The Influence of Rural Principal Practices and State Accountability



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Purpose: This study investigated the practices of rural school principals in Region 16 that impact student achievement. Research Methods: A mixed-methods design was utilized for this study with evidence provided by 16 principal and 165 teacher responses, along with state accountability data ratings, and five principal interviews. Excel was used determined the degree of alignment in survey data between principal perceptions and teacher perceptions. Observation Oriented Modeling (OOM) was used to determine if there was a relationship between the degree of alignment in survey data and state accountability ratings. Findings: Within schools, principal and teacher perceptions of principal practices that influence student achievement vary; however, both identified the practice of maintaining a positive culture and climate as one of the most influential practices. Principals often rated themselves lower on the survey than their teachers rated them. Data-driven decision-making and technology were important principal practices related to student achievement. Implications: School leaders underestimate the importance of maintaining a positive school culture. The PIMRS, which is 30 years old, did not take into account the impact of data-driven decision-making and technology as a principal practice to improve student achievement. Further research is needed to identify how principals carry out the practices needed to maintain a positive school culture and how that practice and others such as data-driven decision-making and technology improve student achievement.



instructional leadership, rural principal practices, STAAR, teacher perceptions, empirical paper


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