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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Phyllis Hensley

First Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Second Committee Member

Louis Wildman

Third Committee Member

Dennis Brennan


The purposes of the study were to: (a) examine the perceptions and experiences of principals in increasing student achievement on the SAT 9 at the middle school level; (b) identify how middle school principals, whose schools had met student achievement growth targets and were eligible for the Governor's Performance Awards Program had influenced the growth process at their school sites; and (c) determine whether or not principals were using any specific document, person, program, or other source, to guide their efforts. This was a series of multiple case studies that utilized interviewing as its primary method of collecting data. The researcher interviewed middle school principals whose schools had met their 2000 growth targets on the SAT 9 and were eligible for the Governor's Performance Awards Program. A discussion of the results emphasized the findings of the study. This study found that in the environment of standards-based reform, educators must identify the strategies and techniques that will increase student achievement. To accomplish this, principals must lead their staff to discover and implement researched-based, best practices, and accompany these new skills with ongoing professional development. Likewise, they must institute a data driven evaluation process of all that occurs at their school sites. This evaluation process should be based on the academic growth of all students. Through the use of multiple measures, such as benchmark assessments and SAT 9 scores, the data on student growth, in all areas of school life, should be collected, monitored, and evaluated over time. The results of this data should then be analyzed to identify areas of strength and weakness and to guide curriculum, instruction, intervention, and other changes at the school site. The relationship between this study and prior research was also included in the discussion section. This study provided school administrators with recommendations on how to increase student achievement on the SAT 9 at the middle school level. Suggestions for additional research were also offered.




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