Factors That Can Affect Students Academic Performance – Why is this question important? Given the past failures of education reform to produce significant improvements in student performance, it makes sense to focus on the factors that research has shown to have the greatest impact on achievement. A broad knowledge base tells us that teachers have a significant share of the impact on student performance, and a growing body of evidence now points to school leadership playing a strong role in student success. Research by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) suggests that the roles of principals and superintendents are notable enough to warrant educators seeking ways to develop leadership skills as part of school improvement and reform efforts.

Result(s): The research identified 21 leadership categories present in effective leaders. The most important skills that managers should have were determined as follows:

Factors That Can Affect Students Academic Performance

Factors That Can Affect Students Academic Performance

Or the leader’s ability to accurately assess problems and disruptions in a school and use this information to solve problems. The second highest scoring skill is

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, the ability to effectively protect teachers from excessive interruptions and allow them to focus on teaching and learning. In summary, the authors determined the overall effect size for principals’ impact on student performance to be 0.25. Their book also offers practical advice on how to develop an action plan to effectively use the 11 categories to increase student achievement.

Result(s): Reform efforts that focus reform on just two factors (teachers and principals) address nearly 60% of the factors that impact student achievement. It is important to note that it is not enough to know that these two factors are crucial in building effective schools. It is also important that teachers and principals participate in practices that research has found make a difference and carry them out as intended.

Study Description: Research has been compiled into a book that identifies categories of behavior critical to effective school leadership. Marzano et al. conducted a meta-analysis of 69 leadership studies conducted between 1978 and 2001 to determine an effect size for the relationship between principals and student achievement.

Citation: Marzano, R.J., Waters, T. and McNulty, B.A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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