Perceptions, management practices, instructional programs and resources frequently used by urban school principals to meet the requirements of school accountability.
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Jackson, Walter G.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify principals' perceptions of management practices, instructional programs, and resources most important to meeting the requirements of public school accountability. The research focused primarily on secondary principals of Title I schools in the Greater Houston area of the state of Texas. This research was deliberate in providing descriptive information concerning principals' perceptions on how to successfully meet the requirements of school accountability. Sixty-seven secondary principals in Title I schools in the Greater Houston area served as subjects. The study involved both quantitative and qualitative research methods including a combination of interviews and a survey to collect data from principals regarding their perceptions. The study was exploratory in nature with the intent to add to the body of knowledge concerning instructional strategies, management practices, and resources principals utilized and needed to be successful in meeting the high demands of public school accountability. The study revealed principals' use of pull-out programs and before/after school tutorials were effective ways of improving the achievement of students who needed additional instructional support and assistance. In addition to the tutorials, principals' active monitoring and visibility were effective strategies used to manage the instructional programs and ensure continuous student improvement. The study also revealed that principals value and support the practices of hiring, maintaining, and developming highly qualified teachers to ensure continuous student improvement. Results were discussed in terms of their implications for educational practice and future research. It is the hope that the information about principals' perceptions of instructional programs and management practices, gathered from this study, will benefit educators working with students in Title I schools and that these findings will be added to the growing literature of effective strategies to improve our public schools.