Date of Award

Spring 4-7-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Huffman


This dissertation is to invite a conversation among stakeholders of public education that there is a need for a common vision for America’s public schools. I argue that we have never had a clear purpose for our schools and that now more than ever educators in America ache for a more inspiring purpose than simply improving results on standardized assessments. I assert how focusing on the mission instead of simply the mandates and measures is how real change occurs. Until we have a common and transparent purpose that serves to inspire those in the trenches of the work, reform in public education will continue to flounder. Through the examination of our past and current priorities for American schools, I will attempt to uncover a nobler purpose that will intrinsically move educators as well as students and in turn lead to meaningful change in society.