Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Watt

Second Advisor

Dr. Miguel de los Santos

Third Advisor

Dr. Jerry Lowe


This research examined school principals’ perceptions of bilingual education to determine whether perceptions were a function of gender, age, years of experience, level of academic knowledge of bilingual education, and language discourse or bilingualism. Moreover, this study explored whether principals’ perceptions of bilingual education were related to English language learners’ 8th grade reading performance as measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Thirty-one middle and high school principals in five school districts from south Texas and one district from southeast Texas responded to an electronic survey that solicited demographic information, perceptions of bilingual education, and academic knowledge of bilingual education. Simple and multiple regression analyses revealed that principals’ perceptions of bilingual education were not a function of the variables analyzed. However, when data were disaggregated by principals’ years of experience, those with 21 or more years of overall experience as an educator had more favorable perceptions of bilingual education; yet, those with more administrative experience had the least favorable perception of bilingual education. A correlation analysis revealed no significant relationship between middle school principals’ perceptions of bilingual education and performance on 8th grade reading as measured by the STAAR. Conversely, other analyses revealed that principals with more years of experience, particularly at their current campus, had higher percentage of ELL students passing the reading assessment than principals with fewer years of experience. Exploratory analyses highlighted the significance of bilingual/ESL certification. Principals who were bilingual/ESL certified exhibited more favorable perceptions of bilingual education; and, those who were bilingual/ESL certified had a larger portion of ELL students passing the 8th grade reading portion of STAAR. The findings of this study indicate that certain characteristics of school principals, such as years of experience and bilingual/ESL certification, may impact perceptions as well as student performance.


Copyright 2014 Imelda Mares. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American