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Leadership from school administrators increases student performance
7/27/2010 8:14 AM

Study: Leadership in school administrators plays huge role in performance

by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
July 22, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — A new study from the University Minnesota re-affirms the importance of having strong leadership from school principals and superintendents.

Researchers surveyed more than 8,000 teachers and administrators in nine states, and found that the people leading schools are more likely to affect student outcomes than other factors like poverty or geography.

U of M researcher Kyla Wahlstrom said her study was larger than others on the topic, but came to similar conclusions.

"Leadership makes a huge difference, and I think anybody who's in the field knows that," Wahlstrom said. "But we've not had good empirical research-based information that has proven that, and that's what I think that study does."

Wahlstrom said the study also found that schools shouldn't change principals just for the sake of change -- because turnover in leadership also hampers achievement.

Get Acrobat Reader  Learning-from-Leadership_Final-Research-Report_July-2010.pdf  

To read complete study
To download a copy of the final report of research findings in the Learning from Leadership Project "Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning", scroll to the PDF below. The project authors are: Karen Seashore Louis, Kenneth Leithwood, Kyla L. Wahlstrom, and Stephen E. Anderson.

Kyla Wahlstrom, study co-author, summarizes key findings.