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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Analysis of Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education Decisions Regarding Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, School Administrator, Athletic Director and Central Office Administrator Term Contract Nonrenewal Appeals From 1983 to 2013

Analysis of Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education Decisions Regarding Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, School Administrator, Athletic Director and Central Office Administrator Term Contract Nonrenewal Appeals From 1983 to 2013

Date: December 2014
Creator: Ramirez, Carlos
Description: I conducted a legal analysis of decisions by Texas Commissioners of Education in appeals by Texas school administrators from nonrenewal decisions made by Texas school districts from 1983 to 2013. I analyzed the findings of fact and conclusions of law described in the commissioners’ rulings to determine the legal basis of school districts’ decisions to nonrenew school administrators’ term employment contracts. I also examined the legal rationale for commissioners’ rulings and determined which party most commonly prevailed in these administrative proceedings—the respondent school district or the petitioner school administrator. In particular, the study determined factors that contributed to commissioners’ decisions to overrule or support school districts’ nonrenewal decisions. A careful review of commissioner decisions, which are accessible on the Texas Education Association website, identified 44 commissioner decisions involving appeals by superintendents, associate superintendents, public school administrators, athletic directors, or central office administrators concerning school districts’ term contract nonrenewal decisions from 1983 to 2013. Commissioners’ decisions in these cases were surveyed using legal research methods. This study provides recommendations to assist local education agencies to refine current policies and regulations regarding the nonrenewal of administrators’ term contracts, and provides insight on Texas Commissioners’ rulings on term contract nonrenewal appeals brought by ...
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Effects of a Water Conservation Education Program on Water Use in Single-family Homes in Dallas, Texas

Effects of a Water Conservation Education Program on Water Use in Single-family Homes in Dallas, Texas

Date: December 2014
Creator: Serna, Victoria Faubion
Description: The City of Dallas Environmental Education Initiative (EEI) is a hands-on, inquiry-based, K-12 water conservation education program that teaches students concepts about water and specific water conservation behaviors. Few descriptions and evaluations, especially quantitative in nature, of water conservation education programs have previously been conducted in the literature. This research measured the quantitative effects and impacts of the education program on water use in single-family homes in Dallas, Texas. A total of 2,122 students in 104 classrooms at three schools in the Dallas Independent School District received hands-on, inquiry-based water conservation education lessons and the average monthly water use (in gallons) in single-family homes was analyzed to measure whether or not there was a change in water use. The results showed that over a period of one calendar year the water use in the single-family homes within each school zone and throughout the entire research area in this study experienced a statistically significant decrease in water use of approximately 501 gallons per home per month (independent, t-test, p>0.001). Data from this research suggests that EEI is playing a role in decreasing the amount of water used for residential purposes. Additionally, this research demonstrates the use of a quantitative tool by ...
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Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style

Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style

Date: December 2014
Creator: Rodriguez, R. Mishelle
Description: This study explored the caregiving styles of 306 grandparents raising grandchild across three ethnic groups (164 European Americans, 65 Latinos, and 77 African Americans). Significant differences were found in caregiving styles between European Americans and African Americans. Caregiver appraisal (burden, satisfaction, and Mastery) was found to be predictive of caregiving style across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Caregiver style was predictive of grandchild functioning across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Lastly, caregiver style was found to be predictive of grandparent well-being across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Implications are discussed in terms of the complex, multidimensional and culturally embedded nature of the caregiving experience and the importance of considering culture for optimal outcomes.
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Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs

Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs

Date: December 2014
Creator: Bunyard, Magen Lynn
Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the current state of community college faculty development program evaluation and identify possible influences on evaluation practices. Data from 184 survey responses and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) were analyzed to answer three research questions. Multiple regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (evaluation utilization score) and the independent/predictor variable (accrediting agency affiliation: MSCHE, NEASC, NCA, NWCCU, SACS, and WASC) and/or control variables (institution locale, student FTE, expenses per student FTE, percent spent on instruction, and percent of full-time faculty). Results were not statistically significant, F (12, 163) = 1.176, p = .305. The mean evaluation scores were similar for all six accrediting agencies ranging from 60-69. The rural variable was statistically significant with p = .003 and alpha = .05, but it only accounted for 3.6% of the variance explained. Logistic regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (use of evaluation) and the above-specified independent/predictor variable and/or control variables for six faculty development program activities. Results revealed that significant predictor variables for the use of evaluation vary based on the faculty development program activity. Statistically significant ...
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A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006

A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006

Date: December 2014
Creator: Smith, Donna Gayle
Description: This historical study chronicled events of the development and implementation of the Paris Small Business Development Center at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas from 1986-2006. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources and oral histories through personal interviews. The analysis included a brief history of higher education and the service mission and situated the study in the broader context as an extension program in higher education. This study provided a brief history of the U.S. Small Business Administration and America’s Small Business Development Center Network as a background for the study. This study is significant to scholars in the field of higher education for a number of reasons. It provides a historical analysis of a service program that extends the college to the community and demonstrates higher education and its role in economic development. It adds to the current body of research by advancing an understanding of a past to contemporary knowledge. Finally, by integrating historical perspectives from multiple disciplines in higher education, what happened and the context in which it happened can be more fully appreciated. This study also contributes to practical knowledge as it deepens the understanding of significant events and processes that contributed to the ...
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Impact of School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports for African American Males in American Public Schools

Impact of School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports for African American Males in American Public Schools

Date: December 2014
Creator: Luttrull, Pamelia D.
Description: Research has shown that African American males are performing poorly in American public schools and are disciplined at a higher rate than other ethnic and gender groups. Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) has a long history of success with individual students and more recently in school-wide settings. School-wide PBIS offers schools the ability to tailor their rules, rewards, and consequences to the specific needs and culture of a school. This descriptive and quantitative study sought to determine if implementation with fidelity of SWPBIS positively correlated to reduced disciplinary measures. The object of this study was to determine in what ways disciplinary rates for African American males differ in American public schools that identify as using SWPBIS with fidelity as compared to American public schools that do not implement SWPBIS with fidelity. Disciplinary rates examined included ISS, OSS single incident, and OSS multiple incidents. Descriptive findings indicated that schools that implement SWPBIS show a lower rate of ISS and OSS incidents for African American males. The quantitative findings did not yield a statistically significance between schools with fidelity of implementation of SWPBIS and schools without fidelity of implementation of SWPBIS.
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A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Georgia Educators and School Districts Under the Georgia Governmental Tort Claims Act

A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Georgia Educators and School Districts Under the Georgia Governmental Tort Claims Act

Date: December 2014
Creator: McDaniel, Rick R.
Description: This dissertation examines the impact of the 1992 Georgia Tort Claims Act on educators in court decisions involving liability cases against Georgia school districts and/ or their respective employees. By examining pertinent court cases in which Georgia educators were, for the first time, subjected to potential litigation, the researcher outlines circumstances in which educators can and should be held liable for their actions. Additionally, the researcher analyzes the Tort Claims Acts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi as well. This analysis allows the researcher to contrast the types of litigious actions that educators in each of these states are held liable. Findings include the types of actions in which educators in each of the respective states are subject to liability. Case study analysis of randomly selected court cases involving tort liability, provides the infrastructure for in-depth research allowing the following questions to be addressed: (1) How have Georgia courts interpreted the Georgia Tort Claims Act in litigation against school personnel and school districts? (2) How do tort liability rulings, involving school personnel or districts, in other states within the United States compare with similar cases filed in Georgia since 1992? The Georgia Tort Claim Act of 1992 propelled an array of ...
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Measuring Teaching Effectiveness Using Value-Added and Observation Rubric Scores

Measuring Teaching Effectiveness Using Value-Added and Observation Rubric Scores

Date: December 2014
Creator: McKenzie, Andrew
Description: This mixed-methods study examined the extent to which teacher performance and student performance measures correlated, and to understand which specific practices of mathematics teachers in Grades 3-5 related to student performance. Research was conducted at five elementary schools in a large, urban north Texas school district. Data sources included component scores and recorded evidence from observation rubrics, interviews with campus administrators, and value-added modeling (VAM) student growth scores. Findings indicated a modest relationship between teacher performance levels and student performance levels. Lack of access to individual teacher VAM data, per district policy, might have impacted the strength of the relationship. Interviews with administrators and an examination of the evidence cited in the observation rubrics identified specific practices associated with highly rated mathematics teaching. Differences in administrators’ experience levels with both mathematics instruction and the observation instrument might have influenced rubric scores and the level of specificity shown in evidence statements.
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An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School

An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School

Date: May 2014
Creator: Dew, SaraBeth
Description: “In what ways does teaching with folk arts inspired visual arts-based instruction enhance community building among elementary students in a Title I school?” was the primary research question in this study. Agreeing with past and present day research that the construct of community is vital to social and cultural capital, this research attempts to determine how the notion of community benefits both students and teachers in the elementary art classroom. Folk art was utilized because this genre was accessible in terms of locality and familiarity among students and teachers. The purpose of this investigation was to produce teaching strategies and methods that show how community can be formed in the art classroom. The participants were elementary students, Grades 2 and 3, in a Title I school located in Denton, Texas. This investigation was conducted under an action research methodology. This approach to research is intended to be transformational, emergent, and accommodating. I recorded observations, field notes, and conversations from the participants. Emergent themes were discovered through content analysis and conceptual maps. Results from this investigation concluded transformation is only possible if the person wants change to happen. Data also showed that community and art education are symbiotic. Transformation, growth, and ...
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An Analysis of the 4:2:1 Documentary

An Analysis of the 4:2:1 Documentary

Date: May 2014
Creator: Li, Tingting
Description: As a Chinese filmmaker, I feel obligated to reveal a true story about Chinese international students. Through my subjects and my stories, I am planning to express the messages that both adapting to a new culture and paying the financial cost of a foreign education have never been simple, but we will never give up our dreams.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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