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ERIC Number: ED551284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 236
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6816-2
An Exploratory Investigation into the Key Elements Associated with District-Wide Improvement
Mosunich, Daniel Raymond
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
Faced with expectations to improve student learning and increasing student alternatives, school districts are challenged to make system-wide and sustainable improvement in student learning outcomes. The national accountability movement is associated with a growing body of research that has considered the role of the district to influence student outcomes throughout the system. This study sought to identify differences in the presence and impact of three research-based district-reform factors: the district instructional vision, the commitment and capacity to enact the vision, and the use of a multi-level data system as a means of providing feedback on progress towards the vision. Additionally, the study sought to identify differences in perceived impact on site leadership capacity and teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction. An exploratory comparative case study methodology was employed using an online survey and semi-structured interviews to collect and analyze data on eighteen variables. Two California unified school districts were compared based on differences in district-wide student improvement rates on annual testing. An exploratory factor analysis identified a set of empirically-based factors consisting of district-based initiative and actions, site-based instructional decision making and, site leadership associated with the survey providing an alternate perspective to organize data while offering an additional lens to consider the impact of the research-based factors. Total population and two within-group samples were compared between districts. Findings surfaced differences in perceptions and actions of district-wide staff associated with district vision, commitment and capacity building, data use, and site leadership variables. No differences were found in the presence of teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction between the two districts. While limited in their generalizability, the results appear to point out the influence of a district instructional vision on district commitment, professional development, and site leadership. Topics for further research include the impact of district instructional vision on high school reform efforts, on large urban school districts, and influences of the school district community in establishing and maintaining an instructional vision. The study concludes by offering implications for practice associated with district-wide student outcome improvements. [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
Identifiers - Location: California