A study of leadership behaviors for Breaking Ranks leaders in public secondary schools

Sharon Hill Shaulis, Florida International University


This research will investigate what it will take to develop principals who will embrace the recommendations of reform as proposed by National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP, 1996) in the Breaking Ranks document. Breaking Ranks is based on the belief that it is within the dynamics of the school culture that principals must gain insight into strategies for improving the schools for which they are held responsible. Given this context, it is important to examine perspectives that are held by principals who lead schools that embrace the concepts of reform as proposed by NASSP, thereby, could be deemed “Breaking Ranks” schools. It is within these schools that the new role of the principal develops. NASSP has identified seven key recommendations for leadership development; “attributes that need nourishing” (p. 12) for the success of school reform. The seven recommendations are included in Breaking Ranks. The purpose of this study is to identify and describe how principals put the seven recommendations into practice as they function in their schools. In addition, this study will gather information on the characteristics, support, skills, and training these principals identify as critical aspects and components of their success. This is a study of principal leadership at four high school sites where “Breaking Ranks” principals have been identified. This research plan will be designed to utilize an inquiry-based process with a panel of experts and four “Breaking Ranks” principals. This study will describe: (1) how a panel of experts identify what they believe needs to be done in order to put the recommendations of the Breaking Ranks document into practice and their identification of principals who are breaking ranks; (2) how identified principals say they have been able to put the recommendations of the Breaking Ranks document into practice; (3) How both groups identify and describe: (a) the characteristics and behaviors of a “Breaking Ranks” principal; (b) the new leadership skills as described by the seven recommendations identified in the Breaking Ranks document; (c) the support necessary in order to meet the recommendations in the Breaking Ranks document; and (d) The training needed in order to become “Breaking Ranks” principals; and (4) how the process of creating “Breaking Ranks” principals can be described by experts who have studied it theoretically and principals who have demonstrated it in their schools.

Subject Area

School administration|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Shaulis, Sharon Hill, "A study of leadership behaviors for Breaking Ranks leaders in public secondary schools" (2000). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9966644.