Date of Award
EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy
Education Leadership, Management and Policy
Gerard Babo, Ed.D.
Luke Stedrak, Ed.D.
Michael Kuchar, Ph.D.
Principal Longevity, Academic Achievement, New Jersey, Middle Schools, Continuity
The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of the relationship between principal longevity in New Jersey public middle schools (Grades 6, 7 & 8) and students scoring at Levels 4 (meets expectations) and 5 (exceeds expectations) on the 2016-2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment in both English language arts and mathematics. This study used existing empirical data from the New Jersey School Report Card and Data Universe. To put this relationship into better context, eight independent variables were examined in this study: principal’s length of time in a school, principal’s overall experience as a building principal, total number of students in a school, percentage of students who receive free and reduced lunch, percentage of students in a school with disabilities, percentage of students in a school who are English language limited, percentage of students in the school who are chronically absent, and percentage of teacher attendance. The two dependent variables in this study were: percentage of students who meet/exceed expectations in English language arts and percentage of students who meet/exceed expectations in mathematics.
As part of the conceptual framework, I built upon the work of Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom, Michlin & Mascall, Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning (2010). I examined their summative findings in that principal turnover has a significant negative impact on student achievement. Moreover, their recommendation for further research in determining what length of continuity results in students’ highest academic achievement and if there is an upper limit of a principal’s tenure where academic performance declines warranted investigation.
Results from this study revealed that three of the variables were statistically significant in all simultaneous and hierarchical regression models: percentage of students who receive free and reduced lunch, percentage of students in a school with disabilities, and percentage of students in the school who are chronically absent. In all instances, both variables of interest, principal’s length of time in a school and principal’s overall experience as a building principal did not have a statistically significant impact on the dependent variables, percentage of students who meet/exceed expectations in English language arts and percentage of students who meet/exceed expectations in mathematics.
Insights gained by this research can provide policy makers, school boards, superintendents, and principals with a better understanding of the degree to which various factors impact student academic achievement. Variables that most impact student academic achievement can be utilized as guidance when developing future legislation and policy and in the intricacies surrounding principal selection, training, and retention.
Petty, Douglas J., "The Relationship Between Principal Longevity and Student Achievement in Middle Schools in New Jersey" (2018). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2550.