Identifier

etd-04092009-003951

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This study sought to identify major school improvement reform programs and initiatives in Louisiana during the period of 1997 to 2005. The criteria used to identify each program included: state funding that averaged at least $2 million per year in state funds; programs that affected teachers and students for school improvement purposes; and, programs that remained in place for at least two school years. The study ultimately yielded nine initiatives that met each of the above listed criteria. Some, but not all, were the result of the School and District Accountability Commission, which was established by Act 478, the 1997 Louisiana School and District Accountability Act. These initiatives in alphabetical order are Community Based Tutorial Program; Distinguished Educators; K-3 Reading and Math Initiative; Louisiana Teacher Assessment & Assistance Program; Learning Intensive Networking Communities for Success; Local Teacher Quality; Regional Education Service Centers; Remediation; and, State Testing/ Accountability. The present study was conducted in three phases. Phase One consisted of a document search and identification. Results of the document analysis provided a foundation for Phase Two. Using content analysis (Krippendorff, 2004), the text of laws passed by the state legislature, policies created by BESE, and documents published by the LDE were examined to determine the intent, goals, longevity, and sources and levels of funding of the various mandated school improvement initiatives. In Phase Three, semi-structured interviews were conducted with former personnel and officials of the LDE, which added depth to the findings from the document analysis and were used for triangulation purposes. As mentioned, the results of the content analysis conducted in Phase Two were used to frame the interview protocol used in Phase Three. Data from the document analysis and the interviews revealed three issues relevant to the state’s policymaking efforts in the school improvement arena: conflicts with stakeholders erupted over turf; program instability stymied effects; and, the lack of a shared mission also impacted effects. This study offers several recommendations to policy makers in Louisiana addressing these issues and concludes with recommendations for future research.

Date

2009

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dianne Taylor

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