Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jerry Willis

Second Supervisor

Mark Villanti


Public schools face significant challenges in ensuring that students enter adulthood ready for the challenges of careers or college. Part of that challenge is in ensuring students enter the second half of their school careers well prepared to handle the rigors of studying multiple subjects while balancing changes to their minds and bodies. This study closely examined sixth grades in Westchester County, NY to identify the impact of the Association for Middle Level Education’s 16 characteristics of Successful Schools for Young Adolescents on student achievement. The purpose of this research was to identify differences in achievement and the most valuable combination of characteristics in supporting student achievement. Multiple research methodologies, including descriptive statistics, correlation matrices, Kendall’s tau-b, Kendall’s W, and single regression analysis utilized led to positive findings. The characteristics of Successful schools were found to be dependent rather than independent factors. As such, the characteristics clustered as Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment had a statistically significant impact on student achievement.

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