Understanding the Impact of Leader in Me

Author: Leader in Me
December 20, 2023

Understanding the Impact of Leader in Me
In a recent meta-analysis of studies conducted independently on the impact of the Leader in Me schoolwide intervention, five main statistically significant findings resulted:
  1. Overall effect
  2. Improved educator views of school climate
  3. Increased student attendance
  4. Improved student behavior
  5. Increased student life skills
Interpreting the Findings

The findings were reported as Effect Sizes. It is important to note that these Effect Sizes are at the school-level, not at the student-level, since Leader in Me is a schoolwide intervention. Most educators are familiar with student-level effect sizes of academic interventions, as explained by John Hattie, but school-level effect sizes have a different scale and threshold of statistical significance.

Two common conversions are made to interpret school-level effect sizes:

Improvement Index

What Works Clearinghouse uses the Improvement Index, which is a transformation of the effect size into percentile points. The Improvement Index shows the expected change in percentile rank.

Leader in Me Percentile Point Increase:

  • Overall Effect: +8 percentile points
  • Educator views of school climate: +13 percentile points
  • Student attendance: +10 percentile points
  • Student discipline: +5 percentile points
  • Student life skills: +3 percentile points
Benchmark Ratings:

A widely-used benchmark for interpreting effect sizes from causal studies of school-level interventions is recommended by Dr. Kraft, a prominent researcher at Brown University.

Leader in Me Benchmark Ratings:

  • Overall Effect: Large effect
  • Educator views of school climate: Large effect
  • Student attendance: Large effect
  • Student discipline: Medium effect
  • Student life skills: Medium effect



 Villares, E., Miller. A. E., Chevalier, J. A. (2023). The Impact of Leader in Me on the School 

Climate and Student Behaviors: A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Education 

Policy and Leadership, 19(2), 1-16.

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