Cohen, Michael

Committee Member

Cieminski, Amie

Committee Member

Pierce, Corey

Committee Member

Larkins, Randy


College of Education and Behavior Sciences; School of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



216 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


An education system where every student is successful has been a primary goal for the United States. Increasing student achievement for student populations identified as at risk for not meeting educational goals is imperative for students, school leaders and educators, policymakers, businesses, and taxpayers across the nation. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study was to explore and describe practices and actions used by educational leaders in two successful high-poverty Title I schools who influenced sustained achievement. Three themes were identified in each school through thematic analysis of interviews, observations, and documents. For one school, the three themes were (a) a high-quality team, (b) practices to maximize learning, and (c) a caring culture. For the second school, the three themes were (a) systems for learning, (b) functioning as a team, and (c) a student-focused staff. The findings indicated that leaders utilized systems to influence sustained achievement that was corroborated in educational leadership literature. This study extended research on Title I schools by specifically looking at leader practices and actions in high-poverty public elementary schools that sustained achievement beyond two consecutive years in Colorado. The results of this study may provide educational leaders and policymakers with insights on leaders’ use of systems: instructional leadership, a caring culture focused on students, and increasing student learning.

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Copyright is held by the author.