Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Longstreet, Wilma; Casbergue, Renee

Second Advisor

Talmadge, Andrew

Third Advisor

Barnitz, John

Fourth Advisor

Barr, James E.


Charter schools allow educators freedom to design and execute innovative curriculum and instruction. The best of educational philosophy is constructive only when it transforms into practice. Today's federal assessment program creates a pressurized educational climate that demands educators respond with systematic improvement of test scores. The purpose of this study is to investigate teacher responses to the question "Why is your charter school leading the district in high stakes testing?" The Louisiana State Evaluation Team has determined that the three charter schools featured in this study have been consistently outperforming their respective districts, and the state, while competing favorably with the nation on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Qualitative rigor was used to code and classify teacher interviews according to the Seven Correlates of Effective Schools. Themes that could not be classified were assigned a site-specific "correlate of effective charter schooling."  These new correlates are: autonomy, esprit de corps, teacher dedication, teacher professionalism, and teacher leadership. The first school produced themes representing all Seven Effective School Correlates along with two new correlates: esprit de corps and teacher professionalism. The second and third schools produced all new themes represented by the "correlates of effective charter schooling."


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