Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Mathieu Deflem


This study investigates the complex nature of student reassignment plans developed between 2006 and 2008 in three South Carolina school districts: York School District 3, Dorchester School District 2, and Greenville School District. The study is guided by the following research question: How are the district policies for student reassignment understood through the lens of institutional and organizational theories? To answer this question this research draws on Institutional Theory (both old and new) to develop a comprehensive model that specifically addresses the strategies a district uses to create a plan that responds to the demographic and political pressures exerted on them. Using a case study approach, this research investigates the organizational motivations for change, the evolution of district policies, and the strategies of implementation. The findings indicate that each school district employed a variety of strategic responses that was unique to the specific institutional pressures exerted on and by district officials.


© 2013, Naomi Rachel Simmons

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