Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Since 2011, 45% of high school seniors have not been graduating from a rural central Georgia high school, with the majority of them failing U.S. History. As of 2013, only 32% of seniors in Georgia passed U.S. History, which is a core course. Although the local school board mandates that U.S. History teachers use Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to improve passing rates, the low proficiency rates for U.S. History suggest that a gap in practice exists, thus indicating the need for further research. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore U.S. History teachers' experiences with and perceptions of Georgia's Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the teaching of U.S. History. This study was guided by the Biggs model of constructive alignment, which advocates that there should be coherence among assessments, teaching strategies, and intended learning outcomes in an educational program. Four U.S. History teachers were conveniently sampled and served as participants. Individual, in-depth interviews were conducted, and the interview data were transcribed, open coded, and thematically analyzed. The findings, which are limited to this study site, revealed that the teachers perceived a misalignment between their curriculum, instruction, and assessments and the CCSS. This research promotes positive social change for the local site by providing data to assist in the restructuring of the U.S. History curriculum, assessments, and instructional practices for proper alignment with Georgia's CCSS. It is expected that when there is proper curriculum alignment, teacher training, and an aligned assessment system, student performance in U.S. History will improve and the graduation rate in Georgia's high schools will increase.