Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

David Gullatt


Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century (Carnegie, 1989) contained recommendations for improving middle level education. These recommendations included: (a) creating small communities for learning, (b) teaching a common knowledge core, (c) ensuring success for all students, (d) empowering teachers and administrators, (e) preparing teachers in middle grades, (f) improving academic performance through health and fitness, (g) re-engaging families in the education of adolescents, and (h) connecting schools with communities.

The objectives of this study were to determine, according to middle school principals, the extent to which the Carnegie recommendations have been implemented in the public schools of Louisiana that serve students in grades six, seven, and eight. The study also sought to determine if the perceived level of implementation has a positive effect on student achievement as reported by Seghers (1995).

Principals of 139 public middle level schools in Louisiana responded to the Middle Level Practices Questionnaire. Statistical analyses utilizing Analysis of Variance revealed significant differences in the perceived level of implementation of Carnegie's recommendations by grade configuration in the Health Promotion subscale and by school setting in the Governance and Decision-Making and Safety and Resources subscales. There were no significant differences by socioeconomic status.

Stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated significant relationships between Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Louisiana Educational Assessment Program index scores and the perceived level of implementation of the Carnegie recommendations in the Ability Grouping subscale. There were no significant relationships between student attendance and suspensions and the perceived level of implementation. A significant relationship between Governance and Decision-Making and student expulsions existed. A significant negative relationship existed between Health Promotion and teacher turnover.

Conclusions. (a) Louisiana middle level schools have not fully implemented Carnegie recommendations; (b) school demographics do not make an overall significant difference in the perceived level of implementation; and (c) the implementation of selected components contributes to school and student success.

Recommendations. (a) determining the most effective methods of staff development concerning implementation of the Carnegie recommendations; (b) comparing the level of implementation and student and school outcomes in states that have specialized middle level certification and those that do not; and (c) replicating this study utilizing a different survey instrument.