Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Gerald Ubben

Committee Members

Judith Boser, Ernest W. Brewer, Gregory C. Petty


During this era of high academic accountability, principals are expected to be learning leaders and to orchestrate their schools' academic improvement. Despite these high expectations, few studies have linked principal instructional leadership behavior with student academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine if differences in instructional leadership behavior existed between principals of high-achieving, high-performing, low-achieving, and low-performing schools.

The population of this study was public high school principals in Tennessee. Two hundred seventy-six (276) principals whose schools' State of Tennessee Report Cards contained three years of academic achievement and academic performance data were surveyed using the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale, an instrument used to measure the frequency of instructional leadership behavior implementation within ten domains of instructional leadership.

Both t tests and an ANOVA were used to analyze data. A .05 significance level was used for all statistical tests. No statistical differences were found between high and low-achieving schools or high and low-performing schools. However, when achievement and performance data were combined, statistical significance was found in four domains of instructional leadership: framing school goals, protecting instructional time, maintaining high visibility, and promoting professional development.

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