Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Amy White


Despite the importance an urban school district places on data-driven decision-making (DDDM) to drive instruction, implementation continues to remain a challenge. The purpose of this study was to investigate how support systems affected the implementation of DDDM to drive instructional practices in three urban schools that recently transitioned from priority or focus to good standing on the State Accountability Report. The study aligned with the organizational supports conceptual framework with an emphasis on data accessibility, collection methods, reliability and validity, the use of coaches and data teams, professional development, and data-driven leaders. Through the collection of qualitative data from one-on-one interviews, the research questions asked about the perspectives on data culture and data driven instructional practices of three school leaders and nine teachers. The data were triangulated to generate a thematic illustration of content that was coded and analyzed to identify solid patterns and themes. Findings suggest that leaders create a data-driven school culture by establishing a school-wide vision, developing a DDDM cycle, creating a collaborative DDDM support system, communicating data as a school community, and changing the way technology is used in DDDM initiatives. Based on the findings, a project in the form of a white paper was developed, using research to support that when data is regularly used to hone student skills, a positive shift in overall teacher practices occurs. This shift provides the potential for positive social change when students have opportunities to attain academic goals, resulting in increased student achievement and higher graduation rates.