Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Frankie K. Williams

Committee Member

Leigh Ann McMullan

Committee Member

Patsy K. (Penny) Wallin

Committee Member

Stephanie B. King

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In this era of educational accountability, achieving and maintaining high levels of student academic performance is the goal of every school. State accountability models serve as the measure to determine if school districts are successfully educating students, and the responsibility of student academic success rests on the principal of each school. Effective leadership is a necessary component of successful schools, especially in rural school districts. The focus of this research was to explore teachers' perceptions of the leadership behaviors and practices of their principals and determine if relationships existed between the leadership behaviors and the schools' accountability ratings. A survey research design was utilized in this study of eight schools across three rural school districts in central Mississippi. The researcher utilized The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale to survey 121 teacher participants regarding their perceptions of principals' leadership behaviors or practices. The study revealed no statistically significant relationships existed between principals' leadership behaviors and school accountability ratings. However, the findings support existing literature on the indirect influence of principal leadership on student achievement.