Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Kelli Reefer Paquette, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Monte Tidwell, Ph.D.


The year 2014 marked the deadline for school districts across the country to comply with the No Child Left Behind legislation. Yet, achievement gaps between Whites and Blacks, present during the year of implementation of the legislation, are still present today. While many interventions and school reforms have been launched since 2001, theoretical frameworks for closing racial achievement gaps have been lacking. This mixed-methods investigation of the Three-Student Project within professional development school settings was conducted to learn about culturally responsive practices perceived to have been used by participants, the impact of the Three-Student Project on student achievement and school culture, and the impact of the Three-Student Project on preparedness of student teachers to be culturally responsive practitioners. Findings suggest the Three-Student Project together with the many different culturally responsive practices present made a positive impact on school culture, student achievement, and student teachers' preparedness to become culturally responsive teachers. The achievement gap between African-Americans in the initial site and Whites statewide was closed in Mathematics and narrowed substantially in Reading. Implications of the context of implementation are discussed.