Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James LaSpina


In recent years, states in the United States have developed assessment testing to help ensure that schools meet academic standards. This study investigated an educational problem of low student academic achievement and low scores on a state test in a middle school in the southeastern United States. It specifically queried whether expectations for student achievement had a positive influence on students' academic success. The research questions were designed to investigate parents, teachers, and administrators' expectations for the academic achievement of students. The conceptual framework guiding this study used the ecological model of human development, which postulates that personal development is influenced by proximal processes. Key findings focused on expectations, academic performance, and ways to help students meet academic standards. This information was used to create a parent-teacher professional development seminar, which presented strategies to urge academic achievement and encourage student engagement with content. The seminar also provided parents and teachers with information about the impact that their expectations may have on students. Recommendations for improvement include careful review of current critical inquiry strategies that are used to increase student engagement and academic achievement. Implications for social change include using the professional development project and other appropriate opportunities with parents and educators to inform them about the importance of their role and the expectations they have for student academic achievement.

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