Understanding the Community Leader’s Impact in School-Community Partnership in
Understanding the Community Leader’s Impact in School-Community Partnership in Urban
1. Authors Lenhoff, Pogodzinski, and Jones (2019) used the Advocacy Coalition Framework to
study how community organizations create their own structures to change education policy. The
project also applied the qualitative method to analyze how coalition members’ implemented
policies for the Detroit School District.
2. Smith, Ralston, Naegele, and Waggoner (2019) explored a district-community
partnership including seven nonprofit community organizations serving five elementary
schools in an urban neighborhood. This study provides insight of how a collective impact
improved student literacy.
3. In a case study on community partnership and district leadership transition, LeChasseur
(2017) indicated the importance of recruitment and retention of school-community
partnerships by ensuring community member alignment with a shared theory of change.
4. In a study on four rural early childhood development schools to improve teaching and
learning conditions in Zimbabwe, Bhengu and Svosve (2019) support partnering with
parents and various community organizations to meet the high need of resources for early
childhood students. This article affirms school leadership requires community support to
improve student achievement.
5. Researchers Youn, Patrick, Baldwin, Chabani et al. (2019) study provided strong
evidence community-based partnerships are needed to address challenges when
implementing evidence-based models of community collaborations.
6. Ortega, McAlvain, Briant, Hohl, and Thompson (2018) interviewed healthcare advisory
board members of academic-partnerships who perceived their involvement as a
representative of the community, a knowledgeable insider of the neighborhood, and had a
clear understanding of their partnership role.
7. Casto, Sipple, and McCabe (2016) reveal the success of a school-community partnership
relates to the increase vitality of a community implying thriving communities have
stronger community support than developing and high-risk neighborhoods.
8. Groundwork Ohio (2018) advocates for children in Ohio to receive quality early
education to ensure kindergarten readiness that leads to successful postsecondary options.
This advocacy group has found success collaborating with community organizations to
educate key decision makers the importance of early learning as the most transformative
strategy for improve school improvement.
The applied framework for this study will focus on Masmuto and Brown-Welty (2009)
Nature of Study
This will be a qualitative study to explore the leadership styles of community
organization leaders who partner with schools in urban schools. This qualitative approach will
explore the community leaders’ perspectives of school-community partnerships and their impact
in urban education.
Possible Types and Sources of Data
1. Interview two directors from non-profit organization and a private foundation who have
initiated a collective impact model within the public-school district.
2. Observing and shadowing the two community leaders to discover best practices in
leadership when collaborating with urban schools.
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partnerships: Lessons from four rural early childhood development schools in
Zimbabwe. Africa Education Review, 16(2), 16–35.
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Principals’ Reported Knowledge Regarding Special Education
Laws and Regulations for Relationship to Service Compliance
Prospectus: Principals’ Reported Knowledge Regarding Special Education Laws and
Regulations for Relationship to Service Compliance
There is little to no research on principals’ practical and applied knowledge of special
education laws and regulations in relation to the provision of mandated services (Roberts &
Guerra, 2017). Primary and secondary school principals often lack knowledge regarding laws
and regulations governing special education, and administrative roles and responsibilities, which
contributes to non-compliance (Roberts & Guerra, 2017). The focus of this study will be
determining principals’ reported knowledge regarding special education laws, regulations and
special education services adminstrtaion and supervision. The proportion of special needs
students within public schools grew rapidly over the past decade and the complexity of
disabilities and service provisioan models has increased the demands on principals’ ability to
deliver special needs services (Samuels, 2016). With the expansion of individuals qualifying for
special services, the need for principals well-versed in special education law and regualtions
must increase to ensure compliance with special education laws and regulations (Berman, 2018).
Special education involves supporting the unique needs of each identified student to
develop in all areas of cognitive and academic development (Berman, 2018). Children with
special needs require instructional modifications to develop academically and personally
(Roberts & Guerra, 2017). However, many school administrators have different perceptions of
administrative roles in ensuring instructional modifications and system supports required for
special needs students (Lynch, 2016). Principal’s level of knowledge of laws and regulations
governing special education, and regulated administrative roles and responsibilities should be
studied for relationship to non-compliance and inadequate provision of special education
services within assigned schools.
The purpose of the proposed qualitative case study using interviews is to investigate
principals’ knowledge of special education laws and regulations for relationship to provision of
mandated services (Roberts & Guerra, 2017). Principal’s knowledge regarding laws and
regulations governing special education is a necessary predicate to fully comply and deliver high
quality special needs services (Schulze & Boscardin, 2018). Many principals are unaware of
mandatory roles in the delivery of special education services within assigned schools
unknowingly contributing to or sustaining non-complaince (Schulze & Boscardin, 2018). Semistructured interviews of 12 to 15 middle school principals will be engaged to collect data to
determine whether middle school administrators are aware of mandate roles and responsibilities
of special education laws and regulations and whether each engage the roles to actively
contribute to a school’s compliance and the contributing factors as to why or why not their
school is in compliance (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013).
Within public middle and secondary schools, the incidents of non-compliance within
special education service delivery exposing districts to mediation and litigation are on the rise
(Samuels, 2016). Research indicates in schools were non-compliance is perpetuated, principals
are neither knowledgeable of special education laws and regulations nor mandated roles in
special education administration and supervision (Schulze & Boscardin, 2018). Understanding
educational leaders’ practical knowledge of the educational needs for students with disabilities is
important to the implementation of quality programs, and the creation of conducive
environments that can facilitate delivery of appropriate knowledge in a appropriate manner to
students with special needs (Mosley, Boscardin, & Wells, 2014). The discoveries that transpire
from this study may guide in the future preparation and development of prinicpals who lack the
knowledge on what is necessary to keep their school in compliance with special education laws
The phenomenon of prinipals’ perception of special education knowledge correlates with
the constructivist epistemology and ontology that students with disabilities need special
programs to facilitate their learning. Existing programs in educational institutions are not always
inclusive of students with special needs (Lynch, 2012). The national average of schools with
special needs students is approximately 13%. The settings for the study are Texas schools. These
schools are appropriate for the phenomena of interest because 8.8% of the student population
have special needs (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015). The possible sources of data
would be the school principals, assistant principals, teachers, special education team leader, and
public school records. Many educational administrators are challenged with modifying academic
facilitation to fit the learning needs of all students (Roberts & Guerra, 2017). As most principals
lack the course work and field experience needed to lead and produce learning environments that
highlight academic success for special education student, school administrators should have
fundamental knowledge and skills to perform essential special education tasks (Dipaola &
Walther-Thomas, 2003). Principals often believe that students with special needs can learn in
same environments as the regular education students, and such biases in their perceptions lead to
the implementation of programs that are not all-inclusive for special education students (Schulze
& Boscardin, 2018).
Selected articles relating to administrators’ perceptions on their knowledge of special
education and the role of special education training during administrators’ preparation are
1. Bateman et al. (2017), Christensen et al. (2013), Hussey et al. (2019), Council for
Exceptional Children (2015) & (2018) and the Council of Chief School Officers
(2017) provided research on whether principals were provided with enough
comprehensive knowledge as related to special education during leadership
2. Lynch (2012) & (2016), Losinski et al. (2017), and Leckie (2016) provided
suggestions for principal preparation programs to better prepare principals for the role
and responsibilities of being leaders to students with disabilities and effective
instruction for students with disabilities.
3. Roberts & Guerra (2017), Rose (2018), Schechter & Feldman (2019) and Popham et
al. (2017) provided areas that principals felt they needed additional support and
content regarding special education laws.
4. Schulze & Boscardin (2018) and Thompson (2017) provided the effects of school
principals with and without special education background and demographic variable
on the perceptions of leadership styles.
5. Articles and books focusing on compliance within special education include Tingley
(2017), Robertson (2016), Sun et al. (2020) and Voulgarides (2018.)
Leadership plays a critical role in the administration of education for special needs
students. The theoretical framework for this study will be Burns’ (1978) theory of
transformational leadership it will explore the crucial aspects of leadership behavior to
demonstrate a model for leadership development necessary to set the right atmosphere for
knowledge acquisition for the administration of special needs education.
Leadership is the process of defining the current circumstances and highlighting goals for the
future; making appropriate decisions to resolve the situation and attain the set goals; and gaining
the right level of commitment from the right individuals to implement the decisions. The
Transformational Theory of leadership is appropriate in this framework. Transformational theory
of leadership suggest leaders inspire the followers to surpass their own self-interests for the
progression of the organization. The leaders pay more attention to the developmental needs as
well as the concerns of their followers and inspire them to assume a new perspective for the
existing problems and hence, motivate the team towards achieving the set goals, by giving them
new perception (Ghasabeh, Soosay, & Reaiche, 2015).
RQ1. What are principals’ perceptions of their knowledge of special education laws and
RQ2. How do principals with special education knowledge engage with stakeholders to
comply with laws and regulations to provide special education services?
RQ3.What are principals’ perceptions of the adequacy of learning opportunities to gain
knowledge of special education laws and regulations to effectively serve students with
RQ4. What scores did principlas’ earn on the Knowledge of Special Education Law Survey
and how can that data be used to improve knowledge regarding special education laws and
Research Methodology and Design
The research will employ a qualitative design using a purposive sampling method to
recruit primary and secondary school principals from a single geographic area. Semistructured
face-to-face interviews, and the Knowledge of Special Education Law Survey will be employed
to collect deep, richly textured data. Content analysis will be used to analyze and study data
(Taylor, Bogdan, & DeVault, 2015).
Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data
The possible types and sources of data that could be used to address the proposed
research questions include survey data, public school records with the relevant documents and
texts related to special education, as well as interviews with school principals, assistant
principals, special education team leader or department chair and special education teachers.
Bateman, D., Gervais, A., Wysocki, T. A., & Cline, J. L. (2017). Special education competencies
for principals. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 30(1), 48–56. Retrieved from
Berman, S. (2018). The practice base for how we learn: Supporting students' social, emotional,
and academic development: Consensus statements of practice from the Council of
Distinguished Educators. Aspen Institute, 1-20. Retrieved from
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York, NY: Harpe ...
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