Public school management, leadership, and educational results in Brazil

ANA CRISTINA PRADO DE OLIVEIRA CYNTHIA PAES DE CARVALHO About the authors

ABSTRACT

This study emphasizes the relationship between an internal school factor - the principal’s leadership (as perceived by the school’s teachers) - and an external school factor - the principals’ selection process - with the students’ academic results. Using data provided by external national assessments (Prova Brasil), test editions from 2007, 2009 and 2011, this quantitative study initially describes principals’ profiles (considering all schools evaluated as to the fifth grade of elementary school). The research included the construction of a principal’s leadership index through factor analysis and a variable that indicates how the principal was selected. Finally, a linear regression was developed in order to relate these variables to the fifth-grade students’ performance in math (average per school). It was found that, after controlling for students’ socioeconomic status, an internal school factor (a principal’s leadership) and an external school factor (the principals’ selection process) analyzed in this study have statistically significant associations with students’ results, positive in the first case and negative in the second one.

KEYWORDS:
public school management; leadership; principals; Prova Brasil

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