A Narrative Study of Principal Leadership Practices in High Performing, High Poverty Texas Elementary Schools
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The general population views the role of principal as the leading authority in each public school. In their roles as leaders, principals carry the responsibility to facilitate a school learning environment where every student can reach high levels of success. Accountability systems serve as universal measure for the public schools in the state. The accountability measures identify high ratings and low ratings based on school performance regardless of the population demographic in the schools. A school principal moves into a spotlight when school ratings are released from state education agencies. A comparison of school performance indicates a general trend that as poverty level increases, the school performance declines. However, a small portion of schools with high portions of economically disadvantaged students are also high performing. This study investigated the leadership practices of principals who serve at high poverty elementary schools who are also high performing. Through this qualitative study, principal priorities and actions that contribute to high student performance have been identified. The elements that foster high student performance in high poverty schools can benefit current and future principals in schools at any level of poverty. The outcomes of this study could influence district-led aspiring administrator program designs as a framework for leading schools to high levels of student achievement.