Program Foundation Research

Research supporting the belief that quality school and district leadership directly affects student achievement is at the core of the Washington State Leadership Academy’s existence. This section shares research upon which the Academy is based.

Research Reports
The Effect of Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement

In 2006, the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) published a meta-analysis research report entitled School District Leadership that Works®: The Effect of Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement.

View the key findings and/or download the complete report from McREL’s Web site

Authored by J. Timothy Waters, Ed.D. & Robert J. Marzano, Ph.D., this description of the report is excerpted from McREL Web site:

For this study, McREL researchers identified 27 research reports conducted since 1970 that examined, using quantitative, rigorous methods, the influence of school district leaders on student performance. Using a sophisticated research technique called a meta-analysis, McREL combined data from separate studies into a single sample, creating what McREL believes to be the largest-ever quantitative examination of research on superintendents. Altogether, these studies involved 2,714 districts and the achievement scores of 3.4 million students.

J. Timothy Waters, Ed.D. & Robert J. Marzano, Ph.D

Balanced Leadership®: What 30 Years of Research Tells Us about the Effect of Leadership on Student Achievement

Published in 2003 by the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).
View the key findings and/or download the complete report from McREL’s Web site

Authored by Tim Waters, Robert J. Marzano, & Brian McNulty, this description of the report is excerpted from McREL Web site:

This research report details the outcomes of a meta-analysis of research on the effects of principal leadership practices on student achievement.

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning

Books
Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Articles
“The Primacy of Superintendent Leadership”
J. Timothy Waters and Robert J. Marzano also presented their findings in the March 2007 issue of The School Administrator from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)