Date on Capstone


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed. D.

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development

Committee Chair

Carpenter, Bradley

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Haselton, Blake

Committee Member

Munoz, Marco

Committee Member

Petrosko, Jospeh


This capstone investigated the impact of the transformation and turnaround intervention models and leadership perception on the achievement of students attending Kentucky’s 19 Cohort I and II persistently low-achieving high schools. In the first study, repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to show the effect of the chosen model on academic achievement of students with test scores obtained during 3 years of model implementation. The analysis indicated both the transformation and turnaround model produced significant increases in student test scores over time, most notably in End-of-Course (EOC) U.S. History, EOC Biology, ACT Reading, and ACT Science. Additionally, between-subjects analyses of covariance were conducted to compare the academic achievement scores of students attending transformation high schools to the scores of students attending turnaround high schools across 3 years, while controlling for differences in socioeconomic status and percentage of minority students in the schools’ populations. Statistically significant differences were found on 2 EOC examinations: U.S. History and Biology. Both favored the turnaround model. The transformation model schools had higher scores on the ACT test areas of reading, English, and science. In the 2nd study, 2 factorial multivariate analyses of variance were performed to investigate possible differences between the academic performances of students in schools using the transformation model and the turnaround model and possible differences between schools that were classified as having relatively high ratings for the effectiveness of school leaders versus schools that were relatively low in leadership ratings. Additionally, the combined effects of school model and leadership effectiveness were investigated. For students who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, the mean of EOC English test scores was higher for transformational model schools than turnaround schools. The ACT data yielded multiple significant findings. Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch at transformational model schools had higher means on all ACT tests: reading, English, math, and science. There was some evidence that ACT scores in reading generated by all students in the school were higher in transformational schools than turnaround schools. There was some evidence that ACT scores in reading and English were higher in schools with high leadership ratings than schools with low leadership ratings. As educational leaders across the country employ various models of school turnaround in an effort to improve the nation’s ever-growing number of failing schools, this capstone provides a timely and relevant exploration of model performance and leadership characteristics central to this work. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.