Committee Chair

Freeman, John

Committee Member

Rausch, David; Rutledge, Valerie


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This dissertation explored Tennessee practitioner perceptions of the construct, content and utility of Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education: Indicators of Quality Programming (Exemplary Practices) for use as an evaluation instrument (National Alternative Education Association, 2009). The general purposes of this study were to (1) examine the legitimacy of the ten constructs (i.e., standards) and corresponding content (i.e., indicators of success) of best practice as presented in the Exemplary Practices and (2) investigate the utility of the Exemplary Practices when transformed into an evaluation instrument for alternative schools and programs. The study entailed a two-phased sequential, mixed-model research design (Cameron, 2009). Phase One involved a concurrent embedded strategy (Creswell, 2009) to obtain quantitative and qualitative data related to the constructs and content found in the Exemplary Practices. With the exception of four indicators, findings provide evidence of construct and content validity as perceived by Tennessee practitioners. Phase Two involved a sequential, explanatory research strategy (Creswell, 2009) aimed at collecting data related to the utility of the Exemplary Practices when transformed into an evaluation instrument. Findings indicate that the majority of constructs and content were not observable during utility testing. Additionally, findings point to the need for enhancements to the instrument. During utility testing, simple observations were not enough to fully ascertain whether or not the alternative school or program was implementing the Exemplary Practices with fidelity. Research participants overwhelming noted that the evaluation instrument should incorporate evidence categories for observations, interviews and artifacts. Following Phase One and Phase Two of the study, the researcher developed an evaluation instrument for designing, delivering, evaluating and improving alternative education programming. The instrument was constructed from the Exemplary Practices but adapted based upon practitioner perceptions of construct and content validity, as well as overall utility. The culminating evaluation instrument is presented as a product of the research study.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Schools -- Evaluation




Evaluation instruments


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations


xvii, 208 leaves




Under copyright.