Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Scott C. Mcleod


In 2006, a 9th-period program and an A, B, C, Incomplete grading policy were implemented as high school reform initiatives in a rural high school in the Midwest. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to determine how teachers interpreted the effect of the A, B, C, Incomplete grading policy and the 9th period reform initiatives at the school where the reform initiatives were implemented. Understanding the effects of the reform initiatives from the teachers' perspectives should help others develop and implement similar reform initiatives.

This study was guided by high school reform research and Pygmalion effect motivation theory. The process that was used within the school to implement the reform initiatives was participatory action research. Data were collected through interviews of teachers who were employed at the high school before and during the implementation of the reform initiatives. Other data collected included observations and document review.

Based on the interviews with the teachers, observations, and document review, it was determined that the A, B, C, Incomplete grading policy and 9th period reform initiatives did have an impact on student achievement and engagement. The five themes that evolved through a coding process were that the reform initiatives had an impact on student success, teacher expectations, and they changed teaching, student behavior, and improved relationships.


Copyright Owner

Kimberly K. Buryanek



Date Available


File Format


File Size

146 pages