Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The study was instituted to determine the curricular requirements and offerings in the secondary schools in the state of Iowa as perceived and documented by the district superintendents. Specifically, the study sought to determine what graduation requirements change has occurred since the 1982-1983 academic year and to gather information concerning the curriculum processes, goals, and status of specified curricular areas listed in Iowa HF 686;The descriptive method of research using a questionnaire was used to gather data. Questionnaires were mailed to 225 public school district superintendents selected using a stratified random sampling procedure from the population of 436 school districts. One hundred seventy-nine questionnaires were returned representing 79 percent of the sample with an evenly distributed response from each of the three sizes of districts;Despite the lack of stated-mandated graduation requirements, the findings indicated that graduation requirements had been changed in 67 percent of the districts surveyed with a general increase in requirements in academic areas and in total semester credits. No significant difference was found in the change of total semester credits when districts were grouped by any of the following variables: student population, student achievement, population density, or assessed valuation per student. Science requirements and required subjects--both increases--received more change in the large urban districts than in the small rural districts although rural districts still required more semester credits for graduation. A significant difference in required subject areas appeared with rural districts requiring more credits in English/language arts, science, mathematics, and computer education;Superintendents reported that assessment of need by administration was the motivation for increasing graduation requirements. The principal emerged as the overall instructional leader of the district although individual teachers and curriculum committees were shown as determining subject and content matter of the curriculum. Superintendents had leadership roles in budget, school district goals, and communication. The board of education was not seen as having much impact on curriculum, and the study gave little indication of influence on curriculum by parents, students, and community patrons.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

B. Leora Davis Schuelka



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

169 pages