Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Rose M. McNeese

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Wanda S. Maulding

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Tammy Greer

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

David E. Lee

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


School reform seems to be the answer to redeeming the US public school system, but as observed by Slavin (1989) the cycle of reform has been for schools to jump from one prescriptive fad to another without any real congealing of ideas. Plagued by earlier installments of school reform programs reading instructional practice has resembled a mass of ideas that differ greatly in varying theoretical approaches.

The NCLB Act of 2000 came under widespread criticism which has lately been revised under President Obama's initiative Blue Print for Reform. Over the years, the validity of NCLB measures have been doubted and questioned. Many are concerned that school sores are being influenced by outliers that are beyond a school's control.

Each year and more so significant tax dollars are spent on comprehensive school reform, on the average $72,000 - $90,000 per year for a minimum of three years. It is therefore necessary to closely examine the effectiveness of school reform programs particularly the America’s Choice program, on increasing student achievement outcomes.

This study compared the reading growth scores in Comprehension and Vocabulary of schools that participated in the America’s Choice program versus the reading growth scores of schools that do not participate in the America’s Choice program in the last seven years. In addition, the study explored the relationship between teacher's perceptions of autonomy in instructional practice in relation to teaching conditions.

This study was a quantitative study with quasi-experimental methods and a mixed model ANOVA design. The populations of the schools used in this study were determined by enrollment demographics by other subgroups such as Students with Disabilities, Eligibility for Free and Reduced Lunch, Limited English Proficiency and Migrant status.

The analysis of the ITBS scores results of this study show that schools that utilized the America’s Choice (AC) program repeatedly scored significantly lower than the schools that did not utilize the program in every dimension. In the analysis to determine if there is a direct relationship between teaching conditions and teacher perceptions of autonomy, it was indicated that there was no significant relationship.