Second order, equity and access to excellence, access to excellence, superintendent, school leadership, district leadership, school district


The purpose of this mixed-method, descriptive study was to determine the teachers' perceptions who were employed in the target school district from 2003 to 2011, regarding school district second-order change leadership decisions, events, and challenges, and the extent to which equity and access to excellence for all students were achieved. Also investigated was the relationship, if any, that existed in achieving equity and access to excellence based on school district second-order change leadership from 2003 to 2011. Teacher perception data were analyzed from a survey presented to teachers in over 16 schools who had been consecutively employed in the target school district from 2003 to 2011. The findings of this research suggest that teachers' perceptions of specific school district leadership decisions, events, and challenges contributed to improving opportunities for students who historically were not provided equitable opportunities for academic achievement and post high school career advancement. Beginning in 2003, the target school district underwent a leadership transition period in which a new superintendent established history-making goals and objectives for the school district. The findings suggest that based on teachers' perceptions, school district efforts provided for greater access to technology, high quality instruction, specific programs of study such as the implementation of magnet programs, and college preparation courses. The greater access provided the opportunity for equity and access to excellence for all students, especially those who historically lacked access and investment with respect to their demographics (race, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity). There were limitations iv to this study. Objectivity may be questioned since the participants were employees of the school district. It was assumed that participants in the study responded accurately and honestly to the questions asked in the interviews and survey. Future research is recommended that would include a larger and more diverse sample. Further recommendations include separate studies to examine the differences between student achievement as a result of school district leadership efforts to attain access to equity and excellence based on college readiness assessment exam scores such as the SAT and/or the ACT, and college or technical school entrance and completion, with regard to student subgroups such as race, ethnicity, and family income.

Graduation Date





Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Executive








Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic