Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1987


The purpose of this study was to consider the specific demographic characteristics of elementary school principals in conjunction with the academic achievement of students in an attempt to identify characteristics that might assist in the identification of effective principals. The characteristics tested were the principal's age, sex, race, tenure in the current position, total experience as a principal, level of previous teaching experience, and level of education. During and following the review of the literature, a list of characteristics was compiled and refined and a survey instrument constructed. The survey was sent to 255 randomly selected elementary school principals in North Carolina. A total of 222 responses were received. For each responding principal, third and sixth grade student achievement scores were obtained from the Department of Research, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. These scores were the result of the spring 1986 administration of the California Achievement Test in the North Carolina Annual Testing Program. The scores were grouped according to the characteristic being studied and compared for significant differences using one-way analysis of variance or t tests. Grade-wide significant differences were found only in third grade scores when compared by the principal's race and sixth grade scores when compared by the principal's tenure in the current position. Significant differences were found for some student sex/race group scores when compared by the teaching experience, race, and the sex of the principal.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted