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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson

First Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Second Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley

Third Committee Member

Mari Irvin

Fourth Committee Member

Audree O'Connell


The purpose of this case study was to describe how the organization and governance of charter schools influences decisions related to curriculum and assessment methodologies. The study investigated how governance, organization, curriculum, and assessment interrelate to foster increased student performance in a charter school that had been in existence for 6 years and undergone the charter document renewal process. The Charter School studied embodies the intent of the Charter legislation. The Charter School has developed an innovative program that unites parents, teachers, students, and administrators, using shared decision making, a variety of instructional strategies, and performance-based outcomes and assessments, along with district and state required assessments. Curriculum and strategies used for instructional delivery are meaning-centered and related to the real world. Teachers have an opportunity for expanded roles and career options. Choice and freedom are key components of the school's philosophy and embedded into its culture. The organization and governance of the school provide a formal structure for feedback and input by all members of the school community into its operation. Decisions relating to the School's daily operation and the curriculum and instruction an jointly made by parents, teachers, and the administrator. Scores on the required state testing reveal scores substantially higher than the state averages in reading, math, language, and spelling. Students' scores were higher than district scores in reading and language, and the same in math and spelling. However, the small group of students tested demands caution when drawing conclusions about student achievement because it reduces the reliability of the testing data and limits the ability to conclude that an increase in student achievement has been achieved. The Charter School has been able to evolve into an effective school where quality education is occurring in a collaborative and supportive environment. The school has flourished under relaxed governmental regulations and continues to change to meet the needs of students and families.




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