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IES Grant

Title: A Randomized Control Trial to Assess the Efficacy of the Balanced Leadership Program
Center: NCER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Goddard, Roger Awardee: Texas A & M University
Program: Education Leadership      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $2,989,775
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305A080696
Description:

Purpose: The purpose of the proposed research is to assess the efficacy of The Balanced Leadership Professional Development Program for School Leaders developed by Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). Although the program is grounded in extant research, fully developed, and widely implemented in the United States, it has yet to be rigorously evaluated.

Project Activities: McREL's Balanced Leadership Professional Development Program for School Leaders has been designed to provide research-based guidance to principals to help them enhance their effectiveness, translate vision and aspirations into action, and improve achievement for all students. Based on over 10 years of research, the program uses the Balanced Leadership Framework to teach principals how to fulfill 21 key leadership responsibilities, build a purposeful community, focus their leadership appropriately, and adjust their leadership based on the magnitude of the change they want to encourage. The research team will conduct an experimental study in which one-half of a sample of schools are randomly assigned to receive the Balanced Leadership program (the treatment group) and the other half (the control group) are assigned to continue conducting "business as usual" using existing school and district practices.

Products: Products from this project include published reports on the efficacy of a professional development program for elementary school principals.

Setting: The setting for this efficacy trial consists of rural elementary schools in Michigan.

Population: The population will be drawn from elementary schools in small, rural towns that serve (at minimum) students in grades three through five. The modal rural school in Michigan is small, poor, and academically challenged. The population includes schools situated in communities with high unemployment rates and serving large proportions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

Intervention: McREL's Balanced Leadership Professional Development Program for School Leaders has been designed to provide research-based guidance to principals to help them enhance their effectiveness, translate vision and aspirations into action, and improve achievement for all students. Based on over 10 years of research, the program uses the Balanced Leadership Framework to teach principals how to fulfill 21 key leadership responsibilities, build a purposeful community, focus their leadership appropriately, and adjust their leadership based on the magnitude of the change they want to encourage. The program involves a series of 10, two-day, cohort-based professional development sessions to help practitioners learn and apply the 21 leadership responsibilities and 66 associated practices identified in this research. Together, these sessions focus on the four components of the Balanced Leadership Framework: Leadership, Purposeful Community, Magnitude of Change, and Focus of Change.

Research Design and Methods: The research team will conduct an experimental study in which one-half of a sample of schools are randomly assigned to receive the Balanced Leadership program (the treatment group) and the other half (the control group) are assigned to continue conducting "business as usual" using existing school and district practices. The intervention (Balanced Leadership training) is delivered directly to principals and is designed to foster leadership initiatives that influence whole school communities. As a result, the level of the intervention—and therefore randomization—is the school.

Control Condition: Schools randomly assigned to the control group will conduct "business as usual" using existing school and district practices.

Key Measures: The outcome measures include principal knowledge and leadership practice, school climate, teacher knowledge and practice, and student achievement.

Data Analytic Strategy: The primary analytic method employed to determine the causal impact of the Balanced Leadership program is hierarchical linear modeling. The research team is also planning to conduct post-hoc tests of difference to examine factors that may explain the net impact of the intervention as a function of adherence and exposure. Qualitative data analyses will be conducted to document and compare implementation of leadership initiatives in treatment and control schools and will provide a general fidelity check regarding whether control schools are engaging in leadership initiatives similar to the Balance Leadership intervention.

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Goddard, R. D., Goddard, Y. L., Kim, E. S. and Miller, R. J. (2015). A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of the Roles of Instructional Leadership, Teacher Collaboration, and Collective Efficacy Beliefs in Support of Student Learning. American Journal of Education, 121(4): 501–530.

Goddard, R.D., Goddard, Y.L., Kim, E.S., and Miller, R.J. (under review). Coherent Evidence: The Roles of Instructional Leadership, Teacher Collaboration, and Collective Efficacy Beliefs. American Educational Research Journal.

Jacob, R., Goddard, R., and Kim, E.S. (2014). Assessing the Use of Aggregate Data in the Evaluation of School-Based Interventions: Implications for Evaluation Research and State Policy Regarding Public-Use Data. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1): 44–66.

Jacob, R., Goddard, R., Kim, M., Miller, R., and Goddard, Y. (2015). Exploring the Causal Impact of the McREL Balanced Leadership Program on Leadership, Principal Efficacy, Instructional Climate, Educator Turnover, and Student Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(3): 314–332.

Miller, R.J., Goddard, R.D., Kim, M., Jacob, R., Goddard, Y., and Schroeder, P. (2016). Can Professional Development Improve School Leadership? Results From a Randomized Control Trial Assessing the Impact of McREL's Balanced Leadership Program on Principals in Rural Michigan Schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 52(4): 531–566.


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