Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Poverty has been identified as an obstacle to educational success. In 2003, Washington state researchers, Shannon and Bylsma (2007), conducted a study to uncover the commonalities found in schools outperforming their socioeconomic indicators. Their work identified nine characteristics of high-performing schools and determined all successful schools had five or more of the characteristics firmly in place, although no characteristic was rated most important (Shannon & Bylsma, 2007). The desired outcome of this research study was first to determine if the nine characteristics identified by Shannon and Bylsma were still aligned with current research. Second, I sought to determine if five of the nine characteristics were found in a successful low-wealth, rural school district in North Carolina and which of the nine characteristics were most likely and least likely identified. The school staff perception surveys were administered to elementary classroom teachers who were employed for at least 1 year at their current school. I determined less than half of the schools within the district met this criterion; nonetheless, I clearly identified the presence of three characteristics within most of the schools in the district. The characteristic found most often in the district was a clear and shared focus, while family and community involvement was not found to be present in any school. The conclusion is the nine characteristics of high-performing schools are still aligned to current research, but a district can outperform its socioeconomic indicators and be deemed successful without five of the nine characteristics solidly identified, based on the opinions of classroom teachers.
Ash, Tammie Padgett, "Identification of High-Performing School Characteristics in Successful Low-Wealth, Rural North Carolina Elementary Schools" (2021). Doctor of Education Dissertations. 65.
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