Date of Conferral







Boyd Dressler


Charter school principals have existed in the U.S. public school system for more than 30 years, and the number has grown dramatically in Southern California over the past decade. Like other principals, charter school principals are responsible for implementing the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). Yet, charter school principals perceptions of self-efficacy are not well enough understood to determine their effective implementation of ESSA. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify and describe the self-efficacy of charter school principals who implemented the multiple accountability measures of ESSA in Southern California. The theoretical framework was based on Bandura's social cognitive theory of self-efficacy. The research question was focused on understanding charter school principals perceptions of self-efficacy and ESSA. Criterion sampling strategies were used to select 5 charter school principals from San Bernardino County in Southern California. Semi structured interviews and surveys were conducted and analyzed using first, second, and pattern coding. The resulting themes were efficacy for school management and ESSA, efficacy for instructional leadership, efficacy for moral leadership, and ESSA and COVID-19 leadership resilience. Participants had high perceptions of self-efficacy in implementing ESSA during the coronavirus pandemic. The positive social change implications of this study include providing knowledge that executive administrators can use to develop self-efficacy professional development/training for their charter school principals. With higher perceived self-efficacy, principals may be more effective in upholding federal mandates and ensuring that their schools remain open to students.