All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

William Rogan

Advisory Committee Members

Gypsy Abbott

Martha Barber

Loucrecia Collins

David Dagley

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the principals’ perceptions of instruc-tional practices that contributed to schools remaining academically clear or being placed on academic alert, caution, or clear. A review of the literature revealed that no empirical study had been conducted that focused on factors in school’s culture, curriculum, and personnel that would make school improvement a continuing process rather than a one-time event. There is a great deal of commentary among educational professionals con-cerning accountability. There is wide agreement that accountability drives instructions. The design of the study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The pri-mary method of analysis was qualitative. In the quantitative measures, data were obtained through schools’ reports of students’ average daily attendance, suspensions, free and re-duced-rate lunches, enrollment, academic performance on the Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition, faculty and staff, highest college degrees held by teachers, and the Alabama Direct Writing assessment. The data were used to select schools that have simi-lar demographics. The qualitative measure used interviews to obtain the perceptions of principals regarding implementations practices that occurred in his or her school. Data analyses in the qualitative measure were conducted using content analysis with emergent categories. Categories that emerged were (a) team planning, (b) job-embedded profes- ii sional development , (c) the impact of Alabama Reading Initiative, and (d) personal role of the instructional leaders. Data analyses revealed that there were no significant differences in the implemen-tation of instructional practices in the four targeted schools categorized as academic alert or caution when compared to the four targeted school categorized as clear. The differ-ences showed in the participation of the amount of job-embedded professional develop-ment activities that the teachers and the principal played a key role in the success of stu-dent learning and school improvement.

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