Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Schools across our county must ensure that an increasing percentage of students meet state-specified proficiency standards for the schools to be rated as making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The longer a school fails to make AYP, the more severe are the corrective actions that must be undertaken.

This study looks at two turnaround middle schools in the western United States, which were determined to be among the lowest-performing five percent in their state. The turnaround model adopted by this school district is the transformational model of school turnaround. This model requires replacing at least 50% of the staff and principal, adopting new governance, and implementing a new or revised instructional model.

This study looks at teacher efficacy and teacher use of data to inform instruction. Teacher efficacy is the teacher's self-assessment of his or her ability to support student learning. Teachers with high teacher efficacy believe they can positively impact student achievement despite challenges, while teachers with low efficacy believe they have a limited ability influence student learning and achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Bandura, 1993; 1994; Bruce et al, 2010; Gibson & Dembow, 1984; Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993). Teacher use of data to inform instruction is critical in school turnaround conditions. It is essential that teachers are provided a means to quickly assess student learning in order to differentiate instruction, provide extended services or reteach so that student achievement can improve.

The findings may be used to inform successful transformation in other persistently low performing schools. Such information is critical given the large numbers of struggling learners, the high number of dropouts, and the tremendous investment in resources to turnaround chronically low-performing schools.