This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Administrators' Perceptions of the Impact of No Child Left Behind Compliance on High Poverty, Rural School Systems




Ashmon, Rosa

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Since the publication of a Nation at Risk in 1983, public schools have been through many waves of reform claiming that the enhancement of educational quality provided for all students in public schools was the major goal. The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly called The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), was national legislation aimed at correcting the educational gap among children of poverty and color. NCLB continues the ESEA emphasis of holding all students to the same academic standards and expands the role of the federal government in public education The NCLB Act was controversial in many circles, with some claiming that it did not address the goals it was created to correct (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003; Sunderman, Tracey, Kim, & Orfield, 2004). “The Black Belt is still home to persistent poverty, poor employment, low incomes, low education, poor health, high infant mortality, and dependence” (Wimberley & Morris, 1997, p. iii).The public school systems of the Black Belt region of Alabama are largely high poverty and majority minority. This study addresses the perceptions of central office and school site administrators in school systems of Alabama‘s Black Belt region related to activities undertaken by the school systems as part of their NCLB quality personnel compliance efforts. Specifically, the researcher seeks to determine whether public school systems‘ administrators perceived efforts to comply with NCLB highly qualified teacher and high quality professional development more a benefit to the participating school systems or a challenge to be addressed by the school systems. The researcher developed No Child Left Behind Survey of Compliance Trends was used to gather data about recruitment and professional development from participating school systems. Survey data indicated areas of recruitment and staffing difficulty; efforts undertaken to recruit, retain, and provide professional development for teachers; and perceptions of the impact of NCLB compliance on school culture in these districts.