Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Glenn R. Penny


After implementing the Common Core Standards in 2012, local school districts faced additional costs in their annual budgets to train staff how to teach using these standards. One of the problems that faced the school district under study was whether to retain the Common Core Standards and to continue to fund the expense of training teachers . The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of the Common Core Standards on student achievement in a local Pennsylvania school district using scores from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) for Grades 3 through 8. The research question addressed whether there were differences in the students' learning as measured by the PSSAs for the years before and after implementation of the Common Core Standards. The theoretical framework of the study was based on Piaget's constructivist theory of knowing, which explains how students know what they have learned in the active process of learning. A causal-comparative design was used for this study with extant test data drawn from 2 years before and 2 years after implementation. The total sample size was 27,605. A MANOVA was used for all grades' scale and raw scores to discern if a main effect could detect student achievement measured after the implementation of the Common Core Standards was lower than that reported before implementation and the standards had a mixed influence on student learning. This study has an implication for positive change. If educators have a better understanding of the effect of the Common Core Standards on student learning than they would be able to justify additional training.