Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Vincent A. Anfara

Committee Members

Pam Angelle, Cheryl Kershaw, Gerald Ubben


p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

Due to accountability measures put in place by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many schools identified as failing by the legislation are implementing reform efforts. This qualitative case study examined the initiatives one school put in place in order to remove themselves from the NCLB list of failing schools. Additionally, this case study sought to discover evidence of the components of capacity building in one elementary school, Cottonwood Elementary in East Tennessee. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the five components of capacity building as defined by Newman, King, and Youngs (2000). The five components defined by the authors are: teacher knowledge, skills, and dispositions; program coherence; professional community; technical resources; and leadership. Data were collected using interviews, observations and documents. The findings related to the first research question posed in this study were examined through four initiatives created by the administration in an attempt to remove the school from the NCLB list. The administrative team and faculty at Cottonwood Elementary chose to focus on: behavior and the structure of the building, attendance, literacy through professional development, and on data and accountability. Additionally, evidence of each component of capacity building as defined by Newman et al. (2000) can be found at Cottonwood Elementary. After the data were analyzed an additional component of capacity building, internal accountability as defined by Elmore (2007) was found to exist.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."