Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version


Document Type



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Marilyn L. Grady. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Shavonna Leigh Holman


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the efforts implemented in a high-poverty, urban elementary school in order to increase academic achievement. The central research question was:

1. How do teachers and administrators in a high-poverty, urban school describe the strategies they use to achieve academic success?

The sub-questions were:

  1. What are the aspects of the instructional program that assure student success for all students?
  2. What changes occurred in the school to achieve its current status?
  3. How have the changes been implemented to assure student success?
  4. What resources have been instrumental to achieve student success in the school?

Interviews were conducted with 16 individuals and included the previous principal, the current principal, and the assistant principal, as well as teachers and specialists.

Five themes emerged from the analysis of the transcripts. The themes were Instructional Practices; Changes; Leadership Practices; Teachers, Parents, and Community Involvement; and Professional Development.

Advisor: Marilyn Grady