Date of Award

Spring 1-18-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Bob Steffes

Second Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Abstract

School reforms in the 21st century led the educational systems in the United States to raise levels of achievement in order to compete globally with international students. The intention of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative was to reduce the achievement gap among student subgroups, compared to high achieving students. The School Improvement Grant (SIG) served as a funding resource for underperforming schools to quickly improve academically. Schools underperforming for five consecutive years received mandates from the state and federal governments to select a turnaround model to increase student achievement. This mixed methods study investigated the implementation of the turnaround model, while improving leadership characteristics, raising student achievement, engaging professional learning communities, and retaining teachers in a Midwestern public high school. A qualitative study was conducted with two focus groups, one with parents and the other with teachers. Both groups were critical with EGJ High School regaining its accreditation status. The themes that emerged were similar across both focus groups and featured theories of educational frameworks needed to increase student results. A quantitative study was also conducted by surveying parents, teachers, assistant principals, and instructional coaches to analyze their perceptions on the way leadership guided turning around the school. Underperforming schools were always seeking ways for school improvement. The data and results from this study specified support systems required for a successful turnaround school.

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