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IES Grant

Title: Learning from Efforts to Strengthen Educational Leadership in Urban School Districts
Center: NCER Year: 2004
Principal Investigator: Quint, Janet Awardee: MDRC
Program: Education Leadership      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,498,923
Type: Exploration Award Number: R305E040100

Purpose: In this project, the researchers aimed to investigate the possible relationships among leadership actions, teacher practices, and student achievement, to build research knowledge about how education leaders can become more effective. At the time of this study, there was little evidence regarding what good instructional leaders do and whether these actions had an impact on students' academic achievement. In this project, the researchers' goal was to develop preliminary information on the empirical connections among specific leadership actions, changes in teaching practices, and improvements in student achievement. They intended this information to help inform the actions of district and school leaders to effectively improve teaching and, ultimately, student learning.

Structured Abstract


The project is being carried out at 80 primary schools in 3 urban school districts serving a high proportion of students from low-income families and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The researchers are focusing on the actions of school principals and the school districts' intermediary supervisors who oversee the work of those principals. These school leaders have participated in the professional development activities of the Institute for Leadership (IFL), which supports a particular theory of effective instructional leadership. The researchers are using interviews, surveys, observation, and education tests to collect data to address three questions. First, do schools with leaders who demonstrate "effective" leadership actions (actions consistent with the IFL's theory of effective instructional leadership) experience greater improvements in student outcomes over time? Second, do schools with "more effective" leaders experience greater improvements in instructional practice over time? And third, do these changes in teaching practice appear to explain the connection between leadership actions and trends in student outcomes? The researchers are developing reports about the measurement of leadership behaviors and about the relationships between these behaviors, teacher practices, and student outcomes.

Products and Publications

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:


Quint, J.C., Akey, T.M., Rappaport, S., and Willner, C.J. (2007). Instructional Leadership, Teaching Quality, and Student Achievement: Suggestive Evidence From Three Urban School Districts. New York: MDRC.