Date of Award

Fall 10-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid


The purpose of this study was to elicit the perceptions of high school principals regarding state education standards and whether or not increasing education standards has a positive impact on student achievement. Missouri adopted a new set of standards which placed academic focus on fewer topics per subject and required teachers to create lessons that increased critical thinking within the classroom (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [MODESE], 2013b). To identify how the new standards might affect student achievement, four research questions were asked as part of this study. As a result of these questions, findings showed perceptions of the Missouri Learning Standards were more favorable than those associated with Common Core. It was believed among participants of this study that school districts have to develop professional development programs which provide information relevant to instruction and are organized around district goals. Data collected exposed student achievement is more likely to increase if new standards cause school districts to focus on specific goals and if teachers fully understand how to teach the new standards. By failing to adequately prepare teachers, school districts will struggle to properly prepare students for life after high school. Through a renewed focus on teacher comprehension of education standards, school districts can increase student achievement deficiencies and increase the number of students who graduate college- and career-ready.


Copyright 2016