Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Keywords

Turnaround Schools, Leadership, Instructional Systems, School and District Systems

Department

Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kristina Hesbol, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Korach, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Ellen Miller-Brown, Ph.D.

Abstract

This summary presents the findings of professional research conducted over one year by a doctoral student working in an urban school district. The purpose of this research was to examine the perceptions of school leaders and teachers in two turnaround school networks that used different approaches to improving student learning outcomes. The goal was to compare one network's approach with the other network's approach to assess what factors leaders and teachers perceived to make a difference in improving student achievement in turnaround schools. One network focused on addressing the turnaround challenge through transformative leadership theory, which includes the following tenets: ( a) a call to action; (b) a demand for social justice; (c) serving ethically; (d) creating praxis; and (e) seeking new solutions. The other network used recommendations from an external consulting group to focus on: (a) more time in school; (b) small group tutoring; ( c) a focus on excellence in leadership and teaching; ( d) the use of data to drive achievement; and (e) a college going culture and high expectations. The research questions in this study were, "What are leaders' perceptions of factors that make a difference in improving student learning outcomes in turnaround schools?" and "What are teachers' perceptions of factors that make a difference in improving student learning outcomes in turnaround schools?"

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