The Correlation Between Leadership, Culture, and Student Achievement

Document Type


Publication Date



Educational institutions across the nation are being unsuccessful at meeting academic goals set by the states and preparing students to be college and career ready. Many schools around the globe are suffering from a shortage of experienced and competent school leaders that can bring about positive change and increase student achievement. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the correlation between leadership practices, school culture, and student achievement in an effort to build the capacity of principal leaders. A correlational design was used to determine the relationship between principal leadership practices, culture, and achievement in elementary, middle, and high schools. A total of 216 teachers in 31 schools completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and School Culture Survey. A significant correlation was found between (a) leadership practices and school culture and (b) school culture and student achievement. No relationship was established between leadership practices and school culture. The results implied that school leaders who use transformational leadership practices indirectly impact student achievement through creating a positive school culture. It is recommended that principal preparation programs revamp leadership curriculum to develop leaders who can create positive school cultures and manage reform efforts.


Special Education

Publication Title

The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education