Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

Committee Chair

Guy Banicki


This dissertation employs organizational theory, the history of school reform, the role school district leadership, and the impact of district size to provide a foundation for study of high school reform implemented in twenty high schools with histories of academic challenges. The Federal Department of Education School Improvement Grant Program was created to financially support reform in persistently failing schools. The schools in this study are all located in the same Midwestern state; however, they have wide-ranging student enrollments and are located in suburban, urban, rural, and metropolitan school districts of differing sizes. The mixed method study includes two phases. Phase I, a quantitative review of district and school performance on the grant's Lead Indicators, was undertaken with the goal of selecting two districts to execute face-to-face interviews with teachers, principals, and central office administrators. The interviews were designed to help glean the stories behind the statistical data. Phase II is a qualitative examination into the experiences and perceptions of ten staff members; five from each of two different districts.


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