Identifying Academically At-Risk Students within a Suburban Public High School PLC


Accountability and ownership of learning are no longer educational priorities of the positivistic culture; instead, academic success is reduced to an academic performance index (API) score. The need to focus on test preparation to produce excellent test results hinders educators, forcing them to abandon teaching in favor of managing the business of education. This qualitative case study explored the relationship of social and behavioral factors that may have caused students to be academically at-risk in a suburban Northern California high school Professional Learning Community (PLC) These students had less than average grade attainment in subject content areas and achieved a score of proficient or advanced on Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) assessment tests. Twenty-three survey and nine focus group interview participant responses were analyzed via NVivo qualitative analysis software, revealing five themes. The use of an exploratory case study research design provided an opportunity for participants to explain viewpoints as related to the research topic. Research findings indicated the best ways to support administrators, educators, and counselors to assist academically at-risk students included professional collaboration, bringing awareness to students of their academic responsibility and accountability, increased counseling and school funding, and the development of school site specific intervention programs.


This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Dr. Cheryl Burleigh
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Preventing School Failure Journal: Alternative Education for Children and Youth
Taylor & Francis
Publication Language: 
Boyer's Domain: 

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