Date of Award



© 2016 Kevin Roberts

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Steven C. Moskowitz

Second Advisor

Tarae Waddell-Terry

Third Advisor

Jeanne Temple


Increasingly over the last several decades, school districts turn to their schedules as tools to be leveraged to increase student achievement or to better deliver their educational program. Throughout the late 20th Century and early 21st Century, the exploration of the schedule as a tool for learning quickly turned to action as great movement was made to block scheduling from the traditional schedule. As quickly as action was taken to implement block scheduling, questions arose regarding its impact on student achievement. These questions have attempted to be addressed through a significant body of research conducted over the last twenty-five years. Unfortunately, the research findings are as discrepant today as they have ever been.

This study extends the ongoing research dialogue on this topic to include a focus on the impact of the school schedule on student achievement on the Pennsylvania Keystone Exams and on the level of rigorous learning experiences that students have in the correlating classrooms. Similar to the vast body of studies conducted previously, the goal was to note any significant differences in these two areas between block and traditionally scheduled schools. Achievement data was gathered for the six participating Pennsylvania high schools over three academic years. In addition, data regarding the level of rigor experienced by students in their classrooms was gathered through interviews with the building principals in the participating schools. Schools were paired based on the similarity of their demographics and independent t-tests were conducted for the mean achievement data on each exam type. In addition, data regarding rigor was aggregated by schedule type and then an independent t-test was conducted to compare the mean rigor experienced in block or traditional classrooms as well.

This study concluded that schedule type did not yield a statistically significant difference in mean achievement scores or the level of rigor experienced by students. As a result, the researcher concluded that transformative leaders should continue to leverage the school schedule to best implement the educational program knowing that the schedule alone does not dramatically impact achievement or rigor for students.


Ed.D. Dissertation