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ERIC Number: ED537343
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-5676-1
An Analysis of a High Performing School District's Culture
Corum, Kenneth D.; Schuetz, Todd B.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Saint Louis University
This report describes a problem based learning project focusing on the cultural elements of a high performing school district. Current literature on school district culture provides numerous cultural elements that are present in high performing school districts. With the current climate in education placing pressure on school districts to perform at a high level, the researchers sought to validate or invalidate cultural elements in the literature by comparing them to cultural elements in a district selected for its high performance. Identifying elements that are present in both the literature and the subject high performing school district gives credence to those elements and provides viable criteria with which districts can focus in order to improve their performance. The researchers identified five main elements in the literature relating to high performing school district cultures. Those elements were: a shared sense of purpose, continuous improvement, responsibility for student learning, collaborative and collegial relationships, and reflective practice and professional development. These elements along with related sub-elements were identified to construct interview and survey questions. The researchers then spent seven days in a selected high performing district interviewing all administrators in central office, building principals, and three school board members. Also, attendance at events such as administrative, community and school board meetings occurred. This qualitative data combined with information gained from surveys of teachers, counselors, directors and other certificated district personnel became the data from which the researchers identified 14 emergent themes. Those themes were: input/voice, high expectations, teamwork, celebrations, communication, stakeholder support, best practices, resource allocation, quality staff, unified purpose, chain of command, board, superintendent, and quality leadership. The researchers found evidence in the data of all five elements as well as related sub-elements in the subject high performing school district. The results suggest the elements and sub-elements are indeed indicative of a high performing culture and any district wishing to improve their performance would do well to consider such criteria. The researchers utilized this data to identify opportunities for improvement and recommendations were provided to the district. [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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A