Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Superintendents with five years of experience (n=48) were surveyed on Full Range Leadership style, educational attainment, and years of experience to determine whether Kentucky school superintendents had an effect on student outcomes. Data was collected on each superintendent’s district Overall Accountability Score (OAS) to determine student performance. Using the district OAS as the dependent variable, independent t-tests were performed to compare high transformational leaders to low transformational leaders, high transactional leaders to low transactional leaders, and high laissez-faire leaders to low laissez-faire leaders. Again, using district OAS as the dependent variable, a t-test was performed to compare superintendents with Kentucky Rank I certification to superintendents who had completed a terminal degree. To measure the effect of experience, OAS was the dependent variable in a t-test was used to compare superintendents with up to 30 years of experience to superintendents with more than 30 years of experience. Finally, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare three groups of superintendent experience: up to five years of experience, six to ten years of experience, and over eleven years of experience. Results of all statistical analyses lacked significant results, indicating that superintendent leadership, educational attainment, and experience did not have a relationship to student outcomes. Discussion relates the outcomes of this study to existing research and literature on superintendent leadership, but also notes the challenges of quantifying superintendent effect when looking only at direct student outcomes.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

superintendent, leadership style, student outcomes, MLQ, Kentucky

Dissertation Committee Chair

Randal Wilson

Committee Chair

Randal Wilson

Committee Member

Brian Bourke

Committee Member

Thomas Pharis

Document Type