Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An analysis of the influence of No Child Left Behind and Arizona Learns on middle -school principal leadership behaviors and responsibilities
by McKinney, Shannon, Ed.D., The University of Arizona, 2008, 246; 3336698
Abstract (Summary)

Effective leadership is a key factor for productive organizations. In this era of educational accountability, starting primarily with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, there has been increased pressure on school leaders to perform a wide repertoire of leadership skills to increase the capacity of schools to meet or exceed national and state academic standards. Student accountability in Arizona began in 2002 when the state legislature passed A.R.S. ยง15-241 known as Arizona LEARNS. The Achievement Profile, Arizona LEARNS complied with national mandates to establish a research-based evaluation model for school accountability and is the cornerstone of Arizona's system of school accountability.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of NCLB (2001) and Arizona LEARNS (2002) on middle-school principal leadership responsibilities and behavior informed by the work of Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005). In addition, the relationship between the academic accountability measures and adherence to the middle-school philosophy was explored. The participants consisted of 56 Arizona middle-school principals. The participants completed a survey instrument.

Pearson Product-Moment Correlations, Independent Sample t-tests, and ANOVA were used to investigate the effects of years of experience, annual yearly progress, Title I funding, and Arizona LEARNS performance label on the ability to execute specific leadership behaviors and responsibilities as a result of the influence of NCLB and Arizona LEARNS. Demographic data and responses from the open-ended questions of the survey provided depth to the quantitative analysis.

Research results indicated NCLB (2001) and Arizona LEARNS (2002) have influenced the ability of middle-school principals in Arizona to execute specific leadership behaviors and responsibilities, such as Being a Change Agent and Being Visible. Research data also indicated a significant change in middle-schools as a result of the increased focus on academic achievement. In open-ended responses, middle-school principals noted multiple concerns with NCLB (2001) and Arizona LEARNS (2002), specifically a decrease in curricular offerings, less student support, and the public consequences of AYP and Arizona LEARNS labels.

This study examines impact of academic accountability on middle-school leadership in Arizona and as such is valuable to practitioners in the current era of accountability.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taylor, John
Commitee: Hendricks, Robert, Pedicone, John
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Arizona Learns, Leadership, Middle school, No Child Left Behind, Principal
Publication Number: 3336698
ISBN: 978-0-549-90424-3
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