Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Zach Kelehear


In an attempt to shed light on the possible impact certain leadership practices might have on student outcomes in literacy, this research considers the relationship of selected effective leadership traits and their impact on the implementation of a literacy intervention program. If it is true that all schools' have as their primary goal to prepare students for the rigorous learning, reading and analyzing required that is expected to be successful in the future, then examining the role that leadership might have on that goal remains important. Further, it is the hope that this analysis might further educators' understanding on the topic of leadership skills and practices that are essential to increase literacy outcomes, specifically within an intervention program.

Toward capturing data that aligned with successful leadership, this study focuses on the leadership skills that are part of the state adopted evaluation protocol. These indicators are considered in the evaluation of principals in the state of South Carolina and used to determine their effectiveness as instructional leaders. These measures are correlated to the expected gains of students within a structured intervention program.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the degree to which effective leadership relates to literacy outcomes. This study is designed to focus on the characteristics of principals outlined by the evaluation tool and how these specified characteristics relate to literacy outcomes. The fuel behind this study is the need for clarity about the nature of leadership assessment and actual leadership practice in regards to literacy. Put differently, the research question moves toward examining the degree to which the assessment of the school leader is consistent with the emphasis on literacy. Certainly, the hope for some policy makers is that by increasing the success of students' reading levels, schools will, in turn, prepare more students for the rigorous learning, reading and analyzing required to be successful in the future.

With literacy in the forefront of educational policy, research focus and millions of dollars being allocated for its development, principals need to have a set of skills that will enhance literacy within school settings. Thus, the examination of the evaluation tool as it relates to literacy within this study is valuable information. It is hopeful that leaders will be more knowledgeable about leadership behaviors or qualities, which they can more readily concentrate on so that they will strengthen their leadership overall.

The focus question leading the research is: To what extent do leadership practices, as measured by a state adopted instrument, relate to the success of literacy intervention programs at an individual school setting?


© 2014, Abigail DeAnn Woods