent in Molina because principal turnover had been accompanied by fundamental changes in philosophy and leadership style. The four principals in five years at Molina had had different personalities and insufficient time to establish trust and rapport . Long - serving support - staff members — familiar to teachers, parents, and students — were able to take on certain leadership roles in light of the annual change of principals. This case provides, accordingly, some evidence for our expectation that greater dist ribution of leadership would ameliorate some negative effects of rapid principal turnover. But life in schools is not shaped by a single variable. In the case of Molina, a high rate of teacher turnover exacerbated the effects of rapid principal turnover, t hereby muting the potential values associated with more teacher leadership. Molina‘s pattern of distributed leadership could best be described as spontaneous misalignment . There was no planned effort to share leadership, nor was there a sense that leade rship as it evolved was being aligned with school goals. Despite the best efforts of the teachers to provide leadership for their school, along with efforts by the district to establish formal teacher - leadership positions, the combined effects of frequent principal turnover and frequent teacher turnover made it impossible for this school to sustain any momentum in its improvement efforts. Blake Elementary School Blake is a small elementary school in an inner - city district. At the time of our study, a high proportion of its student population was black, and a significant proportion of the community lived below the poverty line. Student achievement was not high; achievement levels in grade 3 and 4 Communication Arts and grade 3 Math tests were at or above st ate averages, but results for grade 4 and 5 Math and grade 5 Communication Arts remained below state averages. The number of children achieving at the state standard in literacy, however, had been increasing steadily over the past three years. Three admin istrators had been appointed to Blake in seven years. There had also been a significant number of new senior administrators in the district in the past two years: a new superintendent and three new directors at the district level, and three new ors at the school level, across a total of seven schools. administrat 175

178 Blake‘s story has much to do with a charismatic principal whose vision for a Professional Learning Community (PLC) had shaped the school‘s identity, structure, and position at the time of our study had not initiated the PLC culture. While the principal in concept, she had chosen to carry on with it as the central feature of the school‘s shared vision. Thus, the PLC provided the foundation for cultural and structural continuity from the previous pri ncipal to the current principal. Principal turnover did not result in cultural chaos or teacher alienation at Blake, because there was a clear and planned focus for school culture and instruction. This school - wide focus survived rapid principal turnover, partly because collaborative structures were well established and accepted and partly because the new principal‘s philosophy and practices supported the existing school culture. Blake therefore provides another case of in the distribution of leadership. Teachers at Blake had planful alignment developed a shared vision for the school and were able to sustain it despite the change in leadership. Indeed, the new principal‘s support for the existing vision became a key element in further developing a positive c ulture in this school. Rhodes Middle School Rhodes Middle School is located in a low - income community; at the time of our study, 13% of the population fell below the poverty line, and 60% of the Rhodes students price lunch. F our different principals had served at Rhodes qualified for free or reduced - in four years, and the student and teacher populations were highly transient. The first of - based management and fostered a culture in the four principals believed strongly in site which teachers learned to rely on their own leadership to get things done. Theirs was an autonomous teacher culture in which each staff member was encouraged to take personal responsibility for her or his own classroom practice, but not much else. Collaboration was not encouraged. Stud ent achievement, however, had been consistently high over the previous three years. While many teachers at Rhodes seemed satisfied with their autonomous culture and its contribution to sustaining their efforts through frequent principal turnover, the prin cipal current at the time of our study saw professional entrenchment and barriers to administrator influence. This new principal set about changing the culture of the school, without going so far as to dismantle its existing decision making structures. She aimed - for a balance of authority between herself and the staff, given the instability caused by frequent principal succession. She set out to establish a collective focus on instructional practice and data - driven decision - making. The school seemed to be poised on the cusp of moving from traditional forms of teacher autonomy to a more planful pattern of leadership distribution. The approach of the new principal was more directive than collaborative. But her intention was to create a ure, with teachers exercising more leadership across the school as more collaborative cult they learned to work together. 176

179 Across the Cases All four schools experienced high rates of principal turnover in the time in question from a new principal every year, for three or four ye ars, to one every two — years, for seven years. In all four schools there had been some attempt at distributing leadership, but each school approached distribution differently, as the culture varied from school to school. While the four schools seem to have little in common beyond rapid principal turnover, two schools found ways to deal productively with changing leadership, while two did not. Culbertson took a deliberate approach to the distribution of leadership, driven by a principal and district leaders committed to collaborative work and planfully aligned leadership distribution. Blake built a strong professional community, also producing planfully aligned patterns of leadership distribution capable of surviving changes in leadership. In both cases, lea dership was distributed among a number of teachers. Despite frequent changes in principals, the supportive cultures developed in these schools continued to thrive. In the other two schools, there was less success with leadership distribution. In Molina, the district‘s attempts to foster teacher leadership as one response to frequent principal turnover ran afoul of frequent teacher turnover. In Rhodes, the efforts of an earlier principal to foster a high degree of individual teacher autonomy had been suffi ciently successful that the principal in place at the time of our study was experiencing considerable difficulty in her efforts to promote collaboration and more leadership distribution. Teachers still remained independent, in a strong culture of l isolation. individua In sum, these cases suggest the following:  Leadership distribution has the potential to moderate the negative consequences of rapid principal turnover.  Principals have significant leverage in the distribution of leadership across their sch ools.  Planfully aligned patterns of distributed leadership seem likely to contribute most to school improvement efforts once they are established.  The challenge of fostering leadership distribution is greatly influenced by the existing culture of the sch ool; autonomous teacher cultures are strong sources of resistance to leadership distribution efforts.  While rapid principal turnover has negative effects on student achievement ―on average,‖ some individual schools are able to manage rapid turnover in wa ys that prevent achievement decline. It seems very unlikely, however, that student achievement will improve under most conditions associated with rapid principal turnover. 177

180 Implications for Policy and Practice Three implications for policy and practice e merged from this section of our study. 1. Districts should aim to keep most principals in their schools for a minimum of four years, and preferably five to seven years. Assuming the principal is working productively with staff and other stakeholders on impro ving the school, more frequent changes in principals typically results in wasted energy, dissipation of scarce resources and considerable skepticism on the part of teachers that they will receive the support they need when the change process begins to conf ront the most difficult challenges. Under conditions of rapid principal turnover, districts need to encourage incoming 2. principals to understand and respect the school - improvement work in which staff members have previously been engaged. Incoming principa ls will likely have a smoother transition if they see their job as continuing and refining that work. Principals assigned to schools identified as being in need of being ―turned around‖ are clearly exempted from this recommendation. Incoming principals sh ould not have the sole responsibility to encourage 3. distributed leadership in schools that have previously experienced rapid principal turnover. Under such conditions, districts need to directly encourage and support planfully aligned forms of leadership di training and support stribution, providing to staff members in carrying out shared leadership functions. District leaders have a responsibility to help ensure a smooth transition from one principal to the next. This can be done by clarifying the district‘s expectations for the job to be done by the incoming principals, and by participating with teachers and the new principal in initial discussions about expectations for the new principal‘s work. On their own, teachers are in a weak and sometimes risky posit ion with the incoming principal, to argue for continuing attention to the initiatives they have been working on with the outgoing principal and that are showing signs of progress. 178

181 2.5 : Findings and Limitations Data Use in Districts and Schools Key Fin dings  - use practices have a substantial influence on principals‘ data - use District data practices.  Most principals have and use considerable amounts of evidence about the status of individual students and their student populations. Very few principals have systematically - collected evidence about the school and  classroom conditions that would need to change for achievement to improve.  A slim majority of principals process their data in collaboration with their staffs and call on district staff members a nd others with special expertise to help them with data analysis and use.  When schools are considered in the aggregate, typical approaches to data use by districts and principals have no measurable influence on student achievement. But variations in data use, specifically in elementary schools, explain a significant amount of variation in student achievement.  Leaders in high data - use schools have clear purposes for analyzing data. They their staff ity for this engage collectively in data analysis, build internal capac work, and use data to solve problems, not simply to identify them. Principals can play a key role in establishing the purposes and expectations for  for data use. They can provide structured opportunities (collegial groups and time data use ), sessions for data - use training and assistance, access to expertise, and follow - up actions. Where principals do not make data use a priority — where they do not mobilize expertise to support data use and create working conditions to tructional decision making — teachers are not likely to do it facilitate data use in ins on their own. Introduction A decade ago, it was disconcertingly easy to find education leaders who dismissed student - achievement data and systematic research as having only limited utility fo r improving schools or school systems. Today, we have come full circle. It is hard to attend an education conference or read an education magazine based decision making. without encountering broad claims for data - 179

182 Against a broad background of increased in terest in educators‘ uses of data, we by f were motivated to pursue this strand of our research broad issues. First, we aimed ive to clarify state and district approaches to data use. Second, we wanted to better ‘ and principals‘ orientations to evidence - understand the relationship between districts based decision making. Compelling evidence now suggests that this relationship is a 219 central explanation for the how data are used in schools. Third, while principals and o use more and different data in their teachers everywhere are being admonished t 220 we were curious to know what their typical response to data use is decision making, . Our fourth purpose was to better understand patterns of data use in schools where evidence - based decision making had become a pri ority. Finally, we wanted to know whether typical approaches to data use by districts and principals have any discernable influence on student achievement. Almost all accountability driven, large - scale reform - efforts assume that greater attention by distri cts and schools to systematically collected data is a key lever for improving student performance. But evidence in support of this 221 assumption is thin and mixed. Perhaps, we surmised, there are important conditions to be met or thresholds to be surpassed b efore such data use matters. Current scholarship highlights educators‘ increasing reliance on data use at the school and district levels. These reports often are based on case studies of one or a few 222 . sites, chosen to exemplify positive stories of data use Studies of this sort provide insights about uses of data, organizational conditions (e.g., leadership, resources, professional trust between teachers and between teachers and administrators) conducive to data use, and ways in which data use can evolve a nd become more comprehensive and institutionalized in ongoing work routines over time. The innovations and activity surrounding data use are, however, quite recent; and the brief track record to date makes it difficult to be confident about the effects of data use, particularly effects on student achievement. Prior Research We framed data collection and analysis for this section of our research according to five variables about which there is considerable prior evidence. In this framework, n Figure 9, student achievement summarized i is the dependent variable, influenced most directly by the actions of school staffs, especially principals. decisions and Types of evidence available to the school (often from the district) and existing conditions influencin g how data are interpreted and used are variables shaping the processes for interpreting evidence decisions and actions . by principals and their colleagues in their This framework acknowledges the reciprocity of relationships among these variables. For exa mple, the outcome of data interpretation processes might not be actions or decisions aimed directly at student learning; instead, it might be a search for additional types of 219 Wohlstetter, Datnow & Park (2008). 220 E.g., Linn (2003). 221 Koretz (2005). 222 Mandinach & Honey (2008). See, e.g., school and district case study examples in 180

183 evidence considered crucial to decision making, or push back on some external - inf luences on data use considered unhelpful by principals and teachers. Types of Data (Breadth, Nature and Patterns of Use) Our conception of variation in the breadth of data used by Breadth of data. principals took, as its point of departure, the framework guiding our overall project. Principals‘ actions or practices are determined by their thoughts, values, and feelings. These internal states have antecedents: principals‘ own past experiences, knowledge, and beliefs, as well as their interpretations of the consequences of their current practices for the local and wider contexts in which they find themselves. Yeh (2006) has adopted a similar interpretive perspective in his research on teachers‘ response to data from state tests, with a focus on teacher attit udes, in particular. Types of Evidence Processes for Decisions and Actions Stude nt Interpreting School  Learning Evidence  Class Conditions Influencing Use of Evidence - informed processes Figure 9: Framework for understanding evidence The framework for our overall project also points to the mostly indirect influence 223 mediated, Such actions are of principals‘ actions on students and on student learning. 224 with significant for example, by school conditions such as academic press, consequences for teaching and learning and for powerful features of classroom practice 225 such as teachers‘ uses of instructional time. Evidence - informed decision making b y principals, guided by this understanding of principals‘ work, includes having and using a broad array of evidence about many things: key features of their school‘s external 223 e.g., Hallinger (1996). 224 Goddard et al. (2000a). 225 Resnick et al. (2007). 181

184 context; the status of school and classroom conditions mediating leaders‘ own lea dership practices; and the status of their students‘ learning. The admonition to be ―more evidence - Nature of data (informal vs. formal). based‖ should not be taken literally. It is certainly not the case that teachers and - free decisions for the past hundred years. But administrators have been making e vidence the evidence available to teachers and principals has often come from their impressions of ―ordinary workplace practice‖; these typically narrative accounts of experience e of workplace discourse and a resource for workplace ―constitute a pervasive featur learning‖ (Little, 2007, p. 220). We can‘t say a priori whether shifting the weight of emphasis from informal to 226 formal evidence for decision making will improve schools; it is an empirical question. The current emphasis on using student performance data to guide improvement efforts also calls for greater attention by those in schools to measurable patterns of student performance at the school level, or by student sub groups, in addition to the conve ntional - interest in individual student needs and progress. Furthermore, the systematically collected evidence available to most schools today is almost entirely evidence about the current status of student achievement. In some schools this consists almost entirely of externally mandated test data gathered toward the end of the school year. While information about achievement is obviously critical for schools, it has almost nothing to say about the causes of such achievement or the strategies that might be useful for improving achievement levels. Furthermore, for data of this sort, schools rely mainly on results from large - scale national or state testing programs. Most of these programs focus only on a narrow band of objectives in the formal curriculum; they have unknown levels of reliability at the school level; they are sectional in nature; and the results they yield become available to schools only after cross - 228 227 lengthy time delays. Based on a study of data - driven decision making i n 36 Patterns of data use. schools, Ikemoto and Marsh (2007) developed a conceptual framework of four models of school data use, varying by the complexity of the data used and the complexity of the e data, analysis and decision making in question. They labeled these models basic (simpl - focused (simple data, complex simple analysis, simple decision making), analysis 226 e.g., Heritage & Yeagl ey (2005). 227 Knapp et al. (2007); Leithwood & Levin (2005). 228 Computerized on - line data information systems are increasingly available for use by educators. These systems store and provide easy access to a wide range of standardized and classroom - based as sessment data on students as individuals and in groups, as well as data about student attendance and demographic variables. Indeed, in several of our site - visit districts, systems of this type were introduced in the final years of our study. Beyond selecte d district or school case reports of exemplary use by developers and local implementation champions (e.g., Mandinach & Honey, 2008), however, we are not aware of any research that documents how widespread the adoption of these systems is, nor do we know of evidence about the - making and student learning effectiveness of their implementation or their impact on instructional decision on a large scale. 182

185 analysis, complex decision making), data - focused (complex types of data, simple - focused (complex types of data, complex analysis, simple decision making), and inquiry analysis, complex decision making). We found these dimensions of data use, if not the - visit districts and schools. archetypes, helpful in comparing data use across our site Conditions Influencing Data Use in Schools Ikemoto and Marsh (2007) also have identified a set of school and district conditions likely to support data use in schools. Developing these conditions requires 229 although others might certainly contribute. leadership, most obviously from principals, The conditions include accessibility and timeliness of data; perceived validity of data; staff capacity and support for considering data; t ime available to interpret and act on the data; artnerships with external organizations for analyzing and interpreting data; a nd p nd interpretation (procedures and instruments). Similar tools for data collection a conditions fostering data use in schools have been identified by Wilson (2004), Heritage and Yeagley (2005), and Yeh (2006). ructional From a three - year case study of the uses of evidence related to inst decision - making at the district level, Coburn, Touré and Yamashita (2009) identified key factors influencing the uses of data. These factors include the congruence of sources of makers, the content know evidence with the prior beliefs of decision - ledge of individuals using data to advocate alternative views, organizational structures that inhibit or promote shared understanding of instructional matters, resource constraints, and the micropolitics - making processes. With the exception of of authority and power in decision micropolitical processes, these factors are similar to several of the conditions described by Ikemoto and Marsh (2007), including perceived validity of data, staff capacity, and organizational resources (e.g., time, contexts for coll aborative work). Certain forms of leadership and organizational culture also may foster data use, particularly when they reflect norms and values supporting careful use of systematically collected data (Ikemoto & Marsh, 2007), creating what Katz and his colleagues (2002) refer to as an ―evaluation habit of mind‖ within schools. Justification for including this condition in our analytic framework can also be found in evidence reported by Louis, Febey, and Schroeder. They found that active efforts ―by distr ict level administrators to - mediate sense - making affected teachers‘ attitudes toward accountability policies and standards - driven reform‖ (2005, p. 177). Firestone and Gonzalez (2007) also demonstrate the quite different ways in which data are interpreted and used in schools and districts depending upon whether dominant norms in district culture are oriented to accountability or organizational learning. Processes Used for Data Interpretation and Decision Making Approaches to interpreting data vary. Two s chool leaders having access to the same data may use different approaches for making sense of it, and some approaches will be more productive than others. Ikemoto and Marsh (2007; see Patterns of data use , above) provide a compelling case for the hierarchi cal nature of four such approaches in terms of their value for school - improvement decisions. These approaches vary along five 229 Firestone & Gonzalez (2007); Wayman et al. (2006). 183

186 dimensions, in Ikemoto and Marsh‘s conceptualization; we summarize these below, along with a sixth dimension we have added.  er of data sources : Variation on this dimension ranges from a single source Numb (e.g., an annual standardized reading assessment) to multiple sources (e.g., other - standardized tests and teacher created assessments). Justification for considering this can be found in basic accounts of the limitations and biases inevitably dimension 230 Knapp and his colleagues (2007) associated with any single type or source of data. have described several mistakes schools can make if they rely on only one data source. Nature and  . While Ikemoto and Marsh (2007) extent of data analysis acknowledge that, in some circumstances, simple forms of data analysis might be quite appropriate, less obvious but critical underlying explanations for results will sometimes require more complex an alysis. Disaggregating data by student groups, for example, is a minimum requirement for pinpointing the potential sources of underperformance among students in many school contexts. External standards or criteria used in the interpretation of data may als o add a valuable dimension of complexity.  ? At the least productive end of this Who is involved in data interpretation and use dimension, one person (usually the school administrator) does most of the analysis and interpretation and then reports the resul ts to teachers. The most productive end of this dimension entails using multiple participants in data analysis, interpretation, and decision making. Participants may come together in what Wayman and colleagues (2006) call collaborative data teams. These ar e professional learning communities with access to information about their students‘ learning. Collaborative structures for making sense of 231 data have been recommended by many others, as well.  Engagement of special expertise . This dimension considers the nature and extent — of engagement by people with expert knowledge from outside the school staff for example, district staff with technical expertise in measurement or university faculty nts. At the least members with specialties relevant to the content of particular assessme productive end of this continuum, no specialists are used; at the most productive end, experts are selected to provide assistance for well - defined reasons. The presence or absence of expert knowledge may matter a great deal, regardless o f its source. Coburn, Touré, and Yamashita (2009) found, for example, that district - level educators‘ use of evidence related to instruction was significantly influenced by their own content knowledge about the issues in question (e.g., explanations for low math scores, best approaches to reading instruction).  Number of data points . This dimension focuses on data collected at one point in time or data collected at several points in time. School district officials and principals may consider, for examp le, evidence collected at one testing date or evidence collected at several points — e.g., data on student growth against expected learning standards throughout the year, and 230 Brewer & Hunter (1989); Yin (1984). 231 E.g., Earl & Kat z (2002); Heritage & Yeagley (2005); and Knapp et al. (2007). 184

187 from year to year. Longitudinal evidence that displays trends and trajectories has greater improvement activity. - potential than snapshot data for informing educators‘ school  Extent of use. In addition to the above five dimensions along which principals and extent of use , a b roader schools may vary in their uses of data, we also inquired about indicator of the prevalence of data use in schools. Within this dimension we incorporate variability in the types and number of organizational contexts in which data are used - improvement planning meetings, grade team meetings, data ret reats). (e.g., school Data Use and Student Learning Evidence about the impact of data use on student learning is still quite meager; it has to be cobbled together from different strands of research. The most compelling line of 232 tive or ―just - in - time evidence‖ research focuses on teachers‘ use of forma about students‘ learning to shape their own instruction. Black and Wiliam‘s (2004) review of more than 250 studies serves as the primary source for the claim that formative transform the way a teacher assessment, in Popham‘s words, ―can fundamentally teaches‖ (2008, p. vii). Evidence is mixed at best about the impact of large - scale state and district testing programs on student achievement. Koretz (2005), for example, claims that evidence about the effects of assessment based accountability is both sparse and discouraging. - Indeed, a vigorous critique of the effects of large - scale assessment has developed as the tests in question have become increasingly high - stakes for students, teachers, and 233 On the other administrators. hand, in a comparison of high - and low - accountability states, Carnoy and Loeb (2002) found significantly greater achievement in eighth - grade - accountability states, with no difference in retention or mathematics for students in high high school completion rates. Some evidence from research on effective schools and school districts making improvement shows that data - informed decision making, with an emphasis on data about student progress and outcomes, is characteristic of district level leadership in thes e - 234 settings. Coburn, Touré, and Yamashita‘s (2009) case study of data use in one school district reveals, however, that educators and other interested parties may use of assessment data and other forms of evidence symbolically rather than instrumentally, a s different policy actors attempt to influence decisions to reflect their preferences. This finding challenges the simplistic view that data use for school improvement is a straightforward, objective process. New Evidence the four broad issues motivating this strand of our research, To better understand we undertook complementary sub - studies using qualitative (site - visit interviews) and 232 Erickson (2007). 233 E.g., McNeil (2000b) ; Mintrop (2004). 234 E.g., Cawelti & Protheroe (2001); Murphy & Hallinger (1988); and Togneri & Anderson (2003). 185

188 quantitative (surveys, student achievement measures) data at the district and/or school levels.  Sub - study one focuse d on the types and nature of data use by principals in their - informed decision making by principals; decision making; district influences on data and the relationship between school data use and variability in student achievement.  Sub - study two focused o n data use and support for data use in schools and at the district level, along with case studies of six site - visit schools identified from our surveys as high data use schools. - While our research questions varied for each analysis, they all employed the Ikemoto and Marsh framework as a common organizer for analysis and discussion. The discussion that follows integrates findings from each sub - study where appropriate. Method Sub - study one. Interview data collected from 27 principals during the second roun d of site visits provided the qualitative evidence for this sub - study. While these interviews were relatively open - ended, our analysis of them was explicitly guided by the framework described above. Our quantitative evidence consisted of responses collecte d from 3,969 teachers and 107 principals during the first round of surveys (for a response rate of approximately 70%). The school was the unit of analysis. Data from each of the Five 107 schools included responses from the principal and seven or more teachers. questions on the principal survey asked about the extent of their districts‘ approach to data use; four questions inquired about principals‘ own approach to data use; and two questions on the teacher survey asked teachers about their principals‘ appro ach to data use. Data about annual levels of achievement in literacy and mathematics provided the final source of evidence for this analysis. These data, obtained from each school's website, derived from state testing programs. We explored the relations hip between variations in data use and student achievement using average annual achievement measures. Following Linn‘s (2003) advice for generating stable achievement measures, we represented each school‘s performance by the combined mathematics and langua ge scores for all grades tested, averaged over three years. We also examined mathematics and language scores separately. - study one on the basis of their data - use We did not select schools for sub practices. Rather, we selected them to represent the norma l distribution of schools on such variables as size, student SES, and school level, but weighted more heavily in favor of schools serving high - needs students. We assume that the data - use practices portrayed by our data are typical of many schools across th e country. Sub - study two. Here we examined what district administrators (e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum and assessment directors) from the - visit districts had to say about data use for decision making at the district and 18 site 186

189 school levels. For this analysis all district administrator transcripts across the three site visits were reviewed. Comments related to evidence use and factors affecting data use were collected using the Ikemoto and Marsh (2007) schemas of data use c onditions and processes as a framework for organizing the data prior to undertaking a more in - depth inductive analysis of findings within those dimensions. We also used items about data use from of the teacher and principal Round One surveys to measure th e extent of data use in schools. We sorted site - visit schools into high (one standard deviation or more above the mean), medium, and low (one standard deviation below the mean) data - use groups, and we selected six high data - use schools for case study analy sis of the interview data from principals and from teachers. This sample comprised five elementary schools and one middle school from five districts located in four of the nine states. The analytical process adhered to that described above, except that ca se studies of data use were constructed for each school and then compared across the six schools to draw greater insight. Results State Approaches to Data Use To explore this issue we used data from sub - study two. The U.S. government and the states hav e created an accountability context in which data are a prominent feature. District leaders play a key role in determining how data are actually used in their districts. They model data use in district decision making; they set expectations for data use in school - improvement activities, and monitor the efforts that follow; they make use of curriculum - supplementary tools to facilitate data use (e.g., data reports for schools, d they mobilize expertise embedded assessment instruments of student learning); an (locally developed or accessed externally) to help principals and teachers use data properly in decisions they make about improving student learning and school results. Very few principals are deeply and skillfully engaged in data use on their own, and lated engagement is not sustainable in the face of staff turnover. iso Superintendents acknowledge that federal and state standards and accountability systems have created a situation in which district and school personnel cannot ignore evidence about studen ts who are struggling or failing to meet mandated standards for academic performance, as reflected in test results and other indicators of student success (e.g., attendance, graduation rates). With few exceptions, the district leaders we interviewed descri be this as a positive turn of events, though they are not all equally well supported by their state education agencies in local efforts to make use of these and other kinds of performance data. Respondents frequently identified the following issues assoc iated with state expectations and support for data use: whether or not state assessment data are made available in a timely manner that  enables local educators to make meaningful use of data 187

190  nable local educators to whether or not state data reports provide sufficient detail to e uals identify specific curriculum expectations that are and are not being met by individ - groups of students and sub  whether or not the state provides diagnostic and formative assessment tools aligned with state curriculum standards to help school personnel track student progress and pro vide assistance during the year  whether or not the state education agency and/or state supported education service units have sufficient expertise to respond to local needs for effective data use  th e compatibility of state assessments and supplementary assessments that districts develop or adopt to compensa te for gaps in the state system Relationships between District and School Approaches to Data Use Districts differed in their approaches to and su pport for data - based decision making. The differences reflect differences in state accountability systems; they also reflect differences in how district leaders use the data resources provided by the states, and in how they compensate for perceived deficie ncies. We examined data from interviews with district and school administrators concerning district data use. The fit of any district to Ikemoto and Marsh‘s typology of - focused, data - approaches to data use (basic, analysis - focused) i s focused, and inquiry imperfect. However, the distinctions Ikemoto and Marsh draw are useful for describing how district leaders approach and support the use of data. We highlight salient similarities, differences, and trends in the complexity of data use from a district pers pective. In all districts, leaders were attentive to state test results and other required accountability measures (e.g., graduation rates, attendance) — for individual schools and for the district in relation to state proficiency standards and AYP targets . Some district leaders also gathered data from schools using district performance benchmarks and indicators. At a minimum, leaders used these data to identify concerns about the performance of students overall in selected curricular areas, or about specif ic schools and groups of students. Most districts supplemented state test data with other kinds of student assessments — norm - referenced tests, e.g., and diagnostic and formative assessments of individual student needs. Diagnostic and formative assessments are meant to be used by school personnel to identify students requiring special program interventions (e.g., remedial programs, tutoring) or more differentiated instruction in the classroom. It is typically the district that mobilizes access to these asses sment tools. We encountered variability in the extent to which districts and schools rely on state diagnostic and formative assessment instruments, developed instruments. commercial assessment instruments, or district - 188

191 Our evidence shows a trend toward inc reasing the array of data that district and school personnel consult in making decisions. Beyond the practical challenges of training people about how to interpret data and making time for them to do it, districts faced a tibility and alignment among elements of assessment major challenge in issues of compa systems. To the extent that districts and schools are accountable for meeting state performance standards, any assessments that are not clearly linked to performance on those standards is problematic. T his problem is less evident in districts that have developed curricula well aligned to state standards, and that have succeeded in developing curriculum - embedded diagnostic and formative assessments of individual student progress. In these districts, data generated from regular assessments by classroom teachers are aligned with state standards, and it is likely to provide guidance for interventions that will foster improved performance according to those standards. Districts also varied in their expectatio ns of and support for the people assigned to lead, or participate, in the analysis of data. District size was clearly a factor here. Whereas large districts were likely to employ assessment and evaluation specialists (individuals or teams), small districts were more likely to rely on district administrators or curriculum directors with expertise in assessment matters. Small districts also were more likely to draw upon expert advice and assistance provided by curriculum and assessment specialists from state - supported education service centers. District leaders recognized the need to develop capacity for data use among school personnel, particularly in decisions about school - improvement initiatives and ogression in district instructional programs. We observed what seems to be a pr approaches to developing that capacity. In some settings district leaders reported a shift: initially, an emphasis on developing principals‘ expertise in data use; next, an emphasis on training selected teachers in each school as resi dent experts; and, more recently, an emphasis on encouraging and supporting data use by classroom teachers, working in teams. Districts varied in the complexity of the data analyses they called for. In part, this variation reflects the level of detail p rovided in state data reports; it also reflects what district leaders do (or do not do) to compensate for perceived deficiencies in those reports. Some states do not provide test results in a form that makes it easy for principals and teachers to do an ite m analysis showing where students did not perform well, and which curriculum standards are linked to those test items. In these cases, school personnel were likely to make superficial use of state data — identifying broad areas of concern, but with little un derstanding of specific needs for improvement — unless the district were to provide special assistance with the task. Even states do provide data in a form that allows for item analysis, some districts stop short of providing schools with strategies and to ols needed to investigate underlying factors that might be causing identified problems. In the few districts that exemplified an - focused approach to data use (in Ikemoto and Marsh‘s terms), district leaders inquiry 189

192 posed questions and then proceeded to exp lore them with existing and new data, as needed. In one district, the superintendent asked how many students were reaching Grade 5 without reading proficiently, and why? District leaders uncovered a pattern of low teacher expectations and social promotion in the primary grades. This led to a series of based report card, enforcement of promotion policies, and in - interventions: a standards - service training and communication with teachers about raising expectations for young children‘s learning e other shift in the evolution of data use. In a few districts, district We observed on and school leaders reported that analysis of trend data by district and/or state assessment isk, specialists had led to the identification of early indicators of students academically at r based on test scores or other factors (e.g., family circumstances), in lower grade levels. While state education agency specialists had made tools available for trend analysis in nd data one of the states we sampled, the shift toward assembling and making tre available to district and school personnel has been largely a district - level initiative. This has become possible thanks to the growing availability of software that enables educators to store and retrieve longitudinal data on students, individuall y or by groups. (While access to trend data is increasing, however, district and school personnel were more apt to talk about its availability and potential than its use). Types of Data Used by Principals and Teachers Principals across the sample of site - visit schools confirmed the extensive use of systematically collected evidence about student achievement. All but one principal referred to state mandated assessment results. Sixteen of the 27 principals mentioned - - evement. A few talked about the development district mandated measures of student achi of diagnostic and formative assessments, aligned with state and district curriculum standards, used by teachers to track student performance. These data were often used to ons for struggling students. High data identify and provide targeted interventi use schools, - particularly, emphasized the development and systematic use of diagnostic and formative assessments of student learning. Principals also referred to evidence about their students as a group, including s tudent mobility rates, attendance rates, graduation rates, proportion of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, students ―at risk,‖ and students with handicaps of various - sorts. At a minimum, they used this sort of data in compliance with polic y requirements for reporting student test results and for allocating students and district resources to categorically prescribed programs, such as Title I. Less frequently, school and district personnel used background information for help in interpreting student and school performance data. This more complex use of data was more likely in high - data use contexts. Principals and teachers in some districts reported the adoption of computerized data management systems, and the potential these systems suggest ed for displaying and using trend data on student performance. But they talked more about the added workload involved in entering data into the systems than about actual retrieval, analysis, and use of trend data for decision making. 190

193 When we asked about da ta use for decision making related to improvement in the - quality of teaching and learning, principals across the site visit schools spoke mostly about student assessment data, not about data on teacher performance or the need for professional support. Some principals, however, reported that student performance data - (particularly formative data at the classroom level) related to targeted school improvement goals (e.g., for reading, writing) did enter into their discussions with teachers during regular teach er supervision processes. A few principals mentioned unobtrusive methods of learning about what was happening in classrooms through workplace discussions with teachers individually or in teacher teams (e.g., grade - level, subject teams, professional learn ing community groups). Several described observations they were able to make regarding teachers' instructional - throughs (which appear practices and students' responses during informal classroom walk to be an increasingly common administrative practice in schools). In high data - use schools, principals were more likely to connect teacher supervision processes and the more informal observations and conversations to specific instructional improvement goals and initiatives. No one talked about aggregating info rmation about individual teacher performance, from formal or informal supervision processes, for use in decisions about improvement goals and progress. Perhaps principals did not routinely think of the information they were assimilating through observation and talk about teaching practice as "data." From an outsider‘s perspective, however, observation and talk certainly could yield evidence relevant to administrative decisions. In sum, we offer two general observations. First, principals and teachers had considerable amounts of evidence about the status of individual students and their student populations, and they used it in various ways. But they had little formal evidence about hool the organizational conditions that might need to change if classroom and sc performance were to improve. Second, high and low data - use schools differed little in respect to the data available to them. Differences were more evident in the uses schools made of the available data. Patterns of Data Use in High Data - Use Schools Guided by Ikemoto and Marsh‘s (2007) framework, we used evidence from sub - study two to describe patterns of data use, especially in high use schools. Complexity. The scope, frequency, and complexity of data use were greater in high data - use schools, as w ere the potential contributions of data use to improvement in teaching and learning. Principals in most schools, for example, cited state test results as a factor in setting school - improvement goals. The number of sites where principals and teachers were a ctively using data to monitor the outcomes of school - improvement plans, however, was more limited. Teachers and principals in many schools reported using diagnostic assessment instruments as a basis for identifying struggling students and placing them in remedial programs at the beginning of the school year. School personnel in higher data - use schools 191

194 were more likely to report using formative assessments of student progress at intervals across the school year; they were also more likely to rely on cyclic al decisions about - which students needed additional help through remedial or enrichment programs, after school tutoring, and differentiated instruction in the classroom. Less frequently, principals and teachers reported using data in making decisions about professional development plans or in the course of conversations with parents about student performance and programming. Specific purposes. Teachers have always evaluated their students for the purpose of grading and marking report cards. Incorporating s tudent performance data into decisions about instruction has been less common. That use of data, we found, was more likely to occur in settings where district and school leaders had linked data use to specific purposes. In some schools, for example, teache rs used diagnostic and formative assessment data to make decisions about student placement in remedial reading or math - based tutoring programs. Principals arranged in - service training to programs, or in school increase teachers‘ repertoires of instructiona l strategies in order to foster differentiated instruction in subject areas targeted for improvement. Participants. Use of data was largely a collective activity in schools. It happened in grade team meetings, subject groups, professional learning communi ty groups, committees convened to assess and monitor needs for at - risk students, school leadership - or improvement teams, or in whole staff events, such as data retreats and faculty meetings. In some schools, inquiry oriented data use was being modeled by the principal, - but had not yet evolved into a more collective activity involving teachers, as well. The principal in one school, for example, did her own investigation of why so many Hispanic students entering the school at Grade 3 had not moved on to Engl ish medium classrooms, as expected, by Grade 6, and she presented her findings and plans to her staff. In another school, the principal sought out comparison data on state test results from other schools in an effort to learn why his schools‘ performance r ating had slipped below the state‘s exemplary rating, and he took action based on his analysis. Sources of expertise. Our interview data point to five potential sources of expertise in data use in schools: central office personnel (superintendents, curric ulum or assessment specialists); state supported regional education center specialists; principals; - key teachers trained to serve as assessment and data experts; and classroom teachers in general. In lower data - use schools educators tended to depend on ext ernal expertise, or to rely on the principal or a key teacher (e.g., counselor, literacy coach) as the resident data expert. In higher data - use schools, expertise was more widely distributed. Principals and teachers reported increasing efforts to develop t he capacity of teachers to engage collectively in data analysis for instructional decision making, supported by but not dependent on other experts. Data use was often the focus of professional learning community initiatives. Districts contributed by offeri ng training in the use of curriculum - linked classroom assessments, school - wide data analysis events, coaching of teacher 192

195 teams (grade or subject teams, professional learning community groups), and the purchase and training in the use of data software . Ke Principals played a key leadership role in establishing y role of principal. purposes and expectations for data use. They also provided structured opportunities for (collegial groups and time) , data use learning about data use through training and assistan ce, access to expertise, and follow - up actions. Principal leadership in this respect was crucial. Where principals do not make data use a priority — mobilizing expertise to support data use and create conditions to facilitate data use in instructional decisi on - making teachers are not doing it on their own. We did see examples in some schools of — principals providing leadership for data use in the absence of well organized district - level leadership and support. Overall, however, the scope and complexity of data use in schools mirrored the data use orientations, practices, expectations, and support shown by district office leaders. Problem solving. In all the schools we studied, school personnel were using student performance data to comply with external account ability requirements and to identify problems at the school, student sub - group, or individual student levels. However, principals and teachers in only a few settings had progressed beyond using data for Principals and teachers who had problem identification to using data for problem solv ing. turned to problem solving were gathering and analyzing data in order to understand the causes or factors related to the problems in question and to monitor the effects of interventions implemented in order to ameliorate those problems. In one elementary school, for example, the principal and teachers identified improvement in children‘s expository writing as a school goal. The principal mobilized teachers to develop mid - year writing prompts to supplement beginning - and end - of - year assessments developed by the district. She called on district consultants to provide in - service training for teachers, not only on the use and interpretation of assessments based on the district‘s standards - based writing rubric but also on tea ching methods associated with identified goals for improvement in writing. She organized the teachers into professional learning communities dedicated to studying student progress and the effects of teacher interventions. And she and the teachers implement ed a process whereby teachers interviewed students about their responses to the strategies for teaching writing that teachers were using. Challenges. On the face of it, the push toward using increasingly complex types of data and increasingly complex ana lyses to inform decisions seems like a good idea. But we observed tensions in some schools between traditional norms of decision - making (reliance on established expertise) and the recent move toward decisions informed by evidence. The tension was especiall y notable in settings where districts mandated the use of computer - based data management systems to record (and potentially retrieve and use) many forms of assessment information, student characteristics, and program placement - group population) over time. Teachers talked about data (e.g., by grade, classro om, sub data overload, emphasizing the time required to enter information into these systems as well as the time and expertise required to retrieve and interpret it. It often remained 193

196 unclear what specific purposes these systems were to serve. Tension also surfaced when - school or district leaders called for data informed decisions to be made in areas where those decisions had traditionally been made by teachers on the basis of their individual and collectiv e expertise. This issue was most salient in schools where the vast majority of students were already performing at high levels. Effects of Data Use on Student Achievement We used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the relationship between da ta use and student achievement. The quantitative analysis focused on responses to principal and teacher surveys and on our measures of student achievement in literacy and mathematics. First we entered three measures of data use (principals’ view of distric t data use, their own data use, and teachers’ perceptions of principal data use), as a block, into a regression equation. We entered the four demographic variables (student diversity, poverty, school level and school size) in the final equation. None of th e measures of data use had a significant effect on student achievement when added to the equation on their own, nor did they have any unique explanatory value when combined with the four demographic measures in the final equation. The demographic variabl es explained about 19% of the variance in student achievement, with school level and diversity each explaining about 5% of that variance. We used the same variables for another analysis that reversed the order of entry for the data use and demographic vari ables. The results were essentially the same. We conducted a third analysis with these variables, using only the elementary schools (52). In this analysis, data - use variables did have a significant effect on achievement, explaining 19% of the variance with the first equation [F(3,51) = 5.03, p<.05]. The explained variation increased to 24% in the second equation with the demographic measures, but only perceptions of district use had a significant effect. However, the reduction of the number of cases (to few er than 10 per variable for the regression analysis) limits the reliability of this result. Given this weak statistical evidence of positive relationships between student achievement and district or school data use (as reflected in the principal and teach er , which survey items), we turned to our qualitative data provided the following insights: The availability of student assessment data in the context of current federal, state,  and district accountability requirements is causing district and school perso nnel to justify their goals and plans for improvement, focusing in particular on students and schools that are not meeting standards - based performance expectations and targets. The potential for these focused improvement plans to make a difference in the  quality of student learning is highly dependent on the degree to which local educators are able to align local curriculum, teaching, and assessment practices with the external measures against which they are being held to account. 194

197  orts to improve student learning are more likely to have a District and school eff positive effect when the data available and the analysis performed by local educators go beyond the mere identification of problem areas to an investigation nd factors contributing to it, for the of the specific nature of the problem, a students and settings where it is situated.  Improving teaching and learning with the use of data is only as effective as are the insights gained with data analysis and the consequent actions taken regarding the probl em and how it might be solved. Our quantitative and qualitative findings lead us to speculate that there may be both a lower and an upper threshold beyond which increased or improved use of data by school ch difference. One of the large, low - and/or district personnel simply will not make mu SES urban districts in our sample, for example, had been classified under AYP regulations as in need of district - level intervention by the state, because so many of its schools were not meeting AYP targets. In this sit uation, it seems likely that there are fundamental social, resource, and perhaps leadership issues affecting student engagement and performance in schools, such that significant improvement without changes in those fundamental conditions is unlikely, even through curricular and instructional improvements informed by detailed analyses of assessment data. On the other end of the spectrum, our sample included districts and schools that were performing at high levels relative to state performance standards In such a setting, . there may be a saturation point beyond which additional forms of data or expectations for — only more work. In these situations the real data use simply do not add much value imperative for improvement may have more to do with rethinking a nd redefining the goals for student learning than with increasingly complicated patterns of data use. Implications for Policy and Practice Four implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. to 1. Districts are encouraged s pend less time ensuring that schools have large amounts of data and more time helping principals and teachers figure out how In addition to multiple such data might help them do the job they are trying to do. measures of student achievement, most principal s had access to data about background characteristics of their student populations, including socioeconomic status, poverty, and diversity . No doubt these characteristics account for significant variation in achievement in typical schools. Indeed, in our s ample of schools, these variables far outweighed the effects of principals‘ data use. So the challenge is to transform data not only into actionable evidence, but also to help principals understand the implications of such evidence for their improvement forts. ef 195

198 2. family Districts and schools would benefit from collecting data about local norms, beliefs, values, and practices reflecting families‘ educational cultures – dispositions toward schooling and their role in it. Many elements of such cultures (e .g., parental expectations for children‘s success at school) are malleable in response to school intervention and make quite significant contributions to student achievement (Hattie, 2009). But we saw little evidence of districts or schools collecting syst ematic evidence about these variables. Districts should work with school principals to help expand the range of high - 3. quality data available to schools in order to more fully encompass the range of variables implicated in schools‘ problem - solving efforts. Very few principals had systematically collected evidence about the school and classroom conditions that - would need to change for their students‘ achievement to improve. Many of these for example, conditions are evident in other strands of our larger study including, teachers‘ dispositions toward collaboration, teacher efficacy, trust, academic press, and disciplinary climate. While districts do need to help all schools increase the sophistication of their data - 4. helping secondary schools. use processes, priority should be given to A slim majority of principals processed their data in collaboration with their staffs and called on district staff members and others with special expertise to help them with data analysis and use, as normative theory on this mat ter recommends. But the typical approaches to data use by districts and principals had no measurable influence on student learning across school levels in the aggreg ate. In elementary he schools , however, data use may account for a significant proportion of t variation in student achievement, over and above the effects of student diversity, poverty, and school size. 196

199 2.6 District Approaches to Improving Teaching and Learning Key Findings District policies and practices around instruction are sufficiently powerful that they can be felt, indirectly, by teachers as stronger and more directed leadership behaviors by principals. Higher performing districts tend to be led by district staff who:  Communicate a strong belief in the capacity of teachers and princi pals to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and in the district‘s capacity to develop the organizational conditions needed for that to happen (high collective efficacy).  Build consensus about core expectations for professional practice (curricul um, teaching, leadership).  Differentiate support to principals in relation to evidence of compliance and skill in implementing the expectations, with flexibility for school - based innovation ablish leadership -  Set clear expectations for school leadership practices, and est development systems to select, train, and assist principals and teacher leaders consistent with district expectations.  Provide organized opportunities for teachers and principals to engage in school - to - school communication, focusing on the challenges of improving student learning and program implementation.  Develop and model strategies and norms for local inquiry into challenges related to student learning and program implementation.  Coordinate district support for school improvement across organizational units (e.g., supervision, curriculum and instruction, staff development, human resources) in relation to district priorities, expectations for professional practice, and a shared understanding of the goals and needs of specific schoo ls. Introduction This chapter examines ways in which districts foster improvements in teaching and learning. We assumed at the outset (1) that successful districts focus on and support e not all alike in the ways efforts to improve teaching and learning and (2) that districts ar in which they embody this focus in policies and actions. Our analysis supports both of these assumptions. 197

200 Our findings also suggest that differences between districts, regarding efforts to improve teaching and learning, cannot be ascertained merely by asking administrators and specialists to articulate their priorities. All district leaders believe that they focus on instruction, but we found substantial variation from district to district in the levels of skill g with which they address this focus. To describe and analyze inter - and understandin district differences it is necessary to examine actual practices related to curriculum and - level action instruction, and the interaction of those practices with other strands of district nd influence. a Prior Evidence A number of studies in the 1970s and 1980s documented differences in district - level orientations and approaches to educational change. Berman and McLaughlin (1977) distinguished districts in terms of bureaucratic, opportuni stic, or problem - solving motivations of district authorities. Not surprisingly, they found that teachers and principals implemented and developed new programs and practices more effectively in districts that approached change with a problem - solving orienta tion. Rosenholtz (1989) differentiated between ―stuck‖ and ―moving‖ districts in her investigation of teachers‘ workplace conditions and change. More effective schools were located in districts that give a higher priority to improving teaching and learning . Berman et al. (1981) reached a similar conclusion. They distinguished among four district roles in the school improvement process: controlling (district regulates what is to be done, how, and by plan, and controls funds, but whom); directive (district sets goals, establishes a master leaves some discretion for schools to determine how to implement the plan and achieve the goals); facilitative (district gives schools autonomy and support to decide on their own needs, goals, and programs); and neglect (dist rict provides no special guidance or support to schools). Schools in facilitative districts did the best job of identifying and addressing school needs and approaches to change. Others have focused on the link between strategy and effect in district effo rts to improve schools. Louis (1989), drawing from a survey and case - study investigation of initiatives in urban secondary schools, identified four district - level approaches to school improvement: innovation implementation (uniform processes and outcomes), - evolutionary planning (uniform processes, variable outcomes), goal based accountability (variable processes, uniform outcomes), and professional investment (variable processes hips and outcomes). Like Berman et al., Louis emphasized the importance of relations between schools and districts, as evident in levels of bureaucratic control (rules and regulations) and organizational coupling (e.g., shared goals, community, joint planning and coordination). The issue of top - down versus bottom - up approaches to im provement has a long history. Massell and Goertz (2002) described alternative, and reportedly successful, top - - up district strategies for change and improvement, with the implication down and bottom that no best way can be generalized to all settings. Spill ane (2002) found that district leaders‘ approaches to facilitating implementation of state curriculum policy are shaped 198

201 in part by their conceptions of teacher learning: quasi - behaviorist, situated, and quasi - - ssibility that top - up cognitive. Other research has pointed to the po down and bottom 235 approaches need not be viewed as alternatives, but can be combined. Recent research on the district role in school improvement activity has focused - - level polic ies, actions, and conditions increasingly on the identification of specific district that are related to improvement in teachers‘ and students‘ performance. Much of this research converges on a common set of policies, actions, and conditions associated with 236 - wide improvement and effectiveness, as descri bed in section 2.2, above. district Findings from this research are consistent with investigations that have focused 237 specifically on the actions of superintendents and other senior administrators. In sum, districts vary in how they understand and approach the ta sk of improving teaching and learning. However, much of the research bearing on this point was undertaken prior to the era of standards and accountability - driven reform that began to take shape in the 1990s and was universalized in the United States under the federal No Child Left Behind Act . It remains to be seen whether districts will differ markedly from one another or converge on common approaches as they work to improve teaching and learning in this new policy context. Historically, school districts have supported schools differentially according to differences in school types (e.g., elementary, middle, high schools) and compliance requirements specified by legislated categorical differences in students and programs tegories of support are rationalized in terms of the (e.g., Title I, ELL). The latter ca perceived challenges schools face in serving certain categories of students. Contemporary accountability policies have created the added expectation that districts will differentiate support to schools o n the basis of achievement results from state testing programs and other accountability measures, with particular attention to be given to schools where large numbers of students are not meeting standards of proficiency. Exactly how that out in school districts has not been systematically studied. On the one expectation plays hand, districts may simply be complying with specified interventions to schools that fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress targets. On the other hand, school district leaders may be de veloping and implementing their own strategic responses to various school needs for improvement, in conjunction with NCLB and state - mandated interventions. New Evidence Method We obtained data for this component of our study from the second round of pr incipal and teacher surveys and from evidence collected in interviews during all three rounds of our site visits to 18 districts. 235 Elmore & Burney (1998). 236 Anderson (20 06); Campbell & Fullan (2006); Cawelti & Protheroe (2001); Hightower et al. (2002). 237 Murphy & Hallinger (1988); Waters & Marzano (2006). 199

202 Survey analysis. The second principal survey contained six items intended to s‘ focus on and support for improvements measure principals‘ perceptions of the district in teaching and learning. We used these items to address two questions: How do principals assess the emphasis given to improving teaching and learning by 1. their district administrators? Does the district‘s emphasis on teaching and learning affect the principal‘s 2. instructional leadership behavior? We analyzed the responses to these six items descriptively, and we developed a scale that combined them.  We added standardized scores for the individual District focus on instruction scale. To examine the question of how district measures. The Alpha for the scale is .89. policies and practices in the area of instructional improvement are reflected at the building level, we used teacher assessments of their principals‘ inst ructional 238 leadership from the second survey. In addition, we used the scale measuring teachers‘ perceptions of their principal‘s instructional leadership behavior, which was described in detail in Chapter 1.2. Principal instructional leadership scale . S ix items in the teacher survey measured the  - point scale ranging frequency of principal instructional leadership behaviors on a five never to 10 or more times . These included discussed instructional issues with from observed your classroom instruction , , you and provided or located resources to help staff improve their teaching . We added the standardized measures, and produced a scale with an alpha of .94. Site interview analysis . All three of the site - visit protocols used in the individual for district priorities and strategies. We constructed case studies of 12 interviews probed of the 18 districts, focusing on two strands of analysis: 1. district improvement eff orts and state policy influence 2. district - wide goals and support systems for school improvement Our selection of districts for case analysis was purposive; we sought to increase the variability of district characteristics, and we drew upon the research team‘s knowledge of the sites. For an analysis of how district administrators differentiate suppor t for improvement to schools, for example, we focused on medium - to large - sized districts serving multiple schools at all levels, rather than small districts with only an elementary, trict middle, and high school. For our analysis of the relationship between dis improvement efforts and state influences (see also section 3.3), we focused mainly on the 238 We also investigated the relationship between district focus on instruction and principals‘ self - r expertise in providing instructional support to teachers. We argue, however, that a assessments of thei stronger test of the importance of the district‘s role is to look for the reflection of improved principal leadership on the part of those who experience it. 200

203 small - - sized districts, given that more than 90% of school districts in the to medium at much United States serve less than 25,000 students, and given our impression th research on the district role in educational reform is concentrated on the experiences of large, urban districts. In order to understand the effects of administrator turnover at the district level, we concentrated on districts where there were cha nges in the superintendency during the The sample of district office personnel interviewed in each district course of our study. varied according to district size and organizational structure. We interviewed senior administrators and staff, including the s uperintendent, assistant superintendents or directors for curriculum, assessment, and staff development; and line superintendents responsible for supervision and support of designated schools. In small districts, we also ften took on system - level roles or functioned as the interviewed school principals who o - superintendent‘s leadership team for consultation and decisions on district wide matters. In larger districts, we interviewed principals only in the site - visit schools. ll district approaches to improving and sustaining This analysis is based on overa the quality of teaching and learning, with particular attention to how district leaders conceptualize and address variability in school performance and progress in implementing local improvement efforts. Survey Analysis Principals’ assessments of district instructional focus . Six questions in the second principal survey tapped principals‘ assessments of the priority given by their district administrators to teaching and learning. As can be seen in Tables 2.5.1 - 2.5.5, principals generally believed that their districts were clearly focusing on this area. However, the responses also suggest some differences. For example, principals give the highest ratings to the district‘s ability to clearly communicate stan dards for instructional improvement. - priority areas of Clearly communicate expected standards for high had a instruction mean of 4.9 on a six point scale. Also highly rated is Have a detailed plan for improving (mean of 4.8) instruction across the district . Principals are slightly less generous in their general assessment of the degree to Are active and effective in supporting excellent instruction (mean of which their districts 4.67). When they rate specific actions, however, they are even more discrimin ating: the C larif y the steps needed district‘s ability to to improve the quality of instruction has a mean of 4.5, while the question of how frequently they C ommunic ate about best practice in high priority areas of instruction has a mean of 3.6, which fall s between categories of - occasionally and often on a five - point scale. An ANOVA indicates that responses to the six questions did not differ significantly by school level (elementary, middle, high school), school size, or characteristics of the student population (percent non - white and percent eligible for free and reduced - price lunch). In addition, there was no significant variation in the responses of principals and assistant principals. ved instruction, In sum, while principals believe that districts prioritize impro variations appear in responses to particular questions about whether principals receive 201

204 clear guidelines and support for making changes at the school level. This variation suggests that in some districts there may be a gap between the ―vis ion‖ and strategic plan for improved instruction, on the one hand, and, on the other, the way in which specific support for improved instruction is delivered at the school level. As we saw in the case of ween a set of high standards and professional development for principals, the gap bet tangible support for those standards may be critical in determining how well principals can respond within their school settings. M = 4.99 M = 4.1 SD = 1.41 SD = 1.07 N = 210 N = 211 D.24. District leaders clearly communicate D.34.District leaders actively monitor the quality . of instruction in this school of expected standards for high priority areas instruction . M = 3.59 M = 4.8 SD = .90 SD = 1.15 N=208 N = 209 ders have a detailed plan for D21. District lea D. 14. How frequently do your district leaders communicate effectively about best practice in improving instruction across the district. high priority areas of instruction? 202

205 M = 4.67 M = 4.51 SD = 1.24 SD = 1.16 N = 210 N = 210 D.22. District leaders clarify the steps that D26. District leaders are active and effective administrator . in supporting excellent instruction s and teachers need to school . take to improve the quality of instruction Figure 10: Principal Perceptions of District Actions Related to Improved Teaching and Learning We assume District focus on instruction and principals’ instructional leadership . eadership is one of the most promising approaches districts that improving building - level l can take to fostering change. Current research suggests not only that districts must have a coherent leadership development program (as we have suggested in our investigation of professional devel opment in Section 2.2); they must also consistently emphasize the improvement of instruction as a primary goal. We conducted a regression of the Principal Instructional Leadership measure on the principals‘ responses to items in the District Focus on Ins truction scale, including building characteristics (size and level), student characteristics (% minority and % FRP) as control variables in the model. The results, presented in Table 2.6.1., show a significant prediction of principal instructional leadersh ip behaviors, with the predictors explaining 36% of the variance in principal instructional leadership. While the characteristics of the school and its student population, taken together, have a strong association with principals‘ instructional leadership, the measure of District focus on has a significant regression coefficient. instruction This finding is quite remarkable: It suggests that district policies and practices as an by teachers felt focused on instruction are sufficiently powerful that they can be animating force behind strong, focused leadership by principals. While we do not, in this section, look for a relationship between district practices and student learning, we have 203

206 already established that instructional leadership by principals has an impact on teachers‘ classroom practices, which, in turn, affect student learning. This is perhaps our most powerful finding regarding the indirect connection between the choices and priorities set by districts and the classroom experience of students. 204

207 Ta ble 2.6.1 Regression of Principal Instructional Leadership (Teacher Assessment of School a Administrators) on District Focus on Instruction and Building Characteristics Unstandardized Standardized Coefficients Coefficients Std. Error B . t Sig Beta Model .180 (Constant) .265 1.471 .143 District Focus on Instruction .127 .057 .131 2.232 .027 .159 Building Level .160 .080 - - - 2.000 .047 Total Number of Students .000 .000 - .361 - 4.102 .000 .003 Percent of nonwhite students .794 .266 .287 2.984 Percent - price of free or reduced .246 .330 .073 .747 .456 lunch students Dependent Variable: Principal Instructional Leadership 4.13 - 22 a. F = 21.583, sig..000 b. c. R2 = .356 - Case Analysis Cross Our results are organized around the dimensions most frequently mentioned by Superintendents as bases for providing strategic direction and support for improved teaching and learning in schools, including the following:  student performance on standards and indicators;  school progress in implementing district expectations (cur riculum, instruction);  principals‘ leadership expertise for school improvement; school  based factors that explain differences in student performance and program - implementation (e.g., instructional expertise, curriculum implementation, learning gaps, staf fing, leadership, material resources);  school/student characteristics (size, staff, SES, ELL, mobility, facilities). . Not surprisingly, district Student performance on standards and indicators administrators are highly sensitized to how well their school s are performing against state proficiency standards and Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) targets. In the higher - performing districts, district staff corroborate the survey data that suggest the importance of developing local instructional foci and learning s tandards. Interviews suggest that higher - performing districts uniformly describe the district targets as aligned with — but exceeding — those of the state. Sometimes, as in two of our large urban and suburban 205

208 districts, this was articulated in terms of broad g oals, such as college readiness for all. More commonly, respondents claimed that district expectations for student learning were more rigorous than (yet compatible with) those mandated by the state. This was rs mobilized the development of district - particularly so in settings where district leade level curriculum content and performance expectations across all areas of curriculum (not - tested subjects). In the two districts referred to above, for example, only in externally district personnel also told storie - year, district - wide curriculum development s of multi projects resulting in production of curriculum frameworks and materials that satisfied both state and local goals for student learning. We encountered similar findings in some small rural districts, n otwithstanding the fact that they had fewer professional staff at the district level. One rural Nebraska district led by little more than a superintendent and a curriculum director volunteered to curriculum and accountability participate in the pilot phase of the state‘s decentralized system. Classroom teachers, led by the local curriculum director, developed a district curriculum consistent with state curriculum expectations. District and school personnel in lementing their curriculum, and they these settings talked enthusiastically about imp spoke positively about achievement results for their students as evidence of its quality. In contrast, in other districts, local educators talked mainly about implementing the state - mandated curriculum, and about implem enting externally developed programs to satisfy state - level expectations. The benchmark for success was performance on state - mandated tests, and they communicated little sense of striving for more ambitious goals for student learning. In sum, where distr ict administrators believe that their local standards are aligned to and exceed external standards and accountability measures, and where results on state tests are well above average, administrators tend to emphasize their own benchmarks as a hool improvement efforts. Districts in which students are performing less focus for sc - well on state tests tend, on the other hand, to see themselves as driven by external standards and assessments, and to view the district as less able to determine local priorities an d needs. In addition, district administrators in higher - performing districts are more likely to be positive about state curriculum standards and the validity of accountability indicators than those in districts that perform less well. In higher - performin g settings, district leaders are more likely to set continual - improvement goals for students and schools already meeting the minimum standards; they are also more likely to specify targets for students and schools struggling to meet standards. In several - performing districts in our sample (including large of the higher urban/suburban as well as rural districts), for example, district leaders and school personnel described recent and ongoing district - wide efforts to support teacher implementation of differe ntiated instruction. In one rural Midwestern district the superintendent championed a three - year teacher - development initiative focused on differentiated instruction. Teams of teachers were sent each summer to external professional development programs foc used on this aim; these teams then were expected to lead school - based in - service training activities throughout the following year. Interestingly, in this case and in others where district wide differentiated instruction - 206

209 initiatives were underway, the expl icit rationale provided by district personnel was to - ability learners‖ were not being ignored, help teachers ensure that the needs of ―high given the predominant state emphasis on interventions to close the achievement gap - - achieving s tudents. In these settings, local goals and related between low and high — initiatives are often framed in terms of satisfying local community expectations an argument that is most frequently heard in districts that serve large numbers of middle - - income families, and w and high here there are few or no schools performing below state 239 standards. In higher - performing districts, leaders did not expect improvement in low - performing schools to occur merely by means of inputs required under federal and state policies (e.g., school ch - oice, tutoring, prescribed needs assessments and school improvement planning, curriculum audits, advice from external consultants). They adopted additional, district level intervention stra tegies. In one high - performing - m idwestern urban district, for examp le, two schools became a focus for district intervention during the final year of our study because they failed to meet AYP targets (the first two schools to be designated in that status). In addition to taking advantage of additional funding from the stat e, and attending mandatory workshops offered by the state for all schools identified as not meeting AYP, district leaders (curriculum superintendent, curriculum directors, school improvement director) conducted their own investigations of the problems in s tudent performance and followed up with district support tailored to each school‘s needs. In the middle school, for example, they determined that the principal needed help with his instructional leadership skills; that cating clear expectations for student learning; and teachers were not setting and communi that Title 1 students were not getting adequate, specialized academic support. Throughout the year the superintendent and directors met and coached the principal on regular monthly and weekly schedules; d istrict curriculum personnel worked with teachers on - school their instructional needs; and the district supported efforts to improve after - performing students. programs for low In contrast, a middle school in a small, high - poverty district in one of our southern states also failed to meet AYP targets (the district had a history of adequate, , across its schools on state proficiency tests). In compliance albeit not high performance with state requirements, an external school improvement consultant was brou ght in. The school staff had little positive to say about that consultant‘s input, and district leaders did not report any district initiatives to deal with the situation other than supporting and relying on the principal and teachers to find a solution. W e heard similar criticisms about the effectiveness of state support - performing schools in one system interventions for low - — of our large, high - performing urban school districts poverty, low where (again) the - ention to ameliorate the problem. district developed no plan for systematic interv 239 The phenom enon of schools targeted as ―in need of improvement‖ because of failure to achieve state achievement targets under NCLB/ AYP regulations began to surface in our district - level findings during hools failing to meet AYP targets was nil or the final year of data collection (2006 - 2007). The number of sc small in many of these districts (e.g., 2 of 60 schools in one large district), although in one state an entire district was designated as ―in need of improvement.‖ 207

210 In higher - trends performing settings, district leaders often proactively monitored in schools‘ academic performance and in their community contexts (e.g., demographic trends). Leaders did this in order to identify schools potentially at risk of not meeting AYP targets in future years; then they could target those schools and students for - performing suburban district (i.e., 90% or more of intervention. In one large, high proficiency standards), district students in most schools achieving at or above state leaders noticed demographic changes occurring in several elementary schools. The neighborhoods served by the schools were experiencing an influx of low - income families from the adjacent city. District leaders became concern ed that school achievement results might decline unless something was done to support teachers and principals in efforts to respond effectively to the needs of students from low - income families. District leaders developed a set of indicators to track demog raphic changes and performance, and they used these indicators to designate certain schools as at - risk of declining performance, thus qualifying for additional district support (e.g., staffing, program, funding). They did so in such a way, however, that th e district could sustain the initiative on its regular budget (rather than seeking and depending on additional funding from the state or foundations, for example). This example, and the prior illustration of one district‘s intensive efforts to turn around a school failing to meet AYP targets, point to a critical issue for school district leaders. In their responses, they talked about the challenges — financial and in human - resource needs — they faced in providing effective support for increasing numbers of scho ols requiring special interventions, as stipulated by government policies. Educators from all districts talked about the need for (and utilization of) diagnostic and formative assessments of student progress throughout the school year, in addition to sta - test data. Leaders in higher - performing districts guided te achievement colleagues in the development of local assessment instruments. These instruments were aligned with state and local curriculum standards; teachers were expected to administer them at de signated intervals and to use the results for instructional planning (see section 2.4 for examples). In some settings school personnel relied mainly on assessment tools developed or endorsed by their state education agencies, perhaps supplemented by format ive assessments developed by classroom teachers in their own schools. School progress implementing district expectations . School districts varied in the — range and specificity of district - mandated expectations for professional practice in particular, for curriculum and instruction. We are hesitant to claim that district leaders in - performing districts uniquely promoted more standardized, district - wide higher curriculum content and materials, because the trend everywhere is to increase standardization. Comp ared to others, however, district leaders in higher - performing districts appear to have invested in district - wide curriculum development over a longer period of time, using well - institutionalized district curriculum systems. As that development unfolded, e fforts to align and coordinate other strands of district support (teacher development, school leadership development, school - improvement planning, performance monitoring) evolved. (This evolution in district support systems was more in district leadership, both administrators and professional staff, likely where continuity was evident.) Progressive alignment, refinement, and synergy among these dimensions of 208

211 district support may account more for higher performance than curriculum standardization per se. - performing districts In addition to curriculum standardization, leaders in higher were more likely than others to promote and support implementation of particular instructional strategies regarded as effective. Expectations for uniformity in instructional - specific teaching methods defined by district practices can focus on general or subject staff as ―best practices‖ (e.g., cooperative learning, guided reading, technology use, methods of differentiating instruction) and/or on implementation of specific dist rict, state, or commercial programs that prescribe teaching and learning activities and materials. In one of our high - performing districts, for example, all new elementary school teachers are required to participate in district - developed year - long courses on effective strategies for teaching beginning and more advanced readers. In another high performing suburban - district, sample lesson plans replete with suggested teaching strategies, learning activities, and curriculum resources are built into the distric t‘s online curriculum guide for teachers. Although teachers are not formally required to implement these lessons, they do have to adhere to a lesson - design format that requires them to target district curriculum objectives, to integrate computer - based lear ning activities into every lesson, and to engage students in small group and independent learning activities. Teachers reported that the district guide for curriculum and instruction exerts a strong influence on what they do. In addition to providing or recommending teaching methods, leaders in higher - performing districts provided direction and support for the use of common methods of assessing and reporting student learning, aligned to curriculum expectations. Rather than complaining about loss of autono my, many teachers we interviewed appeared to appreciate the greater clarity of expectations and access to instructional tools (e.g., course scope/sequence, lesson plans, materials, assessments) that often accompany district - wide support for implementation. Their receptivity to standard curriculum development and forms of instructional practice, however, was conditional upon the quality of district support for implementation (staff development, materials, supervision), perceived fit with state/district curri culum requirements, evidence of student impact, and opportunities for teacher discretion within the boundaries established by the district. Leaders in higher - performing settings not only worked to establish and communicate clear expectations for curricu lum and instruction; they developed and applied mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of district expectations through supervision systems and school - improvement plans. In the most fully elaborated support systems, district leaders initially ensured common training and resources across relevant sectors of the district; then they used monitoring systems to gather information about compliance and progress in school - level implementation. They also provided es, to help school personnel master and differentiated follow - up assistance — in some cas comply with district expectations; in other cases, where compliance was no longer an issue, to help school personnel use the program in question more effectively and obtain better results. 209

212 All districts used interna l and external expertise to help teachers implement district expectations for curriculum and instruction. For obvious reasons, larger districts made greater use of district curriculum and instruction staff than small districts did. Smaller districts relied more on state - supported regional education centers and local universities for in - service training and assistance, and for brokering contacts with other - level expectations for curriculum and instruction external consultants. Having district for district leaders to monitor and respond to school - level implementation. makes it easier In fact, as we will show in Section 3.3, principals in many districts pay more attention to we meeting local standards than to state meeting standards, in part because of the systems have described above. Reliance on outside assistance for implementation can be challenging because of the costs, the potential problems of fit with local expectations for practice, and the absence of local expertise to provide timely follow - up assist ance in response to school - specific needs. Having a central office curriculum and instruction unit does not, however, guarantee the coherence and effectiveness of district support for implementation of district - wide programs. Our evidence indicates that, compared to others, teachers in smaller districts did not feel less supported (Section 1.6). In fact the opposite is true: teachers from smaller districts rated district support higher than teachers from medium - t size and district resources cannot account for or larger - sized districts. This suggests tha the value It is possible that larger added effect of support for improved instruction. - districts pay less attention to the quality and utility of support for teachers because they assume that they have great er quality control over employees, while smaller districts are more attentive to the quality and utility of their ―purchases.‖ observe that higher - performing districts make greater efforts than others We also to maximize communication and coordination amo ng different central office units in their interaction with teachers and principals. In other words, district office units acted more interdependently than independently in relation to district - wide and school - specific needs. The interdependent action occu rred partly through interdepartmental structures. These structures make it possible for district staff members to let one another know who is doing what at district and school levels. District unit interdependence may also involve a team approach to assess ing and responding to school specific needs for help with - implementation, depending on the problem. In addition, some district leaders actively facilitated networked communication, sharing, and joint problem solving among schools. This occurred through d istrict - organized opportunities for principals to speak to one another in principals‘ meetings, leadership programs, or peer - coaching arrangements. Larger districts sometimes create systems of teacher leaders linked through district curriculum and instruct ion specialists. Networking between schools helps district leaders to identify differences in school needs and to enable school personnel to find solutions among themselves, rather than relying solely on the district for help. ding school improvement . While most central office Principals’ expertise in gui administrators spoke about unevenness in the leadership strengths of their principals, 210

213 leaders in higher - to performing districts expressed greater confidence in their ability leadership through hiring practices, leadership improve the quality of school - development programs, school placement, and supervision (see also Section 2.2 of this report on district contributions to principals‘ efficacy). In a minority of the districts we studied, principal effectiv eness was still attributed to innate rather than learned capacities, and low school performance was viewed as a consequence of external factors (state policies, school community characteristics) rather than district and principal leadership. District leade rs faced with struggling schools were - development initiatives or to provide less rather than more likely to sponsor leadership strategic help to principals; they focused instead on recruiting a different sort of - perf orming urban districts in our sample, district administrator. In one of the large, low administrators expressed the belief that principals were essentially born, not made. They talked more about the need to replace principals in low - performing schools than about prospects for developing their le adership skills. Not surprisingly, in this setting, district - leaders did not describe any local professional development programs for principals. In higher performing districts, central office leaders not only believed in their - capacity to develop princi pals; they set expectations for implementation of specific sets of leadership practices. This required focusing on specific areas of leadership practice separately (e.g., methods of clinical supervision, school - improvement planning, classroom walk - throughs , uses of student performance data), or within comprehensive 240 guidelines or frameworks for leadership practice. In one of the higher - performing urban districts in our sample, district officials organized a three - year principal - development program based on Marzano‘s balanced leadership program. They - supplemented this with additional training in clinical supervision. They designed district service programs for principals, focused specifically on new curriculum wide in - - tary mathematics program) or school initiatives (e.g., revision of the elemen improvement initiatives (e.g., developing a professional learning communities effort, extending to all schools). In addition, the Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction dedicated portions of each monthly meeting with elementary and secondary school - development activities. principals to collective leadership District leaders in higher - performing settings invested in the development of common professional learning experiences for principals, focused on dis trict expectations for instructional leadership and administration. They did not rely chiefly on principals‘ participation in state certification programs or on support for individual principals‘ ps, conferences, and university professional interests (addressed, e.g., in external worksho programs; see also section 2.2 of this report). Leaders in higher - performing districts communicate explicit expectations for principal leadership; they provide learning experiences in line with these expectations; they mon itor principal follow - through and intervene with further support as needed. This kind of supervision is not limited to formal procedures for appraisal by principals. The 240 E.g., Marzano et al. (2005) on balanced le adership; Dufour et al. (2005) on professional learning communities; and Fullan (2001a) on leading in a culture of c hange. 211

214 more likely scenario is that gaps in principals‘ leadership expertise are identified t hrough ongoing monitoring and discussion about school performance and improvement plans. Where gaps in leadership skills are identified, district leaders are more likely to intervene personally advising and coaching the principal — than to call on outside ex pertise. This — pattern of interaction stems not only from the clear expectations for practice that are performing districts, but also from district leaders‘ confidence in - characteristic of high their capacity to help principals master those practices. ol factors related to differences in performance . In higher - performing Scho settings, district leaders understood that the reasons for differences in student performance, or in implementation of district initiatives, were particular to the setting. lems (e.g., declining test scores, weak follow - through with a district Similar prob professional learning communities initiative) might result from different contributing conditions in different schools. Therefore, standard solutions were considered unlikely to n all situations. apply i Leaders in these districts engaged school staff members in collaborative inquiry about the unique circumstances affecting student learning or teacher performance in their schools. They then tailored district support for improvement to t he analysis of school - specific needs, rather than relying primarily on centrally determined interventions based on categorical differences among schools and their students (e.g., size, SES, ELL, facilities) or set performance cut - in external and locally created off levels. They invested - making related to differences in student data bases to inform inquiry and decision outcomes and degrees of program implementation (see section 2.4 for specific examples related to district support for data use in schools). Challenges and Trends Our efforts to attain greater precision in understanding ―the district difference‖ were alternately frustrating and fascinating. Our quantitative data point to a strong district effect, noted particularly in the relationship between district policies and practices, and teachers‘ reports of principals‘ instructional leadership. Frustration arose, however, from the multivariate and often indirect nature of what district personnel do to influence school isolating the effects of any one variable on the actions improvement, and the difficulty of and outcomes of the work of principals and teachers. Our overall conclusion is that there is no simple list of ―to do‖ actions that will allow district leaders to create the conditions that promote improved instruction and student learning. Instead, district leaders‘ actions in relation to key policy conditions are highly interdependent and require ―steady work‖ on multiple fronts. Most district policies and practices that can be linked to real impro vements for teaching and learning evolve over relatively long periods of time; this finding points to the critical importance of patience and sustained, continual efforts aimed at improvement. That focus is present in the more successful districts (even wh ere there have been leadership changes); it was distinctly lacking in districts with district leadership turnover or inconsistent policy development. - Our evidence for district wide approaches to improving and sustaining the quality of teaching and learni ng pointed to some key challenges and trends faced overall and, in 212

215 particular, by higher - performing districts in our sample. Leaders in these settings were all students, not just for explicit about their commitment to ambitious learning goals for those not performing at acceptable proficiency levels. They spoke about the difficulty they face, however, in specifying and generating consensus for clear goals and plans for - improvement in the learning of average and high performing students and schools. It may b e easier to focus improvement efforts on obvious problems than on successes, even when there are no guaranteed solutions to the obvious problems. In higher - performing settings, district leaders are likely to be vigilant and strategic about sustaining goo d performance where it is happening. They engage in monitoring activities to enable early identification of student and school results and factors (e.g., demographic changes) that might jeopardize continuing high performance, and they take action. State ac countability systems focus attention and resources on low performance and remediation, but in many school districts across the country district leaders are as much concerned, if not more, ab out sustaining good performance and about establishing agendas for student learning beyond proficiency scores on standardized tests. These concerns are rising as educators and policy makers continue to raise the AYP bar. Increasing standardization of curriculum, instruction, and assessment appears to be a universal tren d in the United States — at the district and state levels. Yet standardization does not yield the same performance results everywhere. Our evidence from higher performing districts offers some insight into how standardization can - contribute to high performan ce. In essence, standardization of expectations for curriculum and instruction (and even leadership practice) creates a platform for improving the quality of leadership, instruction, and learning. Using this platform, district ystems that promote quality implementation of the common leaders can develop support s expectations. The creation of such support systems takes time and skill, and it requires organizational learning to figure out what works well. Unfortunately not all districts benefit from the leader ship continuity, skill, and resources needed to develop equally effective support systems in a context of standardized expectations. From district leaders in our higher - performing settings, we have learned that once standard expectations for curriculum, i nstruction, and leadership are implemented and sustained with a reasonable degree of fidelity and quality, further improvement in the quality of teaching and learning is unlikely to be gained by doing more of the same. To reach the students not currently w ell served requires differentiated (not common) solutions grounded in local analysis of learning needs and circumstances of struggling , three levels of support for school improvement can students. In effect, in these districts be observed, in addition to b ureaucrati cally prescribed inputs. Level O ne encompasses common inputs to all schools to develop the basic knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to understand and work toward s district expectations. Level T wo supports efforts to provide additional inp ut and assistance to schools and school personnel that are at risk or struggling to meet expectations for professional practice and student achievement. Level T hree supports are the most complex. At this level, district and ollaborative inquiry into important problems, and school personnel may undertake c engage in a search for solutions that go beyond current knowledge and expectations. 213

216 Implications for Policy and Practice Six implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. D istrict leaders need to 1. establish clear expectations across multiple dimensions of improvement activity as the bases for increasing coherence, coordination, and synergy in the effectiveness of district improvement efforts over time. District leaders shoul d combine a common core of support for efforts to implement 2. district expectations with differentiated support aligned to the needs of individual schools. Di strict leaders are encouraged to embrace and discuss ways in which effective 3. ctices can be acquired through intentional leadership - leadership pra - school development efforts that include both formal professional development activities and collegial work. 4. One of the most productive ways for districts to facilitate continual improvement is to hers‘ capacity to use formative assessments of student progress aligned develop teac with district expectations for student learning, and to use formative data in devising and implementing interventions during the school year. 5. Districts should strive for continuity in district leadership. Such continuity is integral to the development and implementation of a coherent and effective support system for improving and sustaining the quality of student and school performance. 6. District leaders need to take steps to monitor a nd sustain high - level student performance wherever it is found, and to set ambitious goals for student learning that go beyond proficiency levels on standardized tests. Focusing improvement efforts performing schools and students is not a pro solely on low - ductive strategy for continual improvement in a district. 214

217 2.7 A Synthesis of Implications for Policy and Practice about District Leadership Implications for District Policy Making Develop district policies and clear expectations that support community and parental 1. While policies have an impact, our findings also suggest that the impact engagement. will be limited if policies are promulgated without regard for incentives principals may need to increase the influence of parents and community members with in schools. Incorporating indicators of parental and community involvement into principal assessment practices may be warranted. Develop a professional development policy and strategy for principals and district 2. administrators. Support for principals is p erceived as high in the districts we studied, but opportunities for significant professional development tend to be informal and unsystematic. While we know that adults learn best through experience, districts must provide a framework for individual and co llective growth if they are to realize the full potential of their principals. 3. Focus policies and strategies on district priorities that are connected to student learning . These priorities include instructional and curriculum leadership, uses of teamwork and shared leadership focused on improvement objectives. data, and Although these leadership practices are connected to student learning, until very recently they were weakly covered in most principal licensure programs causing many practicing principals t o have limited knowledge in these areas . 4. Individualize policies that provide support for schools. Recognize the importance of different school contexts, whether they are a result of demographic characteristics, administrator experience, school size, or sc hool level. One - size - fits all policies will not lead to building confidence, and will be less likely to encourage schools to be reflective about their own capacities for redesigning their organizations to meet very local needs. Redesign human resource pol icies related to school leadership. While districts cannot 5. control all aspects of the performance of school - based leaders, serious consideration should be given to recruitment practices, discouraging turnover, planning for effective leadership transition w hen turnover occurs, and redesigning principal evaluation procedures to focus on aspects of leadership that are most critical for student learning. 6. Develop clearer policies governing data use, including priorities. These should to include expectations for ad ditional data collection at the district and school level s ensure that relevant data are available to principals and teachers in a timely fashion. 215

218 Implications for District Practice Be crystal clear and repetitive when communicating the district's a 1. genda for student Effective superintendents are visible and articulate, but they also work with learning. others in the district office so that the message is conveyed by all. Provide increased opportunities for administrators to collaborate on common wor k 2. . Without collaboration, principals‘ collective sense of efficacy is unlikely to increase. In addition, as with teachers, collaboration is associated with increased job satisfaction and motivation. 3. hers and school - level leaders Provide a wide range of intensive opportunities for teac - learning to develop the capacities they need to accomplish the district’s student . These opportunities will often take place in schools and be aimed at meeting agenda pressing challenges unique to individual schools. Support principals, particularly those new to the district or school, in providing 4. Use aligned forms of leadership distribution that build on existing strengths. distributed leadership support to help create a stronger sense of stability in the for the school and district. improvement agenda 5. Provide assistance for teachers and school - level leaders in accessing, interpreting, and making use of evidence for their decisions about teaching and learning . Minimal based decision making in schools wil - l not do much to influence support for evidence student learning, but will take time. Increased support will be especially important for secondary school staffs, where state testing data is typically more limited, and data , ool and grade levels. must be examined at the department as well as the sch 6. Spend time in schools. Most principals report that the administrators who evaluate , such as content them rarely visit their schools (other district staff members specialists, t meetings to help may be more visible). Use school visits as well as distric build principals‘ sense of efficacy or confidence in their abilities to accomplish the priorities for student learning agreed on in the district. 7. Differentiate the support provided to schools in light of schools’ individual priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and circumstances. One - size - fits - all district interventions are typically of much less value to schools than many districts believe. 8. Gather data about how well district policies are working at the school level. Work continually to increase synergy among district policies, procedures, and practices aimed at guiding and supporting the district‘s agenda for student learning. 9. Ensure coordination and coherence in support for schools across different organizational units at the district level. Schools benefit from coordinated support - provided in relation to district goals and based on shared understandings of school improvement plans and needs 216

219 10. Prioritize assistance and support to secondary schools . Secondary school ignificantly more support in all areas of practice that we have administrators need s discussed in this . and previous section s 217

220 Part Three State Leadership and Relationships with Districts Preface An investigation of leadership for school improvement and student achievement would be incomplete if it did not attend to the role of the states. Over the past three decades, the states have played an increasingly active role in promulgating policies to promote change in the education systems for which they have constitutional resp onsibility. In addition, policy makers and educators have viewed policy initiatives in light of their obligation to foster economic growth and social goals. But in matters of K - 12 education, the United States has a long tradition of local autonomy, and mus cular new efforts to launch systemic reform have not always been received with enthusiasm by schools and districts. Leadership at the state level entails dealing with policies and practices that may seem far removed from people whose interest in schools is immediate and concrete — individual students and parents, for example. State - level leaders are charged with formulating policies that will frame practice in districts and schools more sanctions for local broadly, according to the public interest, and to provide incentives and implementation of those policies. Tensions have been inevitable in these efforts, which have left no state untouched. How might these efforts be characterized? Scholarship about the relationship 241 between policy leadership and complex social change presents three main images. A is found in most policy analysis texts; it is generally technical policy perspective 242 associated with rational choice models. Policy leaders should, according to this perspective, focus on rational choices to be made once a policy issue is on the agenda. Another image emphasizes a political perspective , focusing on a naturalistic explanation of how policies are made. The indeterminate nature of leadership in the course of policy making, and the slippage that occu rs as policy refinements accrue during implementation, 243 help to explain how policies succeed or fail. Particular instruments used to reformulate policy are less important, according to this perspective, than understanding how a particular policy issue got the governor‘s or the legislative committee‘s attention in the 244 A third image, the practitioner perspective, emerges from studies of public - first place. sector administrators; it examines the tendency of administrators to seek flexibility and nterpreting policies, and ways in which this tendency affects the broader autonomy in i process of change. Professionals who will be affected by proposed changes often see new policies and regulations as distractions from or add - ons to their ―real work,‖ and therefore 245 i nterpret those policies to fit their needs. Rather than being passive recipients of policy, they are actors in the process of making policy. Professionals in schools, for example, have opportunities to pick and choose among the inducements and constraints that are 241 Louis (2007a) . 242 Ostrom (1999) . 243 . Kingdon (2003) 244 Sabatier & Jenkins - Smith (1993) . 245 Weatherly & Lipsky (1977) . 218

221 246 offered by policies to further their own interests as they orchestrate the local policy 247 process. — that is, each describes and explains Each of these perspectives has validity certain aspects of policy work. But the perspectives are seldom integ rated in studies of policy leadership. This observation has influenced us in our formulation of the following key questions about leading and managing educational change: How do issues get defined and taken seriously as policy options at the state level? 1. How do clusters of policies — 2. — get systemic efforts at shaping educational reform embedded in state agencies and transmitted to create a local impact? 3. How does local autonomy on the part of district and school leaders shift the process of systems change? I n Part Three we examine variations among state legislative and gubernatorial leaders (Section 3.1), and state education agencies (Section 3.2), in how policy leadership is undertaken, and we examine consequences of the variations. We also describe, in the context of policy work, differences in the relationships found among schools, districts, and states (Section 3.3) — differences that range significantly in their apparent value for fostering improvement in teaching and learning. Adopting a political scienc e framework focused on policy cultures and policy policy cultures can be, from state to state, levers in, we show in Section 3.1 how different and how stable they can be over time. We also identify wide variations across a sample of states in the policy in struments they choose to employ. We conclude, in part, that few states develop comprehensive approaches to education reform, and that the quite general state education agencies (SEAs) direction states provide to and districts offers limited guidance for sp ecific approaches to improving teaching and learning. State - level leadership is not confined to legislative action. SEAs play an important role in interpreting policy and providing support and guidance to districts and schools. The evidence we present in Section 3.2 shows that SEAs serve as the primary agencies for translating state mandates into action. In their work, SEAs now are increasingly occupied with creating partnerships to deliver technical assistance to districts, especially iles of weak student achievement. districts with prof In Section 3.3 we provide accounts of how districts interact with state and federal policies. These policies, our evidence suggests, have modest but important effects on local districts‘ efforts at planning for improvemen t. Typically, district and school leaders agree with the general intentions expressed in state and federal policy, but they exercise considerable discretion in implementing policies, taking care to honor local priorities in the process. We provide a synthe sis of implications for policy and practice in Section 3.4. 246 Honig & Hatch (2004) . 247 Wallace (2003) . 219

222 3.1 State Political Cultures and Policy Leadership Key Findings All states are exercising policy leadership intended to improve teaching and  learning. State policy leadership for improved teac hing and learning often predates, by a  decade or more, the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.  Across the states, there is strong demand for increased leadership activity at the state level. The common pattern of demand, however, does not tr anslate into similar policies among the states.  Policy instruments used to improve teaching and learning vary from state to state. Because few states have adopted comprehensive approaches to reform, state  policy provides agencies and school districts w ith general directions for improving teaching and learning, but guidance for more specific means of achieving the goals in question is limited. Introduction How do issues get defined and taken We focus here on our first question: options at the state level? seriously as policy Prior research on the states‘ role in education can be sorted, roughly, into two categories. In one category, researchers look at the degree to which state policies are coherent and clearly focused on the objective of improving teaching and learning. In the other, researchers emphasize the limitations of state leadership, looking at ways in which state policies are filtered through different processes arising from external events and constituent preferences. We take a slightly d ifferent approach, investigating (a) how state education policies are made, (b) whether the process of policymaking is related to the policies that are emphasized, and (c) how policies are used by, and affect, educators at the local level. In taking this a pproach, we have sought to combine two of the images described in the Preface to this Section. First, we have looked for evidence of rational choices made by state leaders, particularly governors and legislators, in response to changing public demands and new data, increasingly available to policy makers, about student achievement and school performance. Second, we have used a ―naturalistic lens,‖ looking at the way in which various actors influence the choices that are made. 220

223 Over the last 25 years, there has been a distinct shift in the locus of education policymaking from the local to state level. While there are differences in how states have 249 248 exercised control over local decisions, this shift is observable everywhere. In particular, during the last de cade or so, all states have become participants in the accountability movement that has led to state curricular standards and assessment programs, with requirements that local districts report their student - learning results. Some th Carolina, have been particularly active in developing states, like Texas and Nor coherent systems of standards, tests, and positive or negative sanctions, while others, like Iowa and Nebraska, have preferred to emphasize voluntary collaboration. The new state activism and the NCL B have captured the attention of local leaders, who must now adjust their priorities to the priorities of policy makers in state capitols and elsewhere outside the local area. While some regard the NCLB Act as exemplifying a further, major shift in governa nce from the states to the federal government, the states to date have retained authority to determine implementation measures for fundamental elements of the Act. The resulting patchwork of responses has reinforced some important educational 250 mong states. differences a We know today that states must demonstrate compliance with NCLB, but we know much less about particular ways in which states cope with their responsibility (some would say opportunity) to comply. We know even less about the states‘ approach es to the analysis and use of test scores and other sources of data at the school level. Thus, while many observers have pointed to the increased potency of the state as a 251 the role of states in interpreting political actor in educational policy, national legislation has been treated less extensively. Most reports on differences among the states are descriptive, although some analysts suggest that rigorous state accountability systems 252 been can raise student achievement. How they might do this has not, however, explored in detail. We lack detailed, comprehensive information about the ways in which states are interpreting federal legislation and exercising in adapting legislation leadership to specific circumstances and needs arising in their schools. The fo llowing specific questions drove this part of our study: Are there differences among states in the way in which legislative policy has evolved  to address the broad goal of improving teaching and learning?  If differences exist, what implications do they have for the role of local school leaders and other stakeholders who have legitimate interests in shaping policies and practices that might foster improvement in teaching and learning? 248 Timar (1997); Tyack & James (1986) . 249 Clune & White (1992); Reeves (1990); Timar & Kirp (1988) . 250 Stecher et al. (2008) . 251 Clune (1987); Reeves (1990); Timar & Kirp (1988) . 252 . Carnoy & Loeb (2002) 221

224 Previous Research To explore the role of state leadership, we draw on literature that examines state policy making. This includes studies of the states‘ role in promoting quality education, studies of state policy cultures, and studies of policy instruments available to states. We draw on two sets of research: one examin es the role of political culture in determining the process and characteristics of state policy leadership; the other examines the policy instruments that are used to motivate change. State Political Culture education, political culture plays a As states work to develop policies to improve - role in determining how they balance conflicting expectations and opportunities. State specific studies show that political culture and accumulated history help to predict the 253 dynamics and outcomes of legislation. A st ate‘s political decisions are visibly affected by power, but decision outcomes, particularly in the case of complex policies, are only modestly predicted by the preferences of those with the deepest pockets and legislative majorities. Rather, culture affec ts outcomes by creating a context in which decisions are 254 made. State political culture is more than the aggregation of individual preferences and values. It is reflected in social awareness, observable in repeated patterns of behavior 255 - making process. We can ―see‖ culture in the history of public during the policy discourse, repeated actions, and expressed preferences of groups — all of which form a 256 context in which legislators and others act. Usually defined as the enduring political attitudes and behavi ors associated with groups that live in a defined geographical 257 context, political culture persists over time, influencing states as they address issues old and new. Elezar‘s early classification of the political cultures of U.S. states posited three obal ―types‖ that are still viewed as relevant in more recent studies: ―moral‖ (emphasis gl on the importance of society and the role of the government in preserving the public good), ―traditional‖ (emphasis on the importance of social and family ties with g overnment see as an important means of preserving the existing social order), and ―individualistic‖ (the role of government should be limited to areas that promote private Building on Elezar‘s types, later analyses of policy development, info rmed initiative). especially by Herzik (1985), reveal four dimensions of political culture that underlie the three types: 1. : broad political participation, as contrasted with constrained participation or Openness elite dominance. 253 . Lee (1997); Mazzoni (1993); Sacken & Medina (1990) 254 Berezin (1997) . 255 Chilton (1988 ) . 256 Wirt et al. (1988) . 257 . azar (1970); Lieske (1993) El 222

225 2. : distributed power sources (no one center), as contrasted with Decentralism concentration of power in the legislature or governor‘s office. 3. Rationalism : policies based on comprehensive and/or coherent solutions to social problems, as contrasted with multiple, unrelated initiatives or limited g overnment activity. 4. Egalitarianism : persistent policies to redistribute resources to minimize disparities, as contrasted with limited efforts in redistribution. Each dimension implies a corresponding pattern of political behavior. For example, in open p olitical cultures the general public influences the operation of government entities and political processes; closed political cultures have more stringent requirements for participation, yielding less public influence. States tending toward rationalism en act comprehensive programs (for school reform, e.g.) to solve specific problems, while states tending toward decentralism place more emphasis on local control 258 The long - term effects of culture may not be visible in every legislative and choice. cause no government is entirely consistent. However, they become apparent session, be over longer periods of time. Education research underscores the significance of Herzik‘s dimensions, and 259 points to their relevance for understanding state education policy. Recent analyses also point to emerging norms and values that may be important for understanding how and 260 why various issues dominate the education policy process. Accordingly, we add two dimensions to Herzik‘s formulation: 5. : an emphasis on cost Efficiency - benef its analysis, the application of business models, and optimization of policy performance, as contrasted with limited attention to weighing benefits against cost. 6. : an emphasis on an elaborated state role in providing oversight and Quality quality of public services, as contrasted with a less systematic, laissez monitoring the - faire approach to determining quality. Policy Levers An underlying problem — how policymakers can use blunt tools to achieve more 262 261 — has been noted by researchers in politica l science subtle ends as well as education. The levers politicians choose are critical because legislation must be acceptable to the electorate at large (―No new taxes!‖), but it must also provide appropriate incentives or tools to those who must implement them (―No unfunded mandates!‖). The premise that there are multiple but limited ways to achieve the same end is critical to our way of 258 Timar & Kirp (1988). 259 Amrein & Berliner (2005); Febey & Louis (2009); Stecher et al. (2008); and Wong (1989) . 260 Wirt et al. (1988 ); Wood & Theobald (2003) . 261 Woodside (1986). 262 McDonnell & Elmore (1987); Woodside (1986) . 223

226 thinking about political culture. States may differ from one another in the instruments they use to achieve a goal that they all e spouse, such as equity in education. One example can be found in school finance. Variation in finance strategies persists as a result of enduring patterns of legislative politics, structural limitations, economic constraints, and 263 Owing to political and economic pressures, policymakers typically use legal contexts. a narrow range of levers that they believe are likely to produce positive short - term 264 results. - term policy States have struggled, therefore, with finding appropriate longer e teaching and learning mechanisms to influenc the main focal point of education — policy, but also the area most resistant to change from outside the school. In our initial analysis, we made use of use four policy instruments described by McDonnell and Elmore (1987, p. 137): 1. Mandates : enacting laws, regulations, and requirements, including sanctions. 2. System change : legislating restructuring; changing governance or legal/financial relationships, including the provision of new alternatives. 3. Capacity building : using profession al development, providing access to new information or data, and developing leadership. 4. Inducements : providing financial aid (targeted or general), special grants programs, and other investments in the human or physical infrastructure. New Evidence In investigating state legislative leadership, we focused on two questions:  Are there differences among states in the way in which legislative policy has evolved to address the broad goal of improving teaching and learning?  If differences exist, what impl ications do they have for the role of local school leaders and other stakeholders who have legitimate interests in shaping policies and practices that might foster improvement in teaching and learning? To carry out this analysis we talked to people who ar e active in formal or informal policy leadership. We conducted interviews in the 10 states of our larger sample (including Mississippi for our state - level data collection). At the legislative level, we interviewed between eight and eleven people in each st ate, including the chairs of senate and house education committees, a representative of the governor‘s office, and various stakeholders, including business people and people representing professional associations, unions, higher education, and at least one ―policy entrepreneur‖ who had a long history of observing and participating in policy discussions at the state level. 263 Wong (1989) . 264 Elmore & Fuhrman (1995). 224

227 We analyzed our interview data to develop a ―policy culture profile‖ for each state. The profiles include the following elements: A l  ist of key actors who influence education policy making over multiple policies that all respondents considered important. The degree to which the state took an active role in setting directions for  improvement at the local level.  The process by which ke y actors influence the content of educational policy, particularly policy relating to standards, accountability, and leadership for improvement. We verified each analysis by checking facts, using the World Wide Web; in several cases, we also used an infor mant who, while not a policy actor, has studied state education policy. A sample of three states is shown in Table 3.1.1. We selected this sample from the larger set of ten cases because the three sample states illustrate diversity re. in state political cultu 225

228 Table 3.1.1 State Political Cultures and Policy Instruments Directed at Increasing Student Achievement Oregon Nebraska Indiana Political Culture Very open Very open Very open 1. Openness Centralized Balanced Decentralized Decentralism 2. Some movement Rationalized/ Rationalized/ sm Rationali 3. toward rationalism for comprehensive for comprehensive for leadership accountability; limited accountability; limited development and in leadership in leadership accountability Limited emphasis on Moderate emphasis; Moderate emphasis; Egalitarianism 4. - - egalitarianism focus on within focus on school finance equalization school equality Moderate emphasis on n Moderate emphasis o Little emphasis on Efficiency 5. efficiency; thematic efficiency; thematic efficiency and not embedded in and not embedded in policy policy High emphasis on Moderate emphasis on High emphasis on 6. Quality quality; responsibility quality; many state quality; responsibility policies to promote shared between state rests with districts and assess quality and districts Policy Instruments Moderate emphasis on Very limited Many mandates; most Mandates 1. with state funding mandates mandates; little state funding Modest initiatives Strong/persistent Limited initiatives 2. System Change efforts - Limited state funded funded Strong emphasis on - Limited state y Building Capacit 3. – - state funded capacity capacity building capacity building – indirect building indirect Limited Limited Limited Inducements 4. State Leadership Patterns Inner: Legislature, Inner: SEA, Board of nor, Inner: Gover 1. The Key Actors Education, Oregon Commissioner, Governor, General Assembly Commissioner Business Council, Oregon Education Near: A variety of Near: State Board of Association, State business and farm Education, Education Universities groups, professional Roundtable Near: coalitions and and community organizations professional groups 226

229 Nebraska Indiana Oregon Low but increasing. High. Key role of n Moderate. Citize 2. Emphasis on The state is not seen elected officials; state initiatives and Setting Direction agencies equally tradition of local input as a source of place limits on role of involved; seen by all leadership for state. as influential. innovation and improvement. Influence exercised Only the Influence exercised How Influence Is 3. through centralized Commissioner of through both central Exercised cussion; and more localized but public dis Education is seen as a use of mandates with public discussion; consistent source of funding. Incorporation state influence; other influence exercised by actors move in of educational and - and - man y groups that are business sector voices out, depending on the not part of state ce issue. State influen government. leads to low conflict Networks of influence over education policy operates almost exclusively through are well connected, leadership. but diffuse. discussion and consensus building. Results Comparisons across the states warrant five claims, which we elaborate below. States Are Leaders improving All the states in our sample take their legislative leadership role in teaching and learning seriously. All had enacted significant legislation related to setting standards and establishing school - improvement strategies well before NCLB. Top legislative priorities in these states include education finance, education al improvement, and curricular standards. In addition, except for respondents from one state, respondents believed that states, not the federal government, were driving leadership efforts aimed at improving teaching and learning. Respondents in almost all states argued that they were able to incorporate NCLB requirements into initiatives they had already put in place. Nebraska, which resisted efforts to develop a state test, is the only exception. Differences in Leadership Patterns and Policy Processes Are Enduring In spite of the widespread view that federal initiatives are undermining the states‘ role in education, there is still a great deal of variation in education policy and practice among the states. States differ from one another in the nature of sp ecific reform policies they adopt and in ways in which policy proposals find their way on to the policy agenda and into legislation. There are well - established differences in processes of policy development, the specific levers used, and the ways in which states attempt to influence - districts and schools. Moreover, state level activity in support of leadership and accountability appears to reflect the distinctive political cultures of the respective states. 70s continue to be so today, while those States that appeared to be ―traditional‖ in the 19 that were more ―individualistic‖ have changed very little. Only one state in our sample 227

230 (New Mexico) was engaged in an effort to challenge entrenched policy - making practices, — d at the time by the governor and a legislator — and it is unclear whether that effort le will be successful. States Vary in Whose Voices Are Most Prominent in Legislative Leadership In some states, leadership reflects the preferences of ―political elites,‖ including the governor and legislators. In other states, the range of influential parties is broader. This is a difference that makes a difference. Where more voices are heard, state policies are more likely to provide leeway for districts to make decisions based on local needs and interests. T he issue of power in policy formulation is important, but additional empirical research on how diverse voices are included in or excluded from policy deliberations during the policy formation process. vement Are the Exception Comprehensive, Rationalized Policies for School Impro Rather than the Rule All states acknowledge responsibility for improving teaching and learning. In our sample, however, only three states had adopted an approach that could be categorized as systemic and comprehensive rather than i ncremental. In other words, in Table 3.1.1, Indiana represents the exception rather than the mainstream. In most states, support is strong for allowing multiple, local voices to shape the policy agenda, and efforts at systemic change are limited. State - lev el leadership has become increasingly important; at the same time, most states have been reluctant to make radical changes to systems that have historically been decentralized. Mandates Are the Most Common Feature of Legislative Leadership; Inducements A re the Least Common Mandates, largely unfunded, are the most common feature of state education policy, and this pattern predates the requirements of the No Child Left Behind national dates and/or required legislation. In all but one of the states, for example, state testing man state curriculum standards pre - dated NCLB. A small number of states have used levers 265 For example, Indiana adopted a 5 point intended to create modest system change. educational quality indicator system in 2001, and merged its indep endent Teacher Professional Standards Board into the Department of Education in 2005. Only a few have made sustained efforts at capacity building (such as Missouri‘s 1993 Outstanding Schools Act provided funding for a state - wide teacher professional devel opment system, or New Jersey‘s provision of significant additional resources to high poverty ―Abbott‖ school districts). There has been little formal change in legislative attention to capacity building since the passage of NCLB. As we shall see in the ne xt Section, however, capacity building has become prominent in efforts made by state education agencies as they respond to NCLB requirements. None of the states relies extensively on inducements. 265 We exclude charter school authorization from our analysis of system change levers. In 1991 Minnesota he first charter school law in the United States. passed t 228

231 Implications for Policy and Practice s for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. Five implication Federal leadership, backed by new legislation and widespread demand for 1. - board - education reform, has not to date been sufficient to ensure across the learning. The states have enacted a patterns of improvement in teaching and various efforts to patchwork of standards and tests in their improve teaching and 266 dated NCLB, but this study confirms the - learning. This variability pre 267 shed differences. observation that federal legislation has not substantially dimini 2. In formulating education policy, states continue to use practices deeply embedded in their particular traditions and political cultures. History and culture will continue to play a mediating role in efforts to rationalize education po licy. State leaders respond to longstanding preferences about how policy decisions should be made. It is unlikely, even given federal efforts to coordinate education policy, that state legislative or gubernatorial leadership will become more rationalized . A state‘s political culture does not preclude adjustment in policies based on broad social preferences, but these adjustments will continue to be filtered through, for example, interest - group lobbying, elite preferences, and broad public discussion in ef forts to reach consensus. 3. We will continue to see variation across states in levels of student learning for some time . Many states operate with a limited set of instruments to bring to bear on the task of improving and strengthening education policy. Gi ven that states tend not to change governance practices easily or rapidly, current patterns of variation are likely to persist. 4. As long as states play the lead role in education policy making, their actions will have significant implications for other a ctors with greater access to levers for change. These actors include, of course, the local districts that must incorporate state and local laws into their own sets of policies; they also include state education agencies (SEAs). Most SEAs play a sign ifica nt role in adjudicating increas ing demands from state and federal legislation for and testing; many also assist accountability districts in shaping standards and curriculum , while local schools districts are responsible for adapting to legislation and regu lations from state and national levels . The way in which SEAs and local educators have adapted to state initiatives will be the focus of the next two chapters. 266 McDermott (2003) . 267 (2007) . LeFloche et al . 229

232 Districts respond to state leadership initiatives, but districts are also actors in the 5. ive process, usually indirectly through professional associations. legislat In interaction with legislators, often through professional associations, district leaders may shape policy by emphasizing points of interest that condition how y into their districts‘ agendas. (This issue is explored they incorporate state polic in more detail in Section 3.3.) 230

233 3.2 The Changing Leadership Role of State Education Agencies Key Findings  State Education Agencies (SEAs) report major shifts in the focus of their work brought ab out by state and federal standards and accountability legislation.  The greatest shift has been in the agencies‘ monitoring functions, from inputs to outputs.  SEAs are putting more energy into partnerships for delivering technical assistance to districts .  SEAs increasingly target technical assistance and support to districts with records of low student achievement.  SEAs are required to take on new roles during a period of cutbacks in funding. Introduction In this section we address our second quest ion about the state‘s leadership role in efforts to improve teaching and learning: How do clusters of policies systemic efforts at — — shaping education reform get embedded in state agencies and transmitted to create a local impact? by focusing on state education agencies (SEAs). SEAs We approach this question play an important role in interpreting policy and providing support and guidance to schools. In current national dialogues about school improvement, SEAs have increasingly been asked to provide oversight and support for districts in their efforts to meet ambitious 268 goals for increasing student achievement. SEAs also clarify education policy for districts. We focus on two areas:  How do key SEA staff members see their role in respect to the goal of imp roving teaching and learning? What activities define the role of SEA staff members as policy actors and administrators across the states?  How are SEAs responding to increased responsibilities in a time of diminishing resources? 268 . Education Alliance (n.d.) 231

234 Prior Research 269 aintained a leadership role in education for more than 150 years. SEAs have m As mediating institutions between state governments and local districts, their legitimacy 270 Recently, national reform efforts and impact on public education has varied greatly. have enhance d the SEAs‘ role as agents for change. However, the capacity and influence 271 of the SEAs has been contingent on federal initiatives that support their leadership. For example, Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Chapter 2 of the Educat ion Consolidation and Improvement Act provided funding and legitimization for 272 the administrative role of SEAs. Until recently, little empirical research has been done on the leadership role of 273 In some circles there has been a misguided assumptio n that SEAs are passive SEAs. 274 agents in reform initiatives. Some researchers have omitted SEAs from the roster of participants in policy activity, focusing solely on the federal government, state 275 Other researchers ha ve explained that governments, school districts, and schools. 276 leadership activity by SEAs varies greatly across states. Recent research has begun to cast SEAs in a new light, providing empirical evidence to show that SEAs increasingly act as agents for quality assurance in reform initiatives, par ticularly when state governments fail to do so. Still, we know little about 277 the complex nature of SEAs‘ mixed roles in policy, administration, support services, 278 and political activity. In this mixed batch of scholarship, what stands out, in respect to ou r research, is that SEAs play a pivotal role mediating between localism and federalism in education policy and practice. The challenges for SEAs are great. They are not always well structured or well equipped for their responsibilities. Participants at a recent symposium at Brown University identified some of the problems:  Departments within SEAs operate as silos; there is little collaboration or communication across departments and districts.  It is difficult for SEAs to provide technical assistance to districts, given that their primary role has been to monitor compliance. 269 Timar (1997) . 270 Timar (1997). 271 Fuhrman & Elmore (1990); Timar (1997) . 272 . Fuhrman & Elmore (1990; Timar (1997) 273 Hamann & Lane (2004); Louis & Corwin (1984); Manna (2004); and Walker (2004) . 274 Haman n & Lane (2004); (Louis & Corwin, 1984). 275 Fowler (2000). 276 Dentler (1984); Louis & Corwin (1984) . 277 James (1991) . 278 Manna (2004) ; Timar (1997). 232

235  level SEAs have difficulty hiring the right people to do the work of supporting district - 279 activity aimed at improving teaching and learning. SEAs evolve within the social and politic al traditions of their respective states. They are embedded in state policy cultures. They are nonetheless moving forward in the current context of reform activity. In this sense, like the states, they are responding to rising pressure to increase accounta bility and improve student learning. They are enhancing their oversight of school programs, providing more support directly to districts and school staff, and increasingly targeting districts in distress for assistance. For each of these three key themes, our analysis will highlight states that exemplify the emerging role of the SEAs. New Evidence In each SEA, we interviewed between two and four people who were directly ity, responsible (their actual titles varied) for relevant units dealing with accountabil testing, school improvement, curriculum, and standards. We conducted a total of 29 interviews, by telephone, in the summer of 2008. Each interview lasted about an hour. We transcribed the interviews and coded the transcripts according to themes implie d by two main questions:  How do key SEA staff members see their role in respect to the goal of improving teaching and learning? What activities define the role of SEA staff members as policy actors and administrators across the states?  How are SEAs respo nding to increased responsibilities in a time of diminishing resources? The Changing Leadership Roles of SEAS: Oversight and Monitoring. - NCLB) standards movement that swept across the U.S. During the early (pre s expanded to emphasize academic education system, the statutory role of SEA achievement and the evaluation of district and school personnel (including teacher licensure). This shift, supported by new uses of technology and database development, is most evident in SEA work related to new accreditat ion processes. As SEA workloads have increased, SEA staff members have focused increasingly on tasks related to legislated curricular standards and assessment systems. Re - evaluating the process of evaluation: Interpreting state mandates. Across the state s, quality education is defined by student performance on exams and preparedness for college, workforce, or the military. A state‘s ability to provide a quality education is often measured through evaluation and monitoring via state accreditation processes . These processes focus on the quality of school operations, instruction, governance, personnel, financing, student performance, and school safety. Accreditation processes 279 . Education Alliance (2008) 233

236 have a long history. Across the states, however, new policies have strengthened syst ems for evaluation and monitoring. One result has been increased attention to schools in need. The states have not responded uniformly to new accountability requirements. ance - In Missouri, for example, respondents indicate that accreditation used to be compli driven, with similar evaluation standards and processes applied to each school. With the advent of new accountability requirements, however, things changed. Within the SEA, schools, staff members engaged in new discussions about problems related to struggling where SEA support seemed inadequate and performance levels remained low. A consensus emerged within the agency about the need to direct resources to the neediest schools. A pre - requisite was more reliable accreditation measures, which accurately r eflected school performance. As a result, the SEA developed a new model for evaluation. The new model, one interviewee said, ―makes it more clear which districts are - performing schools are waived on some performance standards to in the most need. High allo w our office to focus energies on schools in need.‖ New Jersey, in contrast, has a long history of legal decisions related to school funding and performance. This history has had a powerful impact on the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). The Ab bott vs. Burke decision (1985) prompted the performing school NJDOE to focus its efforts and resources on 31 low - income/low - districts. For more than two decades, the NJDOE targeted most of its resources to these ―Abbott Dist ricts,‖ assuming complete respon sibility for oversight and governance in three large districts. - and less - While Missouri has just begun to differentiate among more needy districts, New Jersey is moving in a different direction. In 2005, the state legislature passed the New Jersey Qualit y Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) Act. This legislation changed the role of the NJDOE by expanding the types of districts that can receive support from the state. The intention was to shift the focus from the 31 Abbott Districts, which were genera lly larger districts in a state that is dominated by very small districts. The Act also provides for more monitoring by the SEA, which is required to evaluate schools in five critical areas (operations management, instruction and programs, governance, fisc al management, and personnel) every three years, as opposed to every seven years under the former system. Since 2007, the DOE has been able to support districts that were once overlooked. As one respondent pointed out, this also requires ―unlearning‖: Tha t‘s one of the things that we‘ve learned in the very short time — the 14 months — is that we have a lot of history in dealing with troubled districts, but we‘ve worked with them in a different way. And now we‘re, under QSAC, we have an obligation to work with all the districts ... This year...we have districts that [have a] single buildings. So we are learning how to deal with very small schools and districts that have the same, oftentimes very similar problems but don‘t have the personnel or the infrastructure. 234

237 Building trust: Eliminating the boogey man and humanizing state leadership . For different reasons, SEA staff members believe that they do not have a favorable image among district and school staff members. Not surprisingly, SEA respondents from across e states explained that they are often met with feelings of trepidation among local staff th when it is their turn to go through the evaluation process. Respondents also explained that to build trust. they are taking an active approach to dispelling such feelings by efforts Because of the contentious environment that surrounds evaluation and monitoring, respondents said, the effort to build trust is a key component of their more general effort to help schools and districts identify areas in need of improvement . One Mississippi respondent spoke for many: Initially, we‘re not received real well... . Because they think that we‘re coming to ―get ‘em.‖ So we have to go in and do a lot of, kind of a, what I call almost a PR kind of campaign to let them know it‘s not a ―gotcha‖ kind of a process. We‘re here to help you figure out what are some things that are likely causing the test scores to be low and then how are we going to fix them so that we can advance the achievement of these students and move the academic per formance of the school and the district forward. So, once we leave, we‘re pretty well received. Actually, most of the time, they don‘t want us to leave; they want us to stay there with them. But initially, it‘s a little rocky. the states we sampled explained that focusing on Respondents in about half of relationships and customer service was a priority established by their current state - building initiatives superintendents. A slightly smaller group claimed that relationship were initiated by their offices — i.e., were not driven by departmental policy. Irrespective of whose priority the shift to ―customer focused‖ work had been, most respondents explained that building trust was a response to the strained relationship, which had developed in the early years o f the accountability movement, between the state and the districts. Here is one respondent‘s reaction: I would say that there are improved relationships with the districts... . They understand that we‘re not just there to point a finger and say, ―Ah, you did that wrong, that wrong and that wrong.‖ ... [Y]es, we all have to be in compliance with the federal and state statutes...[but]... we are also the technical assistance entity, more so...when I first came to the department. We represented a different auth ority that could come down and, you know, shut down shop if we chose to. But that‘s not the way we work and it‘s not the way we want them to see us. Monitoring and takeover under resource constraints: The dark side of mandates . ditation is to ensure that schools meet specific quality The purpose of state accre standards. In some states, if a district fails to meet requirements for accreditation, the state can take over that district. Three states in our sample have engaged in takeovers. But a takeover by a n SEA is a drastic move that no state wants to make, in part because takeovers put a strain on resources. SEAs operate with relatively small staffs. In one state 235

238 we sampled, fewer than five staff members are responsible for the oversight of - improvement plans of more than 30 schools, with dozens of and school accountability schools being added each year. Across the states, staff members rely increasingly on other groups to aid in their oversight efforts. In Mississippi, retired professionals have been a key resource: - performing schools We go into the schools that are considered the lowest in the state and try to help them with an outsider‘s point of view. We have 100 - plus contract workers that are retired educators. . . ; and they‘re trained on these instrum ents, and they go in and evaluate these school systems to try to help them. . . figure out that these are some of the things that are possibly contributing to the low student test scores, low student achievement scores. Missouri also goes outside the sta te system to use quasi - independent Regional Professional Development Centers to support oversight efforts. The need to do so arises primarily because of state cutbacks, which have meant substantial loss of SEA staff. At the same time (and partly as a resul t), the SEA has had to reorganize — to move staff improvement away from working on specific programs toward a more general school - strategy that all staff members can share in. However, the process of changing internal culture in the agency is slow, and it re quires collaboration with other divisions. And at the same time, as one respondent pointed out, ―Nothing has been removed.‖ Reliance on the Regional Professional Development Centers is a necessity, but it has had unanticipated benefits: The [Regional Cent ers] view themselves as collaborative partners. They do monitor whether the district is doing what it said it would...and effectively for student achievement...but they can do this more than DESE staff because they have a working relationship with districts. T hey serve as critical friends...know the right questions to ask and can hold districts accountable. Those states (e.g., Oregon, Texas and Nebraska) that have substantial regional agencies also use those agencies in providing professional development and ass istance in meeting standards. The Changing Roles of SEAs: Direct Support and Capacity Building for Districts and Administrators Traditionally, school - improvement activity has emphasized professional development in curriculum and instruction, and complian ce with state initiatives. Four of the states in our sample had legislatively initiated and well - established programs for administrator professional development prior to the beginning of our study (see Table 3.2.1). All, however, targeted principals and a ll delivered professional assistance and autonomous units or through regional educational service - development through semi agencies (RESAs) 236

239 Table 3.2.1 State Policy Initiatives Related to Leadership Development 1985: Indiana Principal Leaders hip Academy (IPLA) established. Current Indiana program provides 18 days of professional development over two years to cohorts. 1985: Leadership Academy established; 1987 amended to establish satellite Missouri p Academy responsibility programs across the state. 1993 gave the Leadershi for administering state funds for professional development; 1994 established regional professional development centers. The Leadership Academy was given major responsibility for developing and revising leadership preparation ards. stand 1984: Principal Executive Program established based on legislative task North force recommendations. 1995: UNC - Center for School Leadership Carolina established by legislature. The Center incorporates the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching , the Teacher Academy, the Principals‘ Executive Program and the NC Mathematics - Science Education Network. No state level activity mentioned; training and support provided through Nebraska regional service agencies (ESDs) on a request basis. 2004: Professional development initiative for school leaders. Applies to New principals, superintendents, & ―everybody that falls into a school Jersey administrator certification.‖ Administrators must identify school leadership professional development goals, conn ect goals to improving teaching & learning, and develop a professional growth plan. At present: Inactive (there is a website, but no new information on it). SAELP grant not mentioned in policy interviews. A number of initiatives proposed at v arious points; none was passed with New funding. SAELP not mentioned in interviews, but is mentioned in legislative Mexico briefs. No evidence on state websites of any significant continuing activities. 1999: Blue Ribbon Panel on leadership lead to establ ishment of leadership New academy. Wallace Foundation grants used to focus on New York City; this York leadership academy still very active. Major state focus is on teacher centers; leadership development outside of the NYC area is provided by RESAs (BOCES) No significant legislative action mentioned; 2004: Wallace Foundation Oreg on grants resulted in six school districts across the state serving as "Demonstration Districts" for what was then known as "the State Action for Education Leadership." Participating dis tricts expanded to 10, and formed the Oregon Leadership Network (OLN) . 1995: Texas Principals Leadership Initiative (TPLI) created by an education Texas and business coalition and approved in 1995 by the state Education professional development for Commissioner, provides assessment - driven Texas principals. 2006: a principal academy (TXPEP) was funded by the state. Provides leadership professional development, coaching, mentoring to cohorts focused on quality management with a strong business focus. 237

240 T h in providing support to local educators has evolved. As e role of the SEAs — try to focus on growth, development, and school improvement noted above, SEAs now — not merely on compliance in working with districts. In examining this trend, we identified four th emes emerging across the states: (1) Utilizing regional organizations and building central office capacity; (2) Building capacity with limited resources ; (3) Blending mandates and capacity building ; and (4) Changing technical assistance roles of SEAs: Targ eting districts in distress. Utilizing regional organizations and building central office capacity . Table 3.2.1 indicates that many states use Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) to help provide important services as well as helping to provide oversight of districts and schools. In the case of states like Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Oregon and Texas, RESAs provide professional development services. In general, across all states that have them, RESAs are used for professional training, devel opment, and instructional support. The structure and position of RESAs in the educational system, and their relationship to SEAs, vary from state to state. Some exist as dispersed offices functioning as regional offices of the SEA (Texas). Some are quasi - independent entities that contract with the SEA (Nebraska, Oregon). Funding arrangements also vary; some quasi - independent RESAs may receive nearly all or only a fraction of their funds from the state (Missouri). Other RESAs are supported primarily by ser vice for - sale transactions with - schools and districts. Respondents from three states below highlight the important role that RESAs play in supporting efforts to provide quality education: . It‘s It‘s not usually our agency officials that are going on to the site usually some either Regional Education Service Center. We have 20 Regional Educational Service Centers in the state that we provide funding to them to do that. Or we have other non - profits that we grant funding to go and do that work for us. They ar e quasi. Their Executive Director reports technically to the Commissioner, but they have a separate Board of Directors and they also receive some state funding and other funding they hey generate on a fee basis from services they provide to school districts. T are sort of a quasi - governmental agency. (Texas Education Agency) What we‘re doing in our unit is opening satellite offices in five different regions in the state, and we will work with existing educational partners, including those regional education cooperatives. Well, they‘ll support the schools, leaders, and teachers through the districts. They‘ll certainly work some with the schools, but to build local capacity we really work through the districts to support those schools. (New Mexico Public Educa tion Department) We wanted to use our ESDs; we wanted to use that regional structure because that‘s the one that closest to the action. ESDs are closer to districts than we are. And this was driven by diminishing capacity on our t did not have the capacity, either financial or part, to be honest. We jus 238

241 human, to work with schools directly...the positive thing is that we are building capacity at the district level, the districts are rebuilding their own time, there is this capacity to better serve their schools. But at the same perception that we are not providing as much support and leadership as we have in the past. And again, some of that is driven by capacity. (Oregon Department of Education) Of course states do not rely exclusively on RESAs to support ca pacity development at the district level. Even states that have less well - established RESAs are finding that they need new collaborators within their own agencies in order to meet the needs of schools and districts. Indiana, for example, is blending fundin g from several - year institute academy for principals and teams offices and programs to provide a two from underperforming schools. Building capacity with limited resources: Expectations for state leadership often outweigh the capacity of the SEAs to resp ond. As noted, SEAs rely on regional service units to provide support for capacity building, but there has been another shift in strategy as well. In most states, capacity building has focused on providing direct training and . While districts were usually informed of these efforts, they support to teachers in schools were not viewed as partners. One of our respondents, for example, indicated that the SEA felt obligated to respond to direct requests for assistance from schools because, in many cases, distric ts lacked the capacity or knowledge to provide such assistance, or they provided assistance that was not deemed helpful. Increasingly, however, limited resources and an expanded leadership agenda have prompted SEAs to view districts as partners. This shif t has been consistent with the increasing emphasis in NCLB legislation on district as well as school performance. The significance of this shift for tracing the effects of state leadership on improved student tate respondent put it: learning should not be underestimated. As one s We began basically to look at the state/local relationship and felt that the emphasis really needs to be placed on districts because districts are ultimately responsible for the performance of their schools and students. In our ca se, we felt the need to build capacity at the district level to support schools and students. And therefore, we made the shift that we‘re going to focus on, work with district level leadership. Even in states where system change has not been prominent in legislative initiatives, it has begun to seep into the working assumptions of SEA leaders who are tasked with responsibility for translating legislation into action. In several SEAs, we found respondents who argued that they saw districts in new light — not as administrative units that disperse funds, but as actors in the larger leadership - for - change system in the state: The other thing that really influenced our thinking is to develop district - nges, but .. .you can go into a school and bring about cha level leadership 239

242 those changes will not be sustainable over time if the district did not buy into those changes and support them. Even states that have long sought to build school level leadership through - professional development have now shifted that work, in s ome measure, to - superintendents and districts. Indiana, for example, which has sponsored a state level leadership academy for principals since 1985, has begun hosting study councils for superintendents. Shifting the focus of support to districts as opposed to individual schools is a proposed goal of many SEA offices. However, it is a work in progress, not an accomplished fact; each SEA in our sample has continued to do significant work in schools and relies primarily on RESAs or other entities to provide pr ofessional development. While respondents from all but one state shared examples of SEA efforts to develop the leadership capacity of principals, this aspect of state leadership did not emerge in the data as a changing role of state leadership. Hence, our goal in this section of the report is not to suggest that states‘ efforts to increase school leader capacity is diminishing or absent. Rather, it is to demonstrate an increasing effort of divisions within SEAs to focus more on developing the capacity of L EA leadership so that LEAs can in turn take more of an initiative to develop school leaders. Blending mandates and capacity building . SEAs also are coping with diminishing resources and increasing demands by trying to integrate their monitoring tasks with tasks of providing technical assistance. Coupling the two represents a significant change from the practices of the past, in which reporting and oversight were pro forma except in cases hile this shift of egregious problems. In many states, respondents emphasized that, w occurred prior to NCLB, it has been accelerated by post - NCLB changes in reporting requirements. In one state, several respondents emphasized that the SEA is combining the departure. As one two roles by using the district‘s plan for improvement as a point of person noted: Basically we engage [the low performing districts] throughout the year, we provide technical assistance, we do some monitoring, and we do some reviews of what they‘re doing and how they‘re doing ... . And...our involvement inte nsifies, it increases over time... . I believe we‘re experiencing a great deal of success with it, simply because we take it seriously at the state level. We use their plan to define our engagement and interaction with that school in the district...they take i t seriously and it‘s a living, breathing document that they‘re constantly modifying based on what they‘re doing. Changing technical assistance roles of SEAs: Targeting districts in distress . The emergence of SEA support of districts is linked to the new c oncept of districts in distress, arising from the NCLB requirement for school improvement plans for ―failing districts.‖ In most states we sampled, extending support to districts represented a new responsibility raditionally focused on individual schools. for SEAs; state accountability systems had t 240

243 Furthermore, in states that have had a long history of providing technical assistance and ―we‘ll help if you — support to schools, there has been an emphasis on responsiveness call‖ — with respect to districts. Since most calls for help came from schools, states needed to develop a new way of working with a very different group of actors. The recent Education Alliance symposium on the role of SEAs in working with now are poorly aligned with district districts concluded that SEA services and capacities needs, and that SEAs lack a strategic understanding of how best to intervene with and support districts (Education Alliance, 2008, p. 54). Our data, which we collected not long after the symposium, generally confirm thi s conclusion. Although the shift to serving districts is on people‘s minds, actual ability to work with districts remains limited. The lack of a strategic focus for working with districts is complicated in states that provide support primarily through RESA s, over which they often have relatively little control (except in states like Texas and New Jersey, where they are regional offices of the SEA). The B ig C onstraint: Delivering M ore Assistance W ith L ess SEA respondents explain that in their efforts to p rovide support for districts they are limited by fiscal constraints. They are working, they say, with fewer resources, smaller staffs, and, therefore, diminished reservoirs of professional knowledge and skill. Given the heavy demands they face, the resour ce problem is especially pressing. Sample responses from three states emphasize the point: Funding has not kept up with the complex demands of schools. The federal dollars help, but the huge gap has to be picked up by the state. We really have not kept up . [The recent budget cut and freeze] had an extraordinarily hard impact on the work of the office. I‘ve got gaps in places where I can‘t afford to have gaps. ...Because I‘ve reached that point where I‘ve fallen below the ability to insure that I can get ev erything done correctly and on time. And...having people leave and having the problems that you have with trying to hire in a state organization, that‘s driving back to where I am. You‘re never staffed to the level where you need to be staffed. I think we could do more. I‘m hoping that in the future, as funding gets to a better situation we‘re able to replace our staff, build our capacities to provide more services to districts. We‘re lacking a lot of in - depth knowledge and expertise in certain areas that w e‘ve just lost over the years. Maybe I‘ve got a hundred or so people in my area, and every week, you know, every couple weeks I‘ve got another retirement without a replacement. It‘s hard, you know, you‘re losing depth of knowledge that you no longer can pr ovide. . In response, SEAs are Resource constraints are leading to innovation reassessing their practices, sometimes introducing new processes for district evaluation and support. North Carolina provides one example. Priorities there 241

244 have shifted from pr oviding assistance to schools with weak performance (primarily using retired professionals and teachers on loan) to targeting districts in distress. This shift occurred because of concerns about the success of direct e cost of sustaining that approach. The school assistance, and worries about th problem of resources has not been resolved through this change. At the time of our interviews (summer 2008), the North Carolina SEA was working with six d of improvement. districts. However, 60 districts have been identified as in nee The need to target districts has raised issues of how to set priorities and how to combine professional development services with assistance in curricular alignment for district leaders. Should SEAs target those districts with schools t hat are struggling and barely succeeding, or should they target districts with the largest number of schools in need of corrective action? The two measures yield a different set of districts in need, and on strategies. The challenge of they imply a different set of support and interventi realigning resources and priorities within SEAs has slowed the process of getting the right help to the right districts and schools. Collaboration is central. SEA respondents report that intra - agency collaboration has had a strong, positive effect on their ability to address the needs of school districts. agency collaboration amounts to a change in Across the states, the rise of intra - institutional culture. It is a change that state superintendents have sought over the last five years. Other proponents include middle managers (e.g., curriculum directors), who - making processes (e.g., increasingly make their presence known in important decision standards development) where they have been left out in the past. This change in cu lture has been a challenge; respondents see it, however, as a valuable means of streamlining district support. In Nebraska, the SEA is piloting a process of collaborating across agency units for a continuous improvement model: We have actually been going in as teams from [the SEA] to work with school districts. So, for instance, the early childhood person would be a part of the team. Our federal programs person might be a part of the team. Our curriculum person might be a part of a team. We often partner w ith our intermediate service agencies, with leaders from other schools. ... In the past ...they were separate [monitoring] visits. ...Now we‘re working on, ―Let‘s all do that together.‖ Helping the districts see how they use all of those programs towards a centr al goal to improve their school. So that is just finishing the pilot year. That is not a requirement at this point that every district does an integrated visit. The new emphasis on collaboration within certain SEAs indicates a realization that the respons ibility for school improvement is shared across offices within departments. Traditional SEA structures, which call for a division of labor across different federal programs, continue to make such collaboration difficult in many states. 242

245 Summary of Findin gs Evidence from this analysis points to six key findings . 1. The standards and accountability movement has brought about an increase in state monitoring of education. It also has caused SEAs to shift their focus, relatively speaking, away from finance s and facilities to factors more directly related to the improvement of teaching and learning. All states have long - standing accreditation systems to monitor the quality of public education. Within the last two decades, increasing pressure from the natio nal standards movement has been a primary catalyst for changes in oversight and monitoring. Most states have responded with innovations and have revised key components of e oversight procedures in response to new standards. New state and federal policies hav had a strong impact on SEA staff in all states . 2. SEAs continue to be the agencies primarily responsible for translating state and federal policy into workable requirements for districts and schools. This requires that SEA staff understand not just the laws, but also the conditions for implementation that exist in schools and districts. The mismatch between school/district abilities, which are affected by size and student demographic characteristics as well as leadership competence, make SEA staff in creasingly interested in the technical assistance component of their work. 3. The shift from a focus on funding and facilities to curricular and instructional where there is less experience with improvements creates more intense tension in states state accou ntability. Some states we sampled have worked with state standards and assessment programs for a decade or more. Others have been affected by the movement more recently, and they are now grappling with a need for changes in resource allocation as well as changes in climate or identity. Capacity to deliver on new, higher standards is viewed as a problem in all states, but smaller states with smaller SEAs feel harder pressed. Some requirements impose demands that exceed SEA capacities. 4. NCLB appeared to hav e a limited effect on educational legislative activity (as noted in Chapter 3.1) . In contrast, it has had a significant direct effect on SEAs . SEAs are required to act on many provisions of NCLB legislation that have not been the subject of legislative a ction at the state level. This is evident in the NCLB requirement that SEAs establish state support systems designed to assist schools and districts that repeatedly fail to meet state - defined Adequate Yearly Progress achievement tion (as opposed to a focus on accountability and compliance) targets. This support func represents a new dimension of SEA activity in many states. 243

246 5. are SEA adaptation to the new accountability and standards environment older monitoring obligations layered on to . SEA s was stimulated by the surge of categorical federal programs The growth of in the 1960s and 70s , which created the emphasis on fiscal and program compliance SEAs are now expected to monitor outcomes (student monitoring. Although achievement) as well as provide technical assistance, they are still obligated to carry out their responsibilities for pre - existing programs . NCLB requires technical assistance roles that are new for many SEAs. 6. Many SEAs are not well equipped to provide the kind of responsive technical assista nce and support that is needed by schools and districts . Although many rely on their regional educational service agencies and other partners, the shift in the NCLB legislation to providing direct services to districts is new and demanding. Implicatio ns for Policy and Practice Seven implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. 1. Introduce legislation to support internal collaboration and organizational change . For the most part, SEA staff members an d others view the on the part of SEAs recent change in SEA roles positively. Across the states, respondents explain that the NCLB has helped SEAs better define their role as service agencies. The need to respond to mandates in national and state legislation has prompted SEA s taff members from different offices to break out of their silos and share responsibility for educational success. This process of internal collaboration and organizational change is slow in many states, however, and it could be better supported with legisl ative action that would clarify or simplify existing requirements for program and fiscal monitoring. 2. Increase the capacity of SEA staffs. Capacity - building helps educational leaders at all levels cope with heavy mandates. SEA staff could be more effecti ve if the capacity of their offices were increased. Capacity - building will require both additional staffing in some states, but also additional professional development and training for new roles. 3. Redefine the role of SEAs and their relationships with t echnical assistance agencies (RESAs) to focus on partnerships with districts . Most SEAs are dependent on RESAs to provide technical assistance and training at the local level. Currently, RESA agencies in most states are quasi - independent; they - re directly to requests from school and district clients than to under respond mo funded SEAs. In the past, most requests for service have lead to training for 244

247 teachers or other school - focused projects. SEAs have limited incentives to offer nd services that have provided a steady flow of income RESAs to alter practices a over many years. 4. Redefine the responsibilities of the SEAs for managing federal categorical programs in such a way as to allow SEAs to devote more time and energy to helping schools and districts imp rove teaching and learning. The dilemma of increasing demands on SEAs and declining resources for SEAs requires further investigation. Testimony from SEA respondents across the 10 states suggests that SEAs do not receive enough funding to meet their resp onsibilities adequately. Quality of services and outcomes are diminished, and districts are not receiving adequate support. We suggest further investigation aimed at finding ways to strengthen SEA offices and/or their partner organizations. Possibilities i nclude increased funding or the hiring of staff members who will bring new levels of knowledge and skill to their work. 5. School improvement requires shared leadership at the state and district level. When SEA staff members emphasize their role as service providers rather than compliance monitors, they are in a position to improve their relationships with district and school staff. As relationships improve, SEAs are able to have a greater sfaction in impact on district and school improvements, and to take greater sati their efforts. Collaboration is an SEA‘s greatest ally . Working in state government can be a 6. difficult and stressful job, particularly in a period of increasing pressure to expand the scope of employees‘ responsibilities. However, SEA staff w ho reported collaborating with other units in their departments expressed greater satisfaction and improvement of initiatives. Those with stronger links to outside agencies are also more optimistic about meeting new demands. 7. University schools and departm ents of education should develop programs to provide leadership training suitable for SEA staff members. In response to the concern that SEAs are losing knowledge capacity as staff members retire faster of education begin to take than they are being replaced, we suggest that schools stock of this important change. 245

248 3.3 District and School Responses to State Leadership Key Findings  State policy influences principals, but the extent of the influence depends on the the state as supportive. degree to which local administrators see The reaction of district officials to state policies varies based on the political  culture of the state and on local context and capacities.  District leaders view state policies as vehicles for achieving local goals. Smaller districts are more likely to regard the SEA as a source of support;  - sized and larger districts have other sources, often internal to the districts medium that are more important to them. Introduction ust first pass through the filter of For state policy to affect student learning, it m school and district leadership: local values, beliefs, policies, and behaviors. State effects on student learning will always be indirect, therefore, and difficult to trace. Local r blunt them. We have sought to identify and processes might enhance those effects o assess the importance of the relevant local processes. In Part Two we examined district leaders‘ choices and behaviors as they affect school leadership and student learning. Here we examine the influence of stat e policies on the leadership behaviors of principals and district staff members. We also explore how districts view the strategies used by state governments to initiate change at the local level. We focus primarily on small (2,500 ium - sized (2,501 - 24,999 students) districts — settings that have students or less) and med been under - examined in investigations of the local effects of state policy. - level responses to state policy makers and administrative To examine district agencies, we draw on perceptions of p ower, networking, and loose coupling. The examination shows, not surprisingly, that districts and schools vary considerably in their reactions to state standards and accountability requirements. The smaller districts we sampled tended to see themselves as instruments of state policy implementation and as capable of harnessing state policy to local priorities; several of the medium and larger district portrayed state policy more as a framework and context for the pursuit of local priorities for improvement; others, in particular larger districts with poor student - learning profiles, depicted themselves more as victims of state policies leading to unfair assessments of the quality of education provided by school and district personnel in their jurisdictions. So me differences among in district responses to state policy corresponded to the larger political cultures of their states. 246

249 At the outset we note that relatively little empirical research has been done on state local relationships, particularly in respect t o smaller districts. We therefore have - framed our research in a set of exploratory questions: How do principals react to state policies, and what impact do have on 1. their reactions their leadership behavior? How do non 2. urban districts interpret their re lationship with state policy makers and - agencies? 3. Do differences among states help to account for differences in the way in which hip for improvement and their own district administrators interpret state leaders responsibilities? Previous Research earch on school districts, dormant for some time, is entering a new phase of Res activity, which has produced important investigations of the district's role in promoting 280 Many recent studies have focused on the internal educational improvement. nd decision organization a making processes in districts, illuminating the districts‘ - 281 Others examine complex struggles to create and sustain improvements in schools. ways in which district personnel work with schools, showing the link between decisions 282 and potential stu Relatively few look at the district‘s role in interpreting dent effects. state policy initiatives, in spite of early attention given to the role of the district as a 283 (re)interpreter of state policy. Researchers generally have focused on medium - or large - sized districts that clearly constitute complex organizational settings. Rural school districts, with a few 284 exceptions, have not been extensively studied, except in respect to school finance. Inattention to small, rural districts no doubt reflects the fa ct that most students in the United States attend schools in larger districts, although smaller districts the vast majority of districts across the country.. It is still the case, however, that many small districts, advantaged in their capacity to implement state and especially in rural states, are very dis 285 federal policies. Conceptual Lenses for Explaining Relationships Research to date provides various lenses through which observers have viewed - level lea dership and leadership in and sought to explain relationships between state districts and schools. In this analysis we use three of these lenses. 280 Anderson (2003); Iatarola & Fruchter (2004); and Marsh (2002) . Togneri & 281 Firestone & Martinez (2007) ; and Honig (2003) . Anderson & Rodway (2009); Coburn & Talbert (2006); 282 Stein & Coburn (2007) . 283 Spillane, Reiser, & Reimer (2002); Spillane (1998); and Youngs (2001) . 284 Howey (1996); Keedy & Allen (1998) . 285 . Jimerson (2005) 247

250 Many observers regard the Hierarchical power: States and systemic coherence. — constitutionally legitimated as such and local state as a superordinate actor — 286 gover nments as subordinate. State and federal programs assume this view, as do some foundations. In their superordinate role, states provide funding and monitor what the 287 While states vary in the degree to which they provide a strong districts do with it. ucture and financial foundations for local education, the states‘ legitimate authority in str many areas of local practice is largely uncontested, and it has increased substantially in 288 From this perspective, conflicts in state local rela tions usually the last few decades. - occur not because the states exceed their legitimate authority but because districts often 289 To overcome these difficulties, some observers contend, lack capacity to respond. in policy coherence states should pursue comprehensive, systemic reform in order to atta 290 between the levels of government. Constitutional allocations of authority are one Networks of power and influence. thing; what local districts actually do may be another. Some observers emphasize the d to states simply because of the state‘s legitimate point that districts rarely respon position of power. Instead, districts act within the policy system, vying with state actors 291 at all stages of policy making to ensure that policy actions will be acceptable. And, after state policies hav e been enacted, they must still be implemented; in matters of implementation, too, local districts and state agencies use personal contacts to negotiate 292 Thus, even though states have legitimate authority, how both parties can best respond. through informal and formal networks that help to shape local responses to it is exercised state policy. In some cases, state policy initiatives are not taken seriously by local 293 Even under current state accountability requirements, some local educators agencies. view the state as a powerful force for changing basic practices. do not Loose coupling. The notion that educational organizations are ―loosely coupled‖ was introduced by Weick (1976) to explain why policies enacted in one part of the education system often have limited impact in other parts. Various studies in the 1970s and 80s described the limits of higher levels of authority in the governance structure for 294 education, and the relatively weak impact of state policy on student outcomes. But 295 loose coupling does n influence flows from superordinate entities. ot mean that Even no as schools are busy developing their own policies and initiatives, they pay attention to demands from ―outside the system‖ when those demands are consistent with the 296 ir organizations are already moving. directions in which the 286 Edwards (1933); Haskew (1970); Lutz (1986) . 287 . Timar (1994); Wong (1991) 288 . Fuhrman (1987); Lutz (1986) 289 Bali (2003) . 290 Fuhrman (1994) . 291 et al . Fuhrman & Elmore (1990); Marshall (1986); Mazzoni (1993) . 292 Firestone & Nagle (1995) and Spillane (1998) . 293 Ginsberg & Wimpelberg (1987) . 294 Marshall (1988) . 295 Gamoran & Dreeben (1986); Swanson & Stevenson (2002) . 296 onig & Hatch (2004b) . H 248

251 State policy culture and district size as moderators . District responses to state policy obviously do not take place in a vacuum. Instead, as noted in Section 3.1, the state government operates within a policy culture that affects how individuals and groups relate to one another when action is suggested or required. We rely on the traditional political culture as enduring political attitudes and behaviors associated with definition of 297 aphical context. In addition, we have known for groups that live in a defined geogr some time that district size (and poverty) make a difference in how districts cope with 298 demands for reform. New Evidence Method Evidence addressing the first of our three questions derives from the 2008 principal and teacher surveys and from interviews with district office administrators over the three site visits. The principal survey contained questions about respondents‘ attitudes toward the effects of state policy on their school. We standardized fo ur of these items (each - the effects of state policies) toward measured on a six point scale that reflected attitudes to form an index of Positive State Policy Influence . These questions and added them assessed attitudes about the state‘s influence on profe ssional learning — e.g., The state and gives schools the freedom and flexibility to do their work , State standards stimulate additional professional learning in our school . The index achieved an alpha of .76. We analyzed the data in the context of seven addi tional measures related to principals‘ assessments of the districts‘ focus on accountability — Our through such items, e.g., as , and The district uses student district has explicit targets beyond NCLB targets PD needs and resour ces . The district - accountability index achievement data to determine achieved an alpha of .87. In addition, we used teachers‘ descriptions of principals‘ instructional leadership as the dependent variable in the analysis. (Descriptions of the n presented in previous chapters.) In instructional leadership variables have bee interpreting the responses, we also turned back to the data on state policy cultures (see Table 3.1.1), probing in depth for evidence of particular legislation that might have a example, leadership development initiatives, or direct connection to local leaders (for major changes in standards for administrator practice). Evidence addressing research questions 2 and 3 derived from a detailed analysis of all interviews conducted with superintendents and associate superin tendents during - three site visits in seven small and medium sized districts. The sampling of the districts was purposive, using a ―grounded theory‖ premise that the task of developing ations of explanations for complex phenomena is best advanced by sequential examin 299 We therefore began by examining two small districts in two several different contexts. states that exhibited the most distinctive differences in state policy culture. We then 297 Elazar (1970); Lieske (1993) . 298 Hannaway & Kimball (1998 ) . 299 . Glaser & Strauss (1967) 249

252 added additional small districts from states that we knew, from our pr evious analysis sized districts, we - (Section 3.1), to be somewhat different. When we turned to medium deliberately selected those for which we had complete data and which were in states that were not part of our initial examination. In presenting qualitati ve data here, we have chosen to illustrate our findings with fuller cases from four representative districts, although our analysis is based on all of the more elaborated case studies. ts in our To look for differences between these districts and the larger distric sample, we carried out a less detailed analysis of the larger districts, looking only at the superintendent interviews from the third site visit. We chose the third visit because it provided the best lens through which to examine the effects of s tate standards emerging after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which required some of our states to change their standards and testing procedures. Principal Assessments of State Policy The principal survey reveals a surprisingly positive as sessment of the effects of state policy (see Figure 11). For example, the mean for principals‘ ratings on the item State standards stimulate additional professional learning in our school was 4.39 on a six - point scale, with more than 60% of the respondents giving the item a rating that was somewhat to very positive. Although fewer principals gave the items State policies help communicates clearly us to accomplish our school’s learning objectives and The state with our district about educational priorities he highest rating of ―strongly agree,‖ both t items suggest that most principals have positive views of the state‘s role in these areas. The state gives schools the flexibility and freedom to do their Only one of the four items, work , garnered a mean respons e suggesting that most respondents disagree. Are these assessments, obtained in 2008, different from those we collected at the beginning of the project, when principals had less experience with the effects of state adaptations to NCLB? The answer is, not surprisingly, that they are different; in all cases, the rankings are lower in 2008. To give two examples: in 2005, principals rated the positive effects of state standards on professional learning with a mean of 4.82; in 2008, they rated the same item at the case of the item measuring state policies as a 4.39. In support for accomplishing our school‘s learning objectives, the mean rating was 4.51 in 2005, compared with 4.02 in 2008. We compared the means and standard deviations among the states on the st andardized Positive State Policy Index for both years. The results (presented in Table 3.3.1 and 3.3.2) show significant differences between the states in both years. Overall, the states that were more positive in 2005 are also more positive in 2008 (Misso uri, North Carolina, Nebraska), while two of those in which policies were viewed least favorably by principals (New Mexico and Indiana) show limited change relative to the entire population. 250

253 M = 4.02 M = 4.39 SD = 1.36 SD = 1.21 N = 211 N = 211 F1. State standards stimulate additional F2. State policies help us accomplish our profession . al learning in our school school’s learning objectives. M = 4.16 M = 3.72 SD = 1.38 SD = 1.48 N = 210 N = 211 F5. The state communicates clearly with F3. The state gives schools freedom and our district about educational poli cies. flexibility to do their work. Figure 11: Principal Assessments of State Policy While it is important not to over - interpret a table that is based on relatively few responses in each state (and a very low response rate in Texas in 2008), we see some For example, Oregon‘s scores dropped from among the more volatility in the results. 251

254 positive to the more negative, while New Jersey‘s score also dropped from average to the below average. It is notable that there were major changes to tests in both states during our study. Table 3. 3.1 State Scores on the Positive State Policy Index, 2005 and 2008 Std. Deviation Std. Error N Mean Indiana 05 39 .09273 - .3259 .57908 - .70980 .2014 .11830 Indiana 08 36 19 Missouri 05 .2861 .58461 .13412 Missouri 08 .80660 26 .1945 .15819 Nort 29 .2653 .55009 h Carolina 05 .10215 .5895 North Carolina 08 23 .53837 .11226 Nebraska 05 32 .2664 .60512 .10697 .1004 Nebraska 08 31 .79066 .14201 .0150 New Jersey 05 .11937 21 .54704 - .4055 26 .85777 New Jersey 08 .16822 New Mexico 05 - .6111 1.08332 .24224 20 15 .91451 New Mexico 08 .23613 - .1918 New York 05 32 - .0902 .61023 .10787 .0772 18 .65959 .15547 New York Oregon 05 27 .1700 .54423 .10474 - .3334 24 .83796 Oregon 08 .17105 Texas 05 38 .0545 .92301 .14973 .5559 Texas 08 11 .77967 .23508 .0032 Total 257 05 .72996 .04553 .05658 Total 08 210 .0027 .81992 252

255 Table 3.3.2 Positive State Policy Index, 2005 ANOVA: ZSTATE Sig. Mean Square F Sum of Squares df 18.637 8 2.330 4.906 .000 Between Groups 117.769 248 .475 Within Groups Total 136.406 2 56 Table 3.3.3 ANOVA: Positive State Policy Index, 2008 ZSTATE Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. 21.747 Between Groups .000 8 2.718 4.601 Within Groups 118.757 201 .591 140.504 Total 209 The results are not, of course, directly compar able because the individuals in the 2005 and 2008 samples are different due to principal turnover and the need to replace some schools. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to conclude that significant differences in sample means reflect some collective decrease in the sense that the state is a supportive partner in educational reform, and some shifts within states may be related to changes in state policies. Ironically, this response has occurred concurrent with state efforts to create state systems of support f or school improvement as required by NCLB. We also addressed the question of whether more state initiatives to provide support and training for principals and other administrators might affect assessments of state policy interviews were examined, and state policy. In order to accomplish this, the an additional search of state websites was carried out to look for evidence that policy initiatives related to leadership development, support or changing conditions of employment were translated into persisting practices. The results of this analysis (see Table 3.2.1 in previous section)) indicate that Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas have, over at least 15 years, provided significant initiatives in continuing professional education and support for pr incipals, either through centralized state principal academies or through regional service agencies. Nebraska, New Mexico, New - initiated development, but it has been Jersey, New York, and Oregon provide some state 300 limited or not comprehensive. A cursory examination of the principal ratings and the 300 This study did not investigate the state effects of Wallace Fo undation funding of leadership projects. New Mexico, New Jersey, and Oregon all received State Action for Educational Leadership grants from the 253

256 state initiatives (Table 3.3.4) suggests that state leadership development initiatives (or lack thereof) do not necessarily translate into principal attitudes toward the state. In addition to examining overall responses to these items, we looked at whether principals‘ assessments of state policy were associated with their own behavior. To do so we carried out two regression analyses. In the first we looked only at the association of the Positive State Policy In dex and teachers‘ ratings of the principal‘s instructional controlling for two key school characteristics (building level, coded as leadership, elementary or secondary; and the percentage of students in poverty, or eligible for free and reduced price lunch ). We then added the variable measuring the district‘s focus on - accountability in order to determine the relative importance of state and district policy priorities at the school level. The results of these regressions, presented in Table 3.3.4, key findings: reveal two  The first regression shows that principals‘ positive perceptions of state policy are significantly associated with teachers‘ ratings of principals‘ instructional leadership . behavior. In other words, state policy is felt at the school level -  - house - to The second regression suggests that district policies moderate the state school - house connection. This regression shows that the association between state policy and principals‘ instructional behavior is reduced to insignificant when the additio nal variable of the districts‘ own standards and accountability focus is introduced. Wallace Foundation, and evidence of SAELP activity could be found on state websites. Limited evidence of pers istent state - wide activity and no legislative activity were found. In New York, which also received Wallace Foundation grants, the New York City leadership academy is still functioning, and there is a recent service pr eparation for school leaders. state - wide initiative to improve pre - 254

257 TABLE 3.3.4 Positive State Policy Index and the Principal as Instructional Leader (N = 201) Beta Sig. t Predictors Adjd R² R² Coefficients (Constant) .124 1 .69 Positive State Policy Index .008 .162 1.69 Building Level - 4.98 .000 - .306 Poverty .000 .330 5.30 F = 28.671 .29 <.001 .30 (Constant) .119 2 .179 Positive State Policy Index .252 .075 .075 Building Level - 4 .000 - .306 .68 Poverty 5.30 .000 .333 District Accountability Focus 1.89 .060 .121 .29 F = 21.464 .30 <.001 Building Level = Elementary or secondary dummy coded Poverty = Percent free and/or reduced price lunch - Overall, these findings s upport the case - based findings of Spillane and others which suggest that that the district‘s role in moderating state policy is important. They also suggest an interpretation that will be explored in more detail as we examine our case data — namely, that unl ess the district is able to build on state policy to augment the local agenda, the effects of state policies at the school level will be minimal . In addition, findings here suggest that the link between state policy and principals‘ instructional behavior i s rather loose, owing to the moderating effects of district policies and practices. D istrict Assessments of and Reactions to State Policy: An Examination of Cases - While our analysis of principal survey data suggests a loose linkage explanation for the rel ationship between state leadership and building - level leadership, it also indicates the need to explore the role of districts as moderators of state - leadership effects. We selected districts of varying size for analysis, but focus on the small and medium ized districts in this section. Small and medium - sized districts tend to have limited s resources; they often must rely on partners in order to achieve their improvement goals. Larger districts often have curriculum, testing, and professional development of fices that may exceed those available in state agencies. In addition, larger - sized districts are, according to most observers, powerful actors in the education policy system; they stricts may sometimes drive state action rather than simply responding to it. Smaller di have only a few schools with similar characteristics, and can therefore more easily apply Larger districts, in contrast, often contain schools with very state policy in uniform ways. 255

258 - disparate populations, and may therefore adopt non uniform p olicies to stimulate 301 standards and accountability. Although our findings are based on the analysis of all of seven small and medium sized districts in our sample, we will illustrate the findings using examples from two smaller districts (with six or few er schools) in Texas and Missouri, and two medium - sized districts in North Carolina and New Jersey. Table 3.3.5 Characteristics of a Sample of Smaller and Medium - sized Districts District District Demographic # of Scores in Scores on Distributions School Setting Schools Language ity, Population Math (% minor % FRP) Exam* Exam * Below ES - Similar ES - Tortuga 87.13% 4 Small town Shoals MS - Below 1,653 Below MS - 88.39% - Above TX HS HS - Below Middle Small Below Below - ES - ES 72.9% suburb of Region - 8 Below Below MS 2,349 MS - 62.4% size - medium District Below HS - HS - Below city (MO) Similar Danhill - ES Four small - MS ES - Above Regional towns 12.7% - Above MS Similar District 18 16,000 13.0% /surrounding HS - Similar (NJ) HS - area Similar Similar No rth ES - Large - ES Below - White MS 36.2% military base 23,000 MS - Above 36 Pine Cty Similar 41.0% located in - (NC) HS HS - Below county Similar *Comparison of districts scores to state overall scores in 2005. In our interpretation, we al so draw on analyses of additional small, medium, and large districts located in the same states. The states that we highlight in this section have 302 different traditions in terms of educational and political cultures, as defined above: Texas and North Caro  Both exhibit ―traditional‖ political cultures characterized lina: by elite influence, strong state efforts to direct schools, and evolving accountability policies that have persisted over a long period of time. North Carolina was among the 301 Elmore & Burney (1998) . 302 . Evidence to support these categorizations has been presented elsewhere; see Louis et al. (2005 , 2008) 256

259 states with the most positive principal assessments of state policy; Texas was average in 2005, with unreliable data in 2008.  Missouri and New Jersey: Both states have highly ―individualistic‖ political cultures characterized by many competing interest groups, lobbying, and modest state efforts - to create coherence. Missouri is a relative late comer to state testing, but it has a longer history of general state standards. New Jersey, although a bit earlier to establish state tests, has focused its quality initiatives on a small group of low - performing (―Abbott‖) districts. Missouri‘s principal ratings were positive in 2005 and 2008, while New Jersey‘s ratings went from average (2005) to well below average (2008). Case Studies: How State Policy Affects Small - rship District Leade (all district and person ’ names are pseudonyms) s Tortuga Shoals School District (Texas) Situated on the south Texas coast, Tortuga Shoals is largely a Hispanic community with a mix of long - time residents and more recent immigrants. Major sources of employment are the service industry for hotels and restaurants (tourism is a burgeoning sector), and shrimping (on the downturn). Tortuga Shoals has clearly and lower delineated higher - - income residential areas, including some subsidized - housing apartmen ts. The school superintendent, Dr. Alba Cruz, was quite familiar with the district when she arrived in July 2003; she had served as a principal in the district before moving to a district level position elsewhere. Additional district personnel - included a n ew Assistant Superintendent, a business officer, federal/state program officers, and an Instructional Facilitator in the Curriculum and Instruction unit. Three of four principals were new to their positions (in their first or second years). dent‘s top priority has been to improve student learning as assessed The superinten - school graduation rates) and by results from by local indicators (course failure and high state testing. Additional priorities included developing vocational programs aligned with local e mployment opportunities, and addressing social issues related to student retention, such as teen pregnancy and low aspirations for post - secondary education. Perceptions of policy hierarchy. Dr. Cruz emphasized that more authentic compliance with state a nd local policies was essential to achieving local improvement priorities. This view was not universally shared among school personnel, who pointed to a track record of good results on the old state test and rankings, where Tortuga Shoals 303 top 10 percent of the districts in the region. was always in the To legitimate these directions for improvement, the superintendent commissioned a curriculum audit by outside consultants, with the expectation that results from this audit would provide direction and legiti macy to a new plan for improving teaching and learning in the district. 303 The state adopted a more rigorous curriculum and testing program in 2001. 257

260 In the past, the district had taken a decentralized approach to policy implementation. Program units at the district level managed their policy portfolios relatively independently, and responsibility for implementation was delegated to schools. The orientation to state policy was characterized by district compliance with bureaucratic requirements and trust in school personnel to ensure positive results. As student test results began to slip under the new state requirements and more stringent NCLB criteria, the percentage of students not meeting minimum standards increased (but performance also slipped at other schools in the region: Tortuga Shoals schools remained relatively ing). The new superintendent began to challenge the local culture of formal high perform compliance and decentralization. Dr. Cruz and her assistant saw a need for a more authentic and coherent approach to state policy expectations for curriculum and teaching: My phi losophy is, you teach the text. With a state curriculum, you teach it with the intent of how it was supposed to be taught, which is the depth and complexity of each objective, and everything else is going to fall into u teach the [curriculum] the way place. And what I‘m saying is: "No. Yo you‘re supposed to, and [tests] will be taken care of." The district capacity for reform was affected by state funding policies, which redistribute tax revenues from high property - tax districts like Tortuga Shoals (with i ts strong tourist industry) to low - wealth districts. While local officials decried the loss of revenue, the district received significant supplementary funding because of the high poverty levels among its student population. State funding cuts resulted, ho wever, in the loss of one of two Instructional Facilitator positions. The district, by necessity, had to rely on principals‘ instructional leadership and on expertise from the regional education center or independent consultants to support school - and dist rict - wide improvement initiatives. District and school personnel reported little direct contact with the Networks. Texas state education department, but relied on the state - supported regional education about state policies and as a service center (RESC) as a key source of information provider of professional development services. The RESC‘s professional development offerings focused largely on state initiatives (such as improving Gifted and Talented programs and classroom technology use) that were not alwa ys linked to local priorities. Education service center staff also provided technical support for analysis of performance data. [Leaders in the state education department] are not influential. They give you a menu, and say, here, this is what you need to do. The region is very different. We have a great regional service center. Always looking for ways to improve the region, all schools in the region...They have great staff development... The majority of the time they‘re trying to do what‘s good for kids and for the school districts. Dr. Cruz and the Assistant Superintendent valued and participated regularly in administrator meetings organized by the education service center, and she district - reported that these were important to her: 258

261 Even at the superinten dent level, when I have my superintendency meetings at the region, they‘re very helpful. I mean, they literally come with data where they‘ve already analyzed a lot of the data within our o school district. They‘re better equipped... They have more personnel t be able to do a lot of the studies for us. So that‘s real helpful. Neither Dr. Cruz nor the Assistant Superintendent identified other organized networks of professional influence and support, but they talked about communication m neighboring districts and about attending annual meetings of with close colleagues fro state professional associations. The district was not involved in university partnerships focused on local improvement efforts. The year prior to Dr. Cruz‘s appointment, the district entered into a multi - year contract with a commercial mathematics program developer, but it terminated the contract for materials and professional development after several years, at the point of renewal, because of the cost, concerns among the elementary schools r egarding the program‘s effectiveness, and the program‘s weak program fit with a state mathematics textbook adoption. School principals independently continued to use external consultants related to their own priorities for improvement. An elementary princi pal, for example, arranged for in - service training inputs on reading strategies for her teachers, while the junior high principal recruited external in - service expertise to support her vision for more constructivist forms of pedagogy. The superintendent was also responsive to input from local community groups, such as the Tortuga Shoals Education Foundation. The Foundation was created by stakeholders associated with the tourism industry; it was a key source motivating the nding high school vocational programs. superintendent‘s interest in expa Dr. Cruz and her district colleagues did not portray themselves as influential - making process. Rather, they emphasized their participants in the state policy responsibility for ensuring effective implementation of s tate and federal policy, in - contrast to the laissez faire approach to implementation during the prior administration. Loose coupling . ―Loosely coupled‖ certainly describes the district prior to Dr. Cruz‘s arrival. A district - improvement plan existed on p aper, but it was not an operative document guiding district improvement efforts. While there were programmatic initiatives underway (the elementary mathematics program, a federally - sponsored program intended to motivate high school students to pursue post secondary studies, and - a government - funded after - school program to provide positive alternatives for teen social behavior), there was no overall consensus on needs, goals, and a strategy for improvement. The district‘s initial response to the new state cu rriculum and tests, and to the decline in student test - score results, was mainly to call for principals to organize - writing projects, which were carried out with little district school - based curriculum guidance or input. 259

262 During her first year as superinte ndent, Dr. Cruz identified directions for improvement in student learning. She was disturbed and puzzled by the fact that students‘ course failure rates (which principals were required to report every six weeks) were - unacceptably high (e.g., 29% at the hig h school level) despite the history of formally satisfactory student results on state tests an d school accountability ratings: There were too many students failing, and I didn‘t know whether it was because of apathy on their part, or because . . . the pre vious levels were not teaching the prerequisites that needed to be taught for the following grade level. So that‘s what sparked the whole thing up, thinking, wait a minute, we do great things individually, but yet, why do we have the failure rate that we h ave? There‘s got to be a reason for that. So I felt that a good, thorough investigation would give me some answers. The discrepancy between local and state assessments of student learning fueled Dr. Cruz‘s growing belief that the state test - score results were an inadequate indicator of the quality of student learning. She strongly suspected that teachers were not challenging students to the cognitive level of the new curriculum, and that too much effort was being devoted to test preparation. Dr. Cruz took the position that a major obstacle to further improvement in student performance was a weakness in vertical curriculum coordination and coherence, in K - 12 schools across the district: We have four great principals, and I think that‘s a real big asset to t his school district. They‘re all instructionally focused, and they‘re hard workers, they‘re dedicated. However, I was not convinced that we were implementing curriculum pre K to 12. Each school is doing great things - at continuity from pre K all the way within their school, but I didn‘t see th - through the 12th grade. Dr. Cruz and her assistant realized that without additional evidence, district and school personnel would be unlikely to support these views. Accordingly, she asked the rriculum audit lead by well - regarded external experts in this school board to fund a cu process. Dr. Cruz also took steps in her first year to begin to break down the organizational culture of autonomous schools and autonomous units, noting: ―When I walked into this n, it was very fragmented. So since day one I have been working on building district agai a culture of togetherness.‖ Her emphasis on teamwork across schools and organizational units was a key element of her strategic agenda to develop greater consensus and coordination focused on directions for improvement and alignment with state and local goals. Summary. Dr. Cruz‘s approach to change and improvement in student performance across the district embraced state policy expectations for curriculum, teaching, and learning. D r. Cruz believed the path to improvement in student learning - would require strengthening compliance with new state level expectations, better vertical 260

263 alignment of curriculum across the schools, and more effective collaboration within the district. She did not, however, go beyond the state standards or collect additional data. d compliance with state initiatives and on She focused on leveraging understanding an using the state‘s priorities to stimulate change at the school level. Both Cruz and others team were actively collecting and looking at state and local performance on her indicators, but they lacked the capacity to gather or use information that would to help them interpret those indicators, which limited their ability to explain performance problems ( other than by reference to curriculum alignment). Middle Region School District (Missouri) Middle Region is a small suburban district located in a major metropolitan area. Over the last 15 years the demographic character and academic rigor of the district has changed. What had been a largely white and affluent population became predominantly non - white, with more than half of the students in the district receiving free and reduced - price lunches. Along with changing demographics of the student population, a cademic performance within the district gradually worsened. Contributing factors, as explained by district staff, were teachers working in isolation and low expectations for the newer students. The school board had growing concerns about the need for chang e throughout the district. A new superintendent, Dr. Ken Leslie, was hired in 2001. His task was to turn the district around. Dr. Leslie‘s first priority was to change the prevailing culture of low expectations among educators in the district; his second was to improve student achievement through increased rigor, alignment of state standards to classroom practices, and implementation of mathematics standards higher than those set by the state. The d replacing principals, creating a district‘s strategy for achieving these priorities involve more rigorous curriculum aligned with state standards, and providing external support to schools to assess progress. The underlying assumption of Middle Region District is that cal to ensure academic gains among students, local accountability and standards are criti meeting or exceeding state standards. Perceptions of policy hierarchy . The relationship between Middle Region District and the state changed dramatically in recent years. Prior to Superintendent Leslie‘s arriva l, state authority was held in low regard by Middle Region educators. They ignored state standards and curriculum or implemented them poorly. They apparently thought it more important to ensure that students would feel validated and supported than that the y would perform well academically, and this view effectively displaced high expectations for achievement in many classrooms. With the current superintendent, this changed. The district is now more attuned to state policies and guidelines, and it implemen ts them appropriately, according to teachers and administrators. The superintendent explains that the turnaround began with a sense of urgency: We looked at all the data, particularly at the high school, and we looked at it at the middle and elementary sc hools as well. My challenge to the staff was that we don‘t have time to make any major mid course adjustments. - 261

264 We‘ve got to come up with a game plan and we‘ve got to be willing to stick with that game plan through the year. Otherwise, we are not going to ake a sufficient.. . difference to make sure that we are fully accredited... m So we were aggressive. Our plan generally was that we didn‘t want any aids. We wanted to make sure that anything that we worked on band - gains the first year we did would be foundation building as well as show it. Superintendent Leslie focuses clearly on being in step with state directives. The district actively seeks and expands upon state direction for curriculum, standards, and assessment planning to establish a baseline for prof essional practice and student achievement. It also actively seeks support from the state. In this small district, the superintendent‘s vision determines how others see the state, because there are few layers between him and the teachers. The district offi ce frames local goals for student achievement in terms of student performance relative to national as well as to state curriculum and learning standards. District goals for - level readiness; in the middle and high school elementary students emphasize grade grades, goals emphasize increasing rigor in mathematics. Overall, goals and initiatives are targeted to student learning gaps by income level and race, challenges unique to grade levels, and transitions into higher grades. The district utilizes data driven decision - making to determine priorities for curriculum and standards alignment. The district went beyond the state‘s requirements. It achieved policy coherence by aligning state standards with district initiatives. State standards were recently revised in - Missouri to establish grade level expectations. Effectively, the district reformed its curriculum and assessment program to reflect policy changes of this sort, while keeping to the goal of setting standards that are higher. As Dr. Leslie noted: Yeah, I‘m satisfied that [state] assessment is stringent. I worried out loud a little bit that when they re - did the performance [measurement] that we were moving the standard down a little bit, because I would rather have a standard that is tough and just a lit tle bit out of reach without great effort than to make it easier for me to get there as a superintendent. I know I‘m kind of a renegade among my colleagues, but they put up with me, I guess. The new emphasis on increased rigor in mathematics was so strong that the district shifted toward pre - algebra instruction in the elementary grades to better prepare students for eighth - grade algebra. Achieving transparency in district goals has been accompanied by efforts to increase capacity for district reform. Thro ugh the leadership of the superintendent, the district replaced most principals in the district, with the intention of establishing a new culture of leadership focused on academic rigor and students‘ capacity to learn. The superintendent explains that stud ents need principals who have high expectations and 262

265 track records of having turned schools around, and that they need teachers who will emphasize learning, not merely trying to make students feel better. Because Dr. Leslie formerly held an infl uential role with the state, his Networks. expanded set of relationships includes people in the state department of education, district superintendents, and other educators. Given his former role and reputation, he is able to engage in policy discussions with state actors. He influence state forums and continues to is vocal about his concerns regarding limitations of state policy, and he pushes for the inclusion of academic principles that support the vision and goals of Middle Region District. The superintendent als o communicates with other district superintendents for fresh ideas for growth. However, his background appears to be the most important source of his influence on district priorities, because it enables him to maintain close ties with epartment staff. and access to state d Although external networks are an important factor in the district, the superintendent places a greater emphasis on internal district networks. One important network is the one he maintains with school principals; he sees principals as le aders of a school culture that supports district goals and state policies. He has, therefore, established bi - weekly principal meetings, and requires principals to attend school board meetings: Administrators are required to come to board meetings so that they can understand the interactions and they can feel and see what the board members are thinking, doing and saying. That is something that I learned in my years at the state. The more you get a sense of where the board is coming from ... the easier it is . . . to make the kind of adjustments [that we need]... When we‘ve got a lot of people in the room, looking, watching, there is a greater understanding... Then they kind of have a feel for why I‘m saying we have to adjust here. The emphasis on network inter actions within and outside the district is not based on a goal of state policy coherence. Rather, it is based on the superintendent‘s thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of state curriculum standards, and his efforts to move Middle Regio n District forward in improving its local priorities through a collaborative and cohesive approach, thus moving the district ahead of others in the area. . The previous superintendent‘s administration emphasized loose Loose coupling coupling with state pol icy initiatives, which were viewed as marginally relevant to the district‘s changing demographic profile. The current superintendent helped to develop a common agenda for moving the district forward, including increasing expectations for student success, a cademic rigor, reporting, professional development, and alignment to state and national standards and assessment programs. To address his concerns about weak attention to academic learning in the early grades, the district revamped the curriculum and devel oped new report cards linked to state standards that addressed ambiguity in reporting student progress. This change has decreased the former practice of giving passing grades to students who did not earn the grade, and has contributed to an ficiency attainment. increase in pro 263

266 The district has also established more rigorous expectations for teachers and principals regarding their pedagogy and the expectations they hold for students, and chers align developed (with external consultation) has developed a tool to help tea - level expectations as well as state and national standards, curriculum with the new grade assessments, suggested teaching strategies, and resources. The superintendent explained the importance of these changes: re cutting edge and are energetic and you We have got good teachers that a don‘t worry about them too much. We have good teachers who need to make some adjustments in their strategies and we try to work on those... We try to provide opportunities for them to learn. I think leadership has t o be strong, it has to be focused and it has to be driven by vision, but the people who make it happen are the teachers in the classroom. So a good deal of energy and resources need to be focused on helping teachers, good teachers, become better. Summary . In this case (as in Tortuga Shoals), the coupling of district and state initiatives largely depended on district leadership. Both Cruz and Leslie identified the need to change local culture and to achieve more effective alignment with state standards for classroom practice. However, Leslie, located in an individualistic state - policy context, felt free to establish local standards that exceeded state standards, while Cruz, in a more traditional ―top down‖ state, still operated with a compliance orientation . Most notably, the commitment and actions of Superintendent Leslie to align district efforts to state curriculum standards determined how state policies were ―felt‖ within schools. His efforts encouraged the district and schools to examine local data rath er than relying only on what the state provided. As the district coupled its efforts more closely with state and national standards, student learning improved and school board support for the district increased. eadership in Medium - Case Studies: How State Policy Affects L Sized Districts (all district and person’s names are pseudonyms) Danhill Regional School District (New Jersey) Danhill is located in a quiet corner of New Jersey. Like much of the state, it is undergoing rapid development. Until recen tly it was known as a farming community, with some workers employed in the tourism industry. It has since become an attractive area for retirees, in part because it is proximate to larger cities. Although the district is medium - sized in student population, it is quite spread out, and its schools have by and large retained their small - town identity. Danhill‘s economy is increasingly dependent on ―outsiders.‖ The superintendent estimates that about 50% of Danhill‘s young families today are newcomers. Becaus e the district covers a relatively large area, there is considerable diversity among the schools. Some elementary schools, for example, are affluent and almost exclusively white, while others have higher levels of poverty and minority enrollment. 264

267 Overall, Danhill students perform well on state assessments, but several of the schools have not met AYP targets for several years running. Nevertheless, the district has a strong reputation within the state, and it continues to attract support from local s — in part because it has worked to maintain the viability of small, decentralized resident - schools that are responsive the communities they serve. Contributing to the small town feel of the schools is a pattern of stability among professional educators and administ rators. Most of them grew up in Danhill; almost all educators working in the district office have been in the district for 25 years or more. Perceptions of policy hierarchy. In Danhill, administrators clearly accept the state‘s role in setting curriculum standards and accountability. At the same time, a sense that the state is an adversary runs through district conversations about policy and change. As one associate superintendent put it, ―So much of what we see on a daily basis is so punitive. I don‘t th ink that is going to change... I think that the nature of government is just what we have in New Jersey.‖ This educator and others see the state as a remote entity in which the realities of student learning are not understood: I don‘t think that some of th e people that make the rules and regulations really truly understand what‘s going on. You know the whole No Child Left Behind workbook that they provided, and then the end number that has caused so many of our schools to be considered failing schools when indeed they‘re not, that‘s one example... This associate superintendent noted, however, that the issue is not with No Child Left Behind per se, but with New Jersey‘s interpretation of the law. Danhill has a number of small elementary schools (under 400 students) in which a few seriously underperforming - needs and second students (who might be, for example, special language learners and - from poor families) could make a big difference. All top administrators expressed concern about New Jersey‘s policies on subgroup achievement scores. As one administrator noted about an affected school: Truthfully I don‘t know what more they can do. We‘ve added technology, we‘ve added professional development. More parental involvement. The teachers are involved in the pro cess. When you have a handful of students who are in subgroups who do not pass the test you are immediately considered a failing school. I think they‘ve done everything they possibly can to improve their instruction to help children do the best they can. Another concern had to do with constantly changing expectations related to student testing, coupled with relatively weak communication. Administrators and teachers were concerned, for example, because they did not know when the state‘s high school profici ency test would begin testing for content taught in Algebra II, and what would happen to students who didn‘t pass the test. As an associate superintendent noted, ―They are moving ... and they are not giving us enough answers. Maybe in their own now what they are doing, but ... we haven‘t been able to get an answer.‖ wisdom they k 265

268 On the other hand, the district has very good relations with the regional office of the state department, which district officials regard as very responsive and helpful. nistrators distinguish between state policy and implementation, on District admi the one hand, and, on the other, the overall policy goals of accountability, which they see as a stimulus to innovation and improvement: I think sometimes the restrictions are a bit misgui ded...but ...it‘s caused us to realign and rethink how we provide remediation. ... We‘ve gone away from even thinking of it as remediation and think of it as extra help and preparation. We‘ve devised ways to use some of our money for ... in - class support model s...meeting the needs of those students who we identify and recognize as kids that need more. It‘s caused us to obviously communicate more with parents... Many of the curricular innovations being implemented in the district were chosen specifically because they appear to work well for children who may need extra help and stimulation. The issue of greatest concern to the district, however, is not communication or the general goal of accountability; it is the state‘s funding equalization policies. District educators believe these policies have left them in difficult circumstances: If you are not an urban district in the State of New Jersey, you are not going to be getting a lot of money. Those urban districts are taking 80% of the [state allocation for] dis trict funding. There is eight billion dollars spent in New Jersey public education — 80% of [the] eight billion dollars goes to 29 school districts. Networks. Danhill sees itself as a willing partner with other districts (the administrator with responsibi lity for technology talked about the networking that goes on with others in similar positions), with regional institutions of higher education, and with the Educational Testing Service, located in Princeton, New Jersey. Students are ses at a local community college. More importantly, although encouraged to take cour Danhill is a mid - sized district, it has significant capacities that many smaller districts lack. Thus, when Danhill administrators think about networks, they are more likely to consider how they provide assistance and resources to others than about their role as a recipient of assistance: ... one of the advantages of being big is that companies pay attention and give us an opportunity [to do workshops using their materials]. And what even with partner districts, is actually we invite our peripheral we‘ve done, districts in... In other words, we include them as if they are another one of our elementary schools. 266

269 In contrast, internal networking is very important. The superintendents meet with all o f the district‘s administrators at least once every two weeks, and they have many - Internal networking, including informal meetings with informal meetings on site as well. subcommittees of the school board, is what keeps new ideas circulating and under disc ussion before any decision is taken. As one administrator noted, the strategy is to create consensus through discussion: ―It‘s really kind of a top down, but the top isn‘t one person; the top is . . . an approach by a group of administrators.‖ In addition, the superintendent focuses on networking within the communities served, making sure that he has an eye on what might create support for innovation and new policies: I am really a firm believer in reaching out into the community. The parent input and the community input is so necessary... I want the brutal truth from them. You need to hear the good and the bad as well as what are we doing right and what are we doing wrong? How can we help? ... We‘ve had a lot of interesting conversations with the business se ctor of the community. We‘ve connected the business sector with education. In general, administrators in the district appeared to be disconnected from state policy making and initiatives. One administrator noted, for example, that the New Jersey teachers ‘ association has a great deal of influence over policy, and that the administrators‘ association has somewhat less. No one, however, talked about working through associations or other groups to change the aspects of state policy that seemed most onerous. Loose coupling The district‘s response to financial and accountability pressures, . and weak support from the state, has been to become more entrepreneurial. In the past few years, the district has had to cut several administrative positions and re - organiz ed job responsibilities. On the whole, those who are retained in the district office feel that it is working reasonably well, noting that ―[The superintendent] is very good at reorganization and sometimes that means doing more with less people... fortunately the structure is very good...‖ Perhaps more distinctive is the development of new revenue streams to compensate for the state‘s emphasis on finance equalization for poor districts. A few years ago, the superintendent noted that the district was paying a great deal of money to rent the building in which the district office was located. He suggested buying it, and turning the unused space into services for the community : Everything that we do is geared from a business model. . . . , so we‘re doing unique t hings with the [building] in terms of trying to generate revenue... We now generate $40,000 a month revenue and probably two to three cents to the tax payer every year because of its worth and we now is bigger than have our offices and don‘t pay rent so the give back there that. So that was a business plan. 267

270 The services provided by the district include a cafeteria that is open to the public, a copy and publications center, technology support, and space rental. focuses on supporting continual In its approach to innovation, the district improvement rather than visible reforms — reforms that the state promotes or those that are popular in professional circles. In addition to the plan for generating revenue, the district increased its capacity for promoting inn ovation and professional development among teachers, while reducing administrative costs, by implementing a supervisor position at the building level. Because supervisors are classified as administrators, they can serve as instructional coaches and evaluat ors. In all cases, the district prided itself on going beyond what state policy require s . One example is teacher induction, which involved professional development services (based on initial assessments) , in addition to the state‘ s mandate tailored to individuals for a mentor. The idea for the program came from a visit that a Danhill administrator made to a district in New York. Local efforts to create a more rigorous high school curriculum were stimulated by internal analysis and by resources acquired fr om a National Science Foundation project that involved two universities. Administrators have made it clear that their efforts predated the state‘s efforts to increase graduation requirements. . Danhill emphasizes adapting external resources (curri culum, software, Summary etc.) to local needs, and creating local support for district improvement actions. For the - most part, this approach has been successful. Administrators and teachers have paid little attention to the state‘s mandates, with the exception of meeting testing requirements. While district officials complain that New Jersey‘s interpretation of the No Child Left Behind Act makes little sense in the small schools in their district — unfairly penalizing schools with a few students who are struggling — th ey have not done much by way of response. Instead, they hew to the course that has been their consistent strategy for more than a decade: to develop support and increase the flow of revenue within the district, and to make gradual changes that can be adapt ed to the various constituencies served by the schools. While the state is a player in Danhill‘s arena, it is a relatively unimportant influence compared to the influence of local goals and efforts. North White Pine County (North Carolina) North White Pi ne County School System has 36 schools and approximately 23,000 students. The district experiences high student and teacher mobility because it is located near a military base. District - level leadership, on the other hand, has been stable compared to other districts in the state. Superintendent Samuelson served for 16 years in the district, and the superintendent before him served for 19 years. The district staff has therefore been able to work through issues and challenges in a systematic way, especially w ith the board of education and county commissioners. During the last year of our study, Samuelson, and three other district level leaders, retired, and a new superintendent, Sheila - level Wauters, took over. The transition was smooth because all of the new distri ct administrators were brought up through the ranks in the North White Pine County system and were well known and liked. One large challenge for the district has been meeting the 268

271 Highly Qualified Teacher rule. Due to state teacher shortages, high rat es of family mobility, and a growing community, North White Pine regularly hires between 300 and 350 new teachers every year. At the district level, policies and initiatives have Perceptions of policy hierarchy. always been piloted by schools on a focuse d and invitational basis before they have been adopted system - wide. The motto has been to start new initiatives and reforms slowly before fast - tracking them into the system. Superintendent Samuelson said: ―Rather than and race out again, we have tried to fine - tune and racing in and then you have to back up refine what we are working on so that as someone sees the value of that and buys into it, it is already a product that fits us and fits our needs.‖ ly, it has had problems with Because the district has preferred to take things slow - mandated policies that must be implemented all at once. District officials described state the state as largely driven by the preferences of the governor. For example, during early pre - school education a top Superintendent Samuelson‘s tenure, the governor made - school programs priority and mandated that all districts either create their own early pre or align themselves with community agencies providing those services in the state. The governor formed a political partnership with community agencies like Head Start, but offered no additional resources. The reaction of the district was mixed. The superintendent said, ―Certainly we all understand the value of kids coming to school ready to learn and having skill sets that do that. But that has been forced on us without any additional facilities, without they can - school initiative, the governor mandated a additional teachers.‖ In addition to the pre program called ―More at Four‖ and instituted a rule that class sizes be reduced. Howe ver, neither the governor nor the state provided any additional space or dollars for hiring new - state teachers. Superintendent Samuelson pointed to the consequence of within ce. competition for the scarce resource of teachers, for funds, and for additional spa District administrators note that their legislative delegates at the state level listen to them, but that the governor is able to create other alliances that support his priorities. For example, all of the school districts wanted to maintain local co ntrol and site - based decision making on several issues, (control over the school calendar) but the governor and legislature responded to the tourist industry‘s preference for starting the school year elson fought with limited after Labor Day. In another example, Superintendent Samu success against state timelines for meeting NCLB teacher - qualification requirements. Superintendent Wauters reported that while the district retained control over aspects of school operations, the state has mandated many new pro grams and curricular st initiatives. For example, the 2006 ―21 Century Skills‖ initiative sought to ensure that students would be globally competitive, that teachers would be up - to - date technologically, and that school and district leadership would foster i nstructional innovations. Although district administrators supported this initiative, they pointed out that the state had not provided an appropriate level of resources or guidance to implement it. The superintendent told her staff, ―If this is the directi on that the state is going to 269

272 pursue, then ...we are supposed to align ourselves with what the state has put out. So I think we need to have this conversation, which we did.‖ Superintendent Wauters said that even though the state has been influential, eople at the State Department and the Department of Public Instruction were p ―floundering‖ because they were unable to help districts to move forward with the new focus. In response, Wauters used the ―opportunity‖ provided by the state framework to her staff, asking teachers to consider questions like: ―When the state comes out stretch and says we are going to prepare students to be globally competitive, what does that mean? What does that mean to you in the classroom and what does that mean to our school sy stem in terms of what we need to be doing?‖ She partnered with community members and engaged with university and community college partners in the process. She said, ―We‘ve pulled all those people in and said, 'Look, this is what the state is telling us. We know we don‘t do it in isolation. How do we do it together?'‖ The assistant superintendent reported that the district tries to connect with the state department of education, but because of cuts at the state level, capacity has been an issue. She stat ed: We don‘t get as much from the state DPI as we would like, but the ones who are there are as close as the phone, so I don‘t want to put anybody down. I know that people in the Division of Personnel and Licensure know us personally, we call them, they a re there or they retrieve the call from wherever they are and give us a call. We just wish they had more numbers. Networks. Networking with community groups and partnering with other county personnel has been a necessity in North White Pine County becaus e the County has been - classified as a ―low wealth‖ district, because the central office has been understaffed, and because there have been teacher shortages. However, the stability of district - level leadership has helped the district make vital connections with community groups and other county staff. Superintendent Samuelson often worked with the county manager, even though most of their discussions had to be by telephone because of travel and budget restrictions. During Samuelson‘s tenure, the district ne tworked and partnered often with local universities, and community college faculty members and staff, to provide teacher training. For example, the district partnered with mathematics and science professors to create a program to improve teachers‘ mathemat ics knowledge and skills. Getting new teachers up to speed on the state‘s accountability policies has been an - going challenge. The district does most of its own professional development; it has on tried to provide mentors to all teachers, and to provide pr e - service and in - service teacher training, but it has had to scramble to partner with the local university and community colleges to make sure that teaching assistants got certified. Superintendent Wauters has networked even more than the previous ntendent. For example, she became involved with the Southern Association of superi Colleges and Schools and served as the state specialist in the area of district accreditation. tation North White Pine County was the first district in the state to go through the accredi 270

273 process. Wauters also has served on various state level boards and on university and - community college boards and committees, and has been engaged with the economic development group in the community. Even though the district strug gles with high mobility rates, its Loose coupling. students have performed well academically. The district‘s scores are higher than regional and state averages. Several district schools attained 90% or higher proficiency rates on state tests; all were above 80%. Still, th e district has faced a challenge in efforts to meet federal conditions for continued academic growth especially because the district has close to 2,800 students who have been classified as Exceptional Children (EC). endent see their district as active participants Both the former and current superint in state - wide conversations about educational policy. Rather than detaching from or merely arguing against state accountability policies, Superintendent Wauters met with state leaders to talk about the impo rtance of having state assessments and accountability measures aligned with the new state focus. She reported that many local districts have banded together to lobby at the state level to align these systems, and are developing grassroots approaches to fos tering more conversation. She explained: So we‘ve started having that conversation with the state. So now they are in the process of looking at 27 recommendations from the superintendents he and schools about things that they need to begin. Those are just t beginning steps to what they need to do to adapt the accountability model in the State of North Carolina...So we‘ve shared that voice. What we‘ve done locally is go out. I have gone out and talked with school leaders, d that multiple - choice testing, what teachers, community, and I have sai you all need to understand is that is only one form of assessment. It is the one form of assessment that the state and federal government currently tell us we must use. st Because of these efforts, the state has begun to align its 21 Century Skills focus with assessment and accountability measures. The state has also been in the process of implementing a similarly aligned teacher evaluation instrument. - . North White Pine County district has experienced problems meeting Summary some NCLB mandates because a high percentage of its students and teachers come from military families, who are highly mobile. This is the district‘s major problem, about which, it reports, the state does little to help. Because of that, the distric t partners with local community colleges and universities as well as other community groups to meet state and federal requirements. North White Pines County staff members report that they spend a great deal of time working with their schools and their comm unities to make sense out of and shape various mandates to fit their local settings. The district has tried to hold to its own philosophy by piloting new initiatives and refining them before ct in our sample sized distri implementing them system - wide. Like the other medium - (Danhill), North White Pine County tried to influence local public opinion about state 271

274 policy, although the superintendents (past and current) played a more active role as actors in the state policy context. Summary of Findings from the D istrict Leadership Cases In Table 3.3.6 at the conclusion of this section we present findings from the four districts, using the framework that we set out earlier. In summarizing our findings, we draw on these four districts and on our analysis of other di stricts not described here in detail. Debates in the press surrounding the standards and accountability movement often emphasize the prescriptive nature of emerging state and federal legislation. By implication, there is a sense that local districts, as w ell as principals and teachers, are put in a straightjacket as they struggle to comply with policies that do not always make sense in their local context. Our analysis casts light on this issue by examining the responses of district staff members in four s mall and medium - sized districts. Size matters here, we assumed, because smaller districts, given their limited resources, may be less able to move resources around to meet new requirements. State policy environments are also important, because states have varied widely in how quickly and it what ways they have reacted to public demands for increased standards. Hierarchical power: Do states have a systemic effect? Overall, our evidence te suggests that state standards and accountability policies, including sta - level interpretations of NCLB requirements, have a modest impact on local behavior and planning for the improvement of teaching and learning. This does not mean that schools g as fixed or districts generally ignore state policies; it means that, rather than servin templates, state policies and requirements are incorporated into what the district administrators want to do. Some districts complain about a lack of resources and support licies. for implementation, but in general they agree with the intent of state po While districts vary there is variation in how they react to state standards and accountability requirements, they rarely describe their situation in ways that would suggest they feel besieged or victimized by the standards movement, even when the y disagree with specific policies. Three of the four districts we analyzed in detail have high poverty/high minority populations, yet they all welcomed the standards movement as cribed helping them to define and achieve important (local) education goals. They des their relationship with their states in terms that must be categorized as accepting. They acknowledged the legitimacy of state policy (even if they dislike the notion of federal mandates and bemoan inadequate state funding), and generally find that they are able to use policy to enlarge their own influence over the improvement of education in their settings. None of the districts described state agencies as a significant source of support, although three states (Texas, Missouri, and New Jersey) hav e well - funded regional service agencies whose role is to support professional development and to enhance the capacity of district offices. Loose coupling was evident in the actions all four districts state standards and took to develop their agendas for improvement, to which 272

275 accountability agendas could be linked. Two districts (Tortuga Shoals and North White Pine County) described the state‘s role as defining what they were trying to do, but even in those cases district leaders saw themselves as going beyo nd superficial compliance. None, however, reported significant professional guidance or support from state education departments or regional service units for the implementation of programs of state priorities and targeted to locally defined needs and goals, even within the scope initiatives. There is little evidence to support the assumption that state policies bypass the district and have a direct impact on the behavior of principals. Although principals‘ their instructional leadership behavior, assessments of positive state influences predict state effects are overwhelmed by principals‘ perceptions of the role of local standards and policies. Networks of local leadership influence . Senior district staff members in small and sized districts have medium limited political networks, with the exception of one - individual in our sample who formerly held a key state position. However, both he and the superintendent in North White Pine County saw themselves as influencing state policy making, either on their own or through professional associations. The professional networks established by most of the superintendents in our sample are largely localized within the district and with other districts located nearby, and they are typically more focused on coping with state policy mandates than on shaping those policies to begin with. There is some evidence that superintendents participate in lobbying or making efforts to influence state policy, but only as participants in coalitions. Overall, district officials seem to play modest roles in the states‘ policy superintendents and other activity. State superintendents‘ associations were rarely mentioned as important sources of influence by superintendents, just as they were rarely seen to be present in the circles of influ ence described by state policy makers. Loose coupling . Senior district staff view their work as loosely coupled with the state. Districts‘ sense of engagement with policy making and SEAs varies by state policy culture. 304 Districts located in more traditio nal pol itical culture  states saw themselves as working toward authentic compliance with state policies. Authentic compliance implies accepting the requirements of state mandates and expectations, but tailoring policy to local circumstances . Data from Tort uga Shoals and North White Pine provide empirical evidence for this conclusion. In both the traditional states, mandates and limited state support for implementation were assumed, but states provided the framework within which local policy was worked out. District leaders leveraged state policy to frame, focus, and mobilize local improvement efforts.  Districts located in states with individualistic political cultures (Danhill and Middle Region) saw state policies as less central to their improvement agend as, and they viewed their local work as loosely coupled with state policy making. They also did 304 218 in this report. - For definitions of state political cultures, see pp. 217 273

276 not seem to be concerned about sanctions. Like the traditional states, they did not see themselves as reliant on state help; they believed that it was up to the district to improvement policies. They all expressed a - design and implement effective school sense of being responsible for designing and implementing their own policy initiatives (while complying with the details of state policy). While we have not pres ented the relevant case data here, two smaller districts located  political culture (Oregon and Nebraska) in states with a clear or moderate moralistic saw themselves as collaborative partners with the state. In both cases, district administrators believed there were people in the state agency who could assist them — or perhaps even provide resources, directly or through the in finding resources state‘s regional service agencies. They also described ways in which they participated in opportunities created by t he state to shape state improvement policies. Based on our previous analysis of interviews with state - level policy actors and stakeholders, we conclude that district actors share many of the same assumptions about ets done here , and that they adapt their own how educational policy and improvement g responses to the state‘s traditional ways of developing and implementing policy. While we would not go so far as to say that state policy culture determines how smaller districts respond, our data suggest that h ow districts respond to increasingly uniform standards and assessment policies will be significantly affected by the state‘s political culture. We hypothesize that in traditional states, small and medium - sized districts are more likely to see themselves as compliant actors; in individualistic states, they are likely to view themselves as free to interpret standards in their own ways; and in moralistic states they are likely to see states as partners in improvement. Our ana lysis here has focused on the smaller But what about larger districts? districts in our sample. We did analyze data from larger districts, although less deeply. As expected, we found that the larger districts in our sample, irrespective of the state in which they are located, see themselv es as responsible for their own future and view the development of their internal resources as the key for improvement efforts. However, there are clear differences among the larger districts:  Three ―semi - urban‖ districts in our sample were large, but l ocated outside a major urban area. Rather than being in a ―declining‖ urban core, they served expanding, increasingly diverse populations. They typically saw themselves as disengaged from state policy because they believed that they were far ahead in their locally developed improvement plans. Compliance was a given, but the need to comply did not drive or shape these districts‘ priorities. In this regard, they were more like Danhill and Middle Region, but with far greater resources, both financially and in the district offices .  Four inner - city districts, on the other hand, were ―resisters‖ who blamed the state for unfair policies that worked to the disadvantage of schools and students they served. In one case, the district had sued the state in an effort to stop enforcement of some components of the standards and accountability procedures. 274

277 Some of these differences warrant more thorough investigation and analysis. At this point we emphasize that it is important to look closely at district responses to the andards and accountability movement, and to avoid equating public statements by st national and state spokespeople with the more pragmatic responses of district administrators whose primary objective is to develop local policies to improve the lives and achie vement of their students. Implications for Policy and Practice Six implications for policy and practice emerged from this section of our study. 1. State policy makers need to engage more strategically in determining how they can provide support for the development and implementation of locally - defined priorities for improvement of teaching and learning within the framework of state standards and accountability policies and the practical realities of local community contexts. 2. State policy makers and education agencies should find ways to disseminate the creative initiatives that local districts develop to comply with and exceed state policy expectations and expand on those expectations in light of local needs and priorities. 3. State policy makers and e ducation agencies need to be more responsive to legitimate district concerns about unforeseen inequities arising from the implementation of well intended government policies. - 4. District authorities, particularly superintendents, should consider how best to develop quality performance benchmarks in addition to the minimum standards mandated by the states. Additional standards should be based on nationally normed tests, as well as those established by the state. 5. District authorities should develop more consis tent networks to engage with state policy development and adaptation. These networks should be consistent with the variable needs and priorities of districts with different capacities and demographic profiles. 6. District leaders are able to effectively defi ne and pursue local goals and priorities when they shape local understanding of state policies, and then incorporate this understanding into local education priorities, policies and services. 275

278 Table 3.3.6 How District Leadership Varies in Response to State and Federal Policies Middle Region District Tortuga Shoals North White Pine County Danhill Regional District State Political Culture NC: Traditional MO: Individualistic NJ: Individualistic TX: Traditional Perceptions of state policy leadership imacy of state Legitimacy of state authority Legit State legitimacy is present; State legitimacy is present; 1. State legitimacy is prese nt; district complies with however district is a vocal is uncontested. authority district must comply with Superintendent and other testing programs; little actor in policy development. standards, testing and other mandates. district leaders emphasize interest in other state policy, their duty to comply. which is minimal. Dis 2. State support for trict contact with state Very limited state support. District contact with state Not addressed by district State provides no resources or port is primarily through support is primarily through districts staff (note: MO has no sup regional service center, regional service center, direction even though it formal regional service center syste m). which transmits information mandates policies. Little which transmits information about state/federal policies, contact except for the about state/federal policies, and provides PD related to personnel and licensure and provides PD related to state policy/program department, which is state policy/program initiatives. State government initiatives. understaffed. (Note: NC has (in state capital) viewed as no formal regional service distant/unsu pportive. center system.) State policies driven by Coherence of state State policies viewed as 3. District administrators District superintendent actualizes policy coherence. remote and out of touch with initiatives from the governor policies accept the coherence of and legislature. District is Two gaps in coherence that state/federal policies. New local conditions and needs, in part due to the priority working with the state to align supt. believes that local the superintendent is assessment and accountability income addressing with state and policies and practices need placed on 29 low - th . district staff: 8 to be better aligned with the policies with new priorities. districts (Abbott districts) grade algebra and EOC exam, Local districts have to work intent of state curriculum with staff and community and accountability policies, ensuring change at district members to make sense of the l to align curriculum leve and emphasizes the need for vertical coherence. policies because of limited with state exams. direction from state. District built internal 4. District capacity District was high performing Superintendent led changes - District is classified as ―low relative to others in region, wealth.‖ Its capacity for for reform in staff, educator y through leadership capacit philosophy, and practices to but scores are declining. reform is limited by high development and mentoring increase capacity for reform. teac her turnover. However, New supt. commissions over time. High 276

279 Tortuga Shoals Middle Region District Danhill Regional District North White Pine County State Political Culture MO: Individualistic NJ: Individualistic TX: Traditional NC: Traditional system review to shake up performing/high capacity and district builds internal capacity by partnering with collaborative leadership complacency. Turnover in external community groups central office positions team. affects district capacity to and colleges. The district Retirements/retrenchments tate initiatives, respond to s ―grows‖ its own leaders so may undermine capacity in which is affected by state local policy stability is high, the future. and the district is high funding policies. performing. Resources for district leadership 5. Personal contacts/ A Superintendent maintains Current superintendent Superintendent is focused on dministrators say it is easy connections local networking. Lots of connected to senior to contact people at DPI, but many influential administrators from prior regional connections with connections to the state due contacts are limited to her districts; sees district as ot position in a larger district, personnel issues. Supt. has to his former role in the many professional networks, State Department of and through the regional a source of support to smaller districts. but limited to local county education center to network Education. Not only is he connected to state actors, he area. of supts. One elementary school principal takes maintains his influence as a state actor. advantage of personal network with private reading ultant to support cons reading initiatives. sities 6. Limited: Schools make use Limited/Moderate: Moderate: Local universities Moderate: Local univer Agency partners/ networks Superintendent partners with and colleges; Southern of PD offered through and colleges work on reform; some business support. Most Association of Colleges and education service center; a other superintendents for year support Schools; Community - multi support. However, he emphasis is on networking tifies his most important iden within the district. relationship with developer Economic Growth of math program ended due Development group. networks as internal to the satisfaction. district, emphasizing the to dis role of principals. Superintendent relies on a regional consultant to do a ―curriculum audit‖ to give direction and legitimacy to wide new system - improvement plan. 277

280 Middle Region District Danhill Regional District Tortuga Shoals North White Pine County State Political Culture NC: Traditional MO: Individualistic NJ: Individualistic TX: Traditional District as a policy District believes that its role District views itself as state 7. District does not view itself The superintendent actor policy actor, and lobbies the as a state policy actor, advocates for change in state is to implement state policy. state (through legislative Superintendent sees himself standards and testing on Weaker test performance is representatives) whenever an behalf of his distri ct. Most attributable to failure to as a maverick who operates recently, the district is lign curriculum and is sue is relevant. outside of the usual ways of a th pushing the state to allow 8 doing business in the state; Administrators note the instruction to changes in state curriculum and d district voice is not as graders to take the end of istrict regards itself as a assessment. The intent is to powerful as others. leader rather than a follower. course (EOC) Algebra exam achieve more authentic with 9th graders. compliance with state policy expectations. - Strategic directions are set by existing System previously loosely The district prides itself on 8. Pre The district emphasizes the perception of variability strong district leadership. increasing expectations for coupled to state policy with strategic direction among the schools and However, recent district academic rigor, student little internal coordination. constituencies, and by the achieve ment, reporting direction and goals come from Current supts. emphasize processes, professional coherence within district and need to be inventive to the state and related NCLB finance quality schools. development, and alignment - between district and st ate, policies. Recent state wide mandates have interfered with of curriculum to meet or Quality is based largely on and improved teamwork the strategic preferences for more importantly, exceed across organizational units. recruiting/ retaining high - state standards. The focus of existing and ongoing ion at promoting experimentat quality staff. Pre local concerns and the school level before doing district staff is district transformation and move to system - wide change. directions include teen pregnancy, Voc. Ed., and the "front of the pack" in student achievement in the high school completion. s tate. 27 8

281 3.4 State Leadership for School Improvement: A Synthesis of Implications for Policy and Practice The evidence reported in the three sections of Part Three warrants a series of implications for policy and practice. ications for Policy Impl Legislation should be introduced to support internal collaboration and 1. organizational change on the part of SEAs. This recommendation responds to the mandates in national and state legislation which demand that SEA staff from differen t offices break out of their silos and share responsibility for educational success. The process of internal collaboration and organizational change is slow in many states; it could be better supported through direct legislative and gubernatorial action. 2. SEAs struggle with inadequate resources in their efforts to meet new responsibilities. They cannot solve this problem on their own. A response on the part of state legislatures and governors, as well as the federal government, is needed . SEAs have been o bliged to take on new responsibilities as a consequence of the standards and accountability movement. Often they are not adequately funded or equipped to meet these responsibilities. States should acknowledge this problem ance the SEAs‘ capacities (or to reduce and take appropriate action to enh monitoring requirements that are less directly connected to student learning). Testimony from SEA staff members across the 10 states suggests that state agencies do not receive enough funding to carry out their new federally mandated obligations adequately, which means that they believe that districts are not receiving needed support. Solutions may include new funding or changes in staffing priorities. 3. State leaders should acknowledge the increasingly important role of districts as collaborators in the policy process. Our data suggest that state policy makers rarely incorporate the views of district leaders in the legislative and agenda - setting process (except, occasionally, through association lobbying). Given the central role that we find for the districts, both from SEA, principal, and district data, this oversight should be addressed in order to create more systemic policy initiatives.

282 Implications for Practice all leaders . School improvement requires the participation of 1. findings complement those of Part I, where distributed leadership effects on Our student achievement were among the most significant. In most states, there are few forums for creating dialogue that might influence how people at all levels ke sense of state standards, tests, and other measures of student development. ma When SEA staff members emphasize their role as service providers rather than compliance monitors, they are in a position to improve their relationships with district and school staff members. When legislators and key policy makers talk to district superintendents, they are more likely to tweak existing policies and develop new ones that are consistent with the various contextual features of improve, they have a measurable effect on districts and schools. As relationships district and school efforts to improve teaching and learning. 2. Collaboration in implementation is a state’s greatest ally. People in many workplace settings report that when they collaborate with others, b satisfaction is greater, they have a stronger sense of efficacy, they are their jo about their ability to achieve improvement outcomes, they are more optimistic better able to create links to outside agencies, and they are more optimistic about meeting new demand s. There needs to be increased focus on how best to meet the different leadership 3. needs associated with variable contexts (location and demography). than urban districts; all confront the strains that All states have more rural differences in student de mographic characteristics place on the provision of educational support services. We suggest that state policy makers need to consider that one size does not fit all when considering how the state will support school and district leaders in meeting new ac countability challenges. 4. States should do more to support the preparation and professional development of district leaders, district - level staff members, and SEA staff members. Although pressure on school and district leaders is increasing, the level of support (professional development and expertise) extended to them has remained constant or has declined. This is a problem that calls for additional state funding. Since the preferred policy lever in most states is mandates rather than capacity building, the solution here will require a shift in thinking at the gubernatorial and legislative levels. 5. State - and district - level policy makers need to engage more strategically in determining how states can provide support, not just pressure, for implementation of locally defined priorities for improvement within the framework of state standards and accountability policies . For example, state policy makers and education agencies should find ways to disseminate creative initiatives on the part of local districts to encourage authentic 280

283 compliance or even higher standards than those set by state policy, while acknowledging local differences. 6. States need to listen to district officials as they voice their concerns about state policies . In particular, state policy ma kers and education agencies need to be more responsive to legitimate concerns about unforeseen inequities arising from the . intended government policies implementation of well - 281

284 Conclusion We began this investigation of the links between leadership and stu dent learning more than six years ago. Our work examined the multiple levels at which leadership can — be exercised in education from the classroom to the statehouse. In 2003, we wrote the following in our review of the literature which informed our study: efforts will be increasingly productive as research provides us with [Leadership] more robust understandings of how successful leaders make sense of and productively respond to both external policy initiatives and local needs and s will also benefit considerably from priorities. Such effort more fine grained understandings than we presently have of and successful leadership practices, much richer appreciations of how those practices seep into the fabric of the from , improving its overall education system quality and substantially adding value to 305 our students‘ learning. Our research has uncovered many fine grained behaviors that are elements of being an effective leader and has pointed to the conditions that encourage or discourage these productive action - teacher relationships, district leaders‘ interactions s. Principal with principals, and policy decisions at the state level all are intertwined in a complex and changing environment. We found links between all elements of our theoretical framework, with student learning. some having a more direct relationship with Principals , who are the formal leaders closest to the classroom, are most effective when they see themselves as working collaboratively towards clear , common goals with district personnel, othe s, and teachers. These leaders are more confident in r principal their leadership and are experiencing greater efficacy. In addition, d istrict support for shared leadership at the school level enhances the sense of efficacy among principals. When princip als and teachers share leadership, teachers‘ working relationships are stronger and student ac with one another hievement is higher. District support for shared leadership fosters the development of professional communities. Where teachers feel attached to a p rofessio nal community, they are more likely to use instructional Our results suggest that a practices that are linked to improved student learning. particular, way to distribut e or share leadership does not exist. Rather, single best tion patte rns are affected by the goals that sch ool personnel associate leadership distribu with certain tasks. The more encompassing the goal, the greater the likelihood that multiple sources of leadership will be appropriate . performing schools genera We found that higher ask for - more input and lly engagement from a wider variety of stakeholders and provide more opportunities for influence by teacher teams, parents, and students. Finally, while principals and district leaders in all schools , they continue to exercise more influence than others do not lose 305 Leithwood et al. (2004b), p. 12. 282

285 influence as others gain it. Influence does not come in fixed quantities. Influential leaders wishing to retain their influence may share leadership confidently. E measures also emerged as a major focus for xpectations and accountability leadership activity throughout our investigation. In districts where levels of student learning are high, for example, district leaders are more likely to emphasize goals and ent performance i minimum state expectations for stud nitiatives that reach beyond , while they continue to use state policy as a platform from which to challenge others to reach higher ground. In schools that are doing well, teachers and principals pay attention to multiple measures of student success. Finally, we foun state initiatives matter. States, for all the d that , overall, variability in their approaches to policy making, are firmly focused on standards and accountability. Most make use of state mandates, and pay more limited attention to evelopment for leaders. The translation of legislative and support and professional d gubernatorial initiatives into support for schools falls to the state agencies, which are struggling to realize a significant change in their roles, shaped by the standards and ent. Districts and schools generally view states as partners with accountability movem even fewer resources. T limited vision and hey move forward as best they can with efforts to comply with the spirit of state discussions and agendas, or to take accou nt of the meaning behind the prescribed state plans and to exceed the minimums. Reform in the U.S educational system is both lively and messy but, as educators grapple with emerging demands, we found that leadership matters at all levels. Leaders in r, and exercise influence over, policy and practice. Their education provide direction fo contributions are crucial, our evidence shows, to initiatives aimed at improving student learning, and of course ultimately to the future in which we all share. 283

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311 Appendix A METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX Introduction T he specific s As proposed and undertaken, our stu of dy was large and complex. ection , coding, and analysis evolve d from what we sampling, instrumentation, data coll . proposed to the Wallace foundation in 2003 he project as a whol e, we collected two For t rounds of survey dat and teachers and three rounds of site - visit data a from principals , including classroom observations and interviews with teachers from schools and districts . We also interviewed state - level education and building and district administrators leaders in two rounds . We sampled states to ensure variation in geography, student demographics, state governance for education, curriculum standards, leadership polic ies, and accountability systems. We sampled districts to achieve variation in size and chools to en sure variation in school level and demographic diversity. We sampled s We obtained student achievement data for literacy (reading or demographic diversity. l anguage a rts ) and math ematics from scores on the states‘ tests for measuring Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (NCLB). The Sampling P lan Our sampling of states, districts, and buildings went through three stages. First, in Foundation‘s our response to the Wallace we proposed a sampling plan that led to a RFP, schematic ―proposed sample.‖ Second, we undertook the actual state, district, and building sampling with a modified sampling plan, and it led to the ―selected sample.‖ Finally, following our district and building recruitment plan, we gained our ―achieved sample.‖ ed sample The propos e proposed a stratified random sampling plan for survey data collection that W yield nine states, five districts per state , would schools per district . W e proposed and four to sample three states from each — t he Ea st of three regions oast, the S out h, and the C Midwest and W est. We proposed that t he 45 district s would be stratified by size and lev el of student poverty/diversity and would be a uniform distribution of districts across these . We show our criter ia for classifying dist ricts in Table A.2. variables (Table A.1) Table A.1 Proposed District Sample: Size By Poverty / Diversity Diversity/Poverty District Size High Medium Low Large 5 5 5 5 5 5 Medium 5 Small 5 5 309

312 Table A.2 District Classification Criteria Poverty Size Diversity Percent of student s umber of s tudents qualifying for free or Percent N of w hite students reduced lunch 2 5,00 0 and above High 66% or higher High Large Less than 18% 18% - 18% Mid Medium 2,500 Mid - - 65% 24,999 65% Low 2,499 - 600* Small Low 66% or high er Less than 18% * Six hundred was our lower limit for district recruitment purposes. Although 36% of s chool districts in the U.S. had fewer than 600 students, t hey account ed for just 3% of th e student population. istribution across the We proposed that the 180 schools would be a uniform d poverty/diversity variable and building level (Table A.3). 3 Table A. School Sample: Level By Diversity / Poverty Proposed Diversity/Poverty School Level High Medium Low Elementary 20 20 20 Middle School 20 20 20 High School 2 0 20 20 The state sample In the RFP under ―Site Selection,‖ the Wallace Foundation made it clear that it some expected the research to be undertaken in of the states and districts that were then involved in the ir funded leadership development efforts , e specially in the 15 states in the 12 LEAD districts SAELP (State Action for Education Leadership) consortium and the (Leadership for Education Achievement in Districts) in 12 of the SAELP states. Wallace did not require bidders to include all of the sites they fund ed and did encourage bidders to consider studying sites outside of the funded pool. In our proposal, we showed an example selection of nine states from the three regions that included four SAELP states. When we actually sampled states, we agreed t o aim for four Wallace funded states. We decided to restrict the selection of the four to those where funding was at the state level (SAELP) and at the district level (LEAD). We thought that limiting the Wallace funded sample to four would allow our total sample to not be overly biased by the presence of external funding for leadership development. We also wanted to ensure that the final sample of states contained adequate variation on a range of variables that we believed were potentially relevant to under standing leadership at the state and local levels, and that would be consistent with variation across the country. 310

313 The state sampling process We the states into geographic quadrants — East , South, Midwest, and West  divided 306 In deciding where to draw the lines of these quadrants we took into (Table A.4). account historical conventions, geography, and population density. The purpose of establishing the quadrants before random sampling was to ensure that we got a reasonable distribution of states across the c ountry.  We assigned each state a separate number (1 to 48) from a computer generated random sequence.  We sorted the states in each quadrant in ascending order by their randomly generated number. We s  ed the fir st SAELP and LEAD funded state from the li st for each quadrant. elect  We s elect ed the second SAELP and LEAD funded state for each quadrant as an 307 alternate . n the first  We selected on - SAELP funded states within each quadrant to three 308 complete the basic sample pool. SAELP fun  We selected the next two non - ded states from the list within each quadrant to provide randomly generated alternates to the original pool. Following our state sampling process, we formed a basic pool of 16 states with selected the first SAELP and LEAD funded state and the first three non - SAELP funded states . We next examined the variation on the variables we were from each quadrant poverty, concerned about: racial/ethnic diversity, number of school districts, per pupil principal certificatio n requirements, te board governance structures, spending, sta ssment of Educational Progress scores in reading principal shortage levels, National Asse and mathematics, minority achievement and graduation rate gaps, state accountability and number of charter schools. D rawing these data from na systems, tional sources and state , w e constructed a matrix that enabled us to display and analyze the websites variability within our randomly generated - state sample. 16 We were satisfied with the range of variation achieved with our initial sample of the eight st ates comprised of the first SAELP and LEAD funded state and the first non - SAELP funded state , but identified a few variables for which the degree of variation we nhanced with the selection of the ninth state We chose the could be e ninth state. y from among the remaining states in the initial pool because it best strategicall complemented the variation obtained with the first eight. 306 As two of the five districts in each state would be site visit d istricts as well as survey districts, we excluded Hawaii and Alaska because of travel costs. We also excluded Washington DC because of its atypical governance circumstances. 307 No alternate state was available in the West as no other state had both SAELP and LEAD funding. 308 Five states would be selected from the non - SAELP funded states – one state each from three quadrants and two states from one of the quadrants. 311

314 Table A. 4 eight contiguous states divided into quadrants - Forty EAST (11) WEST (11) Connecticut Arizona New Mexic o New Jersey New York California Oregon Delaware Colorado Utah Pennsylvania Maine Rhode Island Idaho Washington Maryland Vermont Wyoming Montana Massachusetts New Hampshire Nevada SOUTH (14) MIDWEST (12) Illinois Alabama Missouri Nebraska Indiana North Dakot a Arkansas North Carolina Iowa Ohio Florida South Carolina Oklahoma Georgia Tennessee Kansas Michigan South Dakota Kentucky Texas Minnesota Virginia Wisconsin Louisiana West Virginia Mississippi the names of the the Before going further, we reported selection crit eria and selected nine states to our program officer at the Wallace Foundation. The program officer had a few questions about the selection and asked for clarifications before presenting our state selection to the senior leadership team in the e ducation d ivision at Wallace approv al of our selected sample came a few days later. . Their We did not ― recruit ‖ the states , as there is no person who can say yes or no to a - request to participate for the state . We did, however, write a one page lett er to the highest ranking education officer of each state telling him or her about the study and that their 309 state had been randomly selected We also invited him or her to consider taking part in . omponent of our investigation. the state leader interview c We attached a more detailed description of the project and a consent form to participate in an interview. District and School Sampling The district sample From the website of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, http://nces.ed.gov/ ed the ir most current demographic data for all districts ) we download in each of the nine states in the selected sample. The uniform distribution of districts across size and poverty/diversity we show in Table A.1 was not possib le with our selected state sample because of the demographic realities in the nine states. For example, 309 Depending o n the state, we wrote to the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the Commissioner of . Education or Secretary of Education or Chancellor of the State Board and so on 312

315 a majority of small districts are rural, and rural communities tend to have less racial and ethnic diversity in some parts of the country. Similarly, it is much easier to find low poverty small districts than low poverty large districts: there were only seven low selected , but all seven were in one state. Even so, poverty, large districts in the nine states nine - state selected sample fairly captured d o ur ifferences in student enrollment across the or more students), four medium 48 states. We had two high enrollment states (1,500,000 ment states (500,000 to 1,500,000 students) and three low enro l lment states ( fewer enrol l students). Our sample i ncluded states that had low minority populations, than 500,000 states that had high nonwhite minority populations in a single race/ethnicity category, and states that had large but more diverse nonwhite minority populations. We 80 districts ( about generated an initial sample pool of then nine per state) with In keeping with our decision to sample size, poverty and diversity in mind (Table A.2). five districts per state, we then ensured that in every state the selected sample reflected 310 W variation on all three variables. at least one large, medium, and e initially selected s of poverty, we selected districts representing all small district from each state. In term We also selected for high, medium, and low three levels where possible, if not, then two. in all states, ensuring that at least two if not all levels were represented. diversity districts The size, poverty and diversity breakdowns of the selected sample were : Diversity Size Poverty 10 High 14 Large 17 High 19 Medium 16 Medium 20 Medium 8 Low 15 Small 16 Low We agreed that the variation of the selected sample provided a best approximation of what we were looking for, but it was not a replicating sample in each state. W e were satisfied with the sample for the kinds of analyses we envisioned doing . ist was easy compared with recruiting the selected districts to Generating a l participate in the study. To recruit the districts, we first sent superintendents a letter seeking their participation and followed up the letter with telephone calls. In the letter to the sup erintendents, we told them about the study and that their district had been randomly selected to participate. To participate, districts had to agree to be part of our survey data a one - time stipend collection. For their participation, we offered the district an incentive of of $500. We informed them that in our survey data collection we would be inviting principals, assistant principals, and teachers to respond to a written survey about leadership policy and practices that bear on teaching and learning; tha t we would conduct the principal and teacher surveys in four schools per district representing elementary and secondary schools; and that we would be conducting a second round of surveys in the final year of the study (2008). We also recruited two of the d istricts per state as site visit and survey districts. To these 18 districts, we offered the $500 incentive and a one time stipend of - $200 to each school visited (typically two buildings per district). Anticipating that some superintendents would ask with which schools we proposed to work, we were ready with a 310 If two or more districts satisfied the demographic characteristics under considerati on, we randomly ; if there was only one district that satisfied the selected districts with the SAMPLE command in SPSS desired demographic conditions, we took it. 313

316 proposed selection (see discussion of the school sample below). Recruitment was slow going. The initial samples of eight or nine districts per state quent refusal claim was that they were were used up as the refusals came in. The most fre ―too busy.‖ We suspected that some were afraid of having their ―leadership problems‖ of become public knowledge. In the face our assurances of anonymity , that vulnerability en the initial sample of districts was used were not e nough to encourage risk taking. Wh up before getting five to agree to participate, we went back to the data base and sampled further, sent letters, and followed up with calls. The districts in one state were particularly All but one of the first eight selected districts unwilling or unresponsive. in this southern state refused to participate, some even refusing to reply. We despaired of ever scheduling a site visit. After considerable deliberation, we decided to abandon the state and go to the firs t alternative in the state sample. We essentially lost four months of recruiting effort. Unfortunate too was that by that time, we had already conducted eight telephone interviews with senior education officials in the state. The alternative state was a asonable match in terms of preserving the sampling balance we had initially achieved. re The alternative was Louisiana, and the recruitment was going well enough when Hurricane Katrina struck in late August, 2005. By mid - September we concluded that with the d evastation in much of the state, we had to give up Louisiana. In its place we took the next sampled alternate in the South, North Carolina. In the end, the achieved state sample was New Jersey and New York ( East), Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas ( South ), (West). Indiana and Nebraska , and New Mexico and Oregon (Midwest) The achieved district sample. The achieved district sample reflects the challenges and realities of recruiting school district participation in research studies of this sort. In all of t he states, som e if not most of the originally selected districts declined to participate for one reason or another. Only 21 of the original 45 selected sample districts (47%) agreed to participate and were in the achieved sample. We replaced districts that refused with others that matched the size, poverty, and diversity profiles of the original districts to th e extent possible. In one state, f or example, we recruited 14 school districts before getting agreement from five for the study. This was typical for most states, but in some the recruitment p rocess was even more difficult: In two states, we only were able to recruit four districts each for an achieved sample of 43 rather than 45 districts. The size, poverty and diversity breakdowns of the achieved sam ple were : Diversity Size Poverty 7 High 11 Large 9 High 22 Medium 19 26 Medium Medium 8 Low Small 13 Low 14 Eighteen (two per state) of the 43 districts in the study agreed to be site visit districts. The size, poverty, and diversity breakdowns of the s ite visit districts sample were : Diversity Size Poverty High 3 Large 6 4 High 8 Medium Medium 10 Medium 6 Low 4 6 Small Low 7 314

317 What appears to be an even distribution by size of site visit districts mask the actual variability across the nine states: Four  states had one small and one large site visit district Two states had one medium and one large site visit district  Two states had one small and one medium site visit district   One state had two medium site visit districts. The building sample We undertook the building sample as soon as we had the selected state and district From the NCES we download ed the ir most current demographic data samples. website, districts in each of the nine states in the selected for all buildings in each of the 45 sample. The b uilding sampling process We wanted regular s chools, so we did not consider, that is, allow in the sampling data  base, service schools such as arts, technical, special education, alternative, evening, home bound incarcerated, and so on. , , hospital  n ot consider buildings of all one grade . We did We did not consider building s with all grades , K – 12 , in a single building .  We did not consider charter or magnet schools .  We did not knowingly consider primary only centers.  311  was within a state . All sampling plus/minus 4 per district, for 180 was 20 per state, which was mpling ideal  Our sa (Table A.3) but w e decided to sample five schools per district (25 per schools total state, 225 total), which would allow for a 25% cushion against likely refusals to ven though we had the superintendent‘s blessing in each district prior to participate e s . getting in touch with building principal tried to draw one high school, two middle/junior highs, and two elementary  We p schools we tried to sample from a mong schools that had the er district. In each case, same high, medium, or low poverty and diversity profiles as did the district overall. Where we could not achieve this, we went for another building at the same level in by only one step. When that the same district that was off the poverty/diversity profile did not work either, as it did not in several small districts, we tried to sample the same building level with the same poverty/diversity profile from another of the same sized districts. Where that did not work, we tried to sam ple the same building level with the same poverty/diversity profile from another district that was just one step larger. In the end, in the 45 - district selected sample, we selected 219 buildings. The building level, poverty, and diversity breakdowns of th is resulting selected building sample were : 311 If two or more buildings satisfied the demographic characteristics under consideration, we r andomly selected the desired number of buildings – for example, two elementary buildings per district – with the command in SPSS SAMPLE ; if there was only one building that satisfied the desired demographic conditions, we took it. 315

318 Diversity Level Poverty High 56 90 Elementary High 78 Medium 84 81 Middle Medium 103 Low 38 48 High School Low 79 The selected building sample departed from the idealized 20 per school level by poverty or dive rsity levels. Table A.5 shows the crosstabulation of school level by poverty level in the selected building sample. Table A. 5 School Sample: Level By Poverty Selected Poverty School Level High Low Medium 16 41 Elementary 33 Middle School 33 37 11 Hi gh School 12 25 11 before getting in touch with the superintendents. This selected sample was made Our view was that we had to be flexible in approaching superintendents with the four or five buildings we wished to survey, and of those the two we wished to visit. We acknowledged that we would follow their preferences if they wished to make changes in our lists. Of course, some superintendents did make changes. Fifty - three percent of the selected districts refused to participate and were replaced by altern ates (and in many cases, those alternates were replaced by alternates). We resampled each replacement district‘s schools following the same procedures outlined above. Once again, generating a list was easy compared with recruiting the selected buildings. rticipation and followed up mail seeking their pa W e first sent principal s an e - with telephone calls. In the - e mail , we told them that their superintendent had elected to he and their participation approved by t participate, that their school had been selected superintendent , and outlined what participation entailed. For the site visit buildings we told principals about the $200 incentive. As with the achieved district sample , the The achieved building sample. reflects the challenge s recrui in achieved building sample ting schools to participate research studies of this sort. Only 76 of the original 219 selected sample buildings (35%) We replaced buildings agreed to participate and were in the achieved building sample. e size, poverty, and diversity profiles of the that refused with others that matched th buildings to th e extent possible. The achieved sample was 182 buildings. The original district size, building level, poverty, and diversity breakdowns of the achieved building sample were Diversity Level District Size Poverty 36 High Lar ge 51 43 High School 52 High Medium 85 84 Medium 54 M iddle School 95 Medium Low 35 47 Elementary 85 Small Low 60 316

319 Data collection Surveys , , and assistant principals in all the We twice surveyed the principals teachers buildin from gs in the achieved sample. We administered the first round of surveys eacher and February 2005, to November 2006. During that period, we administered the t principal surveys continuously as districts and schools were recruited. We administered nd round in spring and summer of 2008, having revised the the seco surveys Round One for . We developed the surveys collaboratively , produc ing Round Two multiple iterations following numerous lengthy discussions about items and language. Both the teacher survey s and both the principal surveys contained some items from established instruments as wel l as many new items and scales. with good reliability measures Round O ne We field tested b oth Round One surveys in 14 schools in a Minnesota suburban school De cember 2004, and January 2005. The purpose of the pilo t was to district in improve item clarity. We discuss ed the instruments with selected respondents after the y took the surveys . After revisions and more discussions with teachers and principals, we teacher survey of 117 items and a were ready with a Round One principal survey of 149 items. - page optical scan booklet with glued bindings. The teacher survey was an eight - and - pencil booklet. - The principal survey was an eight page, saddle stitched paper The teacher and pr incipal surveys measured perceptions of both district leadership ctices and district conditions or characteristics . In the surveys, a ll but one of the pra perception or attitudinal variables were measured using six - point scales (from ―strongly ―strongly agree‖). Other response categories included choices about ―how disagree‖ to many‖ (six steps from ―none‖ to ―all‖); ―how often‖ (six steps from ―never‖ to ―very frequently‖); and ―how much‖ (six steps from ―none‖ to ―very great‖). The principal survey also ha d some items in which the response categories were five steps from ―very Round One teacher survey into sections with items little‖ to ―very great.‖ We divided the about :  The classroom , for example ber of students in my class(es) I have a manageable num m able to monitor the progress of all my students to my satisfaction I a The school  Disruptions of in structional time are minimized The school schedule provides adequate time for collaborative teacher planning  Teachers Teachers should prompt students to explai n and justify their ideas to others (teachers and peers) I regularly incorporate student interests into lessons  Principal leadership practices term goals for The principal provides useful assistance to you in setting short - teaching and learning 317

320 The princip al gives you individual support to help you improve your teaching practices  School and home connections - How many parents/guardians of students in your class(es) usually attend parent teacher conferences es) do you contact in the How many parents/guardians of students in your class( first half of the school year Demographics  How many years have you worked as a teacher How many years have you worked in this school as a teacher? We divided the principal survey into sections with items about : State policy and  influences , for example State standards stimulate additional professional learning in our school State policies help us accomplish our school‘s learning objectives District leaderships  My district‘s leaders in the central office give schools a sense of ov erall purpose My district‘s leaders in the central office demonstrate high expectations for my work with staff and students School leadership and conditions  Most teachers in our school share a similar set of values, beliefs, and attitudes related to teachi ng and learning There is ongoing, collaborative work among teachers in our school  Stakeholder influence My school solicits input from community groups when planning curriculum My school includes community leaders and organizations when making important dec isions  Professional development My professional development has a significant role in helping me make decisions about curriculum My professional development has helped me to use data more effectively Demographics  How many years have you worked as a princip al Including you, how many principals has your current school had in the past 10 years ? School administrators — mostly principals — recruited or encouraged their teachers to fill out the survey. We made no personal appeals to the teachers to participate. We i ntended to survey all teachers in the achieved school sample. We defined teacher as a part - time or full - time school employee who is certified or licensed as a teacher and who carries out instructional responsibilities. We mailed the teacher and principal surveys to 179 schools. Of the 331 principals , 26 invited to complete survey in the 179 schools the 0 ( 15 7 principals and 103 assistant We sent surveys to returned a completed s urvey, for a response rate of 78.5%. principals ) 318

321 (6,832) in the 179 all teachers schools. Teachers returned 4,491 surveys from 43 districts and 158 schools. The response rate was 65.7%. to individual schools in bulk We mailed the surveys to the attention of the surveys blank, sealable during a staff meeting. A ypically teachers completed principa l. T . In a few cases, district ensure confidentiality envelope accompanied each survey to help mail surveys administrators requested that to the district office for distribution. Each we : survey packet contained A cover letter to the principal  A sheet of instructions for administering the surveys  A teacher survey for every teacher  A principal survey for every principal and as sistant principal   A sealable envelope for every teacher and principal A project description for every teach l  er and principa Postage - envelopes for returning the surveys.  paid, preaddressed our If we did not receive completed surveys within three to four weeks after , we tele phoned and e - mailed the principal to i nquire about the surveys . When a mailing ncipal reported that t he surveys had not arrived, we sent a second packet . We pri In a few attempted to get in touch with unresponsive schools no fewer than four times. cases, principals opted out of the study after receiving the surveys. The University of Minnesota‘s Office of Me asurement Services formatted and printed the teacher survey and scanned the surveys upon return. They gave back the scanned surveys and a data base. As part of data cleaning, we identified cases missing all in the data file and examin ed the paper survey. In almost all cases, the or most of the data Only a very few could not be scanned, because the teacher had were data indeed missing. the survey . We entered those cases manually. completed in red pen or with check marks entered the returned Project staff ncipal survey responses manually into an SPSS file. pri S five percent of the principal survey returns, entered the data gain taff randomly selected detect one percent error rate. Of less than and compared it to the first entry. They ed a course, they t he discrepancies. When we ran a similar quality control check of resolved the Round Two principal survey data entry, we detected an eight percent error rate. Different staff members then re - entered all the data, compared the two sets and resolved hecking the new file with 10% of the cases, we found less than a 1% all conflicts. Rec error rate. wo Round T For , we collaboratively developed a revised 131 - item teacher survey Round Two and a 105 - item principal survey. We used identical items from the Round One surveys whe n we wanted repeat measures, such as in the case of a factor analysis. Items from the Round One survey were dropped for reasons of economy when an item had little variation in its response spread, so that we could add new items for deeper inquiries that ha d arisen from our first round of data analysis Again, t he teacher survey was an eight - page optical scan booklet with glued bindings, and t he principal survey was an eight - - pencil booklet. page, saddle stitched paper - and 319

322 We mailed the surveys to 177 schools with a total teacher population of 7,075. Teachers returned 3,900 surveys from 134 schools in 40 districts for a response rate of Round One 55%. As in , the teachers completed the surveys anonymously, with each survey placed by each respondent into a sealab le envelope. The schools collected and returned the surveys. Three hundred fifty - one principals returned 211 surveys from 122 schools in 40 districts for a response rate of 60%. Round Two teacher survey into sections with items about the We divided the hool, teachers, classroom, school administrator(s) leadership practices, district sc leadership, home and school connections, and demographics. We divided the principal survey into sections with items about the principal‘s areas of expertise, school condition s, school leadership, district leadership, district policy conditions, state policy and influences, parents and community, and demographics. Again, the teacher and principal surveys measured perceptions of both district leadership practices and district c onditions or characteristics. In the surveys, all but one of the perception or attitudinal variables were measured using six - point scales (from - point ―strongly disagree‖ to ―strongly agree‖). The one other response set used a five gree‖ to ―strongly agree‖ with a mid - point of ―uncertain.‖ Other scale from ―strongly disa response categories included choices about ―how many‖ (six steps from ―none‖ to ―all‖); and ―how often‖ (five steps from ―never‖ to ―10 times or more‖ or four steps from ―not at all‖ to ―ever y time‖). The principal survey also had some items in which the response categories were four steps from ―basic‖ to ―highly developed‖; and five steps from ―very rarely‖ to ―very often.‖ Student achievement We were guided by five general principles in ou r research. Principal 4 was ―Make the best use of existing student achievement data.‖ As we wrote in our proposal to we would have wished to administer the same achievement tests to Wallace, i deally study , but in practice students in sampled classrooms of the 180 schools in the that was ot possible. Because of the 2002 n NCLB legislation, we assumed that all students within Thus, w a state would use the same tests for literacy and mathematics. e obtained student achievement data for English and mathematics fr om scores on the states‘ tests for measuring Adequate Yearly Progress mandated by the No Chil d Left Behind Act of . 2002 data from the public, on - line records in each state‘s We downloaded these department of education website. In trying to fill in gaps in state reporting, rarely did we find the missing achievement data on district or building websites. A school‘s student achievement wa s represented by the percentage of students meeting or e xceeding the If states or proficiency level tate on mandated literacy and math tests. established by the s districts tested math or literacy proficiency in more than one grade in elementary or in secondary schools, we averaged the percentages across the grades within the building level , resulting in a single achievement sc ore for each school . We began by assembling 05. Over the - district and building proficiency data for 2002 - 03, 2003 - 04, and 2004 subsequent years of the study, as annual testing data became available, we added it to the 320

323 - 07, data student achievement data base. And ove r the years from 2002 - 03 through 2006 across the states were more complete and the state department websites easier to navigate. Particularly in the first year or two of our work, the availability of data for all schools in all districts in all st ates was uneven. 321

324 Interviews Districts and schools - These We collected visit data from schools and districts. three rounds of site occurred and five of the study. Two districts in each of the nine states in years two, three , had agreed to be site visit d (one elementary istricts. Typically we visited two buildings and one middle school or high school per district ), but in two of the small districts we visited three buildings each, which were all the regular buildings in those two districts. Besides the int erviews with teachers and administrators, we also conducted four or five classroom observations in each building. Thus we had site visit data from 38 schools and 18 districts. The data collection also extended to community members not employed by the distr icts. We developed 10 separate, role specific interview protocols collaboratively - following numerous discussions about items and language. Even with a written script, we agreed that the interviews were to be semi structured and more conversational than - fo rmal. With the interviewee‘s permission, we made an audio recording of the interview. We later transcribed verbatim all recorded interviews . We designed the district and school site visits interviews to take from 45 minutes to an hour each. There were four district level protocols: superintendent and district staff, school board member, business and community groups, and union leader. There were six building level protocols: principal and assistant principals, student support professionals, teacher intervie w (after 312 , observing his or her teaching) lead teacher interview, community representative, and active parents. All four district interview protocols featured the same major categories, e interviewee. The and within each we tailored language and probes to suit the role of th : major district interview categories were  Policies and leadership for example with their state‘s department of education, school board,  Relationships ( and other external stakeholders ) Political culture and collaboration  Capacity buildin g ( developing district leaders, school leaders, and teachers ).  Compared with the district interviews, the six school - level interviews were more varied , but all had all or most of the following interview categories : State influence   District influence/lead ership  School leadership (distribution, development, etc.)  Curriculum and pedagogy 312 The interview protocol for observed teachers was a bit more narrowly focused than many of the others. With observed teachers, the focus was on specific activities during the lessons; general approaches to pedagogy; the role of the principal as well as other leaders within the sc hool, district, and state on pedagogy; curricular and pedagogical decision making in the school; professional development; and student learning. 322

325  School culture (interaction, culture, support, etc.)  Community Teacher leadership  Professional development   Leadership teams. Typically, the site - visit teams were composed o f four members and often included staff from both the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto . Teams usually were made up of senior researchers, staff, and graduate students. The typical site visit required three working days in the schools a nd district offices. In Round One , the number of interviews conducted in the 38 schools ranged from 4 to 13, the mean was 9, the median 9, and the mode 8. The number of interviews conducted at the district level ranged from 4 to 21, the mean was 9, the me dian 8, and there were multiple modes. More accurately , 10 of the 18 districts had 8 or fewer interviews. The two outliers of 18 and 21 interviews distort the mean In total, in the first . chool interviews for a round of site visits, we collected 166 district interviews and 342 s total of 508 interviews. The second round of site visits was a smaller undertaking. At the school level we decided to interview just principals (and not teachers, support professionals, or assistant incipals in 28 buildings in 12 districts in 6 states (as principals). We interviewed 28 pr well, one assistant principal was interviewed as were one lead teacher and one Title I teacher). In total, in the second round of site visits, we collected 83 district interviews and 32 school interv iews for a total of 115 interviews. The third and final round of interviews was a larger undertaking than the second round. For Round Three , we replaced three schools, one each in three different districts. The number of district offices interviews ranged from 0 to 7; in the 17 districts with district interviews the range was from 2 to 7. The mean was 3, and the median and mode were 2. In the third round of site visits, we collected 55 district interviews and 207 school interviews for a total of 262 interv iews. The total number of building and district site visit interviews for the project was 885. Coding district and building interviews In our response to the RFP, we proposed we would produce a standardized coding scheme and code the transcribed school an d district interviews, assembling them into a single, qualitative data base. Using NVivo, we coded the 508 interviews from the first round of site visits. Even though we coded all interview transcripts, each original transcript remained available as indivi dual Word files. We wrote in our proposal that the coding system, given the scope of the study, would necessarily classify the interview data in rather broad categories because of the number of interviews and the number of coders. From our proposal to Wall ace and the literature review that accompanied it grew the interview protocols, and from the interview protocols grew the major components of the coding scheme. Construction of the coding scheme was more conceptual as opposed to ot grow out of an examination or analysis of the resultant emergent, that is, it did n 323

326 interview transcripts per se. Instead, we developed the coding framework a priori to encompass the majority of interview topics. In order to increase inter rater reliability, we - scheme with small, randomly selected sections of interview transcripts. piloted the coding When we finished coding, we compared our various codings and discussed discrepancies . After a long period of Based on those conversations, the coding scheme was refined. collaborative development, we finalized the coding scheme. In general the coding scheme was designed to capture two things, an agent and a topic area around which that agent is acting. In major outline, the coding framework contained : Topic Curriculum and instruction Professional development Accountability Resources Climate Decision making and planning Collaboration Student learning outcomes Organizational structures Leadership Communication Miscellaneous Agent State - General (Indefinite agent) State - Professional Organ izations Federal - General (policy, initiatives) - District General (Indefinite agent) District - Staff - District School Board District - Professional Organizations - General (Indefinite agent) School School - Principal or Assistant principal - Teacher School School - Othe r Classroom - Self Classroom - Students - Other Classroom Community - Parents Community - Other State ID (9 sub - codes) Attributes District site ID (18 sub - codes) District size (large, medium, low) District poverty (high, medium, low) District diversity (high, mediu m, low) 324

327 District location (urban, suburban, rural) School site ID School level (elementary, middle school, high school) School poverty (high, medium, low) School diversity (high, medium, low) School size (student population) rintendent, board member, staff, Interviewee role district (supe parent representative, community stakeholder) Interviewee role school (principal or assistant principal, teacher, teacher leader, other staff, parent representative) Interviewee gender 2 y ea rs , 3 - 5, 6 - 10, 11+) Interviewee role experience (0 - - 2 y ea rs, 3 - 5, 6 - 10, 11+) Interviewee site experience (0 Site visit date (site visit 1, 2, or 3) . Document type (district, school, research memo) With the coding scheme came a coding manual that contained the major codes, s, definitions, and the coding format. Those researchers and staff who coding guideline would undertake the coding of the 508 interviews spent considerable effort on training themselves in the intricacies of the system and the mysteries of the NVivo software. We transcrib ed but did not code the interviews from the Round Two site visits. For Round Three , we again transcribed the interviews , and using NVivo , we coded them not by the original coding framework, but by the interview protocol questions themselves (this process a ffectionately referred to as a ―data dump‖). State study interviews policy map for In our response to the Wallace RFP, we proposed to develop a ― ‖ each state based on interviews with key informants in order to develop a stable understanding of the policy d ynamics that are related to efforts to change leadership for We developed an open - ended interview protoc ol that was student achievement. . appropriate for an elite population The main topics covered were: 1) the respondent‘s - l perceptions of the major state evel policy initiatives of importance over the last few years (allowing the respondent to determ ine the starting year/policy); 2) specific policy initiatives in two arenas: accountability an d promoting school leadership; 3) a discussion of the policy initi ators and actors, and their stakes and stands on major policy initiatives; and s work together or 4) their comments about the way in which groups and individual separately to exercise influence over educational policy. We selected interview participants w ho would, cumulatively , yield a comprehensive set of perspectives on state level education policy and policymaking. The - interviewees included congressional representatives, commissioners of education, chairs of state boards of education, teacher and admini strative union leaders, faculty members at schools of education, leaders of foundations related to education, and business leaders engaged in state education initiatives. We sent potential respondents letters of invit ation schedule telephone interviews. and followed up with tele phone ca lls to 325

328 project staff Senior to 1 2 individuals by t elephone in each interviewed from eight an hour or more, were recorded with the interviewee‘s state. Interviews lasted Only one inter viewees declined to be taped. permission, and later transcribed. of the From the nine states in the achieved sample we had 83 interviews (as well, we had 12 interviews from the two states we lost). We conducted the interviews in 2004 and 2005 with a final interview in January 2006. Coding state study interviews The coding scheme we developed for the state interviews was less complex than scheme for district and school interviews. Again, we wanted a standardized coding the . A classify the interview data in rather broad categories system nd again, t he that would In major outline, the coding coding scheme closely reflected the interview protocol. framework contained : opic Interview t O rganizational school improvement Student learning Accountability Enhancement of professional development/ city and leadership Teacher capa - specific education policy or history (general) Non Context and actions Goals Current status Motivations for policy Strategies for implementation and enactment Explanatory factors Collaboration . Historical context There was a secon d round of state interviews in June, July, and August of 2008. A single staff member conducted two or three interviews per state (including in one of the states that we lost) for a total of 29 interviews. All interviewees were officials in their state‘s de partment of education and had not been interviewed in the first round of interviews. Classroom Observation lassroom observations part of the data collection during the district site C were observe instruction visits in rounds one and three. The task was to in literacy (reading or l anguage a rts ) and mathematics, determine the kinds and frequencies of particular i nstructional classroom conditions. The purposes of the strategies teachers used, and note were to ional activities in the schools, observations gain an understanding of the instruct should which assist us to better place the student achievement outcomes within a context; provide some corroboration for the claims made by the various district and building interviewees itions in the school ; and p rovide a basis about the teaching and learning cond for discussio We would follow the observations. n during the teacher interviews that structured observation protocol to collect this data . developed a 326

329 On most site visit teams, all team members individually observed one or more bservers to teachers, as well as conducted interviews. We trained ourselves as o reliably document instruction in the lessons we observed based on our modification of 313 We Newmann‘s assessment of authentic instruction. recorded what saw and h eard we on a observation form that included two main sections: 1) b asic n information about the context, details of the lesson, how class time was used, how students were organized for instruction and learning, the kinds of technology us ed during the lesson, a nd a description of any positive or negati ve features in the classroom; and 2) a ssessments of instruction authentic instruction: higher using four of Newmann's five standards of inking , order th deep knowledge, substantive conversation, and connection to th e world beyond the classr oom. We completed the classroom observation forms during or soon after the observation period did not show them to but the teacher s . Except for the observers‘ filled out observation protocol, we made no recording of any sort of the classrooms. or math classes per In the typical site visit, we observed four or five literacy school , but we preferred grades 3 or 4 , 5, 8, and 10 , the in classrooms at all grade levels - wide AYP examinations . We observed typical grades in which students take state teachers d uring one instructional period usually lasting from 30 to 55 minutes and conducted the interview with the teacher, lasting about a half hour, as soon as possible . after the lesson We did not sample or recruit teachers for our observati ons. Rather, we left the choice and persuasion of teachers to the principals or their assistants who were coordinating arrangements and scheduling for our visit to the schools. Both by e - mail and telephone, we discussed our preferences for numbers, subject s, and grades. In Round One , we returned with 145 classroom observations. For the Round Three observations, we modified our observation protocol somewhat. The major change was the addition of a one page checklist requiring the observer to check yes or no t o 24 items having to do - instructional strategies. In Round T with classroom management and hree, we use of returned with 167 classroom observations, and a project total of 312 classroom observations. 313 Newmann, F. M., Secada, W. G. & Wehlage, G. G. (1995). A guide to authentic instruction and assessment: Visi on, standards, and scoring. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, pp. 93. 86 - 327

330 Appendix B Data for Section 1.5 Rotated Component Matrix Component Survey Item 1 2 1 My school administrator develops and atmosphere of caring and - 4 .857 .161 trust. 3 My school administrator creates consensus around purposes of our - 4 .832 .243 district mission. - 6 My school administrator is effective in building community 4 .224 .841 support for the school's improvement efforts. - 7 My school administrator promotes leadership development among 4 .839 .279 teachers. 8 My school administrator models a high level of professional 4 - .869 .213 practice. 4 9 My school administrator ensures wide participation in decisions - .818 .251 about school improvement. - 4 10 My school administrator clearly defines standards for .768 .351 instructional practices. 4 - 24 When teachers are struggling, our principal provides su pport for .741 .259 them. 4 - .705 .247 25 Our principal ensures that all students get high quality teachers. - 4 27 In general, I believe my principal's motives and intentions are .756 .112 good. - 13 How often in this school year has your school administr ator 4 .253 .761 discussed instructional issues with you? - 4 14 How often in this school year has your school administrator .288 .699 encouraged collaborative work among staff? 4 - 15 How often in this school year has your school administrator .352 .717 provided or loc ated resources to help staff improve their teaching? 4 - 16 How often in this school year has your school administrator .103 .671 observed your classroom instruction? 4 - 17 How often in this school year has your school administrator .155 .772 a use in planning for individual student needs? encouraged dat 4 18 How often in this school year has your school administrator - .691 .183 attended teacher planning meetings? 4 - 21 How often in this school year has your school administrator given .640 .159 deas for how to improve your instruction? you specific i 328

331 Appendix C Data from Section 1.6 1.6.1 Table C One - Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by Diversity Diversity Level Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts Low High Medium p F (B) (A) (C) Teacher Shared Leadership 10.80 <.001 1 Parent B > C A > C 2 Principal as Instructional Leader .797 .23 11.65 <.001 3 Shared Leadership Within the School B > C A > C 4 Collective Responsibility 4.97 .007 A > B A > C 5 Shared Norms 40.20 <.001 A > B B > C A > C 38.75 6 Teachers Perceptions of Parent Influence A > C <.001 A > B B > C 11.58 7 Principal as Trusted Colleague <.001 A > B B > C A > C B > C <.001 A > B A > C 8 Focused Instruction 44.21 A > B A > C 9 Teacher ratings of school climate B > C <.001 9.69 ( =. 06) p 10 Teacher ratings of school openness to A > B A > C .015 4.32 p =.06) parents ( 11 Teacher ratings of district support B > C 3.14 .045 Source : 1 – 8 Teacher Survey Round One; 9 – 11 Teacher Survey Round Two † For the planned pairwise co ntrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means tailed. significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two - 329

332 1.6.2 Table C Summary Table of Significant Main Effects for Principal Leadership Variables for Each for Surveyed Principals Second Round* Context Variable Context Variables Leadership Variables Diversity Poverty Building Level Building Size Urbanicity District Size - rating on shared - leadership skills Principal self Principal self - rating on improvement - plannin g focus X Principal rating of district school improvement focus - X Principal rating of district shared - leadership skills X District policies to support organizational learning X District focus on data based decision making - X X S ource : Principal Survey Round Two. < .05 for that leadership variable (row) on that context variable * X indicates a significant main effect at p (column). 330

333 1.6.3 Table C Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by Diversity - One Diversity Level Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts High Low Medium p F (B) (A) (C) - - leadership Principal self rating on shared 1.60 .205 skills Principal self - rating on improvement - planning B > A C > A 5.25 .006 focus - improvement Principal rating of district school 3.42 .035 B > A focus - leadership Principal rating of district shared .78 .461 skills District policies to support organizational 1.27 .283 learning District focus on data - based decision making 3.88 .022 B > A Source : Principal Survey Round Two. † F or the planned pairwise contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two - tailed. 1.6.4 Table C Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by District Size One - District Size Pairwise ANOV A † Contrasts Large Small Medium p F (B) (C) (A) - - leadership Principal self rating on shared 2.69 .070 skills Principal self - rating on improvement - planning .713 .34 focus - Principal rating of district school improvement 2.36 .097 focu s - Principal rating of district shared leadership 9.07 <.001 A > C skills District policies to support organizational A > C 8.04 <.001 A > B learning District focus on data - based decision making .45 .641 Source : Principal Survey Round Two † For the planned pairwise contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means tailed. significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two - 331

334 Table C 1.6.5 Way Analyses of Variance for Leadership Variables by Urbanicity One - Urbanicity Level Pairwise ANOVA † Contrasts Large Rural Suburban Urban town F p (D) (A) (C) (B) teacher shared leadership - 1 Parent .113 1.99 2 Principal as instructional leader C > D .008 3.94 3 Shared leadership within the D > A .008 3.93 school 4 Collective responsibility 1.63 .179 A > B 5 Shared norms C > B C > D A > D 34.29 <.001 6 Teachers perceptions of parent C > B 2.82 .037 influence ( p = .057) C > D 7 Principal as trusted colleague .026 3.08 8 Focused instruction A > B C > B C > D A > D <.001 25.63 9 Teacher ratings of school climate A > C .035 2.92 10 Teacher ratings of school .342 1.12 openness to parents 11 Teacher ratings of district A > C D > B A > B 5.55 .001 support Source : 1 – 8 Teacher Survey Round One; 9 – 11 Teacher Survey Round Two. † For the planned pairwise contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means tailed. significantly different from each other at p < .05, t - test two - 332

335 Table C 1.6.6 - ership Variables by School Size One Way Analyses of Variance for Lead † School Size Pairwise Contrasts School Size in Quintiles ANOVA st th th nd rd 5 2 1 3 4 p F (B) (D) (C) (A) (E) 1 Parent - teacher shared D > E 19.87 <.001 A > E B > E C > E leadership 2 Principal as instructional 39.95 <.001 A > E B > E C > E D > E leader 3 Shared leadership within the A > B .003 3.97 A > D school A > D B > D C > D 4 Collective responsibility 32.74 D > E <.001 B > E C > E A > E C > D 43.19 A > E B > E 5 Shared norms <.001 D > E C > E perceptions of 6 Teachers (D > E .028 2.73 p =.08) parent influence (C > D <.001 A > E B > E 30.15 7 Principal as trusted colleague p =.06) D > E C > E (C > E 8 Focused instruction 4.16 .002 D > E =.06) p 9 Teacher ratings of school D > E C > E <.001 A > E B > E 17.61 climate 10 Teacher ratings of school D > E C > E <.001 A > E B > E 13.29 openness to parents 11 Teacher ratings of district <.001 D > E C > E 5.37 support Source : 1 – 8 Teacher Survey Round One; 9 – 11 Teacher Survey Round Two. † For thes e post hoc contrasts among the means, the comparisons shown represent two means significantly different from each other at p < .05, Bonferroni t - test two - tailed. 333

336 About the Authors Kyla Wahlstrom is Director of the Center for Applied Research and Educa tional Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development at the ity of Minnesota. Her research interests include instructional reform initiativ es , Univers , and the impact of district educational leadership - wide policies on teaching and l earning . She has been a teacher and p rincipal, and is the author of numerous book chapters, journal articles, and over 50 technical reports used by educational leaders to shape policy decisions. Karen Seashore Louis is Regents Professor and the Robert H. Beck Chair in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, and a p ast vice - Her research president for Division A of the American Educational Research Association. focuses on schools as workplaces, school improvement and r eform, and her most recent book (with Sharon D. Kruse) is uilding Strong School Cultures: A Guide to Leading B Change (2009). She received the Roald F. Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration in 2009. Kenneth Leithwood is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at OISE/University of Toronto. His research and writing about school leadership, educat ional policy and organizational change is widely known and respected by - educators throughout the Eng lish speaking world. Dr. Leithwood has published more than 70 refereed journal articles and authored or edited two dozen books. - Stephen Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration Program, Ontario Institute for Studies in Educatio n at the University of Toronto . His research and publication activities focus on education policy and program change, school improvement, in - service teacher development, and education leadership in Canada, the United States, East Africa, Pakistan, and Chi le. His recent work focuses on the school district role in educational change and on the sustainability of school improvement. 334

337 The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of minnesota links empirical research to real-world applications for educational leaders in minnesota and across the United states. to do so, carei conducts comprehensive studies that provide information about challenges confronting schools and practices leading to educational improvement. for information on our technical reports and resources, please visit our Web site: / www.cehd.umn.edu/carei University of Minnesota The Ontario Institute for Studies in center for applied research Education at the University of Toronto and educational improvement (OISE/UT) college of education is the largest professional school of education in and human development canada and among the largest in the world. it offers 1954 Buford a ve., suite 425 initial teacher education, continuing education, and st. paul, mn 55108-1062 graduate programs, all sustained by faculty who are tel: 612-624-0300 involved in research across the spectrum of issues fax: 612-625-3086 connected with learning. / www.cehd.umn.edu/carei please visit our Web site for more information: www.oise.utoronto.ca University of Toronto ontario institute for The Wallace Foundation studies in education oundation seeks to support and share the Wallace f 252 Bloor st. West effective ideas and practices that expand learning toronto, ontario, canada m5s 1V6 and enrichment opportunities for all people. its three tel: 416-978-2011 current objectives are: fax: 416-926-4752 strengthen education leadership to improve z www.oise.utoronto.ca student achievement enhance out-of-school learning opportunities z The Wallace Foundation expand participation in arts and culture z enn plaza, 7th floor 5 p new York, nY 10001 for more information and research on these and other related topics, please visit our Knowledge tel: 212-251-9700 fax: 212-679-6990 center: www.wallacefoundation.org www.wallacefoundation.org. 3

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