Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Megan Tschannen-Moran

Committee Member

Leslie Grant

Committee Member

James H Stronge


The primary purpose of this case study was to examine the dynamics and dimensions of trust as perceived by teachers, parents, and students in an urban middle school that experienced school reconstitution as a result of failing to meet adequate yearly progress as required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Research has documented that the quality of relationships within urban schools influences student achievement. Schools with higher levels of trust are also more likely to meet school reform initiatives. an additional aim of this study was to add to the research base on school reconstitution. Data were collected in this study by surveys, student achievement data and interviews. Climate surveys were used in this study to measure the perceptions of student, parent, and faculty trust at the school. School level achievement data in math and reading were used in this study to compare the range of results before and after the school reconstitution. Lastly, interviews were conducted in this study with six teachers, three parents, and three students, to understand how the school reconstitution may have impacted trust relationships at the school. Interviews were also used in this study to understand what actions taken by the principal were perceived by faculty to cultivate or damage trust relationships at the school. This study draws five major conclusions from the data: (1) the trust level was above the standardized mean score for student trust in teachers, and below the mean for parent trust in teachers, and teacher trust in students and parents, (2) the school did not meet the state proficiency target the three years following reconstitution for any reporting group, but did show slight growth in reading and math, (3) teacher trust in students and parents, and parent and student trust in teachers was perceived to improve primarily by the trust facet of benevolence, (4) The primary leadership actions perceived by teachers to cultivate trust in the leader were associated with the facets of benevolence, openness, and competence, and (5) the reconstitution initiatives were perceived by teachers to strengthen the trust relationships at the school. These results suggest that fostering trusting relationships between teachers and students, and teachers and parents improves school culture and are important initial steps to take towards reform. However in this study, reconstitution and improved relationships between the school and constituents did not lead to substantive increases in student achievement.



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