Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Frances O'Reilly

Commitee Members

John Matt, William McCaw, John Lundt, Donald Wattam


elementary, federal, mandates, NCLB, principal, teacher


University of Montana


With the advent of No Child Left behind in 2002, public education in the United States entered into a reform movement with mounting consequences and ramifications. This unprecedented federal in-road into public education became the umbrella regulator over programs, staff, budgets and students. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine to what extent NCLB had impacted educational leadership and classroom practices as educators have strived to serve their students and the federal mandates at the same time.

A request for participants went out over the internet to over 1000 elementary principals. Asking if they had been in the same assignment since 2002 and if they had been would they complete a survey and have five of their teachers who had been in the same assignment as well complete it. 123 principals responded and 95 of their teachers. The survey requested years in education, years their district had or had not made AYP, and a list of their top five professional priorities for 2002 when NCLB was signed. The survey asked further that they list their current top five professional priorities and state whether they had changed due to NCLB and if the change had had a positive or negative effect on student learning.

The responses were tallied and multiple comparisons were made between the two years. The study compared staff responses between those that had made AYP and those that hadn't. It also looked for the changes where respondents had said there was a negative impact on student learning. There were also understandable and surprising differences between teachers and principals.

Findings included time restraints due to the addition of the required components of NCLB. Educators are doing more, faster and with less autonomy. Their autonomy is limited by the limited amount of time and resources which are the leftovers once they get through the NCLB mandates. Even those responders whose districts met AYP a majority of the time had had to change their priorities to meet the requirements.



© Copyright 2011 Judith L. Gosnell-Lamb