Date of Award

Winter 10-11-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Philip Pendley, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Alan Enomoto, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Beverly Eidmann, Ed.D


Purpose: The purpose of this Delphi study was to have rural school superintendents whose districts have shown academic improvement as measured by the California School Dashboard identify the actions they have taken to improve academic achievement for English learners. In addition, it was the purpose to rate the effectiveness of the identified actions, and to describe the best methods for implementing the five most effective actions identified from the ratings. Methodology: This study employed a Delphi method, comprising three rounds to collect data. In Round 1, participants were asked to identify what actions they have taken to increase academic outcomes for English learners. In Round 2, the identified actions were positioned in a Likert scale survey, and participants were asked to rate the effectiveness of each action. In Round 3, participants were asked to describe the best methods of implementing the five most effective actions. Findings: Participants identified 32 actions to increase achievement for English learners. The actions were then rated and ranked. The top five rated actions are: (1) purposeful and deliberate use of English learner data for analysis, goal-setting, and progress monitoring; (2) implement site-based coaching support for teachers; including lesson studies; (3) establish vertically articulated English language development professional development; (4) implement a language acquisition instructional model (such as GLAD); (5) set explicit and specific expectations regarding delivery of integrated English vi language development instruction. Participants recommended 23 methods for implementing the top five actions. Conclusions: The study had two major conclusions. First, districts must establish a culture of data discovery and data-driven instruction for goal-setting, monitoring of goals and actions, and informed decision-making. Second, districts should prioritize the hiring of instructional coaches with a strong understanding of English language development to support English learner programs and staff professional development. Recommendations for Action: Based on the findings from this study, five recommendations for future research are provided to advance the collective knowledge regarding increasing outcomes for English learners in rural school districts.