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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Case Study of Principals' Perceptions of Preparedness for Leading Change in PLA Schools: Implications for the Local School District
by Jordan, Lemuel, Ed.D., Spalding University, 2014, 153; 10003546
Abstract (Summary)

An educated population is crucial not only to success in science and technology but the capacity to maintain our national security. Recent reports continue to show that teenagers in the U.S. slipped in the international rankings in mathematics, science, and reading. The major policies to address failing students came with the NCLB legislation of 2001. This brought about sweeping reforms to address Persistent Low Achieving (PLA) schools.

The legislation introduced accountability measures which necessitated strict control by state, increased sanctions and penalties on schools failing to reach required yearly progress. Principals, as instructional leaders, were now responsible for the success of each student and faced dismissal if state audit teams determined lack of capacity to lead the turnaround.

This qualitative study sought to investigate principals’ perceptions of their preparedness for leading change in PLA schools and identified implications for the local school district. Most of the literature focused on the importance of the principal and qualities required to take students from failure to success but there was little documented evidence of principals’ perceptions regarding their preparedness for this unique and challenging role.

Even though participants believed that they had the capacity to lead turnaround efforts the findings revealed that they were not prepared for the numerous challenges which they encountered. They were faced with a combination of negative climate and culture, having to analyze and interpret data and cope with demands and expectations of district officials.

The recommendations of the study identified differentiated assistance for disadvantaged students, improved principal preparation programs, and incentives for PLA principals to assure retention of capable and qualified principals. This study was limited because of the small sample size and possible biases of researcher and participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Greer, Rita
Commitee: Blackman, Orville, Rowland, Leslie
School: Spalding University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Kentucky
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Leadership, Low achieving, Pla, Principal, Priority schools, Turnaround
Publication Number: 10003546
ISBN: 978-1-339-42689-1
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