Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves

Abstract

Since the mid-1960s, education reform has been a cyclical progression of renewed policy, innovative practices, and cutting edge research. In this current era, a plethora of school districts across the nation believe charters schools are the imminent transformation and improvement of public education.

This study dissected the perceived impressive aura of charter school elements as it relates to teacher efficacy. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the influence of charter school organizational leadership structure, student performance, professional autonomy, salary, internal parental involvement, educational resources, professional development, school partnerships, school culture, and charter school reputation on teacher efficacy.

To accomplish this case study, an urban charter school in the southeastern United States was explored. According to Creswell (2013), “[T]he investigator explores a real-life contemporary bounded system (a case) or multiple bounded systems (cases) over time, through detailed , in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information and reports a case description and themes” (p. 97). Three teachers were utilized. The researcher collected the data using teacher observations, document analyses from the school profile and face-to-face interviews. These methods support the triangulation and validity and reliability of the study. The researcher disaggregated the data into cohesive categories and themes. An analysis matrix organized the information to yield an in-depth understanding.

The findings of the study revealed that 7 of the 10 independent variables influenced teacher efficacy. It was determined that organizational structure, professional autonomy, professional development, school resources, school partnerships, school culture, and school reputation influence teacher efficacy. It was also determined that student achievement, salary, and internal parental involvement do not influence teacher efficacy. The researcher concluded that the seven independent variables that influenced teacher efficacy could be strategically applied by state, local, and school leaders in their quest for school improvement. It was also concluded that the three independent variables that do not influence teacher efficacy should not be at the forefront of school turnaround strategies. Although the level of influence is unknown, these findings serve as recommendations and feasible parameters for state, local, school leaders and stakeholders.