Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


School Leadership and Strategic Planning: The Impact on Local Report Card Ratings

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken

Second Advisor

Eric Worch (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Rachel Reinhart (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Paul Johnson (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

James Lloyd (Committee Member)


The Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, reauthorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), increased accountability measures in public schools across the nation. One component of NCLB dictated that school districts publicly report annual summative testing scores. Noting that previous research has shown that school district leadership engaged in the strategic planning process increases student achievement, the State of Ohio formed the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC). OLAC’s work embraced the use of leadership led strategic planning and thus wrote the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) for use in all Ohio districts regardless of size, typology, leadership tenure, or average daily membership. This quantitative causal-comparative study investigates the effect of OIP on Local Report Card (LRC) ratings in Ohio school districts. To determine if differences exist school district leadership responded to a survey that reported 2011-2012 LRC ratings and measured their respective stage of implementation and commitment to OIP. Using responses from the 14-item research constructed survey, data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings from the research show that the impact of OIP on LRC is more complex than previously assumed. Contrary to researcher expectations, the use of OIP did not statistically impact LRC. Future research using Value Added or Performance Index Scores (both growth measures of the LRC) could potentially produce statistically significant results, as they are more specific in nature than the LRC ratings are. Research Question 1 notes 94% of the survey respondents were school district central office administrators with 65% being in their current position three or more years. Seventy-four percent of respondents have been their district point of contact or OIP facilitator. Responses from Research Questions 2 and 3 highlight LRC data were positively significantly skewed. This created the foundation for running inferential test using both the parametric ANOVA and non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis. When data between LRC and OIP were analyzed using categories "Not Started", "Stalled", Started", and "Cpmpleted" - statistical significance was reported, statistical significance was reported, with the "Not Started" group scoring higher on the LRC than both the "Stalled" and "Completed" groups. When data were regrouped and the same categories were analyzed within the stages of OIP, no significance was noted. When data were grouped via specific stage of the OIP, no significance was noted. Via descriptive data (based on respondents' reported opinions), Research Question 4 prodigiously highlighted the importance of using OIP as a strategic planning framework to: 1) Promote school district leadership collaboration; 2) Engage central office administration; 3) Assist a school district in introducing new educational initiatives; and 4) Increase student progress and achievement. Increasing progress and achievement was the ultimate goal of the Ohio Leadership Advisory written Ohio Improvement Process. The implications for school leaders and future research were also discussed. Noting that LRC ratings as a whole may not be sensitive enough to discover statistical significance of OIP on LRC, future study would suggest a researcher use the Performance Index (PI) or Value Added (VA) scores as the dependent variable. Both the PI and VA scores are publicly shared with Ohio stakeholders as they are two of the four components that make up the overall Local Report Card rating. The study offers a solid foundation for future research while sharing respondent's perceptions regarding the implementation of strategic planning, namely The Ohio Improvement Process.