Zaleski, Karen J., Ann Allwarden, Phillip John Potenziano, and Sujan Talukdar White. “Opportunity to Learn”. EdD, Boston College, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3785.
A number of scholars are examining factors hindering student performance. Scholars suggest that understanding these factors is critical knowledge for leaders to cultivate as they work to address elements within their school or district that need to change if student learning is to improve. What is often overlooked in the literature is how educators understand the achievement gap and the impact this understanding has on the learning environment. Exploring how district- and school-level leaders understand disparities in student performance and how these understandings then influence the work of leadership may offer insight into factors hindering student performance. The study was conducted in a small, diverse urban district designated by the state as low performing based on state indicators. Many scholars have explored interactions among leaders as a factor hindering student performance. These researchers indicate the significance of the role that interactions between district- and school-level leaders play in school improvement efforts. Although this is a central focus area in the literature, there is limited scholarship on how those interactions specifically impact leaders' understanding of barriers to students' opportunity to learn. Therefore, analyzing these relations may result in an increased awareness of their impact on the learning environment. This single case study uses document reviews and interview data to analyze leader relations and practice. Findings reveal interactions among leaders resulted in an understanding of barriers in the learning environment; lack of trust hindered some relations but despite this, all leaders engaged in tasks intended to enhance student learning.