Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Rene S Parmar

Second Advisor

James R Campbell

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley


School improvement continues to remain a focus across the nation as evidenced in the U.S. Department of Education Performance Plan (2017) and the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA). Achievement gaps continue to exist for certain populations, specifically Students with Disabilities (SWDs) and English Language Learners (ELLs). Building on the school improvement research of Bryk, Bende-Sebring, Allensworth and Luppescu (2010) and the relational trust research of Hoy and Tschannen-Moran (1998, 1999, 2003), this research study examined the relationship between teacher-principal trust items on the NYC School Survey and student achievement on state assessments over a four-year period for four student sub-groups: All Students, SWDs, Current ELLs and Ever ELLs (also known as Former ELLs). The study sample included public schools located in Queens County, New York. This county was selected due to its diverse ethnic and socio-economic population, increasing the generalizability to other urban school districts. For inclusion in this study, schools had to have test results on the Grade 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments plus survey results from the NYC School Survey for all years of this study. After excluding schools without NYS Grade 3-8 test data for all years of this study and the elimination of secondary (6-12) and high schools (9-12), 237 schools remained. All NYS Test Data and School Survey data were obtained from public files on the NYC Department of Education website. Survey items were aligned to the principal trust behaviors as defined in The Five Facets of Trust (Tschannen-Moran, 2014). For each year of this longitudinal study, a correlation analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between the nine teacher-principal trust survey items and student achievement (proficiency percentage) on state assessments. Following, a series of regressions were performed to determine the predictability of the collective and individual survey items on student achievement. Survey items were aligned with the Facets of Trust to determine the facet(s) or principal behavior(s) with the most significant relationship and predictability for each sub-group. This information will be used to inform the leadership development of principals that improve student-school outcomes and narrow the achievement gap.