Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Bruce Evan Blaine

Second Supervisor

Irene Scruton


This quantitative study adds to previous research on school leadership effects on school performance. Utilizing existing school level data from Washington D.C. charter schools, this study explores the shift to distributed leadership structures and presence of emerging school-level leadership roles, including academic, behavior, and operational leaders. Then using organizational rosters to create new leadership variables, the study completes controlled multivariate regression modeling to explore the relationships between the presence or absence of these roles with school performance. Overall, the findings show that leadership predictors, despite having intuitive and theoretical links to school performance, had effects of less than 1% on the model’s ability to explain the 2019 school performance. This is likely because 75% of the variability was explained by control variables, including the best predictors of school performance—the prior year’s performance and reenrollment. Beyond the modeling statistics, the additional exploratory data analysis of tables correlating performance by ward and convergence of titles provide insights that could inform further research, policy, and practice in the charter school sector and in the education-reform movement.

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