Lynn V. Lysko

Date of Conferral


Date of Award



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Pamela Harrison


In a large, urban, high school district, secondary English-learning students are not achieving at the same rates as other identified subgroups on state and local standardized tests. This gap compounds economic and social inequities in the region. A solution to the problem is important to educators and policy makers in providing an equitable education for all students. Using the conceptual framework of organizational culture, this qualitative project study explored the district's policies and practices on the academic program for English learners and whether policies result in meeting academic needs of English-learning students at the secondary level. One-on-one interviews with district personnel, observations in classrooms, and documents were analyzed using interpretive policy analysis. Three goals drove the data collection: (a) identify inconsistent or conflicting district policies; (b) identify the impact of district policies on diverse groups; and (c) determine a foundation for district administration to write policy. While no inconsistent or conflicting policies were identified, the evidence suggested the need for clear, frequent communication between the different policy actors and professional development for administrators and teachers in schools to create successful academic systems for English learners. Implications for positive social change are that these students will achieve greater academic success and be less likely to drop out of school.