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Abstract

The study of best practices related to educational leadership is an emerging area for universities with programs training leaders in school improvement. Practices taught in educational leadership programs have long been related to the technical issues of school operations with emphasis in the areas of finance, law, organizational theory, and strategic planning. More recently, educational leadership programs have begun to focus on the skills required of a leader of instruction (Hallinger, 2003; Jason, 2001). Among areas of concentration for the instructional leader are assessment, collaboration, professional development, and curriculum design. Although the focus of educational leadership programs has changed, the resulting levels of student achievement in the public schools in reading and mathematics have been reported as lukewarm with younger students improving since 1971, but seventeen-year-olds showing no improvement (Perie & Moran, 2004). Moreover, these student achievement results have been perceived by the public as less than desirable. According to survey results released by the Educational Testing Service in June of 2004, only 22% of adults surveyed gave American schools a grade of B or above (Parents Take Schools, 2004).

Author's Biographies

Paul T. Hackett earned his Doctorate of Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and serves as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Columbus State University.

James W. Hortman earned his PhD from the University of Alabama serves as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Columbus State University.

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