School Leaders Matter: Measuring the Impact of Effective Principals
This article presents a study on the importance of school leadership by examining individual principals’ contributions to student achievement growth. The researchers used an approach similar to studies that measure teachers’ “value added” to student achievement to determine principal effectiveness. The researchers also investigated principals’ management of teacher transactions and the dynamics of the principal labor market. Overall, the result of the three examinations into principal quality “suggests substantial variation in principal effectiveness: a principal in the top 16 percent of the quality distribution will produce annual student gains that are 0.05 standard deviations higher than an average principal for all students in their school.”
The content of this publication provides information from a variety of study methods utilized to measure school leader impact on value added student achievement outcomes. The methods and approaches from the study of Texas schools utilize quality methods and add value to understanding the various factors involved relative to school leadership that impacts teacher practice and student outcomes. While technical in design, the findings and discussion are presented in a format and language that is easy to understood and useful for those interested in further evidence that school leadership is an important aspect of school effectiveness.