Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Muffs

Second Supervisor

Stephen Draper

Third Supervisor

Josephine Moffett


One educational reform strategy that a number of public schools across America have implemented in an effort to improve student achievement is professional learning communities (PLCs). As PLCs have become more popular in public schools across America, a question arose: Is there a relationship between participation in a PLC and student achievement? The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between participation in a subject-specific PLC and student achievement in math and English Language Arts (ELA). The methodology involved a retrospective, archival study using a within-cases design. This study compared 3 years of student achievement scores prePLC as compared to 3 years of student achievement scores postPLC using both math and ELA student achievement data. The results of this study, assuming a large effect size (f = 0.40), suggested no statistically significant difference exists between student achievement scores prePLC as compared to postPLC in either math nor ELA. This study adds to the body of knowledge on PLCs through research around a subject-specific PLC team and its subject-specific assessment. The main recommendation from this study is to continue researching the relationship between the subject-specific PLC team, which is most responsible for the student learning, and student achievement on the subject-specific assessment.