Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Educational Administration

Department

Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Belinda Cambre

Second Advisor

Patricia Austin

Third Advisor

Tammie Causey-Konate

Fourth Advisor

Ann O'Hanlon

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the experiences of Louisiana’s Ensuring Literacy For All (ELFA) initiative from the perspective of

educational administrators in order to identify: (a) the factors within ELFA that contributed to student reading performance; (b) the effects of the perceptions of ELFA administrators on student achievement; and (c) the components of effective leadership that attributed to the success of ELFA implementation. Bandura‘s (1993) socio-psychological theory of self efficacy was used to frame this study, which included six ELFA administrators from the state, district, and school level. The five findings of this study revealed the following: (1) high quality job-embedded professional development strengthened teachers’ capacity to achieve a shared purpose; (2) efficacious ELFA leaders believed that they could alter their school culture and increase student achievement, despite having a low performing student population; (3) the gradual elimination of funds detrimentally impacted all levels of governance and created a snowball effect that ultimately decreased student achievement; (4) the urgency to help students read on grade level ignited a willingness for ELFA educators to trust each other; and (5) the standardization of practices resulted in a common language that ELFA leaders used to produce results, ensure compliance, and build teacher capacity. This study revealed that ELFA leaders believed that they could overcome challenges such as having a low performing student population and obstacles such as shortage of funding and low parental involvement. The ELFA leaders’ self efficacy beliefs directly impacted their actions and behaviors as well as those under their supervision.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.