Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sarah Hough


This study examined the implementation of the State of Georgia's School Instructional Extension Program (SIEP) at one middle school in a rural school district. SIEP was adopted in this district in an effort to improve outcomes for students who demonstrate deficiencies in core-academic subjects. For the past 2 years, SIEP has been used at this study site to address low academic performance in the area of mathematics. However, to date, school leaders have not developed a system to evaluate the efficacy of the program. The purpose of this project study was to conduct a comprehensive program evaluation that addressed the program's strengths and weaknesses in terms of student achievement. Bandura's self-efficacy theory was used as a theoretical framework. The formative component of the evaluation used a concurrent, mixed-methods design to analyze data from program stakeholders through student surveys (n = 36), teacher surveys (n = 8), and a teacher focus group (n = 5). The summative component used 2 years' scores for the mathematics Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (GCRCT) to conduct 2-way ANOVAs that compared the SIEP students' mean gains scores to the mean gains score of low-performing students who qualified for SIEP but did not participate in the program. Summative findings indicated that the program did not significantly impact students' mathematics GCRCT gains scores. Moreover, formative data revealed suggestions for the program's insignificant impact including lack of teacher preparation time and program schedule time. Implications for positive social change that should follow program reform include: (a) improving student achievement in mathematics, (b) making evidence-based decisions regarding best practices for teachers, and (c) using data to implement effective academic programs.