Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Jillian Skelton, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Dana Shelton, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Derrick Tennial, Ed.D.


Teachers represent the frontline of education and many of them find themselves working daily with impoverished students. Teachers’ qualitative perceptions are useful for developing solutions to the problem of educating diverse students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in charter schools. The purpose of this study was to understand teachers’ perceptions of a charter school environment and the association between low socioeconomic status (SES) students and their academic performance. A qualitative design and a case study methodology were used with two charter schools, including 45 participating teachers. Results from questionnaires and interviews ensured a sufficient understanding of the phenomenon. The collected information was coded and analyzed to identify the major themes. The three major themes included parents’ occupation and level of education, family income, and education policies. The results indicated that socioeconomic background and academic policies influence on academic performance. The findings might have a significant influence on theory, practice, and future studies on the relationships between education quality or academic performance and SES.