The accountability role of middle school assistant principals: Relating to teachers and students

Neifi Jose Acosta, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of the role of assistant principals in fostering improved student outcomes at the middle school level. Increasingly, middle school students experienced difficulties with academic performance. Aggregate state and citywide data documented the limited outcomes associated with middle school student achievement and identified classroom instruction as a core factor in supporting academic achievement. Assistant principals are charged with the role of providing teachers instructional support. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 middle school assistant principals and three middle school principals. A semi-structured interview was developed to elicit perspectives from the assistant principals’ roles and daily responsibilities and the principal’s voice on assistant principals’ role. Interviews lasted 30-45 minutes each and were recorded on audiotape. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed and then content analyzed. Findings suggested that middle school assistant principals perceived classroom instructional leadership as central to their daily tasks and responsibilities. Assistant principals identified feeling occupied with administrative tasks and unable to focus on teacher performance and quality of instruction. The management of classroom behavior and related administrative tasks had moved assistant principals away from instructional leadership. The study findings suggested middle school assistant principals should structure their time to include classroom instructional support within their daily tasks. Study recommendations included to assign additional staff to current assistant principal duties to allow assistant principals to spend more time in the classroom supporting teachers.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education Policy

Recommended Citation

Acosta, Neifi Jose, "The accountability role of middle school assistant principals: Relating to teachers and students" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3712003.