Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of legislation of 2001 has impacted legal responsibilities school boards have in addressing best practices of governance as it relates to the impact on student achievement. NCLB suggests that school boards develop a governance structure, a decision-making model, and strategic planning exercises to support the achievement of all students. However, many school boards across the country still engage in practices that do not focus attention on achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine if student achievement of selected Minnesota School Districts is impacted by the practices of school board governance. The data collected for student achievement came from the American College Testing (ACT) assessment. The "Best Practices" of governance was defined by the National School Board Association (NSBA) and the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA). The NCLB Act, as it relates to school board governance, was designed to increase levels of student achievement by focusing on a process of collaboration among and between the school board members, the superintendent, parents, teachers, and community. Therefore, the study was designed to reveal student achievement results of schools where individual school board chairpersons had been surveyed about their perception of their board's level of focus on student achievement as they practice governance in the areas of decision making and strategic planning.

One hundred and fifty school board chairpersons from Minnesota School Districts were surveyed to determine their perceptions as to how their school board governs to impact student achievement. After analyzing the variables, the data suggests that school board governance does not impact student achievement according to the results of the ACT exam that is taken by 68% of all juniors in the state of Minnesota.

The research, gathered from school board members concerning governance, was used to prompt modification of board practices so that members understand what truly is making a difference in this highly accountable time of education. Universities, colleges, and the Minnesota School Board Association can utilize the results to develop appropriate workshops to better prepare school board members and superintendents so that the result is a practice that leads to an increased focus on the child. By fostering board harmony, the development of trust, understanding, expectations, a shared vision, communication, effective decision making, and positive community connections, our school boards can become leaders in the challenge of impacting student achievement.