Document Type


First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Delia Garcia

Third Advisor's Name

Joyce Fine

Fourth Advisor's Name

Erskine Dottin


Principals' Leadership Behaviors, Primary Education

Date of Defense



School principals’ leadership is key to successful school reform, as is increased student achievement. This nonexperimental ex post facto study tested relationships among secondary school principals’ leadership behaviors, school climate, and student achievement.

Of 165 secondary school principals from the three largest school districts in South Florida, 58 completed three online survey instruments: the Leadership Practices Inventory, School Climate Inventory-Revised, and researcher-designed Demographic Questionnaire. Student achievement was measured by students’ scores on the reading and mathematics Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests. Three null hypotheses tested relationships among (a) five principals’ leadership behaviors and seven domains of school climate; (b) principals’ leadership behaviors and student achievement; and (c) principals’ leadership behaviors, school climate, and student achievement.

Multiple linear regressions were used to determine the degree to which the independent variables predicted the dependent variables for the first two hypotheses. ANOVAs tested possible group differences between the demographic and research variables as controls for the third hypothesis. Partial correlational analyses tested the strength and direction of relationships among leadership behaviors, climate, and achievement.

Results revealed partial support of the hypotheses. None of the leadership variables significantly predicted school climate. No significant relationships were found among the five leadership behaviors and student achievement. Demographic group differences in school climate and student achievement were marginally significant. The leadership behaviors of Inspiring a Shared Vision and Enabling Others to Act were positively linked to reading achievement. Partial correlations were found (r .27 to -.35) among school climate variables of Order, Involvement, and Expectation and achievement variables. The Modeling the Way leadership variable was negatively associated with reading achievement.

After controlling for gender, years at current school, and years in the district, partial positive correlations were found among leadership, school climate, and student achievement. Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Encouraging the Heart, and Challenging the Process leadership variables were partially correlated to Order, Leadership (Instructional), and Expectation climate variables. Study results should provide policymakers and educators with a leadership profile for school leaders challenging the status quo who can create schools for enhanced student learning and relevance to the needs of students, families, and society.





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