ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dennis J. Sawyer (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to focus on how North Carolina superintendents perceive the importance and employ the self-assessed practices of the five McREL district-level leadership responsibilities linked to student achievement as they relate to the superintendents' years of experience and the size of the school system. One of the leading studies of the superintendent's professional practice was the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) comprehensive study of the superintendency, which was released in a 2006 report. Waters and Marzano (2006) generate four major findings. These findings are: (1) District-level leadership matters, (2) Effective superintendents focus their efforts on creating goal-oriented districts, (3) Superintendent tenure is positively correlated with student achievement, and (4) Defined autonomy.   Finding 2, effective superintendents focus their efforts on creating goal-oriented districts, generated five district-level leadership responsibilities related to setting and keeping districts focused on teaching and learning goals which have a statistically significant correlation with average student academic achievement. They are: (1) collaborative goal-setting, (2) non-negotiable goals for achievement and instruction, (3) board alignment with and support of district goals, (4)   monitoring achievement and instructional goals, (5) use of resources to support the goals for instruction.   The five responsibilities from Finding 2 served as the basis for the survey questions. Data gained from superintendent self assessment survey responses included superintendents' ratings of the importance of the leadership responsibilities along with their perceptions of how often they employ these practices. Responses were examined for similarities and differences with respect to length of service and school system size.   McREL found that effective superintendents focus their efforts on creating goal oriented districts. This finding was significant enough from their meta-analysis of 27 studies related to effective school leaders that it emerged as one of four overall findings. This study found North Carolina superintendents share McREL's view that creating goal-oriented districts is important. Similarly, superintendents most often perceive that they practice the 5 responsibilities that McREL articulates as the practices relative to this finding. This study suggests McREL designed a potential blueprint for improving district-level achievement and North Carolina superintendents perceive they are employing the responsibilities that the McREL research identified as being important to student achievement.  

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Education, General

Email this document to

This item references:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
SUPERINTENDENT PERCEPTIONS OF DISTRICT LEADERSHIP FOR IMPROVED STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.