The Role of District Leaders in Improving Achievement and Equity
Botelho, Peter J. “The Role of District Leaders in Improving Achievement and Equity”. EdD, Boston College, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:106933.
District leaders are attempting to navigate unprecedented federal and state policy pressures to create a coherent plan for improvement with limited guidance from research. Rorrer, Skrla, and Scheurich (2008) identified establishing policy coherence as one of four essential roles in systemic reform performed by district leaders. This qualitative case study explored how leaders in one Massachusetts public school district that had demonstrated signs of improving achievement and equity attempted to establish policy coherence. Drawing primarily upon semi-structured interviews, this study found that district leaders enacted the role to varying degrees in ways that were consistent with Rorrer et al. (2008). In particular, building leaders were much less apt to respond to external policies in a proactive and deliberate manner. Furthermore, district leaders worked to mediate policies in service to local goals and needs in a variety of ways. Recommendations include how district leaders can enact the role in a more proactive and deliberate manner while setting clear goals and developing collaborative partnerships with schools, all which allow them to craft coherence more effectively.