Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Cathy C. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert E. Millward, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Joseph F. Marcoline, D.Ed.


The signing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 has created “potholes" for elementary school administrators as they seek to make Adequate Yearly Progress on the Pennsylvania School System Assessment (PSSA). This study includes three rural Pennsylvania elementary school administrators implementing the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine what accounts for the success of these rural school administrators who have limited resources. This study sought to understand the factors that contributed to or challenged the implementation of the mandated legislation. The beliefs and interview dialogue of the administrators and teachers provided information to determine “why” the rural schools made continual Adequate Yearly Progress and what accounted for the success of student achievement on the PSSA test. The research study concluded that organizational change and individual leadership change were the key ingredients for increased student success in a balanced literacy program. The administrators were creative in making system changes and became transformational leaders in their buildings. The research concluded a gap exists at the secondary level and further study at that level is advised.