School Improvement Strategies for School Principals, Closing the Achievement Gap - A Content Analysis



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Purpose The purpose of this dissertation was to examine school improvement strategies that were recommended to improve the academics of a campus, shifting from low performing to academic success. Method In this study, a quantitative content analysis was used to identify common school improvement strategies that are shared in school leadership books. The first step of the content analysis involved identifying books that match the topic on school improvement. The researcher developed a rubric to conduct a page-by-page analysis and score each book. The school improvement books with the highest scores were selected as part of the content analysis research. This content analysis includes 10 school improvement books as part of the research. Six steps were followed as I conduct my content analysis on school improvement strategies that are shared in school leadership books: (a) formulate the research questions; (b) decide on units of analysis; (c) develop a sample plan; (d) construct coding categories; (e) coding and intercoder reliability check; and (f) data collection and analysis (Neuman, 2011). Findings Together, the present findings confirm the school improvement strategy “professional development” was the most recommended strategy for school leaders to implement with staff. The school improvement strategy “professional development” appeared 86% among all 10 school improvement books for school leaders. The results demonstrate the importance of the campus leaders to; (a) be an instructional leader; (b) value and support staff; (c) support teachers and implement a mentor program for new teachers, and (d) ensure critical questions are part of the implementation of professional learning communities. I suggest examining best practices of campus leaders in the following three areas; (a) best practices of successful school improvement leaders; (b) examine district with school improvement departments, and (c) gathering best practices from successful school superintendents who have improved a low-performing district. The role of the principal covers a wide variety of areas. An effective school leader can shape a school-wide vision of success by; (a) creating a vision of academic success for staff; (b) promote a climate that is conducive to learning, and (c) foster leadership qualities with staff.



Education, Administration