Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

David E. Gullatt


The purpose of this study was to examine the degree of academic growth of Academically Unacceptable schools in Louisiana which have been assigned a Distinguished Educator. Distinguished Educators are external change agents who are placed in Academically Unacceptable schools in Louisiana. The data were generated from the Louisiana Department of Education. The study investigated if English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics scores significantly increased in schools which were assigned a Distinguished Educator. School Performance Scores for third, fourth, and fifth grades were examined to determine growth, as well. The ex post factodesign study consisted of different school configurations which included 139 Academically Unacceptable schools which housed third and fifth-grade classes and 149 Academically Unacceptable schools which housed fourth-grade classes. These schools are located throughout the State of Louisiana.

This research design used a Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient to examine if there was a significant relationship in scaled scores for ELA and mathematics and School Performance Scores between schools that were assigned a Distinguished Educator and schools which were not assigned a Distinguished Educator. This study also used a 2 X 3 factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) to investigate the mean differences for LEAP and iLEAP ELA and mathematics variables. Results showed that there was neither an interaction, nor a main effect of either dependent variable, which were the fourth-grade LEAP, the third and fifth-grade iLEAP, ELA and mathematics scaled scores, or the school performance scores.

The analysis of fourth-grade data revealed a significant relationship between Distinguished Educator assignment and school year. Schools with Distinguished Educator assignments outperformed the other schools on the LEAP ELA and mathematics assessments across years by roughly half of a standard deviation in both LEAP assessments. Based on the analysis of the results, the amount of gain was not significant for ELA, mathematics or scaled scores for third, fourth, or fifth grades.

There was no statistically significant relationship between the level of school improvement in Academically Unacceptable schools and the assistance provided by the Distinguished Educator. There was no significant level of growth in scaled scores for English Language Arts and mathematics in schools which are assigned a Distinguished Educator and schools which have not been assigned a Distinguished Educator. However, for the fourth-grade sample, it was concluded that there was an interaction between LEAP ELA, LEAP mathematics, and SPS by year.