Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Bjork


Recently, changes in graduation requirements in some states have made it more important than ever for students to be literate in all content areas. State assessments not only measure student academic ability, but they are a necessary component of graduation from high school. After completing required courses, students are expected to take assessments covering the content of those courses. In order to safely meet the graduation requirement, students must score at least 3 points per assessment on a 5-point scale. This has proven difficult for over 50% of students expecting to graduate.

Students at Midwestern-American High School (MAHS) have been struggling to achieve the required minimum scores on the state achievement assessments, as have many others in the region. A review of the report card data for MAHS reveals the area of greatest need (i.e. category of lowest performance) is in science. Research suggests a leading cause for these struggles is waning teacher efficacy and lack of ability to build capacity in staff members due to high mobility in teacher populations, especially in urban communities serving high-poverty and minority populations. For these reasons, it is necessary for leaders to have the skill to quickly build effective instructional teams.

During the 2017-2018 schools year, I utilized the Community of Practice (CoP) framework to establish entities that align closely with the criteria of CoPs. I used mixed methods research throughout the bounded period (August 2017 – May 2018) to conduct the proposed study. Data sources included: meeting agendas and minutes, participant interviews, survey results and reflections on the action by researcher and participants. I used the information gathered from this study to continue or modify the action and/or propose new strategies for the capacity building of staff.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)