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Leadership & Achievement

Wahlstrom, K. L., Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., & Anderson, S. E. (2010). Investigating the links to improved student learning: Executive summary of research findings. New York, NY: The Wallace Foundation. Available at

 This report synthesizes research findings on the effects of collective, shared, and distributed leadership on student learning, including the impact of local contexts, principals’ sense of efficacy, and districts’ supports for principals. Based on these findings, to improve student learning, the authors recommend distributing leadership among many participants in the school system; making data-driven, evidence-based decisions about student learning; and aligning and clarifying expectations and supports for school leadership at the state and district levels.

 Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2006). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. Nottingham, UK: National College for School Leadership. Available at

 Drawing upon a review of the literature on school leadership, the authors distilled their findings into seven “strong claims” about successful school leadership. The claims include “school leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning,” “school leadership has a greater influence on schools and students when it is widely distributed,” and “a small handful of personal traits explains a high proportion of the variation in leadership effectiveness.” For each claim, the authors present evidence from various fields and bodies of research and discuss how they have drawn conclusions from the literature.