Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Mary Ann Kahl

Second Advisor

Valerie Schmitz


This dissertation consists of a program evaluation, a change leadership plan, and a policy advocacy proposal.

The program evaluation studies the impact of initiatives implemented at an elementary school near a large city in Illinois using a case study methodology. The school was required to restructure during the 2013-2014 school year as a result of the performance mandates outlined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. To compare the post-restructuring status of the school with the pre-restructuring status, student growth data for multiple grade levels and for each federal subgroup was collected. In addition, the staff’s perceptions about the successfulness of the school were gathered to measure the impact of the restructuring initiatives. An analysis of both the achievement and survey data revealed a significant increase in the academic success of students and the perceived effectiveness of the school.

The change leadership paper outlines a plan to transform a building of teachers to a collaborative group of high functioning professionals who significantly impact student achievement. The plan integrates the evaluation system, professional development process, and teaching strategies to increase each teacher’s instructional capacity.

The Every Child a Whole Child policy outlines a school improvement process stemming from a whole child philosophy. One that believes the academic and social/emotional needs of students should drive improvement efforts rather than test scores. The policy maintains that this approach will produce greater overall success than efforts aimed solely at raising achievement. The Every Child a Whole Child policy addresses many of the identified problems of the No Child Left Behind act and provides Illinois K-8 superintendents an immediate roadmap to improve schools during uncertain times.