Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Strategy for a Turnaround School Utilizing the Perspective of a Coach
by Houston, Terry J., Sr., Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2020, 126; 28255811
Abstract (Summary)

This research investigated the impact of effective programs and practices utilized in an urban environment. The school leader plays a significant role in turn-around schools. The data collected during this study can offer schools and districts with research-based data and strategies, which allows principals, coaches, teachers, and other stakeholders with data to improve school environments and help increase student academic achievement. This research examined the mindset of teachers by imploring a quantitative approach. This method of investigation provided a connection between research and application by identifying systems and implementing strategies researched to improve teaching and learning at Roosevelt High School, located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Based on data collected from Roosevelt High School from 2006–2010, I concluded that the leadership model is essential to producing positive markers for schools such as high daily attendance, decreased disciplinary actions, high academic and behavior expectations for students, and high student academic performance. In a school environment where school turnaround is needed, the distributive leadership model, characterized by "coaching," yields these positive markers for school success. At Roosevelt High School, distributive leadership was practiced through an "all-hands-on-deck" approach to revisioning the school's mission and purpose, revitalizing school spirit, and revamping school routines and procedures. These were all created and edited with the full input and participation of the principal, administration, school faculty, and staff with full participation from the principal, administration, school faculty, and staff. This allowed for increased consistency school-wide and increased teacher and staff buy-in. The principal is not necessarily there to change everything but propels others to "get into the game" of transforming the school.

While other leadership options put the brunt of the school leadership work on the principal and administration, distributive leadership allows everyone to be a leader for a collective plan of action. Other forms of leadership, traditional and postmodern, place a large amount of power and responsibility onto the principal and their administration. This inadvertently takes focus and pressure off what develops in individual classrooms. Such a move may produce negative markers of school success such as low daily attendance, increased out of school suspensions, and low academic expectations and performance. Mainly in school turnaround, emphasis on centralized leadership shields the teacher's responsibility and can misconstrue teachers' beliefs to impact their students. Distributive leadership combats this lack of accountability and action. It requires work from all parties. Though leadership and power may still be organized in a top-down structure, the measure is equal. At Roosevelt, the distributive model mobilizes teachers to hold high expectations for their students, inspires students to respond to that expectation, all while cutting down on issues with discipline and increasing overall school attendance. The principal and administrative team are resources for teachers and provide tools and professional development that enable them and encourage them to uphold school vision, incite school spirit, and adhere to new school routines and procedures. Turnaround at Roosevelt would not have occurred with just a new principal, as shown by the three that were assigned before the principal investigator. There had to be a new leadership style.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sherblom, Stephen
Commitee: Weir, Graham M., Jackson, John
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Secondary education
Keywords: Discipline, Distributive leadership, Professional development, School attendance
Publication Number: 28255811
ISBN: 9798698525745
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