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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

Beatrice Lingenfelter

Second Committee Member

Antonio Serna

Third Committee Member

Louis Wildman


The purpose of this dissertation was to determine if the knowledge of literacy development and reading instruction practices an elementary school principal possesses impacts the level of reading achievement of his/her students. Principals' scores on an assessment of knowledge of literacy development and instruction were compared to students' levels of reading achievement found on the California Standards Test. High poverty/low performing schools were compared to high poverty/high performing schools to determine if the students' performance varied based on the administrator's knowledge. Leadership characteristics from directive to non-directive were examined to see if there was a difference in students' literacy achievement based on leadership styles. Finally levels of principals' knowledge and leadership were compared to determine if a correlation existed. Schools determined to be high poverty/high performing and schools determined to be high poverty/low performing were identified. School site administrators from the selected schools were asked to provide an assessment of their knowledge of literacy development and instruction and to identify their primary style of leadership. The research found that there were no significant differences in student reading achievement based on principals' knowledge of literacy development and instruction or based on leadership styles. The research also found to no significant correlation between leadership styles and student achievement in reading. The research found no significant differences in principal knowledge at high performing schools versus low performing schools. Finally, the research found no significant correlation between an elementary principal's leadership style and knowledge of literacy development and literacy instruction. The research did suggest a possible correlation between the length of time an administrator served at a school site and student achievement in reading.





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