Principal Leadership and Complex Change: The Perceived Influence of the Principal on Teacher Implementation of Common Core State Standards

From the Effective Schools Movement in the 1980s to the recent adoption of Common Core State Standards by most of the states in the United States, educational leaders have sought to find ways to raise the achievement levels of all students. Common Core State Standards are the most comprehensive school reform since the beginning of the standards movement. The complex change required for implementation of Common Core requires principal leaders to determine effective strategies for dealing with implementation challenges and teacher resistance to change. A growing body of educational research has focused on the impact of the site principal on multiple school outcomes, including leading the change process. This dissertation provides an overview of principal leadership theories, the impact of the site principal on multiple school effects, review of reform movements, and present the complex change principals are leading as teachers implement Common Core State Standards.