Exploring Principals’ Perceptions of Best Leadership Practices and the Influence on Student Achievement in Title I Schools

LaVette Lang Ford, Fayetteville State University


This dissertation explored school principals’ perspectives on optimal leadership practices and their impact on student achievement in Title I schools. Title I schools with high percentages of children from low-income families often face unique challenges, making the study of leadership practices within these institutions especially significant. This research aimed to understand how these administrators perceive their role, identify the leadership practices they deem most effective and analyze the extent of their influence on student academic performance.This phenomenological dissertation delves into the lived experiences of 14 principals leading Title I schools, focusing on their perceptions of best leadership practices and their influence on student achievement. The research utilized an in-depth qualitative approach, employing semi-structured interviews to explore the complex experiences of these educational leaders. This investigation focuses on schools with a higher percentage of students from impoverished homes, often compounded by recent shifts in educational landscapes such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Preliminary findings suggest that principals’ perceptions of best leadership practices encompass many factors, including fostering a positive school culture, promoting collaborative decision-making, and maintaining high expectations for all students. The analysis of the interview data revealed a range of recurring themes encompassing different aspects of leadership in Title I schools. Some of these themes are the significance of building a strong, inclusive school culture; prioritizing teacher professional development; and strategically using resources.The concluding section of this dissertation further provides implications of these findings for school leadership training and educational policy, particularly within the context of Title I schools. It offers recommendations for developing and implementing leadership programs, adjusting policy frameworks to support effective leadership better, and enhancing resources available to principals. The research underscores principals’ pivotal role in driving student achievement, especially in Title I schools. It highlights the need for continued research and support in this area.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Education

Recommended Citation

Ford, LaVette Lang, "Exploring Principals’ Perceptions of Best Leadership Practices and the Influence on Student Achievement in Title I Schools" (2023). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI30815478.