School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Karen Parker

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration


School Culture, School Improvement, Teacher Perception


The purpose of this study was to analyze teacher perceptions as they relate to practices considered critical to success within low socioeconomic middle schools. Teacher perceptions from four schools with similar demographics were included, and survey research was utilized in this quantitative study. The general question addressed in this study was: To what extent is there a difference when comparing teacher perceptions in a school that has been identified as a "needs improvement" school to the teacher perceptions in a school that has been identified as a "successful" school? Analyses showed a significant statistical difference in five of the seven areas based on the response of the teachers. The five areas that appeared to be more prevalent in the successful schools were: Curriculum, assessment, and instruction; planning and organization; student, family, and community support; collaboration; and leadership. Teacher perceptions from the two groups in the areas of resources and professional development were not statistically significant. Comments gleaned from the survey revealed a critical attitude from the teachers of the two schools that had yet to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress. The two schools that achieved Adequate Yearly Progress shared comments that were positive in nature.