Robert Marzano (2003) has researched and described a core set of 12 factors proven to increase student achievement. Many of Marzano’s factors relate to issues related to working conditions that contribute to staff welfare and satisfaction, including collegiality and professionalism as well as a safe and orderly school environment. Marzano’s work highlights the importance of quality leadership, which “could be considered the single most important aspect of effective school reform. . . . it influences every aspect of the model” (p. 172).
Marzano’s view on the significance of leadership in developing a culture that works in schools is strongly supported by the Center for Teacher Quality (CTQ) in the United States. The CTQ statistical analysis of teacher working conditions indicated that leadership is positively and significantly correlated to all other working conditions. For example, “many of the critical issues within the area of professional development involve principals acting as strong instructional leaders, prioritizing, providing resources, and allowing teachers to direct their own learning. Teachers who felt empowered to make decisions about their classroom and school work have positive views of their school leader. The correlations suggest that improving leadership could have a “ripple” effect on other working conditions, causing teachers’ overall satisfaction with their school climate to increase and thereby improving student learning.”