Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Dan W. Rea

Committee Member 1

Saundra Murray Nettles

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

Lorraine Gilpin

Committee Member 3 Email



This qualitative study seeks to understand how the multidimensional functioning of an urban high-poverty high-minority elementary school changed as it moved from failing school status to distinguished school status and to determine how school change promoted the organizational well-being of the school using a case study methodology. The multidimensional lenses used to view changes at Eagle included school purpose, culture, structure, leadership, organizational and professional learning, and teacher emotions. Using these lenses to view changes provides an explanation of not only how Eagle transitioned from failing school status to distinguished school status, but more importantly, how it has been able to sustain its success over a five year period and beyond. This case study provides essential elements that emerged to provide a clear picture of how one high-poverty, high-minority urban elementary school bridged the achievement gap between failing and distinguished school status. Findings from the study add to the body of literature about successful educational change in high-poverty highminority schools. This study has theoretical significance in that it embraces the concepts of educational change theory to understand organizational dynamics that may result in failing school status and positive school change. The study's holistic approach to examining educational change and school improvement suggests that schools serve a broader purpose than the cognitive focused demands of standardized tests.

Research Data and Supplementary Material