Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Barbara Hill, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Trevor Turner, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Darrell Groves, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate identified variables satisfaction from select stakeholders to improve academic performance in a charter school. The researcher sought to understand the qualities of successful schools by examining the following variables: communication, curriculum, governance process, governance structure, instructional resources, maintenance of facility, school culture, school life, and quality of instruction. School administrators, teachers, parents, and community members were interviewed. A survey by AdvancED was used to determine satisfaction level of school practices. Standardized testing data were analyzed to inquire information on academic performance.

The qualitative approach is one in which the investigator explores a bounded system (a case), or multiple bounded systems (cases), over time, through detailed,in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (e.g., observations, interviews, audiovisual material, and documents and reports), and reports a case description and case-based-theme (Creswell, 2009). The results in the study yielded successful practices and procedures schools can employ to increase academic achievement and reduce the likelihood of school closings based on academic performance. The research focused on a charter school that has been consistently exceeding district and state standardized test scores. The findings of the research can be used by school leaders, principals, school board members, and school districts to improve overall school effectiveness. The findings also provided a framework of research-based practices to meet the needs of all students. The school used in the study serves K through eighth-grade students and is a startup charter school. The school has 744 students and over 250 students on its waiting list. Nearby schools are all Title-1 schools with a high percentage of children from low-income families. The school demographics included a 99% African-American population. The findings of this study certainly added supporting research to the effective schools’ movement and replication for future charter schools. The results of the study produced themes that were apparent through the interviews, survey, and document analysis. High expectations, consistent communication, parental involvement, supportive environment, and purposeful engagement were the common themes that supported variables that affected the level of satisfaction of stakeholders in improving academic achievement.

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