Learning From Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning

Click here to download the full report:
 Learning From Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning

Without the careful reviews and long-standing support of our Wallace Foundation project officers, Dr. Mary Mattis and Dr. Edward Pauly, this report would not be the thorough and comprehensive document that has been produced. We value, in particular, all of the feedback that Mary gave us as we moved into our analysis phase, and her skill at creating consensus about what was needed, from both the perspective of the Wallace Foundation and from among the members of our research team.

Our study is strong and comprehensive due to the incredible generosity of over a thousand educators and policy-makers who participated. We extend heartfelt thanks to the superintendents, principals, district administrators, teachers, school board and community members, and state leaders in education who welcomed us into their busy work lives, providing time to talk with us, to observe in classrooms, and to complete surveys, all of which gave us the most complete national data set ever assembled to better understand issues in educational leadership. Your anonymous contributions will be forever giving back, as leaders use this information to initiate and guide changes in our schools.

This document would still be hidden somewhere in our computers if it were not for Gabrielle de Montmollin, whose editorial assistance and general ability to keep things rolling in a large and complex project have been valuable assets since this project began in 2003. A number of people who are not primary authors of this report made substantial contributions in a number of ways. At the University of Minnesota a very special thanks goes to Judy Meath who coordinated all survey data collection activities, all transcription oversight, and who was frequently a team leader for site visits. Dr. Beverly Dretzke provided excellent and thoughtful work in conducting path analyses of our data. Additional support from Dr. Judy Hornbacher and Diane Cirksena, with their grounded knowledge for on-site data collection, was invaluable. Graduate research assistants at the University of Minnesota have been essential partners as well in the data collection and analysis activities, including Sarah Berman-Young, Chad Schmidt, Monica Jacob, and Sarah Frederickson. Andrea Peterson provided excellent administrative and technical support for a myriad of clerical and computer-related tasks throughout the entire project. At the University of Toronto, Dr. Suzanne Stiegelbauer played a substantial role in site-visit data collection and analysis in Texas and New Mexico. Doris Jantzi, Robin Sacks, and Jing Ping Sun contributed significantly to the analysis of our survey results. We are also grateful to professor Stephen Jacobson (SUNY) for his help with firstround site visits in New York. Finally, successful execution of the site visits would not have possible without the assistance of several research assistants from the University of Toronto, including Leanne Foster, Carol Brayman, Carol Slater, and Joelle Rodway Macri. In the end, we produced a long and scholarly document, which was ably edited by Dr. Richard Western.

From start to finish, this project has been about teamwork. We have been researching leadership, and the authors want to acknowledge the incredible effort that all have given in leading this journey. As a team, we have shared our wisdom, skills, and voices, with each person stepping forward when such leadership was most needed. We have grown in knowledge of ourselves and within our discipline. In the end, our deepest thanks goes to The Wallace Foundation for supporting us in this monumental work.

< < Previous | Next > >