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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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The Measurement of School Leadership Practice and Competence

Jonathan Supovitz, University of Pennsylvania
James Spillane, Northwestern University
Ellen Goldring, Vanderbilt University

Abstract: This poster session will provide evidence about the effectiveness and validity of new measurement strategies for studying important educational leadership constructs such as leadership practice, distributed leadership, and competency. Measurement instruments were developed as part of a randomized-trial evaluation of the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). NISL is an intensive training program intended to prepare principals to be outstanding instructional leaders within the context of standards-based accountability.

The study team developed six instruments to measure leadership practice and competence. These are: (1) A web-based End of Day (EOD) log to provide a detailed report of principals' leadership activities during a school day. Participants complete EOD logs for 5 consecutive workdays, three times across the school year. (2) An Experience Sampling Method log, housed on a handheld computer, which captures the activity of principals at 15 randomly-sampled times per day for a sample of five days a year. (3) Onsite Shadowing Visits that capture narrative data on a principal's activities for an entire school day. (4) An Annual Principal Survey that includes measures of school context, principals' attitudes and beliefs, principal and staff leadership activities, and leadership competence. (5) A School Staff Questionnaire that measures school context, perceptions of principal leadership, professional community, social network interactions, professional development activities, and staff leadership activities. (6) Problem-Based Scenarios where principals provide written narrative responses to problems posed in six school-related problem scenarios.

This poster presentation will examine the reliability and validity of these different instruments to measure common constructs embedded across them.