Date of Award

Summer 5-22-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Gerard Babo, Ed.D

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Janet Goodwin, Ed.D


High Schools, Low SES, McRel's 21 Leadership Behaviors, New Jersey, Teachers Perceptions



Even though there is an abundant amount of leadership research exploring the nature of principal leadership behaviors and its impacts on student achievement, there is an increasing demand for sustained research on which specific leadership behaviors principals utilize that impact the perception of teachers in their schools.

The purpose of this research study was to examine which specific McRel's 21 leadership behaviors principals utilized as perceived by the teachers in successful high schools in low SES areas in New Jersey. The research study also examined teachers’ perceptions based on the school, age, years of teaching experience, gender, and level of formal education.

An online voluntary survey was sent electronically to a sample of 365 teachers from four New Jersey high schools with differing DFG categories that were situated in financially challenged and typically low performing school districts that performed proficiently, 75% or higher for both Language Arts and Math on the HSPA. The selection process was based on all New Jersey high schools in the DFG categories A, B, CD, and DE that reported 75% or higher for both Language Arts and Math on the HSPA for 2013-2014.

Specific demographic characteristics of the participating teachers sample coupled with one overarching research question and five subsidiary research questions were examined using descriptive statistics and non-parametric inferential statistics, including the Friedman mean rank test, chi-square tests, and independent sample t tests. The examination included looking for statistically significant relationships and trends between demographics and McRel’s 21 leadership behaviors. The results reported no statistical differences existed based on the teachers' school, age, years of teaching experience, gender, or formal level of education.

The research results reported from this study can be used to offer data and sustenance to principals in their knowledge, understanding, reflection, and action planning on which McRel’s 21 leadership behaviors they should be utilizing and were most significant to teachers. It can also be used in supporting leadership preparedness programs, principals’ professional development, and principals’ evaluation assessments. The study also adds to the overall research on improving student achievement through principals’ leadership behaviors.