Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


United States. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; Elementary schools--United States--Evaluation--Case studies;


This study examined an elementary school, located in an urban school district, which was labeled as a Persistently Low-Achieving School (PLAS) by the federal government in 2009 in order to determine how the school planned to change leadership and staff; increase student achievement; and implement new approaches for changes in school climate.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of this school in the following areas:

1. Professional Practices of Teachers and Administrators: What impact did the PLAS label have on the professional practices of teachers and administrators in this building?

2. Curriculum and Academic Achievement: What impact did the PLAS label have on curriculum development in this school and plans for assessment of academic achievement?

3. Climate and Culture: What impact did the PLAS label have on approaches to student behavior, parent involvement, and cultural competence?

This study was a qualitative case study. The method used for this case study involved researcher inquiry of the qualifying grant plan, school leadership, and teachers. The researcher investigated the school's grant application including official plans for changes, transcripts of interviews with the administrators, and transcripts of interviews with teachers in order to research the steps the school is taking to raise student achievement. This study's information was significant because the elementary school researched was the first of two elementary schools in its state to be given the PLAS designation. Schools to be labeled in the future will be searching for models of plans and ideas for implementation that will allow them to make changes in staff, achievement, and climate in order to work towards accelerating their academic performance.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2006 Award

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jill Uhlenberg, Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Lynn E. Nielsen, Committee Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 180 pages)



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