Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Trombly

Second Committee Member

Dr. Nancy Anderson

Third Committee Member

Dr. Ellen Treadway

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


This study was developed to produce qualitative data about the cultures of two high-poverty, high-achieving elementary schools in Arkansas. The research was intended to contribute to the existing information regarding professional collaboration, collegiality, and self-determination/efficacy as related to student assessment data. The focus of this study was provided by a single research question: What features characterize the cultures of low socio-economic schools in Arkansas that enjoy high student achievement? The assessment data was collected and analyzed by reviewing the ACT Aspire scores of third, fourth, and fifth grade students as reported on the My School Info website. This information is drawn from the Arkansas Department of Education. The population of this study was comprised of licensed personnel employed at the two chosen schools in Arkansas. Based on the research findings, it was determined that both schools share similar cultural trends that have led to increased student achievement among high-poverty student populations.