Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Francisco Guajardo

Second Advisor

Dr. Marie Simonsson

Third Advisor

Dr. Miguel De Los Santos


Charter schools have emerged as a powerful force in American school reform. When first introduced in 1991, charter schools came with two distinct promises: to serve as an escape hatch for students in failing schools, and to create and incubate new educational practices. Through qualitative inquiry, this study examines a charter school’s best practices and how some of these practices can be applied or emulated in a traditional public school setting. The goal is not to replace traditional public school practices with charter school practices, but to emulate charter school practices that have shown to be successful. The Chief Executive Officer and four campus principals of an Exemplary South Texas charter school system were interviewed for this study. These subjects all have leadership responsibilities within this particular charter school system and all have had previous working experience in a traditional public school setting. The participants identified nine educational practices that differentiated charter schools from traditional public schools. The study indicates that these charter school best practices could be emulated in a traditional public school setting. The ultimate result would be to increase student achievement by strengthening the leadership capacities of traditional public school administrators, and thus strengthen the traditional public school system.


Copyright 2013 Mario H. Salinas. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American