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Perceived Leadership Behavior Of School Principals In Selected California Public Elementary Schools With A High Hispanic Student Population And High Or Low Sixth Grade Reading Achievement Scores

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Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate perceived leadership behavior of principals in selected California public elementary schools with a high Hispanic student population. Two groups of schools were selected for comparison: those with high scores on the sixth grade California Assessment Program test of reading achievement, and those with low scores on the same test. Procedure. The population of this study was composed of California public elementary schools meeting specific criteria. Also included in the sample were all full-time teachers at the selected schools, the school principals, and a certificated central office employee knowing the principal. Participants numbered 110. The instrument used was the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire-Form XII by Ralph M. Stogdill. The data were processed using multivariate analysis of variance. Findings. Low achieving school principals appear to represent their faculties more often indicating their staffs have less concern and accountability, have the ability to tolerate uncertainty, use persuasion more effectively and exhibit strong convictions, work less with faculty on instructional improvement, and are more concerned with faculty well being and personal needs. Recommendations. (1) Effective schools need to be studied in depth with regard to specific leadership characteristics in addition to those studied in this research and with regard to other characteristics which may account for their success. Such a study might clarify effective leadership behaviors and if leadership is the result of a specific situation. (2) Leadership behavior of all principals at California public elementary schools identified as effective should be studied in depth by the California State Department of Education and other agencies to identify the characteristics of effective leadership and effective schools. Such a study could improve the educational programs in all schools. (3) Studies suggested above should include a larger sample so that generalization can be made with a clearer picture of findings.

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