The Importance Of Effective Leadership And Its Impact On Improving Student Achievement

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Overview
The importance of effective leadership and its impact on improving student achievement are evident in today’s schools (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom, 2004). While the school principal is traditionally thought to be the school leader, Glickman (1989) proposes that “the principal of successful schools is not the instructional leader but the educational leader who mobilizes the expertise, talent, and care of others” (p. 8). Lumpkin, Claxton, and Wilson (2014) contend that helping “each school fulfill its mission and energize and expand the professionalism and professional contributions of teachers, the expertise of all teachers, especially teacher leaders, is needed” (p. 59). Teachers directly impact student learning,
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Although some teachers choose to take a more prescribed route to teacher leadership by completing National Board Certification or pursuing a graduate degree in teacher leadership, others become teacher leaders through their skills and abilities and gaining the respect of their peers (Education Commission of the States, 2010; Lowery-Moore, Latimer, & Villate, 2016).
The Kentucky Leadership Framework defines teacher leaders as those who “transform their classrooms, schools, and profession, activating teacher growth and achieving equity and excellence for students” (Kentucky Teacher Leadership Work Team, 2015, p. 4). Therefore, the definition of what it means to be a teacher leader can be found in a review of relevant literature; yet, their roles can be unclear within the schools (Angelle and Schmid, 2007). Jacobs, Gordon, and Solis (2016) point out that when “teacher-leaders’ roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined, misunderstanding, conflict, and resentment can result” (p. 399). In addition, a study of 672 participants revealed that teacher perceptions regarding teacher leadership can vary based on school grade configurations—elementary, middle, and high (Angelle and DeHart, 2011). According to Angelle and Schmidt (2007), “As we work to provide precision to the term teacher leadership, we look to widen the level of understanding of this critical component of school reform at all levels”
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