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Leadership practices of successful middle school principals
Karen Leigh Sanzo
Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership, College of Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Leadership practices

31
Received January 2010 Revised March 2010 Accepted June 2010

Whitney H. Sherman
Department of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA, and

Jennifer Clayton
Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership, College of Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Abstract
Purpose – This study aims to be one in a series examining the leadership best practices of school principals as they lead in an accountability- and standards-driven school environment. The lack of research and necessity to find successful practices to improve student achievement highlight the need for this study. Design/methodology/approach – An inductive exploratory study was designed to provide insight into how successful middle school principals facilitate high levels of student achievement. Findings – Common themes of practices enabling the principals to serve effectively in their schools emerged from the conversations and were grouped in the following categories: sharing leadership; facilitating professional development; leading with an instructional orientation; and acting openly and honestly. Originality/value – This research contributes to the field by providing insights into the practices of leaders of successful schools in a high-stakes testing environment. The study provides a framework on which leaders should model their own practices, as well as informing leadership preparation programs areas around which to focus their instructional content. Keywords Education, Leadership, Principals, Schools Paper type Research paper

In the USA, accountability in the public schools has been...

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