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- Analysis of Special Education Compliance and Special Education Funding in Four Texas Open-Enrollment Charter Schools.
- The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth examination of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools in north Texas and to examine relationships between special education compliance and funding. Six questions guided the research: How have the charter schools designed special education services, and do these services meet individual needs of students with disabilities? Have federal education and disability laws affected charter schools' admissions, operations, or student performance ratings? What were the levels of special education funding and compliance with federal and state regulations? Is there a relationship between special education funding and special education compliance with rules and regulations? Studies at the national and state levels have frequently been conducted in the form of surveys, and provide only preliminary information about the status of special education in charter schools. There is a paucity of case specific information about the management and delivery of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. A within-case study research design was used for this investigation utilizing qualitative methods of structured open-ended interviews, observations at the schools, and document analysis. Administrators at four open-enrollment charter schools were interviewed to gather data for this multi-case study. The data supported the hypotheses related to special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. The schools in this study provided special education services with an inclusion model for the first two years. In their first years of operation, charter schools face challenges of small budgets, few if any special education students, and difficulty finding special education teachers and other staff. In the third year and beyond, the schools were able to add special education services and staff and were more stable in terms of budget and operations. For the time period analyzed, special education costs exceeded special education funding. Compliance with special education regulations was relatively high as services were provided to students with mild disabilities with a high commitment to individualized instruction.
- A Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Three Different GED Preparation Programs
- The purpose of this study was to identify effective instructional programs for GED tests preparation for students in a large suburban school district. Three different nonrandom, unequal naturally occurring instructional groups at three different locations were examined. One group participated in a traditional instruction program, a second group in a test/retest program, and a third group in a computer-assisted program. The demographics of the district population, the GED population, and the individual study groups were catalogued and analyzed. The demographics of the GED population were similar to the district population but different from the GED passers. Student characteristics did affect GED success. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Random students in each of the three groups were interviewed about their experiences in GED preparation using a questionnaire. Quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies, means, correlations, and a multiple regression analysis. Since the GED credential is an alternative to the high school diploma, its use as a dropout alternative is important to every school district. The study found that instructional methods had little impact on students' success in receiving the GED credential. The overall success rate of students was low in each group. The student's reading achievement score, GPA, and IQ score were predictors of GED tests success. Little research has been done in the area of GED instruction; perhaps this lack of work is due to the known limited effectiveness of GED preparation. Districts hoping to build effective GED programs should screen students prior to admission to a GED program. High school GED instruction seems to be effective for students likely to be successful in the regular school setting but in need of an immediate credential because of pregnancy or parenting or the need to work full-time or the desire to begin college study. Districts should also design programs to help disenfranchised students in the regular program remain in school.
- Factors that influence teacher turnover in Texas: Correlations with variables from the academic excellence indicator system for the year 1998-99
- The teacher shortage problem is a national and state concern. In 1998, the Texas State Board of Education Certification reported that school districts in Texas had to hire teachers to fill over 63,000 vacancies. Teacher resignations, other than retirement, contributed to over 46,000 teachers who left the profession about 19 % of the state's total teacher workforce. A significant number of Texas teachers left the profession in the first five years. The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996) called the attrition of new teachers a chronic problem for American schools. Reducing the teacher shortage in Texas must begin with reducing the teacher turnover rate. Most studies concerning teacher attrition or turnover either address salary, or working conditions. Many of the studies deal with affective and subjective data regarding teacher turnover. The studies on teacher turnover often do not address quantifiable data collected uniformly across districts. Few studies address a comprehensive set of quantitative data to determine the variables associated with teacher turnover. This study addressed teacher turnover through quantitative research of data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) with multiple analysis to provide insights to teacher turnover conditions and trends. The population for the study included all 1042 Texas school districts, and 61 Charter schools. The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) was used to determine the variables and supply data for the study. The study addressed only district data not individual school or campus data. The data captured for this dissertation were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlational methods, and regression tools of research.
- The impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance in the mainstream school environment.
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance. The literature review examined the history and development of alternative schools, the legislation pertaining to alternative schools, and related studies. The population consisted of students placed in the discipline alternative education program (DAEP) of an alternative school located in a large suburban school district in north Texas. Students placed in DAEP in the spring semester of 2001 in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 were included in the sample. Data on student success was gathered for the one semester prior to placement (pre-intervention) and for the two semesters after placement (post-intervention). Student success was measured in terms of course grade averages and attendance. The student sample was divided into the following subgroups: grade level, sex, ethnicity, and qualification for the school meal program. The students' grade averages were compared within the subgroups utilizing a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Tukey's post hoc comparison was utilized on the groups when ANOVA was found to be significant. The students' attendance was analyzed by comparing the proportion of days attended in each of the three semesters included in the study. A normal test of two independent means was conducted on the attendance proportions. The results of the study indicated the following significant findings (p <. 05): the eighth-grade students' grade averages were significantly lower in the second post-treatment semester, the 7th-grade students had lower attendance in the first post-treatment semester, the 8th-grade students had lower attendance in the second post-treatment semester, and the 10th-grade students had higher attendance in the first post-intervention semester. The female students' attendance was higher in both post-intervention semesters and significantly higher in the second. A discussion of the dropout rate for this group and recidivism to DAEP was included.
- The impact of poverty on comparable improvement ranking for elementary campuses in Texas.
- The problem was to determine how comparable is comparable improvement for campuses in Texas. An alternative strategy for determining comparable improvement was developed using 2000 comparable improvement data provided by the Texas Education Agency for 2,403 elementary campuses. Comparable improvement is a measure that shows how student performance has changed from one year to the next and then compares that growth to 40 schools that are demographically most similar to the target school. Instead of using the most dominant characteristic as in the current process, the percent of students in poverty was the initial sorting characteristic. The impact of sorting by poverty was reviewed in four areas: 1.) the impact on quartile placement, 2.) the TLI average growth for the comparison group, 3.) the award eligibility, and 4.) the changes in comparison group composition. No practical significant difference was found for research questions 1 and 3, however, a practical significant difference was found in group average TLI growth for math and in the comparison group composition. Overall, the alternative process had the greatest impact on campuses with 40-80% poverty. Three possible factors may have influenced the results. First, the middle poverty campuses had the most change in comparison group as found in question 4. Second, the interaction between the middle poverty campuses and the alternative process could have been fueled by the removal of the 1,295 campuses with poverty as the dominant characteristic in current system. Third, the high correlation between poverty and ethnicity may have limited any impact of the alternative process.
- Mentoring the first-year superintendent in Texas public schools.
- This study determined what mentoring experiences first-year superintendents have had and what they need from a mentoring relationship. Structured interviews and field notes were used in this qualitative study focused on Texas first-year superintendents' perceived needs from mentors. Three patterns of mentoring relationships were found: 1) no mentor in the first year, 2) mentor-protégé relationship - those who developed mentoring relationships early in a career with a more senior person in the same school system, and 3) mentoring relationships of convenience - young relationships which developed outside the same system. Skills and knowledge areas novice superintendents identified as critical for mentor assistance were school finance, development of effective relationships with groups that have expectations of the superintendent while also improving student achievement, and working within the politics of the position. Mentor characteristics novice superintendents considered necessary for a positive effect on job success include: trustworthiness, confidentiality, empathy, encouraging, active listening, and integrity. An attitude in which the mentor problem solved with the protégé, and did not give an immediate solution was displayed. Mentors actively and frequently initiated contact. Ideas were freely exchanged, giving the protégé undivided attention while not making the protégé feel inferior. The effects that previous mentoring experiences had on novice superintendents influenced whether they chose to mentor another person. Most reported seeking or engaged in a new mentoring relationship. Differences in areas where help was needed among first-year superintendents associated with district size were reported. Assistance in finance was needed regardless of district size, gender, or ethnicity. Superintendents in small districts reported needing assistance in specific skill and knowledge areas. Those in larger districts reported mentor assistance in problem-solving processes to accomplish a task. Differences in needs of first-year superintendents based on gender or ethnicity were identified but generalizations could not be made due to small numbers. Recommendations for university administrative preparation programs and designing formal mentoring programs were made.
- Ninth grade student success: An analysis of a credit recovery program.
- The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which a credit recovery program improved the academic success for high school freshmen. For the purpose of this study, academic success was defined as whether or not the student advanced from 9th to 10th grade. A total of 255 students from two junior high schools and one comprehensive high school were included in the study. Independent variables included program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, and TAKS Mathematics results. A review of related literature provided background information regarding the issues surrounding high school freshmen, dropouts, grade retention, and effective intervention programs. This quantitative study utilized descriptive statistics and logistic regression to analyze the relationship between the independent variables and student success as measured by whether or not the student advanced from ninth to tenth grade. In addition, the study examined the odds of success if participating in the credit recovery program. Sources of data included Incomplete and Failure Listing, Ninth Grade Advisor Listing, Tenth Grade Advisory Listing, and the Student Roster-Fall Collection. The Ninth Grade Success Initiative Program Evaluation for Cycles 6, 7, and 9 provided the individual student results of participation in the program. Levels of significance were set at the .05 level. The findings of this study indicated that no statistically significant relationship existed between participation in the credit recovery program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, TAKS Mathematics results, and advancing from 9th to 10th grade. It was concluded that further study would be needed to determine the most effective means for providing academic assistance to ninth grade students.
- The Relationship Among Effective School Correlates, School and District Practices, and Exemplary Student Performance in Texas
- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) annually rates campuses and districts on how well they meet standards of student performance. Since the high standard is so difficult for campuses and districts to reach, educators continually seek ways to improve student performance. The effective schools process is research-based and has stood the test of time. Descriptive statistics were used in this study to identify practices within the effective schools correlates that exemplary campuses implement. Campuses with long-term exemplary ratings were identified using the TEA data base. Campus site-based teams were surveyed using the More Effective Schools Staff Survey. Data was collected on elementary and secondary campuses with homogenous, diverse, economically advantaged, and economically disadvantaged student populations. District instructional leaders for those campuses completed a District Instructional Leader Survey to determine what practices districts implement to support their exemplary campuses. Findings from this quantitative study revealed what effective schools practices were highly evident on these exemplary campuses, regardless of diversity, economic status, district size, community type, property wealth, or location within the state. Findings also revealed that district leaders provide direction and support in the areas of (a) professional development; (b) beliefs, mission, and goals; (c) curriculum; (d) instruction; (e) assessment; and (f) site-based decision making. The research data imply that campus or district administrators can improve the performance of their students if the identified practices are implemented.
- The Relationship Between Classroom Climate and Student Achievement
- The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between sixth grade students' academic achievement levels in math and their perceptions of school climate. Student characteristics of socioeconomic status and gender were used to identify groups for the purpose of data analysis. Data was gathered using the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory (satisfaction, friction, competitiveness, difficulty, and cohesiveness) and the dependent variable of the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The results of the data collection were tested using a Pearson product-moment analysis and a backward multiple regression analysis. A univariate analysis of variance was also used to compare the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory as well as to compare socioeconomic status and gender with the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The schools selected for this study were from a city in Texas with a population of approximately 100,000. The sample consisted of 262 sixth grade mathematics students. The findings of this study are as follows: (a) The Pearson product-moment correlation analysis revealed little, if any, correlation for any of the five subscale predictor variables; (b) the multiple regression analysis revealed that all five classroom climate indicators combined together could explain only 10.5% of the variance in mathematics achievement; (c) the univariate analysis of variance revealed that there is a significant relationship between the climate factors of friction and difficulty when compared to mathematics achievement; and (d) the univariate analysis of variance also revealed that mathematics achievement scores vary significantly as a function of economic category membership, but there appears to be no relationship to gender.
- The relationship between the TeacherInsight interview scores and student performance as measured by the Texas Growth Index.
- In their efforts to make the selection and hiring process more efficient, school administrators utilize teacher selection instruments such as the Web-based TeacherInsight assessment tool (The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ). Tools such as these instruments are now used regularly by school systems across the nation to assess teachers regarding their knowledge, talents, skills, attitudes, and values. According to Gallup, the TeacherInsight is a predictor of teacher talent and is based on 12 themes. This study utilized 132 elementary and secondary teachers and approximately 4,500 students currently enrolled in Grades 3 through 11 to determine if the TeacherInsight is a predictor of student achievement. This study considered: (1) the relationship between the TeacherInsight and student achievement as measured by the Texas Growth Index (TGI); (2) the relationship between teacher characteristics (years of experience, level [primary or secondary], gender, age, degree) and the TeacherInsight instrument; (3) the relationship between teacher characteristics (years of experience, level [primary or secondary], gender, age, degree) and student achievement as measured by the TGI; and (4) the relationship between student classifications (limited English proficient, economically disadvantaged, at-risk) and student achievement as measured by the TGI. The analyses found a very weak positive relationship between the TeacherInsight and student achievement using the TGI in the subjects of English/ reading and math. Additional analysis based on levels (primary and secondary) between TeacherInsight scores and TGI values were not significant. Teacher characteristics were poor predictors of scores on the TeacherInsight. Of the characteristics, years of teaching experience was the strongest predictor of scores on the TeacherInsight. Although the overall analyses indicated significant relationships, they were very weak for both English/reading and math. Teacher characteristics were also poor predictors of student achievement. Again, the overall analysis indicated a significant but weak relationship for both English/reading and math. When considering the relationship between student classifications of LEP, economically disadvantaged, and at-risk, only at-risk had a weak relationship to student achievement. The findings provide little support to the validity of TeacherInsight in terms of its ability to predict student achievement scores and its usefulness as a tool for the selection of teachers by school systems. Until more extensive research is completed on the TeacherInsight and its impact on student achievement, no definitive answers for school systems can be made. Suggestions and recommendations for future studies are provided in the discussion section.
- A Study Of Correlations Between Learning Styles Of Students And Their Mathematics Scores On The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test
- The problem of this study was to determine whether learning styles of students affect their math achievement scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test. The research questions addressed relevant to this study were: 1. Is there a positive correlation between students' learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? 2. Is there a positive correlation between specific sub group's (as deemed by the state of Texas) and gender's learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? The Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient and the Point-biserial correlation analysis was applied to the data collected from 500 fifth grade students attending a North Texas Intermediate school. The significance level was established at the .05 level. Part of the data was the student's responses to the Learning Style Inventory by Dunn, Dunn and Price. The findings established that the learning style preferences of all students in the area of persistence significantly impacted their math achievement scores. Gender and ethnicity were mitigating factors in the findings. These learning style preferences significantly impacted achievement in the following ways: * Caucasian students' preference of a high level of persistence in completing a difficult task. * Hispanic students' preference for a warm learning environment and motivational factor of pleasing the teacher. * Afro-American students' preference for kinesthetic learning. * Female students' learning style preferences appear in: - the design of the learning environment - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high level of responsibility - a high sense of self-motivation , of teacher and of parent motivation. * Male students' learning style preferences appear in: - a warm learning environment - a high level of responsibility - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high sense of teacher and of parent motivation - a late morning learning In summary, the author suggests that supplying the teachers with information concerning students' learning style preferences will benefit student achievement.
- A survey of mentor/mentee activities in beginning teacher induction programs in Region XI
- The recruitment and retention of teachers demand attention with estimates of two million new teachers needed in the next decade. Hiring under qualified teachers necessitates adequate induction programs. Development of a recommendation for a teacher induction program comprises the purpose of the study. The recommended induction and support program addresses the activities perceived as valuable by both mentors and mentees. The researcher describes the mentor programs currently in place in Region XI in northern Texas by surveying the mentors and mentees; of particular relevance is a determination and description of the program model in place. Data sources include the literature review and information obtained from Region XI mentors/mentees. Data shows the model in Region XI is primarily a colleague model. Mentors and mentees are matched for grade level, content area and physical proximity. Three of the most frequently occurring activities are in the category emotional support, three in logistical concerns, two in systems information, one in student management, and one in instructional support. Mentees believe those activities associated with classroom management and organization and developing confidence and self-esteem are most important. Mentors concur. Specific recommendations for structuring a comprehensive beginning teacher induction and support program include reexamining the program currently in use, prioritizing timing of implementation, articulating campus mentoring goals, adhering to logistical areas of concern, providing training for the mentors in a program of psychological support that focuses on the psychological needs of the beginning teacher, providing time within the day, and evaluating current programs at the end of each year using those beginning teachers involved.
- Texas Public School Principals' Application of Procedures in Identification and Prevention of Sexual Harassment
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The procedural survey on sexual harassment procedures sent to 300 Texas principals had a response rate of 48.3 %. The mean score on the procedural survey for all 300 principals was 69.30 %. Eighteen research questions were addressed in detail in Chapter 4. Only five showed a significant correlation or effect size. Question 5 asked if there was a correlation between gender and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. The mean score of women was significantly higher than men. Question 6 asked if there was a correlation between the number of students in a school and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. This revealed that a significant correlation appeared between principals who worked at larger schools. Question 10 asked if there was a correlation between the location of the school, whether rural, urban, or metroplex and the mean score of the survey instrument. Principals of urban and metroplex schools scored significantly higher. Question 13 asked if there was a correlation between the hours of sexual harassment training attended in the last year and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. The results of this analysis revealed that a correlation approaching a medium effect size of .237 was present. Question 18 asked if there was a correlation between the total number of hours a principal had attended training and the mean score of the survey instrument. Neither the Pearson's correlation or the Spearman's rho was statistically significant. However, due to the large variation in responses on the sum of hours of training about sexual harassment, it was suspected that there might be a covariate accounting for sub-populations within the principals who participated in the survey. For ages 30-43.5, as the number of total training hours increased, the mean score on the survey instrument also increased. There was no significantly statistical significance between the other age groups and the mean score on the survey instrument. The other thirteen research questions did not show a significant correlation to the sexual harassment procedural survey instrument administered to Texas principals.