Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

James R. Bliss

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


The research objective was to gain a greater understanding of schools in rural Kentucky communities. Through interviews and surveys the investigator studied two schools with a similar populations facing many of the same obstacles, such as, a low socioeconomic status. The 2007-2008 Kentucky Performance Report stated that School A had an Academic Index of 105.7 in the area of reading and that School B had an Academic Index of 82.4.

Through the research, the investigator expected to better identify the gaps between lower performing and higher performing elementary schools in the region. My research question was, A Case study of two rural elementary schools: Why had one school outperformed the other?

The research project focused attention on school A and school B in rural Kentucky. The researcher attempted to identify some of the reasons as why school A appeared to have been more successful than the other school, while facing very similar economic and socio-economic struggles. The researcher analyzed reading scores from both school A and school B as a means of selecting these.