Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In 2007, the state of Georgia answered the call of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 with training that introduced differentiation instruction in the classroom. However, to date, few studies have investigated whether differentiated instruction in Georgia high school classrooms are associated with student success. The purpose of this quantitative study was to fill this gap in the literature by determining whether a significant relationship existed between levels of differentiated instruction and 11th-grade student scores on the standardized End-of-Course Tests (EOCTs) in a Georgia high school. The modern concept of differentiated instruction to improve pedagogy and erudition constituted the theoretical foundation for this study. The purposeful sample for the study included 15 teachers and 323 EOCT scores. Classroom differentiated instruction was assessed using 3 months of archival data from the Georgia Teacher Assessment Performance Standards (TAPS) rubric, such that each teacher received a differentiated instruction score based on each classroom of students (independent variable). Student success on standardized tests was operationalized as 11th-grade student scores in each classroom on the EOCT (dependent variable). Teacher TAPS scores and corresponding student EOCT scores were high, but due to a lack of variability in the data, a significant positive relationship could not be shown. Teachers indicated positive attitudes toward differentiated instruction in the classroom and reported that areas of need for implementing differentiated instruction were resources and administrator support. The implications for positive social change include the potential to create stronger support systems (consisting of educators, students, parents, administrators, and the community) for differentiated education, in order to enhance student academic achievement.