Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roseann Humphrey, Ed.D.


teacher-related variables, New Jersey Focus Schools, New Jersey Priority Schools, Descriptive Study


This study describes the characteristics of schools and the teachers within a low-performing population of schools, the New Jersey Focus and Priority Schools. Additionally, a combination of school and teacher-related variables that distinguish between the New Jersey Priority and Focus Schools is identified. Drawing upon data collected from the New Jersey School Report Cards during the school years 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 – the same years used to classify groups of New Jersey’s schools as Focus and Priority schools, descriptive statistics revealed the majority of schools in the study are public, regular, general education schools with a grade range of 6-12. Schools within this study were classified by the New Jersey Department of Education based on graduation rates and achievement and categorized as low-achieving (Priority or Focus schools) based on low graduation rates, low sub-groups performance, largest gaps in performance between sub-groups, or lowest performance rates and/or graduation rates within an economically disadvantaged group (Title I). The majority of schools in the population fell into the category of lowest performing (bottom 5%) of the Title one schools, also known as Priority schools. Of the Focus schools, the largest group was schools with low graduation rates. Lastly, the majority of schools ranked at the lowest DFG rating of A. The most significant teacher-related variables are faculty average years of experience, percentage of teachers that hold advanced degrees, teacher attendance and teacher mobility. Results from the discriminant analysis reveal a discriminant function that distinguished between the four school groupings. The discriminant function correctly classified 71.9% of the schools utilizing a combination of the variables DFG, teacher’s attainment of master’s degree, teacher experience, and school grade-level configuration.