Although principals are ultimately held accountable to student learning in their buildings, the most consistent research results have suggested that their impact on student achievement is largely indirect. Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi proposed four paths through which this indirect influence would flow, and the purpose of this special issue is to examine in greater depth these mediating variables. Among mediating variables, we assert that trust is key. In this paper, we explore the evidence that points to the role that faculty trust in the principal plays in student learning and how principals can cultivate trust by attending to the five facets of trust, as well as the correlates of trust that mediate student learning, including academic press, collective teacher efficacy, and teacher professionalism. We argue that trust plays a role in each of the four paths identified by Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi. Finally, we explore possible new directions for future research.
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