Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


United States. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; Comprehensive high schools -- Law and legislation -- Iowa; Educators -- Iowa -- Attitudes; High school students -- Iowa -- Attitudes; Students; Education; Teachers; Education, Secondary; High schools; Academic theses;


The American comprehensive high school was designed for a diverse society (Wraga, 1998, p. 1 ). The concept originated in the 1920s as a result of a report entitled The Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education (Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education [CRSE], 1918). Since the adoption of The Cardinal Principles, the institution of the comprehensive high school has withstood years of continued review and reform efforts. Despite the many attempts to change it, the comprehensive high school has remained a constant of secondary education in America. The nation's most recent educational reform effort-the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2001)-may, however, provide the most significant challenge to date for the American comprehensive high school.

The following research questions guided this qualitative case study of an Iowa school district:

1. What do stakeholders currently know about the proficiency requirements of No Child Left Behind?

2. How successful do stakeholders perceive their high school to be in regards to meeting the proficiency requirements of No Child Left Behind?

3. What impact have stakeholders perceived the proficiency requirements of No Child Left Behind in math, science, and reading to have had on the comprehensive high school?

In order to fully understand the impact the proficiency requirements of NCLB have had on the comprehensive high school in Pullman, Iowa, the researcher learned about the community and the high school through semi-structured interviews with fifteen stakeholders.

The researcher was surprised to learn that, though this Iowa high school has been named a school in need of assistance (SINA) by the state of Iowa, stakeholders believed that NCLB has ultimately benefited Pullman High School. Despite disadvantages unique to few communities in Iowa, the stakeholders maintained what is described in this study as an "optimistic spirit" in their efforts to meet the proficiency requirements ofNCLB. They acknowledged that NCLB had ultimately required Pullman High School to improve instructional practices.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

David Else


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 156 pages)



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