Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Kelly Burlison

Second Advisor

Brittany E. Kiser

Third Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the Perceptions of Parents and School Educators on English Language Learner Education in Florida Targeting the Graduation 13-Year Rule. There is a consistent trend of English Language Learners (ELL) in the United States lagging the total student graduation rate for public high school students in a four-year adjusted cohort. “Federal regulations require each state to calculate a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate” (Florida Department of Education, 2022b. p. 1). A cohort is defined as a group of students on the same schedule to graduate within four years of their first enrollment in the ninth grade (Florida Department of Education, 2022b). Students who do not graduate with their four-year cohort are counted against the graduation rate (Florida Department of Education, 2022b). In Florida, English Language Learners have an extra academic year (“thirteenth year”) to finish and pass all state graduation criteria as stated in the Florida Department of Education Rule 6A-6.0909 section 3. English Language Learners are often not finishing high school within the four years and are possibly not given the thirteenth year needed to complete their high school requirements. The perceptions of English Language Learner parents are often unknown (Housel, 2020; Yol, 2019).

This study investigated the perception of English Speakers of Other Language Parents on the Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.0909 section 3, the thirteen-year rule, as a means to graduate ELL students. In addition, the study investigated school educators’ perceptions of the thirteenth-year opportunity for ELL students. This study design was based on action research. Descriptive statistics was applied to examine the participants’ perspectives on the critical topic utilizing an online survey with Likert style and open-ended questions. Simple correlations and themes were discovered to gain information and bring awareness to the field of education, specifically among Florida English Language Learners.


Dr. Richard Jones is also a Member of the Dissertation in Practice Committee

Dr. Francisco Oaxaca is an external member of the Dissertation in Practice Committee.



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