A Case Study Comparison of School Leadership Practice Against the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) Pilot Results

WCER Working Paper No. 2012-5

Mark Blitz

May 2012, 36 pp.

ABSTRACT: This paper presents findings from a piloting of the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) assessment tool. In the 3rd year of a 4-year grant funded by IES, the CALL research team piloted a formative assessment survey of instructional leadership in 6 schools in Wisconsin. The research team conducted 3 rounds of interviews around the administration of the survey. This article presents findings from the round-1 data in comparison to CALL results in each school. The purpose of this study was to compare the CALL theory of action to principals’ self-described approaches to leadership and to compare school leaders’ understanding of certain leadership practices against CALL survey results. The findings indicate that CALL’s theory of action, informed by a distributed leadership framework, would provide an alternative perspective on school leaders’ practice. Moreover, certain leadership areas reflected CALL results while others did not, depending upon the type of practice, the understanding of that practice, and the surrounding contextual factors. This study’s findings support a distributed leadership framework in gathering data on school leadership and address perceived limitations of leadership practice.

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keywords: CALL; Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership Learning; Instructional Leadership; Distributed Leadership; School Leadership; Leadership Assessment Survey