Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Richard P. Manatt


The purpose of the study was threefold. It described a vertical leadership team training project for the effective schools program, defined the combination of the training components needed to facilitate rapid school change via vertical leadership teams, and determined the status of school effectiveness across the state of Iowa. This effective schools study targeted rural, small, poor schools rather than the usual big city, inner city, poor, minority effective schools study. A review of school improvement literature from Coleman (1966) to Calwelti (1994) as well as the continuing decline in achievement of American students when compared to other industrialized nations provided the conceptual framework for the study;The study illustrated cooperative planning, shared decision making, school-based planning, site-based management and collaborative groups in addition to program design and field training. It involved 18 school districts of the Green Valley Area Education Agency 14, and the Iowa State University, College of Education, "Partners for Quality Schools." Three instruments were used in the study, the first as a needs assessment, the second as a training assessment, and the third as a statewide, status assessment of vertical leadership team training and the effective school correlates;The study found that the combination of cadre training, vertical teams and the effective school correlates have a positive impact on school improvement efforts. It identified what to teach in vertical leadership team training and how it can be done in one year. It was economically feasible and overcame the gridlock of collective bargaining and union concerns. However, the study did not use broad-based community involvement, nor student achievement data. The program has continued since the 1991 training, and is expanding and growing annually to meet the school improvement needs of the individual school districts.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Irene McKinney



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

243 pages