School facilities and student achievement: the relationship between administrators' perceptions of school facilities and student achievement
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which principal perceptions of school facilities affect high school student academic achievement in math and reading, while controlling for student-level and school-level covariates and utilizing a nationally representative database. Literature connecting school facilities, leadership, and student achievement has been sparse and divided. Early research often found relationships between facilities and achievement, yet more recent studies attribute differences in achievement to other factors that covary with school facilities. This study was the first to focus on perceptions of principals while using analyses that account for the nested nature of students in schools, the complex survey design of a national sample, and known student and school context variables. The results of this research could have widespread implications for school leaders, policymakers, and school finance decision makers. Data from the ELS:2002 student survey, achievement test, and administrator questionnaire were input into a 2-level hierarchical linear model (random coefficients model). Student-level and school-level predictors were added according to a conceptual framework based on prior student achievement research. The model indicates that principal perceptions of facilities are not a significant predictor of student achievement in math and reading when accounting for background characteristics.