Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Zach Kelehear

Second Advisor

Diane Harwell


The purpose of this study was to determine the direct influence that principals of high-poverty schools have on student achievement based on Effective Schools Research. This research attempted to determine the impact of the following characteristics in the selected schools: alignment of instruction and assessment, supervision of teacher behaviors and student achievement, professional development, teacher attrition and retention, and school culture.

The primary research question was:

How does school leadership influence characteristics of alignment of instruction, supervision of teacher behavior and student achievement, professional development, teacher retention, and school culture within Award-Winning High-Poverty schools?

The following research methods were used: teacher survey, principal interviews, teacher focus groups, and document review. Questions on the teacher survey addressed the principals' influence on the prevalence of the selected characteristics within the schools. Based on the responses, the principals' influence on the existing characteristics was prevalent in both schools. The teachers were satisfied with the academic standards at both schools, and the principals played a vital role in creating and sustaining the culture of selected schools.