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The relationship between school leadership, teacher job satisfaction, and student achievement

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

This correlational cross-sectional study identifies and tests research-based constructs of school leadership and teacher job satisfaction on the 2012 Tell MASS survey using exploratory factor analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, and reliability analyses.

Hierarchical linear modeling is used to examine the relationship between the survey’s school leadership and teacher job satisfaction scales. Multiple regression analyses are used to investigate the hypothesis that school leadership and student achievement on standardized tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics are also related, though this relationship is mediated by teacher job satisfaction.

Analyses revealed four major findings. First, EFA, CFA, and reliability analyses determined that the survey scales of two school leadership dimensions and five dimensions of teacher job satisfaction were valid and reliable. Second, HLM analyses confirmed the significant relationship of the dimensions of school leadership to overall teacher job satisfaction. Third, multiple regression analyses confirmed the significant relationships of teacher job satisfaction and school leadership to student achievement on the 2012 MCAS ELA and Mathematics assessments. Fourth, school leadership was indirectly related to student achievement, mediated through teacher job satisfaction, as hypothesized.

Findings from this study are of interest to education policy makers, education leadership preparation program leaders, and school district leaders, as they provide additional evidence regarding the importance of cultivating the soft skills needed for effective school leadership.

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