Dissertation

Transformation under a regime of accountability : a case study of a Bay Area school

The academic achievement for disadvantaged students, students of color, and English language learners has fallen behind the performance levels of white students for decades (Darling Hammond, 2007). By 2014, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act will require all students to be proficient in both English language arts and mathematics. This expectation is creating tremendous demands on schools across the state to increase student achievement and close the gap among all students. Title I schools that don’t meet the required minimum growth levels for two consecutive years are classified as “program improvement” (PI) and require corrective action and risk the possibility of being taken over by the state if changes are not eminent. The design of this qualitative single-case study will focus on one high-performing elementary school located in a large urban school district in Northern California. The objective will be to explore practices, programs, instructional strategies, and the leadership direction the school took that has kept the school out of PI, making continuous growth among all subgroups to close the gap.

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