Eliza Kim


This dissertation studies 7 high-performing middle school principals' leadership styles and programs as measured by their student achievement on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress or CAASPP. The qualitative research includes interviews of these identified school leaders about their self-reported strengths that account for their students' success. While Kouzes and Posner's set of leadership practices is the theoretical framework behind this study, the primary investigator developed two themes evident in both the high-achieving schools and its highly effective principals: strong people skills, and the ability to create and implement programs that affect a group who have been prejudicially described as low-income and low-performing. The participants' lived experiences as charter school leaders who work with underserved communities add to a very limited body of research of urban education and how charter schools bridge the proverbial academic achievement gap.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Middle school principals; Charter schools; Educational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gandhi, Shreyas