Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Kent Seidel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Linda Brookhardt

Third Advisor

Susan Korach


High-growth, High-poverty, Leadership, Teacher perceptions, Tranformative, Turnaround


The purpose of this study was to determine the priorities of school principals in high poverty schools that have the potential to make the greatest impact on student achievement. The study utilized secondary data analysis of a survey given to all Colorado educators to measure perceptions of school conditions, including leadership, along with school student achievement data. The TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Learning and Leading) Colorado survey was administered online to educators. The survey constructs were analyzed using Leithwood and Riehl’s framework for effective leadership actions. These actions include: setting direction, developing people, redesigning the organization and managing the instructional program. The participants of the study are 167 schools designated by the state of Colorado as being high-poverty. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential analyses. Schools were studied within two groups. Schools identified as “Centers for Excellence” by the state of Colorado are designated high-poverty, high-growth schools. A second, larger group of schools was classified as high-poverty, low-growth. Leadership survey items were analyzed for both groups and comparisons made between the two. Overall, results indicated that the higher perception of leadership within a school, the more likely the school was to be designated a ‘Center of Excellence’ by the state.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Devin C. Dillon


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

108 p.


Education, Educational administration, Education policy