A known group analysis validity study of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education in US elementary and secondary schools

  • Elizabeth Covay Minor
  • Andrew C. Porter
  • Joseph Murphy
  • Ellen B. Goldring
  • Xiu Cravens
  • Stephen N. Elloitt


The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) provides educators with a tool for principal evaluation based on principal, teacher, and supervisor reports of principals’ learning-centered leadership. In this study, we conduct a known group analysis as part of a larger argument for the validity of the VAL-ED in US elementary and secondary schools. We asked superintendents to select the principals in their district who they believe in performance of their duties are in the top 20 % and the bottom 20 %. We ask how accurately VAL-ED scores can identify membership of the two known groups. Using a discriminant analysis, the VAL-ED places principals in the superintendent groups, on average, 70 % of the time for both elementary and secondary schools. Placement accuracy is greater for the top group than the bottom group.


Known group study Learning-centered leadership 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grants # R305A0803070, R305B100013-01, and R305E100008 of the U.S. Department of Education. The authors declare a potential conflict of interest (e.g., a financial relationship with the commercial organizations or products discussed in this article) as follows: The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) instrument is authored by Drs. Porter, Murphy, Goldring, and Elliott and copyrighted by Vanderbilt University, all of whom receive a royalty from its sales by Discovery Education Assessment. The VAL-ED authors and their research partners have made every effort to be objective and data based in statements about the instrument and value the independent peer review process of their research. With any publication, readers should judge the facts and related materials for themselves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Covay Minor
    • 1
  • Andrew C. Porter
    • 2
  • Joseph Murphy
    • 3
  • Ellen B. Goldring
    • 3
  • Xiu Cravens
    • 3
  • Stephen N. Elloitt
    • 4
  1. 1.College of EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Arizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA

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