Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Richard P. Manatt


The primary purpose of this study was to create and test items for student evaluation of principal performance. The items were designed utilizing the five correlates of the effective school and current research on principal behaviors as defined by the School Improvement Model Project at Iowa State University;The study involved 599 students in grades 5, 8, and 11 representing 32 schools from 24 public school districts and one Roman Catholic Diocese during the fall semester of the 1989-90 school year. Samples were drawn from each grade level to test various hypotheses;The data from the questionnaires were analyzed using the Menne and Tolsma methodology to determine item discrimination power. Items which discriminated at the.05 level of significance were identified. Items on the two sections of the questionnaire that were found to be discriminating between principals were analyzed to determine the correlation between student responses on the discrimination questionnaire and the potentially biasing factors of the student's like or dislike of the principal, attendance patterns, and their interest in school;It was hypothesized that differences in item discrimination power would be identified in the analysis of data between male and female principals, public and nonpublic school principals, principals of large and small schools, and between participating grade levels (5, 8, and 11);Students rated the performance of female principals more favorably on items involving instructional leadership while their male counterparts were perceived to operate a safer and more orderly school environment. Nonpublic school principals were perceived to interact more frequently with students and run a safer and more orderly school environment. Students from small schools (less than 350 students) perceived their principal to be more involved in student activities and overall demonstrated a more caring attitude. Overall, fifth grade students rated the performance of their principal more favorably than grade 8 or grade 11 students.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

James Peter Ferrare



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

108 pages