A case study of ongoing planning and decision-making leadership strategies employed by principals of high performing schools
There are research studies that focus on principal leadership and the direct and positive impact it has on student performance, but few examine the effects of principal strategies in the areas of ongoing planning and decision making in high-performing poverty schools in urban school districts. Strategies implemented by school leaders as they relate to ongoing school reform, specifically in the areas of planning and decision-making in successful urban high-needs schools, were investigated. Research questions include: 1) What is the role of the principal in the ongoing process of planning and decision-making? 2) How do principals effectuate meaningful involvement of teachers in the ongoing planning and decision-making process? 3) What school-based support-structures and systems are created by principals to facilitate the involvement of other school personnel and community stakeholders in the ongoing planning and decision-making process? 4) What principal leadership actions and strategies are utilized to attain sustainability of high levels of student achievement? A qualitative case study methodology is used to understand the strategies of school leaders in successful high poverty urban schools, specifically with planning and decision-making. Elementary principals and teachers are asked open-ended questions in which they describe their experiences with leadership strategies that directly impact student achievement. The most prevalent theme that emerged was the availability of resources – offering a positive impact on teachers’ instructional performances. The findings suggest that as leaders utilize ongoing planning and decision-making strategies, as they relate to the new accountability system, they will become invaluable resources to support and retain teachers.