Principals are held accountable for student achievement even though they only have an indirect influence on that achievement. Accountability raises the question about what should be the priority for the principal's attention. The literature supports the existence of a positive correlation between faculty trust in the principal and increased student achievement. Our study considered the appropriateness of representing trust as a two-factor model broken down into components related to how teachers view the skill and the will of the principal. Additionally, our study examined which demographic factors of the school and of the principal affect faculty trust in the principal.This study examined historical data acquired from a large suburban school district in the western United States between 2013 and 2014. The archival data included over 1,700 completed surveys from elementary, junior-high, and high-school teachers of the Omnibus T-Scale survey created by Wayne K. Hoy and Megan Tschannen-Moran (2003).Almost all principals in the study were evaluated higher in terms of skill (competence, reliability, honesty) than in terms of will (benevolence, openness, empathy of vulnerability), and the data set fits a two-factor model of trust. Our findings show no significant association between the principal or school demographics and overall faculty trust in the principal, with the exception of a negative correlation between the principal's level of education and faculty trust in the principal. These findings suggest principals are not at a disadvantage to achieve faculty trust based on principal and school demographic factors.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





trust (psychology), academic achievement, principals, leadership