Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Phil Pendley

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Kueng

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Foster

Fourth Advisor

Patricia Clark White


Since 2001 professionals have worked to assist alternative education and juvenile court schools in navigating accountability connected to the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, otherwise known as the No Child Left Behind Act. As alternative education programs struggle through the process of program improvement it seems as if there has to be a more accurate model to measure program effectiveness and student achievement in these settings. Under the current federal model, which is still aligned to the NCLB goals, a school could enter program improvement based on the proficiency of less than 15 students, out of the more than 250 which may enter and exit the program at any given time throughout the year. This study will provide criteria for accountability that may be used to determine educational policy for unique alternative education setting programs which include: community day schools, continuation education, county community schools, and juvenile court. The study will also add to the limited research available on accountability models that may appropriately and more accurately measure alternative program progress and effectiveness. As schools are asked to meet continually higher academic standards, alternative education programs are struggling to demonstrate effectiveness utilizing the same criteria expected of regular education settings. The timing of this study comes at a time when both state and federal education agencies are revising the accountability models by which all schools will be measured.