Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



The inception of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has focused national attention on improving the academic achievement of all students. In response to this federal legislation, educators, policymakers and others have sought remedies to turnaround chronically low-performing schools. The academic achievement outcomes of implementing such strategies have been mixed. Some schools have experienced clear, unambiguous growth. Others have remained stagnant. Others have regressed. Because of these mixed results, the research was designed to ascertain the factors that determine what makes these strategies succeed or fail. The researcher took a qualitative approach, the multiple case study design. Using the characteristics of High Reliability Organizations, the researcher used an interview guide that was developed by the researcher to interview 10 participants who consisted of teachers, principals, and their immediate district-level supervisors, as well as reviewed artifacts from four high-poverty schools that were all labeled as academically unacceptable by the state of Louisiana in 2007. The outcomes of turnaround strategies were mixed as measured by their school performance scores. Two of the schools experienced clear, unambiguous growth. One of the schools remained stagnant. The other school regressed. Findings of the data analysis indicated that schools with clear, unambiguous growth demonstrated all five characteristics of High Reliability Organizations. The schools that either remained stagnant or declined did not.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland



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Education Commons