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The Impacts of No Child Left Behind on School Leadership: An Empirical Examination Based on National SASS Data

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Jiangang Xia

Funding Information

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Children and Families

Award Date: Jun 1, 2015

End Date: May 31, 2016


Although the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has been implemented since 2002, its impacts on school performance and practice have rarely been examined empirically. Several recent studies have examined the impacts of NCLB on student achievement, teacher job satisfaction and school operations. 

This study complements the current studies by examining the trends of states’, districts’, principals’, and teachers’ influences in school decisions between 1993-94 and 2007-08, and more importantly, NCLB’s impacts on states’, districts’, principals’ and teachers’ influences in school decisions. Further, research will compare the trends and impacts by both school level and school poverty level. 

Using the nationally representative and longitudinal Schools and Staffing Survey data, this study takes advantage of the richness of the data and the differences in the presence and strength of prior state accountability systems to isolate NCLB effects. This study will add empirical evidence to the knowledge base with regard to the federal law’s impacts on school level decision-making. The findings will have important implications for federal and state policy makers, legislators, and educational researchers.

Academic Intervention & Learning