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Balanced Leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement


This research report details the outcomes of a meta-analysis of research on the effects of principal leadership practices on student achievement. The main findings of the report are:
  • Leadership matters. A significant, positive correlation exists between effective school leadership and student achievement.

  • Effective leadership can be empirically defined. Contrary to misperceptions that leadership is more art than science, we have identified 21 key leadership responsibilities that are significantly correlated with higher student achievement.

  • Effective leaders not only know what to do, but when, how, and why to do it. This is the essence of balanced leadership -- knowing not only which school changes are most likely to improve student achievement, but also understanding staff and community members' dispositions to change and tailoring leadership practices accordingly.