Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Sernak, Kathy


Curriculum planning--United States; Eighth grade (Education); Interns (Education); School improvement programs--United States


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this study was to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of Whole School Reform on the delivery of instructional services to eighth graders using a community-based action research design. The study will result in a feasibility report to inform parents, teachers, students, administrators, and board members. The use of Whole School Reform for eighth graders is a means of providing them with creative learning processes while learning in an efficient manner.

This particular study was directed towards a small cluster of eighth grade students who attended the Cantrell Middle School as fifth graders. There was also a focus on fifth through eighth grade teachers. The Intern gathered opinions, knowledge, and experiences via a Likert scale survey as they related to Whole School Reform. The Intern wished to study the negative and/or positive aspects of Whole School Reform as to whether or not the student's skills have been addressed in Language Arts Literacy and Math. It was also important to study the academic records of the 2001-02 eighth graders in order to determine how their grades have been affected since the implementation of Whole School Reform. Additionally, the Intern focused on 39 randomly selected students for the academic grade evaluation. The results of the teacher survey and grade evaluation were recorded in a line graph and table respectively.

From the information the Intern gathered during this study, the Intern came to the conclusion that various problems existed within the Cantrell Middle School. There was a lack of teacher involvement in the development and implementation of the Whole School Reform model. Second, there was a lack of curriculum alignment to support the WSR model. Additionally, there was a lack of community involvement and professional development training to address student needs. Finally, there was a tremendous lack of leadership via school administration with the implementation of Whole School Reform.