Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Dissertations

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Edmundo F. Litton

Second Advisor

Kevin Baxter

Third Advisor

Yvette V. Lapayese


Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was originally created to ensure academic equity and opportunity for all students. As the largest federal program supporting elementary and secondary education, providing nearly $11.6 billion annually, Title I targets resources to local education agencies (i.e., school districts) to support additional programs and services for improving student achievement.

Despite expansive reform efforts, political cries for accountability, and standardized testing, urban school-wide elementary school students are still--in large numbers --experiencing failure and defeat. The process of determining how Title I funds can be used effectively to address the needs of disadvantaged students is quite often multi-layered and complex. Due to the limited availability to research to support Title I coordinators in determining how to purposefully utilize Title I funds to supplement the disadvantages of urban elementary school students, the extent to which Title I funds are supporting and/or contributing to the transformation of low-performing Title I schools is relatively unknown.

The focus of this mixed-methods study was to provide important insight into the appropriateness of federal funding of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2001), in particular Title I funds, that support and/or contribute to the academic achievement of high poverty Title I elementary schools. Four data collection tools were employed in this study: Document review of the Single Plan for Student Achievement for 10 elementary schools serving high poverty, low-performing student populations, survey questionnaire sent to 10 Title I coordinators serving at school-wide Title I elementary schools, a follow-up questionnaire interview to gather further insight into the survey questionnaire responses, and open-ended response interviews conducted with 4 Title I coordinators to understand the challenges and obstacles that impede their ability to address the needs of Title I students. Results of this study provide local education agencies, schools, and Title I coordinators with research-based data regarding the impact of Title I funds to support high poverty, historically low-performing students.