Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Gloria McDaniel- Hall

Second Advisor

Dr. Harrington Gibson

Third Advisor

Dr. Kamau Rashid


The single most important variable in student achievement is the quality of the teacher in front of them (Darling-Hammond 2014). As Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) professional development mission statement has included adult learning principles, states must begin to align to this expectation. If schools are going to see the quality that Darling-Hammond references, states must think aobut adopting a professional development framework that gives districts guidelines but allows for autonomy. Cycles of Inquiry is a researched based framework that aligns to the principles of adult learning but isn’t so rigid that school district and schools couldn’t augment it to meet their specific needs. With a large percentage of the teaching population being rated in the lowest two categories on the teacher evaluation tool, and an achievement gap growing rather closing, the State of Alabama must quickly look to examine its current mission for professional development to ensure that it not only aligns to ESSA but research. COI does just that and is a cost-effective way of focusing on developing teachers.