Morgan, J. (2020). EXPLORING THE ROLE OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP IN IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS AT ONE URBAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
Beginning with the Lau decision (Sugarman & Widess, 1974), it has been the responsibility of schools to provide educational support to English Language Learners (ELL). However, as elucidated by Hakuta (2017), educators continually struggle to supply ELL students with the necessary assistance for educational success and adaptation. Rapid growth in the school enrollment of English Learners, means the numbers of students not being served also increases. Much of the previous literature has focused on teacher beliefs and behaviors, effective programs, and classroom practices with regard to the instruction of ELLs. This research aim is not to exclude those factors, but to move beyond curriculum and instruction, to the role of the principal in creating an environment where English language learners are successful. It brings new light to the issue of effective instructional practices for English language learners and how the administration of a school building can promote and maintain such practices. This qualitative case study explores the specific elementary principal leadership responsibilities that support ELLs using interviews, observations, and document data. The theoretical lens of culturally responsive leadership (CRL) will be used to view research data obtained using conceptual frameworks constructed from two evidence based frameworks (VAL-ED Matrix and the ES-I Framework) derived from research on learner-centered leadership. Upon analysis, it was found that the leadership practices and core components demonstrated that the role of the elementary principal improving educational outcomes of ELLs in this case study was to: (1) be intentional about implementation of the tenets of CRSL, (2) create a school culture and learning environment that is safe, welcoming, and positive, and (3) be an advocate, supporter, and model in making meaningful connections with staff, students, families, and communities. Considering the key role that principals play in the successful implementation of programs for ELLs and their potential impact on students’ educational outcomes, the implications of this study provide the starting point for school leadership to improve those outcomes.