Peacock Scholarship

A STUDY OF PRINCIPALS’ SELF-PERCEPTION OF LEADERSHIP STYLE AND PEER RANKING ON NEW JERSEY SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORTS IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN NEW JERSEY

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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of principal’s self-perceptions of their leadership styles on academic achievement using the peer school ranking of their elementary school. The researcher measured the four leadership styles: telling, selling, delegating, and participating, identified within the Situational Leadership ® theory by Blanchard et al. (1993), among 196 New Jersey elementary school principals using Hersey and Blanchard’s (1985) Leader Effectiveness and Adaptability Description (LEAD) instrument. Comparing the principals’ self-perceptions of their leadership styles with peer group rankings in the areas of Academic Achievement, College and Career Readiness, Student Growth, and School Status on the 2013-2014 New Jersey School Performance Reports provided a method to understand the influence between leadership style and academic achievement. The researcher subsequently conducted Pearson Correlation tests and Simple Regression tests on the data obtained from the LEAD instrument and NJ School Performance Reports. The study results indicated that the most prevalent leadership styles among NJ elementary principals were selling and participating with 81.6% of the respondents reporting these styles. When the leadership style in each area of the NJ School Performance Report (Academic Achievement, College and Career Readiness, Student Growth, and School Status) were compared, there was no statistically significant correlation. An emphasis placed on leadership style, specifically within Situational Leadership ® theory, was not a predictor of peer school ranking on the NJ School Performance Report in any of the areas. Principal leadership style was not a contributing factor in the principal’s peer school ranking on the NJ School Performance Report.

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