Theses Doctoral

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: The Politics of Accountability and Building Civic Capacity in Four Schools in Maryland

McKenzie-Thompson, Kenann Fondelle

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ushered in a new level of accountability to all public schools that accept federal funding under this Act. Inclusive of requiring that schools meet adequately yearly progress (AYP), there is a set of recommendations in the legislation for building the capacity of the community to assist in school reform and success. This qualitative study examined four school-communities in Maryland to ascertain the degree to which building civic capacity comprised a part of the schools' reform and academic success strategies. Schools were selected to match three AYP categories: Actively making AYP, rebounding from failing to make AYP, and actively failing to make AYP. Four schools in two counties in Maryland participated in the study. In addition to school staff, interviews were also conducted with parents and members of community groups. The findings suggest that schools with strong community resources are able to maintain adequately yearly progress or utilize those resources to meet it if they have failed to do so in the past. However, in a school that is failing to make AYP, building both internal and external capacity is very challenging without a strong civic capacity history. External resources were especially marshaled in the school that rebounded from failure to make AYP.


  • thumnail for McKenzieThompson_columbia_0054D_10456.pdf McKenzieThompson_columbia_0054D_10456.pdf application/pdf 1.14 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Politics and Education
Thesis Advisors
Henig, Jeffrey
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
November 30, 2011