Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shaw, Carla C.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Elementary schools--Rating of--Illinois--Case studies


The purpose of this case study is to contribute to an understanding of the process by which a particular school, Byrd Elementary (a pseudonym), attempted to improve its state testing outcomes after being placed on the academic early warning list in 2001 and to meet the challenge of No Child Left Behind. This study explored historical data, teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions, decisions that stemmed from staff development and the comprehensive school reform model, and outcomes for an at-risk school placed on the state warning list. According to the 2001 school report card, Byrd Elementary, like many of the schools under state censure, had a large number of students identified as low-income (>60%) and as ethnic minorities (>75%). Socioeconomic status is considered the most significant factor in determining academic success. How then do years of failure and the hurdle of low socioeconomic status for the majority of the school’s students impact the perceptions of the teachers and administrators regarding the school’s ability to ensure that no child is left behind? For 18 years, Byrd Elementary has had one of the highest number of students identified as low-income in the district, even when low-income students made up 35% of the student population in the 1987-1988 school year. In 18 years, the percentage of low-income students has increased from 35% to 87%, and standardized test scores have decreased from 65% of students meeting or exceeding standards for reading at grade three to 33%. The school, once predominantly White (69%), currently has less than 12% of the student population identified as White. Prior to AEWL, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards for reading decreased every year. Since being placed on AEWL the number of students meeting or exceeding standards for reading has increased three out of four years. Test results for 2005 indicate that 45% of students are meeting or exceeding state standards in reading. The last time the school had 45% or more of the students meeting or exceeding standards in grade three reading was in 1998 when less than 60% of the student population was identified as low-income.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [165]-171).


vii, 210 pages




Northern Illinois University

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