Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Pender B. Noriega

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Cornett



Professional development is a substantial contributing factor to the success or lack of success in low-performing schools. Specific student-focused professional development can be used to increase academic achievement, school culture, and the level of effective teaching. A lack of attention to school-specific professional development can contribute to low student achievement, diminished school culture, and reduced teacher efficiency. In Florida, public schools have implemented the “4 Professional Development Standards” (Planning, Learning, Implementation, and Evaluation) to act as a tool to identify best practices in schools and classrooms as well as to determine what professional development is needed to improve instructional practices. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine the perspectives of teachers and school leaders regarding student-centric professional development and its effects on school culture, student achievement, and teacher productivity in low-performing schools. The study involved face-to-face interviews with teachers who participated in strategic professional development and school administrators who were integral in implementing professional development. Results showed eight of the 10 participants embraced schoolwide professional development that contained a focus on school culture, student achievement, and teacher productivity.