Black women principals in American secondary schools: Quantitative evidence of the link between their leadership and student achievement

Sung Tae JANG, Nicola A. ALEXANDER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to provide quantitative knowledge concerning the leadership of Black women principals in American secondary schools. We examined (1) the demographic composition of the schools in which Black women principals serve, (2) these principals’ instructional leadership behaviors, (3) the collective responsibility among teachers in those schools, and (4) the association between their interacting identities and the math achievement scores of the 9th graders at the schools they led. Research Design and Methods: We used a critical quantitative intersectionality framework along with the base-year data from the High School Longitudinal Studies 2009 provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. Multiple regression analysis and linear mixed-effect modeling were used to examine how the convergence of principals’ race or ethnicity and gender is associated with the variables of interest. Findings: The results showed that on average, Black principals served schools with relatively higher percentages of students who were eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch and relatively higher percentages of students of color. We found that Black women principals were associated with a higher level of teachers’ collective responsibility as perceived by teachers and higher math achievement scores among students. There was a positive association between the principals’ instructional leadership behaviors perceived by teachers and female principals. Implications for Research and Practice: The importance of understanding the multiplicative influences of race or ethnicity and gender in research and principal preparation programs are discussed. We suggest that policymakers prepare intersectionality-informed policy interventions that specifically support leadership by Black women principals. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-486
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Volume58
Issue number3
Early online dateJan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2022

Citation

Jang, S. T., & Alexander, N. A. (2022). Black women principals in American secondary schools: Quantitative evidence of the link between their leadership and student achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly, 58(3), 450-486. doi: 10.1177/0013161X211068415

Keywords

  • Black women principals
  • Instructional leadership
  • Collective responsibility among teachers
  • Critical quantitative intersectionality

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