Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hare, Dwight

Committee Member

Lindley, Clyde

Committee Member

Davis, Ed

Committee Member

Perkins, Fred

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The push to redesign America’s failing schools is in high gear. With the ever-changing landscape of the 21st century global economy, students face a demand to be much more highly skilled entering the workforce. The focus of Topnotch School District is to prepare students in the areas of math, science, and communication skills in order to ensure them a competitive position in the job market. The district will design its course of study to engage students and motivate them to stay in school. The Mississippi Department of Education began an initiative called the 21st Century School Redesign in 2006. The focus of this initiative was to prepare students to compete in the global workforce. With outsourcing of jobs to other countries increasing, the competition for jobs is immense. Students who choose not to go to college must obtain the skills necessary to compete for the higher skilled positions available. Those who do choose to attend college must have the skills necessary to be successful also. The Mississippi Department of Education used a competitive grant process to choose 13 school districts in Phase I of the redesign initiative. Phase II of the redesign initiative saw 19 additional school districts brought on board. This study focused on Topnotch School District, which entered the redesign initiative in Phase II. The study was designed to understand the issues of the initiative that the administration team faced in the implementation process. In this study, formal interviews and casual conversations were used along with archival documents to determine the issues faced by building principals, central office personnel, business managers, technology coordinators, and vocational directors during the implementation of the initiative. The results of this study suggest that there is a lack of knowledge of redesign on the part of the administrative team. The results also show that communication throughout the process is crucial to success. Additionally, the system and procedures of reimbursement and asset management were questionable and led to a number of mistakes.



Career Pathways||Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics||Information and Communication Technology II||Information and Communication Technology I||High School Redesign Initiative