The focus of this research study was to better understand the development of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) culture within an urban middle school campus and to analyze if the intervention, intended to develop a campus PLC culture, had any positive or negative impact on student achievement. This mixed-methods research study utilized pre and post surveys and interviews with campus educators to delve into the perceptions of the development of a PLC culture within the middle school campus. Furthermore, student academic performance was explored through the analysis of state academic performance reports.
The first significant finding of this study was that the results of the concurrent method of data analysis affirmed that, potentially because of this intervention during the 2018-2019 academic school year, the middle school of this study did commence the development of a professional learning community culture. The second significant finding was that based on the data analyzed of student performance for the three previous academic years, student achievement did increase academically when accounting all students and all contents. Furthermore, both math and English language arts had the lowest percentage of students not meeting grade level standards since 2016. Finally, the largest subpopulation within the school campus, English Learner students, demonstrated large gains at 23 percentage points over the last three years in the academic performance tier of approaching grade level or above. This increase in academic performance by the students did ultimately lead to the campus performance rating to increase positively, as measured by the state of Texas.
- A Middle School's Journey from Improvement Required towards Professional Learning Communities