*Names in bold indicate Presenter
To test the impact of the Balanced Leadership program on student achievement we will use student-level test scores from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (the MEAP). The MEAP is administered each October and assesses the achievement of students in the subject areas of mathematics and English language arts in grades three through eight. We will use October, 2008 as baseline (prior to intervention) achievement measures. Student-level achievement scores were then collected annually for the next three years.
The study also involves a qualitative component designed to provide a richer description of principals’ application of knowledge acquired through the professional development program. From the larger, randomized study, five case study schools that were part of the treatment group were selected. Qualitative data include interviews, observations, document analysis, and field notes. Principals participated in three scheduled interviews, conducted within a two week period immediately following a BLPD training session. Qualitative data were also collected for all treatment schools in the study regarding the fidelity of implementation.
This paper will explore the impact of the program on student achievement, as well as the variability in implementation fidelity and program effectiveness. We will use the data obtained from the qualitative component of the study to shed light on the findings, in particular the degree to which the program was implemented with fidelity, and will discuss the key role that the qualitative data has played in helping to understand and interpret study findings.