Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Steve Myran

Committee Member

William Owings

Committee Member

Melva Grant


Throughout the history of education, there have been changes in funding, organization, governance, and curriculum. As a result of these changes, education reform and mandates have become cyclical in nature. However, with so many structural changes, the purpose of reform mandates often fall short of the intended purpose; closing achievement gaps and allowing equal access for all students.

The purpose of this study is to examine the way in which teachers’, educational specialists’, and school leaders perceive the cumulative impact of education reform efforts that will be bounded by subject of mathematics. In a qualitative case study, a combination of 7 teachers, educational specialists, and school leaders were interviewed. An interview protocol was used to gather data regarding participants’ perception of educational reform mandates as it pertains to mathematics. A code book was derived from the findings. Four themes emerged from the study: knowledge building and support, communication and honest conversations, and moral purpose and social justice concerns and reform being seen as a system of improvement or retrenchment.

Fundamental for sustainability, all stakeholders were active participants in the reform process. In addition, checks and balances, supports and communication were vital factors that needed to be addressed and revisited along the way to ensure that feedback and improvements to the mandates were implemented with fidelity to ensure sustainability.


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