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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Kelvin Lee

Second Committee Member

Antonio Serna

Third Committee Member

Bea Lingenfelter


This qualitative study sought to identify the common behaviors and practices of principals in high achieving standards-based schools. Three schools were examined in the study. These schools were selected from a ten county area and had demonstrated consistent and unusual growth on the Academic Performance Index (API). The practices of principals were identified through a phenomenological study of the experiences of successfully implementing a standards-based instructional system. Principals were interviewed individually, and focus groups of teachers were interviewed separately. Both groups were asked about the principal behaviors and practices that led the school to achieve academic success. Principals and teachers across the three sites identified similar practices including high expectations of students and staff, planning and goal setting based on student achievement data, frequent monitoring of student achievement, teacher collaboration, principal classroom visits, principal visibility on campus, principal accessibility, and a school culture that promoted trust and team work.





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