Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Timothy B. Jones

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Leah Wickersham-Fish

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Bruce Scott



This explanatory case study illustrates how some Pennsylvania Schoolwide Title 1 elementary schools are thriving on state assessments while others are unable to achieve this success. The study was limited to this population of elementary schools to focus on how and why some schools with high percentages of students who receive free and reduced lunch are achieving excellent student achievement. First, the differences between Schoolwide Title 1 schools’ achievement on the Pennsylvania state assessments were categorized. Then Schoolwide Title 1 elementary schools with the highest percentages of students with low socioeconomic status (SES), who still achieved proficient school performance profiles were recorded. Finally, interviews were conducted with the building principals of these elementary schools to determine the impact between the school’s multi-tiered system of support framework, the leadership of the building principal, and the successful achievement. The findings indicate there are very few Schoolwide Title 1 elementary schools with over 70% of students receiving free or reduced lunch achieving high levels of proficiency. Those buildings who are achieving proficient results share a strong focus on core instruction, intense targeted small group instruction, robust use of data to drive instruction, and fidelity to an MTSS framework for literacy, math, and behavior. The findings also indicate the building principal shares qualities of transformational leadership, specifically building relationships with staff, students, and families; implementing and communicating a shared vision and goals derived from a deep knowledge of the standards at each grade level; the use of data to drive instruction and the instructional practices needed for students to be successful.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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