Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Megan Tschannen-Moran


The purpose of this correlational study was to quantify the degree to which teachers believe their school adheres to professional learning community (PLC) practices and determine to what extent PLC practices are related to student achievement. The study also attempted to determine to what extent PLCs were related to African American students' achievement and closing the achievement gap.;Schools were the unit of analysis and participants were elementary school teachers from 25 schools in a large diverse school district located in the mid-Atlantic region. They were administered Hord's School Professional Staff as Learning Community survey to compute their school's "PLCness" (e.g. the degree to which the school engages in PLC practices). Students' average scale scores from the 2008--2009 Virginia Standards of Learning examination for grades 3--5 in Math and Reading were the measure of student achievement. Other variables included in the models were socio-economic status (SES) and attendance.;In this study, PLC practices were moderately correlated with all students' Reading achievement on the Standards of Learning examination. Shared Vision/Decision Making was moderately correlated with all students' and African-American students' Math and Reading achievement on the Standards of Learning examination. PLC accounted for 21% of the variance in all students' Reading achievement. PLC, SES, and attendance accounted for 54% of all students' variance in Math achievement in 59% of the variance in Reading achievement. SES was the only variable that made an independent contribution to explaining variance.



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