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ERIC Number: ED523387
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 278
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-1233-7
Promoting Student Achievement: A Case Study of Change Actions Employed by an Urban School Superintendent
Bealer, David E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
The purpose of this study was to examine the change strategies and actions taken by an urban district superintendent to improve student achievement. In a qualitative case study of a large urban school district, one research question and three subquestions focused on: 10 specific reform strategies to improve student achievement, how the quality and implementation of strategies corresponded to the strengths and challenges of the district when the superintendent took office, what additional reform strategies (if any) were used, and whether the choice and implementation of the reform strategies related to the superintendent's previous background and experiences. Results indicated the superintendent's clearly articulated strategic plan, in tune with district characteristics and focused on increased student achievement, guided district action by providing the impetus to undertake systemwide improvement. Key reform strategies are being used effectively by large urban school district superintendents to improve student achievement. Significant start-up strategies were initiated by the superintendent studied to effect district reform, including: establishing a communications strategy that emphasized transparency of District efforts, strategies that improved board-superintendent relations and developed governance leadership capacity, and a reorganization of district office leadership and lines of authority, creating top academic, operating and assessment officials. As superintendents assume a more active role in comprehensive, system-wide reform, it is critical that they attend to: maintaining district focus on increased student achievement, the development of system capacity to use performance data for decision-making, and initial strategic planning efforts which take into account a district's strengths and weaknesses. The findings and conclusions from this study can provide insight and guidance to those responsible for systemwide improvement. Recommendations for future research were presented, including: use of quantitative student performance data to measure effectiveness of reform actions; study with superintendent in office greater than three years to allow observation of a full and stabilized implementation of key reform strategies; and duplicate study using information gained from site leaders, including principals and teachers, to provide additional insight into the effect of key reform strategy implementation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A