Todd Dishong

Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Joseph F. Marcoline, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Robert E. Millward, D.Ed.


Schools across America are faced with implementing new English Language Arts Standards due to the new standards reform movement that has swept across the nation with a current 42 state adoption rate. New standards often equate to new curriculum and instructional practices that are allegedly effective if the programs and practices are adhered to with fidelity. The purpose of this study was to examine a National Blue Ribbon elementary school recipient that has demonstrated consistent academic excellence and how it negotiated curriculum and instructional practice changes due to the new ELA Standards. Research findings from classroom teachers, support teachers, and administrators suggest that while some changes occurred in how they taught reading due to the increased rigor, their views and philosophies of reading did not. The findings also suggest that while curriculum, instruction, and professional development matter in education, it is the climate, culture, and relationships in working through a Professional Learning Community framework that supports them in achieving academic excellence.