Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

Catherine Fallona

Second Advisor

David L. Silvernail

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Beaudry


Student achievement, school culture, teachers' organizational committment, distributed leadership, Maine Department of Education


As schools in Maine, and across the nation, are increasingly held to greater standards of accountability in terms of insuring higher levels of student academic growth and achievement, some schools are improving and some are not. Even beyond the constraints of tightening financial impositions and increasing accountability mandates, some are "defying the odds" and producing positive results. This research study sought to explore and understand the characteristics of principal leadership in improving elementary schools in Maine.