Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Reading and Language

First Advisor

Donna Ogle

Second Advisor

Peter Fisher

Third Advisor

Susan McMahon


The complexities, diversity, and nuances of schools today require the shared leadership of the best and brightest that education has to offer. All across the country, school districts are embarking on the challenging journey toward higher and better standards and performance found in the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. This dissertation describes the early CCSS implementation efforts of the middle schools in a Midwest suburban district. In particular, it examines the instructional leadership that was shared among the administrators and literacy coaches who led the adoption and implementation of the new Standards. The research was conducted during their first year of the CCSS implementation plan and was based on a year-long series of interviews with district level administrators, building level administrators, and the three middle school coaches who all shared responsibility for developing and executing the plan. The author of the study was a middle school coach at the time and describes the positive and negative impact of being a participant-researcher. The findings support the extant research that illustrates the complexities of instructional leadership: while all the participants had a good understanding of their own instructional leadership responsibilities, their enactment of these was carried out in varying degrees due to the culture of the district, their confidence in the subject matter, as well as the time that the participants were able to commit to the new learning required by the Common Core State Standards.