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Leading Schools: Distinguishing the Essential from the Important


Standards for school leaders do not distinguish between which leadership behaviors are important and which are essential to improving student achievement. This issues brief draws upon McREL's meta-analysis of research on the impact of school leadership on student achievement to help leaders identify which responsibilities are essential for ensuring high levels of student achievement in their schools.

The brief also reports findings from a factor analysis McREL conducted of the 21 leadership responsibilities identified in its original research report, Balanced Leadership. One of the key findings from this factor analysis is that the "order" or "magnitude" of change underway in a school impacts how teachers perceive their leaders' performance.