Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Thomas Alsbury

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Bill Prenevost

Third Advisor/Committee Member

John Bond


School Board, Governance, Student Achievement


Research examining the relationship between school boards and student achievement continues to expand. Many studies have focused on the influence of school board attitudes and beliefs concerning governance. These studies have demonstrated statistical differences between reported attitudes of high achieving school districts and low achieving school districts. This study focuses on the relationship between the school board and superintendent. It specifically addresses whether aligned responses to a governance survey demonstrate a statistical relationship with student achievement.

The study relied upon ex-post facto data available through the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA). WSSDA has collected survey data since 2011 using the Board Self-Assessment Survey (BSAS). Phase one of the study identified a sample of school board and superintendent teams meeting pre-determined criterion. Identified teams were then determined to be “aligned” or “unaligned” based on the school board composite BSAS responses compared to the superintendent mean responses. Phase two of the study statistically analyzed aligned and unaligned school board and superintendent teams with corresponding district-level student achievement data. Washington state reading and writing high school proficiency exam (HSPE) as well as the year 1 end of course (EOC) mathematics exam data from 2014 represented student achievement.

Keywords: School board, superintendent, governance, student achievement, alignment

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