Guerrero, Nancy Aguilar (2016-08). An Examination of Leadership Practices in High-Performing Texas Elementary Schools Promoting Academic Achievement for Hispanic English Language Learners. Doctoral Dissertation.
English language learners (ELLs) in public schools are a rapidly growing student population. Hispanic ELLs in Texas are working against numerous odds in public schools today. A growing number of Hispanic students learning a second language and living in poverty are falling behind; schools must find ways to promote and support their success. Effective school leadership, specifically the role of the principal, plays a vital role in ensuring strong school systems and practices to promote success for ELLs. I present a systematic review process to analyze the body of research available in relation to school leadership for English language learners, culturally responsive professional learning communities, and practices of equity and social justice of Hispanic ELLs. The systematic review outlines the limited studies available related to effective leadership practices and systems in place to serve Hispanic ELLs. Through this multi-case qualitative study I provide a lens into leadership practices in high performing Texas elementary schools and principal practices that cultivate positive school culture for the success of ELLs, identifying positive practices to address the opportunity gap encountered by numerous Hispanic ELLs, promoting a phenomenon for success in other settings with similar populations. I framed this study through the theoretical frameworks of synergistic leadership theory and Hispanic academic achievement theory, providing an analysis of the frameworks merged and working collectively to promote success for ELLs. The study culminates with the essentials for school leadership success with ELLs; strong leadership cultivates a school community of academic access, acceptance and affinity with all stakeholders.