Date of Award

Winter 12-20-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wendiann Sethi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mario Barbiere, Ph.D.


leadership, evaluation, principal, superintendent, PSEL, Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, standards, perceptions, New Jersey, performance


It is difficult to imagine a focus for research with greater social justification than research about successful educational leadership. Therefore, the purpose of this study is twofold. First, this study explores the “elements” of the Professional Standards of Educational Leaders (PSEL) from the perspective of New Jersey school superintendents to determine what they consider to be most important when formally evaluating New Jersey public school principals. Second, this study will also distinguish what are the essential, compared to important, leadership skills and responsibilities that a building principal must demonstrate as defined by the PSEL standards and determined by Chief School Administrators through the summative evaluation process.

The research design for this study is quantitative, utilizing a survey methodology as the primary data collection tool. The survey was developed using the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2015) and subject to review by a panel of experts.

This study uses the literature on the original work by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) in 1996 and revised in 2008 that developed national standards for school leaders. The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) replaced these standards in 2015 (Lindahl & Beach, 2009). The researcher used the framework created by Hallinger to investigate which of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) are perceived to be the most important by New Jersey chief school administrators when they evaluate building principals. Which of the responsibilities, roles, tasks, and skills embedded in the PSEL standards are most important to be effective as a building principal as perceived by New Jersey chief school administrators?

Results from this study revealed that variables were statistically significant in some of the

standards, as well as their elements within the study. The study found considerable variation in how Superintendents rated the Standards. Superintendents rated Standard 1 (Mission, Vision, and Core Values), Standard 2 (Ethics and Professional Norms), and Standard 8 (Engagement of Families and Communities) as clearly more important than others. The locality of superintendents, as well as their prior teaching experienced clearly influences the perceptions of school superintendents’ evaluative practices of school principal evaluations.