Academic Leadership: The Online Journal (2003-2012)


David Knab


Leadership of the principal in schools continues to be identified as important to the success of the school and ultimately, the achievement of its students. Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom (2004), in their research, affirm that leadership is critical if schools are to continue to improve. “Leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school” (p. 5). Marzano, Walters, and McNulty’s (2005) also argue for better principals stating that if a principal were to improve their leadership practices, then student achievement would increase. In their research, they have identified 21 key factors that principals should spend their time. Focus on the right things and student achievement increases; focus on the wrong things, though, can have the opposite effect. The imperative, therefore, is to identify what the right things that principals should do to take advantage of the significant impact they can have on student achievement.


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