Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

Committee Chair

Elizabeth T. Lugg


This study begins with a review of court cases that have helped shape public education in America. Following the review is an analysis of federal reform in education from 1965 to the present, paired with educational leadership literature to highlight a disparity in what federal mandates and state policies have in place for accountability measures. The study ends with a state analysis of Illinois and Iowa to find the strengths and weaknesses of state policy in the area of principal accountability.

As policymakers have worked to increase accountability in K-12 education, efforts have focused on a variety of measures to both increase student achievement and close the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. In education, little attention is given in state policies and federal reform efforts to what scholars in the field claim to be effective leadership models. The principal as instructional leader must be held accountable to effectively evaluate teachers to positively affect student achievement. In the analysis of Illinois and Iowa state policy, the researcher finds both to be weak in policies for principal accountability in effectively evaluating teachers to affect student achievement.

Due to this analysis of state policy, the researcher recommends policy provisions for the state of Illinois to better hold principals accountable in the evaluation of teacher to affect student achievement. These recommendations include a focus on what the state of Rhode Island is beginning to implement for principal accountability.


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