Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of

Rebecca Harrison Scott

for the degree of Doctor of Education

March 31, 2016 at 10:00 am in 123 Ball Hall


Major Advisor: Reginald Green, EdD

A Comparative Analysis of Instructional Leadership Practices in Reward-Performance, Reward-Progress and Priority Schools as Determined by the Thirteen Core Competencies and Measured by the TELL Tennessee Survey

Policies and education reform measures have sought to improve education for decades. Some scholars support the notion that the instructional leadership role of the school leader makes a significant contribution to educational reform, student learning, and school improvement. The purpose of this study was to analyze instructional leadership practices in Reward-Performance, Reward-Progress, and Priority schools as determined by the Thirteen Core Competencies Framework and measured by select items on the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Tennessee Survey. This quantitative study examined the teachers’ perceptions of how school leaders utilized instructional leadership practices as determined by the Thirteen Core Competency Framework. Core competency areas addressed in the study included: Visionary Leadership, Unity of Purpose, Instructional Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Learning Communities, Organizational Management, Collaboration, Assessment, and Professional Development. The secondary data analysis performed in this study involved the integration of data from two data sources: 1) item-level responses retrieved from the spring 2013 TELL survey, and 2) the school’s current classification as Reward-Performance, Reward-Progress and Priority by the Tennessee Department of Education. The item-level responses on the TELL survey were aligned with nine of the core competencies represented in the Thirteen Core Competency Framework. A total of 129 schools were selected for the study. The sample was representative of school districts across the state of Tennessee.

The data analysis revealed that the nine leadership competencies were not equally represented across the sample of schools classified as Reward-Performance, Reward-Progress and Priority Schools. In addition, the nine leadership competencies varied both within and between the three types of schools. Between types of institutions, teachers at the Reward-Performance schools tended to perceive their schools’ endorsement of the leadership competencies more positively than did teachers at either the Reward-Progress or the Priority schools. The data analysis also revealed that mean scores tended to be higher at the elementary schools rather than secondary schools.

The results of this study indicate that the school leader’s ability to utilize the Thirteen Core Competency Framework is critical to effective leadership. The findings from this study have the potential to inform school leaders, teacher leaders, and leadership training programs.