Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Conceptualizations and uses of the Pennsylvania Framework for leadership in the practices of secondary school principals
by Nolt, Dwight E., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2016, 152; 10158559
Abstract (Summary)

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania began the work of creating and adopting a state-wide principal effectiveness plan that mirrored the framework established for the evaluation of teachers. Backed by a series of assumptions about the power of an assessment or evaluation tool to increase the effectiveness of school leaders, a team of educators at the state level reviewed plans from numerous states and districts as well as the widely recognized VAL-ED school leadership evaluation plan to inform the creation of a plan tailored for Pennsylvania school leaders.

The growing focus on evaluation of school leaders was fueled in part by a disconnect between overwhelmingly positive principal evaluations and standardized state assessment scores for student achievement that indicate a disproportionate percentage of “failing” schools. A growing body of research has explored the influences of principal leadership on student performance as well as the theoretical frameworks for effective principal evaluation plans. Less prevalent was research on the influence of an evaluation plan to guide, change or improve the practices of school leaders.

In the 2012-13 school year, over 200 school district, charter schools, Career and Technology Centers, and intermediate units in Pennsylvania agreed to implement the Principal Effectiveness Plan (PEP), later called the Pennsylvania Framework for Leadership (PFL), for the possible evaluation of up to 1900 school leaders in over 1300 individual school sites. This research was designed specifically to study the influence of the pilot year of the Pennsylvania Framework for Leadership on a group of principals in secondary schools in Pennsylvania by exploring how the principals conceptualized the uses of the plan on their daily practices.

The study was designed to explore qualitative data gathered through 17 secondary principal interviews which were a representative sample targeted from the 117 secondary principals who completed the pilot process and were included in the data set of 484 principal reports submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education at the end of the pilot year. In addition, survey data from PDE were used to inform the construction of the interview protocol. Researcher journal and memos were also considered (Maxwell, 2005, p. 96, p. 110, Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 72).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Porter, Andrew
Commitee: DeFlaminis, John, Quinn, Rand
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational and Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Educational leadership
Keywords: Leadership, Pennsylvania, Principal, School improvement
Publication Number: 10158559
ISBN: 978-1-369-13567-1
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