Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

The Principal as Instructional Leader in Elevating and Advancing the Achievement of Students from Low-Income Minority Families as Evidenced in Selected Chicago Elementary and High Public Schools

Dr. Margaret M. Harrigan.

The STR model has had a significant impact on 46 low-achieving Chicago Public High Schools and Elementary Schools, as revealed by the performance of students on standardized tests in reading and mathematics from 1993 – 2001. All of the schools are located in communities characterized by high levels of crime and poverty. Student membership in each is 99%+ minority.

STR Model:
STR is a comprehensive school reform model, begun in 1993, based on the Ten Routines practiced by highly-effective schools. Barbara A. Sizemore, Ph.D., former dean of the School of Education, DePaul University, based the STR process on research in urban, public, predominantly African-American schools.

The Ten Routines
• Instruction – Principal as the instructional leader maintains high expectations of students and teacher achievement.
• Decision Making – Involves all components of the school community in the decision-making/problem-solving process.
• Placement – Students are placed in flexible, student-centered learning environments according to students’ needs; teachers are delivering instruction according to human variation using grouping/regrouping instructional skills and concepts for student mastery.
• Pacing/Acceleration – Instruction is aligned with state standards, district objectives, curriculum, and standardized tests. Pacing charts are developed that correlate with the alignments.
• Measuring – Determines student mastery of established skills/concepts taught daily.
• Assessment – Test data is disaggregated and a five-week assessment routine is established.
• Monitoring – Provides teachers with feedback to enhance instruction.
• Evaluation – Evaluates all teachers and programs on a regular basis.
• Staff Development – Restructures the school to facilitate common grade-level or departmental meetings.
• Discipline – Promotes and maintains a positive school environment.


Dr. Margaret M. Harrigan  (United States)
School of Education
DePaul University

Former teacher, principal, district superintendent, associate superintendent--Chicago Public Schools.

  • Principal
  • Instructional leader
  • Student achievement
  • Low income minority families
  • Chicago public schools
  • High schools
  • elementary schools

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)