Date of Conferral







Dr. Michelle Ross


To improve student achievement in urban public schools with high poverty, it is important to address specific leadership styles (i.e., transformational, transactional, and passive-avoidant leadership styles) in relationship to their school climate. The purpose of this multivariate correlational study, framed by leadership theory, was to investigate the relationship between principals' leadership and school climate as perceived by high school teachers in an urban school district. The relationship between three predictor variables (average class size, years of experience of the teacher, and leadership style) and one criterion variable (school climate) was examined. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire was used to measure leadership style, and the School Climate Inventory was used to measure school climate. Total population included 260 full-time equivalent teachers. The sample consisted of 86 full-time teachers employed in five of the largest high schools in the Baltimore City public school system. Data were collected online, and data analysis was conducted with a hierarchical linear regression. Average class size and years of experience were used as control variables. Results indicated that after controlling for average class size and years of experience of the teacher, the perceived transformational, transactional, and passive-avoidant leadership styles of the principals were predictive of school climate. This study provides effective leadership behaviors that improves education reform and school performance in the urban community that could result in positive social change. It provides specific leadership constructs that educational leaders may need for evaluation purposes.