Date of Award

Fall 11-2016

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stoddard

Second Advisor

Elizabeth C. Reilly

Third Advisor

Rebecca Stephenson


Historically, disenfranchised students in the American education system have been promised opportunity through successful participation in the school system. These promises are voiced in legislation like the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and by executive actions like President Obama’s Race to the Top Initiative. Evidenced by the continuing education gap, the promises of success through education continue to evade many American children across the nation, especially students who are most in need of the support promised in these quixotic visions of opportunity.

This is a qualitative interview study that aimed to gather the voices of educators involved in the implementation of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards (ELA CCSS) to investigate the potential benefit of an information loop during the time period Bridges (2009) labeled the Neutral Zone, a period when change agents can reflect on and possibly enhance the implementation of an initiative. The study aimed to answer the following research question: What are the experiences of teachers, school principals, and district-level administrators during the transition to the ELA CCSS in three public school districts in the greater Los Angeles area? The narratives constructed throughout the interview process with the study’s participants point to the value of establishing an information loop during the Neutral Zone as an untapped vein of knowledge in the change process. This information can potentially be used to take inventory of the trajectory an implementation process has taken.