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 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.
Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5370/
Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare
Teachers' decisions are a powerful influence on student learning and it is important to fully document accomplished teachers' instructional decisions, as well as to investigate possible influences on those decisions. Shakespearean dramas are central to high school curricula across the U.S. and pose particular instructional challenges, therefore teachers' decisions about teaching these texts are of particular interest. There is limited empirical research, however, about these instructional decisions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe how four accomplished high school English teachers working on a single campus make instructional decisions about teaching a Shakespearean play. Specifically, research questions addressed teachers' decisions regarding the teaching of a Shakespearean play and various influences on those decisions (self-reports and inferences from the data). Case study methodology was used, including an inductive analysis of individual teacher interviews, classroom observations, focus group, instructional artifacts, and researcher's journal. The findings revealed that instructional activities described by these teachers addressed support for meaning-making during four stages of reading instruction: (a) before, during, and after; (b) before; (c) during; and (d) after. Comparison of these cases suggests that, although each teacher brings personal preferences and unique background knowledge to her instructional decisions, all make decisions to promote student engagement and student construction of meaning. Regarding influences on these teachers' decisions about teaching the Shakespearean play, four categories were identified: (a) response to students; (b) aspects of the text; (c) response to contextual constraints and supports; and (d) personal preferences and background experiences. Individual teacher differences are clearly a strong influence, even among this group of colleagues on the same campus. Also, two influences not reported explicitly by the teachers suggest a complex integration of these influences. One is their intuitive thinking, which deserves a closer investigation in future research. The other proposes that each teacher's decisions are influenced by her instructional interaction working model (IIWM), a conceptual framework that shapes each teacher's conversational patterns, non-verbal behaviors, and other interactional patterns. Further research should explore the use of such a model to describe and explain the complexity of teachers' decisions, particularly when teaching complex, challenging tasks and texts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271873/
Accountability in Schools: a Study of High School Accountability Ratings and College Success
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings, college readiness indicators, and the percent of students who achieved first year college success. Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the variables. Data was analyzed for two-year and four-year postsecondary educational institutions which were divided by eight school district types. Regression analysis of the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings and the percent of students who achieved first year college success for four- year post secondary educational institutions revealed statistically significant results ranging from R2 =.179 to R2 = .220. Similar results were found for two-year post secondary educational institutions with statistically significant results ranging from R2 = .049 to R2 = .218. The results indicated negligible to small relationships between the variables. Regression results of the analysis for the relationship between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieved first year college success revealed statistically significant results for 2 - year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .077 to R2 = .596 and for 4 -year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .048 to R2 = .304. These results indicated small to moderate relationships between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieve first year college success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283865/
Accreditation Facilitation Projects: Supporting High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care
High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) are linked to positive developmental outcomes for children. Systems have been created to define, measure and promote high-quality ECEC. National accreditation status is deemed the gold standard of a high-quality program, yet many centers are unable to achieve this without assistance. With the help of Accreditation Facilitation Projects (AFPs), many low-income centers are able to achieve accreditation. Centers collaborating with an AFP reap many benefits including financial support, ongoing training and mentoring, and guidance through the accreditation process. AFPs invest greatly in the centers they collaborate with and the longer the center takes to achieve accreditation, the more resources an AFP must expend. The purposes of this study were to understand if the educational level of center director, the total enrollment of a center, or the percentage of children receiving government subsidies could predict the time it takes for a center to complete the accreditation process while receiving assistance from an AFP, and to determine if there are differences in attitudes about program accreditation between center directors and early learning specialists who serve as accreditation mentors to the directors. Findings revealed that a) the higher educational level of program directors is associated with a quicker time to program accreditation, b) both the total enrollment of the center and the percentage of children receiving government subsidies do not predict time to accreditation, c) the number of total staff in a center is associated with a quicker time to accreditation, and d) there is no significant difference between the directors' attitudes and early learning specialists' attitudes toward accreditation and accreditation facilitation projects. AFPs looking to streamline their accreditation process and provide accountability to their stakeholders regarding their investments over time can use these findings to choose to collaborate with centers that have directors who have at least a bachelor's degree in order to shorten the time to accreditation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271887/
Actions Taken by Texas School Districts to Prevent Fraud
This research is a descriptive analysis answering the question, what measures are currently taken by the leadership―boards of trustees and superintendents of schools―of Texas school districts to prevent embezzlement? The research perspective utilized was quantitative with a descriptive, cross-sectional design. Data collection was accomplished through a survey with questions constructed from the most commonly recommended strategies discovered through the review of literature. The survey was distributed to the 1031 superintendents of school districts in Texas via email. The response rate was 33% or 339 returned surveys. The data set created concentrates on the four most common preventive measures: policy and procedure, management, auditing, and ethics. These measures are considered as they function to interrupt the principles of the fraud triangle. Comparisons were completed regarding region, district size, superintendent tenure and superintendent experience. Policy adoption was found to be extremely widespread. Procedures written to fully implement policy were less prevalent. Review of management practices found problems concerning credit cards, personnel evaluations, and password access to multiple computer finance recordkeeping systems concentrated in one employee. External auditing programs were universal due to statutory mandate but internal auditors and internal audit committees were few. Ethics training for business office personnel existed but with little consistent application across districts. The adoption of a code of ethics for business office personnel was rare. Recommendations made were that school leaders should be educated concerning appropriate actions in the common prevention areas. They need an to understand the importance of internal auditing, know the language in local policy, and they need to write procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68052/
African-American parents' nutritional habits: Implications for the prevention of early childhood obesity.
This research study addressed the nutritional beliefs and habits of African-American parents of children aged 3 to 6 years old. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were employed. Quantitative data was collected via the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire as well as a demographic questionnaire. Qualitative data was collected from oral interviews conducted by the researcher. Seventy-five parents or guardians participated in the study. Findings for the research questions revealed the participants' beliefs about nutrition directly correlated with food they provided for their children and most believed nutrition rather than genetics played a role in their child(ren)'s weight. Furthermore, parents from lower income families consumed more home cooked meals per week and those with higher incomes did not consume more fast food per week. Food intake restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of education or income level. Suggestions for future research were included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11062/
An Analysis of Advisory Committee Activities in a Successful Public School Bond Election
The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effectiveness of specific advisory committee activities during a school bond proposal and election process. The study began with an extensive review of the literature on the use of advisory committee activities in school districts for the purpose of promoting a school bond issue. This revealed that school officials maintaining a low profile, the presence of a diverse community task force, focusing on YES voters, involving the committee in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community are all important in the passage of a school bond election. A survey was developed and administered to committee members, school board members and school district administrators in a North Texas school district that had successfully completed a bond election. Survey respondents consistently supported the practices put into place by the studied school district, which closely mirrored the activities espoused in the research. Respondents believed the diversity of the task force and the roles of the committee members to be crucial to the passage of the bond. The only subcategory of questions that drew mixed reviews and positions of support was that of the need for the administration and board to maintain a low profile. Participants in the survey viewed having a diverse community task force, focusing on YES votes, involvement in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community as being important to the successful passage of the school bond election, with clear dissemination of information being the most important activity of the committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4561/
An analysis of changes in perceptions of certified athletic trainers from 1996 to 2006 on the women in athletic training survey
This study investigates how perceptions vary in athletic trainers regarding issues pertaining to women in the profession. Subjects included 1500 male and 1500 female certified athletic trainers who responded to 44 demographic and perceptions survey items used to determine whether perceptions were different based on the respondent's gender. Results were compared to a previously disseminated survey in 1996 to also determine if perceptions had changed from 10 years earlier. Results regarding the presentation of awards and the attainment of leadership positions in the organization were also compared to actual data collected. The data suggested that males perceptions had not changed, but females' perceptions had changed, in that females perceived that opportunities had improved. Data regarding the number of females who had ascended to leadership positions or had received awards did not support these perceptions, however, and female athletic trainers continue to struggle to obtain equality in both of these areas. Additionally, homosocial reproduction continues to influence the decreased number of women who are hired into various jobs, or advance into leadership positions, maintaining patriarchy in the athletics arena and in the athletic training organizations. Results suggested that because athletic training has been dominated by men since its inception, patriarchy continues to influence the lack of ascension of women into leadership positions and awards recognition. Many women are choosing to leave the profession due to the gender role pressure that they can not sustain a career in athletic training and raise a family. Men's professional sports continue to reject the concept of hiring women to serve as athletic trainers with their athletes, which also continues to preserve a patriarchal environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3679/
An Analysis of Performance Differences Between Self-Directed and Teacher-Directed Alternative Education Campuses in Texas
This study was conducted to analyze the performance differences between alternative education campuses in Texas that used teacher-directed strategies and those that used self-directed strategies. The study was also conducted to inform educators of the results these two strategies had achieved with at-risk students during the three years of 2006-2008. The study used the results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test as reported in the AEIS annual reports from the Texas Education Agency. Alternative education schools were grouped according to the strategy used to educate at-risk students. The results of the statistical tests showed the two strategies had similar performance results and there was no statistical difference between the two. The results offered several implications concerning the ability of at-risk students to achieve in alternative education schools including possible reasons why students who were previously unsuccessful became successful in alternative settings. The report also addressed the number of students who continued to be unsuccessful even when placed on an alternative education campus. Possible reasons for this continued inability to succeed are discussed. Recommendations for further research were listed at the conclusion of the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30430/
An Analysis of Program Options for Gifted Middle School Students
The purpose of this study was to compare three different types of programming options for identified gifted and talented middle school students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277734/
Analysis of Qualified Immunity for Texas Public School Professional Employees as Interpreted by the Texas Courts
This dissertation analyzed Texas appellate court decisions relating to whether educators' actions were incident to or within the scope of duties and involved the exercise of judgment or discretion in cases involving defamation, motor vehicle exceptions, and excessive force in discipline exceptions. The questions addressed were: (1) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators for defamation? (2) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators for injury to students when plaintiffs have sued Texas educator under the motor vehicle exception to the educator immunity law? (3) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators under the excessive force in discipline exception to the educator immunity law? This dissertation utilized legal research as its methodology. Chapter 3 examines literature with regard to qualified immunity for Texas public school professional employees and discusses the limitations placed upon qualified immunity. Chapter 4 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving alleged defamation of students or others by teachers and school administrators. Chapter 5 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving the alleged negligent use of motor vehicles by professional public school employees. Chapter 6 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving the alleged use of excessive force in disciplining students. Chapter 7 discusses the findings of the analysis of cases as well as the implied limitations regarding qualified immunity of teachers and school administrators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9857/
An Analysis of Teaching Periodicals for Aging Education Content
Ninety elementary public school teachers were surveyed to find out where they obtained their teaching ideas. Seven popular elementary-level teaching periodicals, dated 1989-1999, were analyzed for aging-related content, and compared with 27 of the National Academy for Teaching and Learning about Aging (NATLA) aspects of aging recommended for students' learning. Results indicate that public elementary teachers obtain their teaching ideas from various places: teaching institutes or workshops; other teachers; ideas or lessons they develop themselves; and teaching periodicals. A large percentage obtain lesson ideas from teaching periodicals that they browse or read. This finding may assist NATLA in making recommendations to particular editorial boards. Surprisingly, few teachers obtain their teaching ideas from state and local curricular mandates. When the periodical issues were analyzed, aging-related content was categorized in four ways: informational articles with selected teaching or learning activities; articles describing intergenerational programs or activities; book reviews with selected learning activities; and book review titles mentioning older adult characters. Category totals among the 7 periodicals were highest in book review titles mentioning older adult characters and book reviews with selected learning activities. The content was compared to NATLA's recommendations for students' learning. The findings were not significant. The aging aspect that appeared most often in book reviews with selected learning activities was that most living things have life cycles of patterned biological changes, and/or that death and disability can occur at any age. Whether we formally teach them about aging or not, children learn about it. Earlier studies indicate that even preschool children may stereotype the aging process and/or older adults. Curricular and instructional ideas provided in teaching materials, even in an informal format can provide education, which prepares children for real life experiences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2771/
An analysis of the benefits of the Student Success Initiative in the 3rd and 5th grades in a district in Texas.
The state of Texas passed the Student Success Initiative (SSI) in 1999 which requires all 3rd graders to pass the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test to be promoted to the 4th grade, and for 5th graders to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 6th grade. Beginning in spring 2008, 8th graders will also need to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 9th grade. The purpose of this study was to examine the academic performance of 3rd and 5th grade students who did not meet the passing standard on the TAKS test and were retained during the 2005-2006 school year. The population of this study included 33 3rd graders and 49 5th graders who were retained during the 2005-2006 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. There was also a second population of 49 5th graders who were retained in 3rd grade during the 2003-2004 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. These students were enrolled in the 5th grade for the first time during the 2005-2006 school year. Their TAKS scores were examined to see whether students were still benefiting from the year of retention in 3rd grade. Results for all populations were broken down by ethnicity and program codes. The results of the study showed a statistically significant gain in 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math scores. The 5th grade reading scores did have a statistically significant improvement even though the reading mean score was still below the minimum passing score even after a year of retention. A cross tabulation done on students who had been retained in 3rd grade due to SSI requirements and were enrolled in the 5th grade during the study showed a greater significant growth in math than in reading. A strong correlation between the ITBS and TAKS tests were found in both 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math. A weak correlation between the tests was found in 5th grade reading. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3634/
An analysis of the effect of distance learning on student self-efficacy of junior high school Spanish students.
Prior to the development of interactive television, schools that were either geographically isolated or financially restricted were often unable to provide courses that may have been essential for students. Interactive television has helped such school districts provide appropriate courses for their students. Because student self-efficacy is a significant indicator of student success, the relationship between distance learning and students' self-efficacy requires research. The problem of the study was to examine the impact of site location in a distance learning environment on student self-efficacy in Spanish instruction. The participants in this study were junior high school students enrolled in distance-learning Spanish classes at two junior high schools in a north central Texas independent school district. All of the students were taught by the same instructor. The age range of the students was from 11 to 14 years of age, and all students were in either the seventh or the eighth grade. Students took a modified version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire at the end of each treatment. Using the counterbalanced design, each subject was matched to themselves. T-tests for nonindependent samples were used to compare the two treatments. The findings indicate that there is no significant difference in the level of student self-efficacy by site location. The findings in this study support the use of distance learning as a medium for Spanish instruction at the junior high school level. Because of the strong statistical relationship between self-efficacy and student performance, teachers and administrators can reasonably believe that site location will not hamper their students' success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4563/
An Analysis of the Emotional Intelligence and Personality of Principals Leading Professional Learning Communities
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between a principal's emotional intelligence and personality and his or her ability to implement and develop professional learning communities within the school. The Professional Learning Community Assessment (PLCA) was administered to principals and teachers in 13 schools in Texas ranging from elementary to high school. Based on the strength of the PLCA scores, two elementary schools were selected to participate in case study research. The principals of these two campuses were administered an emotional intelligence instrument (MSCEIT), a personality instrument (DiSC), and were interviewed along with three of their teachers. The findings indicate that both of these principals scored high in the Influential and Conscientiousness subscales and low in the Dominance subscale. The principals also possessed either near-average or above-average emotional intelligence with both principals scoring particularly strong in the Strategic subscale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6093/
An Analysis of the Impact of Curriculum Management Audits on Public School Systems in Texas
The purposes of this study were to (1) identify the recommendations of Curriculum Management Audits conducted in Texas Public School systems, (2) determine the degree to which each of the recommendations had been implemented, and (3) determine the perceptions of stakeholders as to the factors instrumental in the real and potential impact of the audit. The researcher conducted interviews with superintendents and key central office administrators with a working knowledge of the audit report in each of the eleven Texas school districts studied. Respondents were asked to rate recommendations written for their districts using the following descriptors: Implemented, In Progress, Plan to Implement, Recommendation Modified, No Implementation. The ranking of recommendation implementation revealed that 85% of the recommendations made in the 11 audit reports reviewed in this study had received action toward implementation to some degree. Respondents were also asked to cite factors which facilitated or impeded recommendation implementation. Significant factors facilitating the implementation of recommendations were reported to be time, organizational structure/personnel and planning. The analysis of the collective recommendations revealed that school board policies were not adequate to direct the design, delivery and monitoring of curriculum when measured against audit Standard One criteria. School districts in Texas rely on the Texas Association of School Boards' policy division for policies. Findings indicate that greater alignment between the Texas Association of School Boards' policies and Curriculum Management Audit criteria must be sought in order for school districts in Texas to meet this Standard. System-wide planning, curriculum documents, and program-driven budgeting processes were other areas requiring attention of the school districts in the study. Evidence of the extent of implementation of recommendations suggests that school districts valued the audit report with its recommendations. It can be generally concluded that the Curriculum Management Audit had a positive impact on the involved school districts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277718/
An Analysis of the Perception of the Degree of Compliance of Selected Texas Public High Schools with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
In recent years, few laws have had greater impact on public education than Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As a result of this legislation, participation levels of female athletes have risen dramatically. Conducted in the Texas Education Agency's Region XI, this study sought to ascertain the perceptions of high school principals, the lead coaches of male athletes, and the lead coaches of female athletes with regard to their schools' compliance with the components of Title IX. The study centered on the results of a survey instrument that included twenty Likert-scale questions as well as several demographic questions. The research questions sought to determine: (1) respondents' overall perception of compliance; (2) any differences in perceptions of compliance based upon the role of the individual; (3) any differences in perceptions based upon the percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch; (4) any differences based upon the state classification of the schools; (5) any differences based upon the gender of respondents; (6) whether complaints filed via OCR result in a perception of increased compliance; and (7) the program component areas in which respondents view their schools to be most compliant. Descriptive and causal-comparative methods were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that school leaders in north central Texas public high schools perceived a high degree of compliance of their schools with the requirements of Title IX regardless of their role. A descriptive analysis of the responses based upon respondent role yielded slight differences between coaches of males and females. An ANOVA of responses considering the variables of free and reduced lunch as well as state classification did not yield a statistical significance in terms of perceptions of compliance. Although the mean scores of female respondents were slightly lower than males, the research did not yield statistically significant differences based upon gender. The study was inconclusive in terms of whether districts that have experienced formal Title IX complaints are more compliant with Title IX. Finally, the study indicated that school leaders should focus more attention on the areas of coaching assignment and compensation as well as publicity as they seek to comply with Title IX. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4960/
Anti-bullying Policies And Practices In Texas Middle Schools
For over a decade national attention to bullying in American schools has increased, fueled by publicity about suicides of severely bullied youth. Schools have the charge of maintaining the safety of all students in order to ensure a positive learning environment, but there is little information about what they are doing to prevent bullying. The purpose of this study was to provide information on principals’ perceptions of bullying and what anti-bullying policies, procedures, and programs exist in Texas middle schools. Ninety-nine principals completed an online questionnaire that addressed: 1) their knowledge of district and campus policies concerning bullying; 2) their direct experience with bullying; and, 3) bullying-prevention strategies and training in place in their schools. Principals reported direct experience with all types of bullying included on the questionnaire in their schools, but had a surprisingly small mean of 14.8 verified bullying incidents during the 2010-2011 year. Over 60% felt the level of physical safety in their school was good or very good, but only 35% rated their school’s emotional safety as good or very good. Students, parents, and teachers reported bullying to the majority of principals; however, few schools conducted annual student surveys that could provide accurate information about bullying in their schools. Procedures required by state law were more likely to be in place than those not required, though not all schools complied with all requirements. Fewer than 10% of schools had implemented a formal anti-bullying program. The most commonly cited obstacles to effectively addressing bullying were lack of time to conduct investigations and getting parents to file written reports (40%); however, despite having anti-bullying training, 27% felt limited by the lack of strategies. This study fills a void in the literature by providing a statewide overview of middle school principals’ knowledge of district and campus policies and procedures on bullying. It also shows the extent to which legal requirements and best practices have been implemented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103382/
Assessing linguistic, mathematical, and visual factors related to student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, eighth grade mathematics test.
The No Child Left Behind Act and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards both had a significant impact on the format and content of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) math test. Content analysis of the 2004 TAKS eighth grade math test identified the prevalence of linguistic complexity, mathematical rigor, and visual presentation factors and explored their relationship to student success on individual test items. Variables to be studied were identified through a review of literature in the area of reading comprehension of math word problems. Sixteen variables of linguistic complexity that have been significantly correlated with student math test performance were selected. Four variables of visual presentation were identified and ten variables of mathematical rigor. An additional five variables of mathematical rigor emerged from preliminary study of the 2003 TAKS math test. Of the 35 individual variables, only four reached a significant level of correlation with the percent of students correctly answering a given test item. The number of digits presented in the problem statement and number of known quantities both exhibited a significant positive correlation with the dependent variable. The number of times a student had to perform a multiplication operation had a significant negative correlation with the percent of correct responses, as did the total number of operations required. Stepwise regression of these four variables revealed total number of operations and known quantities to be the best combination of predictors of correct responses. When grouped in categories by problem type and compared, items involving mathematical reasoning but no mathematical operations had a significantly higher percentage of correct responses than those requiring at least one operation. Further categorization revealed problems involving applications only (without computation) associated with the highest levels of correct responses, followed by those involving only computation. Items requiring both applications and computations had a significantly lower percent of correct responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4849/
Assessing the effect of inquiry-based professional development on science achievement tests scores.
This study analyzed student test scores to determine if teacher participation in an inquiry-based professional development was able to make a statistically significant difference in student achievement levels. Test scores for objectives that assessed the critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies modeled in a science inquiry institute were studied. Inquiry-based experiences are the cornerstones for meeting the science standards for scientific literacy. State mandated assessment tests measure the levels of student achievement and are reported as meeting minimum expectations or showing mastery for specific learning objectives. Students test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test (TAAS) for 8th grade science and the Biology End Of Course (EOC) exams were analyzed using ANCOVA, Chi Square, and Logistic Regression, with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) 7th Grade Science Subtest as covariate. It was hypothesized that the students of Inquiry Institute teachers would have higher scale scores and better rates of mastery on the critical thinking objectives than the students of non-Institute teachers. It was also hypothesized that it would be possible to predict student mastery on the objectives that assessed critical thinking and problem solving based on Institute participation. This quasi-experimental study did not show a statistically significant difference between the two groups. The effects of inquiry-based professional development may not be determined by analyzing the results of the standardized tests currently being used in Texas. Inquiry training may make a difference, but because of factors such as the ceiling effect, insufficient time to implement the program, and test items that are intended to but do not address critical thinking skills, the TAAS and EOC tests may not accurately assess effects of the Inquiry Institute. The results of this study did indicate the best predictor of student mastery for the 8th grade science TAAS and Biology EOC may possibly be prior knowledge acquired in elementary school and as demonstrated on the 7th grade ITBS science subtest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3348/
Assessment and Analysis of Per Pupil Expenditures: a Study Testing a Micro-Financial Model in Equity and Student Outcome Determination
The purpose of this study was to examine district level financial data to assess equity across districts, to compare equity benchmarks established in the literature using selected functions from the state's financial database, and to determine the predictive value of those functions to the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests of 1997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279253/
Attitudes toward computer use and gender differences among Kuwaiti sixth-grade students
Because computer use become more and more important in the educational environment, the attitudes of students toward computer may play an important role in their learning success. This study investigated the attitudes toward computers and gender differences of sixth-grade Kuwaiti students and examined the relationships between students’ attitudes toward computers and school, motivation/persistence, study habits, empathy, creative tendencies, and achievement in the Informatics field. The Computer Attitude Questionnaire (CAQ), translated from the English into Arabic Language for this study, was originally developed by Knezek and Miyashita for the Texas Center for Educational Technology (University of North Texas). The CAQ was administered to a random cluster sample of 10 public middle schools: (5 boys’ and 5 girls’ schools), with a total of 562 students, (265 boys and 297 girls), in the State of Kuwait during the academic year 1999-2000. The pilot test was conducted to calculate the reliability with Cronbach’s alpha = .87 for the CAQ Arabic version. This study found positive attitudes toward computer use (mean = 3.31 on 4-point Likert-scale); however, girls had significantly more positive attitudes toward computers (mean = 3.36) than did boys (mean = 3.26). It also found statistically significant correlations between attitudes toward computers and school (r. = .149), motivation/persistence (r. = .459), study habits (r. = .371), empathy (r. = .308), creative tendencies (r. = .530), and achievement in the Informatics field (r. = .201). A statistically significant gender difference was found in the correlations between attitudes toward computers and empathy. Girls had a stronger correlation (r. = .405) than boys (r. = .215). This study also found that students who use computers at home (mean = 3.40) have more positive attitudes toward computers than did students who do not (mean = 3.22). The main conclusion of the current study is that students like to use computers, therefore, the researcher suggests that computer should be introduced for the students in the classrooms environment and to be integrated into the curriculum of all subject areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2663/
Beating the high stakes testing game: A three-year study of improvement rates on the TAKS social studies exit exam.
The Texas high school class of 2005 faced a defining test that had no precedent in Texas and little nationally. Social studies testing is a relatively new addition to the world of high stakes testing currently impacting United States high schools. Although other diploma dependent areas of mandated testing have some testing history and, therefore, related paradigms for curriculum and instructional assistance, the area of social studies largely lacks that perspective. Texas Education agency provided specific school grant monies and training for the purpose of preparation for the social studies exams. This quasi-experimental study examines the scores to learn whether or not any statistically significant differences in social studies scores would exist between the schools that participated in the TEKS/Tools Training Program and the schools that did not participate in the TEKS/Tools Training Program. The two primary at-risk groups in Texas, Hispanic and low SES, were analyzed for statistically significant differences in scores. Independent t tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the score differences between program schools and non-program schools. Results relate to individual school staffing and implementation. The at-risk groups remained flat in score gains whether they were part of the program schools or not. Results relate to differences in learning and teaching for at risk groups. A separate trend analysis was used on the program target school which was the only school with three years of scores to determine improvement from grade 9 to 10 to 11 on the social studies TAKS test scores. Results from the repeated measures analysis indicated a statistically significant linear trend in the program target school's TAKS social studies mean gain scores across the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5284/
Beliefs about language learning and language learning strategy use in an EFL context: A comparison study of monolingual Korean and bilingual Korean-Chinese university students.
This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal learning and felt less fear of speaking English with native English speakers. Significant correlations between strategy and belief variables indicated differences in the impact of beliefs on strategy use for both groups. The result of the MANOVA revealed that bilingual humanities or engineering majors used more strategies and held stronger beliefs about formal learning. Proficiency level was positively correlated with strategy use for both groups. No gender effect on strategy use and beliefs was found. The assumption that differences in the learning experiences of the participants from two distinct geographical and socio-educational learning settings would influence the findings of this study was upheld. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5270/
The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools
Through the years, educational theorists and researchers have been interested in a possible relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their beliefs and expectations. Three concepts underpinned this work: teacher effectiveness, cultural diversity, and teachers' beliefs and expectations. The premise of the study was that the beliefs and expectations of effective secondary choral teachers are related to the social-cultural contexts in which they teach. The study implemented critical discourse analysis as the theoretical framework and the in-depth phenomenological long interview for data collection. Three secondary choral teachers were selected to participate in the study based on the researcher's criteria. The study revealed how each teacher conceptualized student cultural diversity during the teaching experience. Teacher beliefs about effective teaching in culturally diverse settings were described as developing over time in phases along a continuum. The study also confirmed that teachers' beliefs about students can be changed through experiences and reflection. The study revealed effective teachers focused on three different types of expectations in the teaching and learning context and affirmed diverse cultural identities and backgrounds. Recommendations included the development of stronger mentorship programs to increase effective teaching strategies for the secondary choral classroom. The findings of this study support my previous work, which introduces a sequential learning framework for teaching music in culturally diverse schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271902/
Better Teaching Model? Middle School Science Classroom Using the 4MAT Instructional Strategy vs. Lessons Created Without this Model
The problem investigated was the need for effective and efficient learning for middle school science students to meet expectations set in Goals 2000. The use of the 4MAT Instructional Method was investigated as a possible method for attainment of current science standards. The study included one middle school science instructor's classes with 89 participating students. Measurements were taken and comparisons drawn using three assessment methods to determine if improved academic achievement and attitude scores resulted. Data analysis yielded no significant conclusion in either academic achievement or attitude improvement; however, observations of the researcher indicated potential usefulness of the 4MAT approach. The t-value calculated in the assessment methods was insufficient with a .05 probability of error present in the findings. The limitations of the study skewed the results and outweighed the possible observational insight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3259/
Career Paths to the Texas Public School Superintendency
This study focused on the identification of career paths that led to the Texas public school superintendency, including an examination of career path differences associated with gender, ethnicity, and district type, and on the identification of the career path positions superintendents perceived as being the most beneficial in preparing them for the superintendency. Additionally, the study examined place-bound versus career-bound superintendents. The most common career path to the Texas public school superintendency was secondary teacher, secondary principal, and superintendent. Female administrators and administrators who worked in large districts were more likely to take the director route to the superintendency. Additionally, most major urban superintendents took the director route to the superintendency. Ethnicity was not a significant factor in determining the career path to the superintendency. A significant correlation did exist between educational attainment and the secondary teacher, secondary assistant principal, secondary principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent career path. A higher representation of superintendent respondents who held earned doctorates existed in that career path than in any of the other career path groups. While educational attainment was important in higher paying districts, most Texas superintendents did not hold doctorates. Few held doctorates from the most prestigious, nationally recognized universities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4970/
A Case Study of Parental Behaviors in an English Language Learner Community Technology Literacy Lab Setting and the Extension of the Behaviors in the Home
The purpose of the study was to describe a family literacy program attempting to teach adult English language learners (ELL) the knowledge and skills that would allow them to support their children's learning at home. The methodology employed was a multi-case study. Fourteen adult participants were interviewed to gather information regarding the factors that influenced the adult participant's ability to support their child's learning prior to participation in the family literacy program. The study focused on the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the literacy program and used to support their child's learning at home and the curriculum and instruction that the participants used to influence their child's learning. The methodology used to gather information included adult English language learner interviews, field observations, and contact analysis of lesson plans. The following conclusions were derived based on analysis of the data: 1. In the family literacy program that was studied, the only prior factor that appeared to influence the parent's ability to support their child's learning was the education level of the participant. 2. Pronunciation, conversation, listening, grammar and writing are are essential skills that ELL parents use to support their child's learning. Attitudes were directly affected by the participants' ability to master the English language in order to be able to guide their children through the U.S. educational system. 3. The curriculum supported the learning; however the instruction was vital to modeling the procedures for learning that the participants used to support their children's success in school. 4. Regardless of other factors such as marital status, occupation, and other variations in family background, all participants based their ability to support their child's learning on their own ability to master the English language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4297/
A Case Study of the Impact of the Middle School Data Coach on Teacher Use of Educational Test Data to Change Instruction
With the advent of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation in 2002 and its attendant increases in accountability pressure, many districts and schools currently embrace data analysis as an essential part of the instructional decision making process. In their attempts to overcome low achievement on state-mandated tests, some districts have begun employing data coaches. The study reported here, which was set in three middle schools in a northeast Texas school district, assessed the influence of the campus data coach on a middle school mathematics teachers' use of analyzed data to make instructional decisions. It also examined the extent to which the Data Coach/teacher relationship resolved teacher concerns about data-driven decision making. Phenomenological interviews with data coaches were guided by Seidman's (2006) three-series interview. Measurement of teacher use of data to make decisions was based on the concerns-based adoption model's levels of use interview protocol, stages of concern questionnaire, and innovation configuration map. By the end of one school year, two out of the three teachers never used data to make instructional decisions, although the non-users both had moved closer toward employing the innovation in their classroom. Data indicated all teachers were aware of the innovation, but all three ended the study with high personal concerns, signifying that the minimal efforts made by the data coaches to resolve concerns were not successful. This study's small sample gave the research paradigm of data-based decision making an in-depth glimpse into the process of implementing data-based instructional decision making and the Data Coach position on three middle school campuses in one large northeast Texas district. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33164/
Central Office Administrators' Perceptions of the Professional Learning Community Process
This study provides a qualitative interpretation of the work done by central office administrators in a school district in Texas as they supported and built capacity for the professional learning community (PLC) process over a five year time period. Literature by PLC scholars, especially R. DuFour, R.B. DuFour, Eaker, Hord, Hipp, Huffman, and Olivier, informed development of the study. In a school district of 19,000 students and 2,000 staff members, ten central office administrators were interviewed to gain their perceptions of their roles in the PLC process. Interviews were analyzed through the processes of initial, focused, and theoretical coding. Documents were examined and used as supplemental sources of data to corroborate the perspectives provided. Findings revealed the story of central office administrators who worked interdependently to support and build capacity in the implementation and sustainment of the PLC process. A thick description of the work based on their perceptions offers actions and behaviors of administrators specific to their roles and practices and protocols developed to hold the work together. A grounded theory was developed with regard to central office administrators' support and capacity-building for the PLC process. From the administrators' perceptions, six theoretical categories relating to central office support and capacity building of the PLC process emerged: 1) establishment, 2) deployment, 3) accountability for implementation, 4) adult learning, 5) collaboration, and 6) leadership development. The study contributes an interpretivist description of the involvement of central office in the PLC process and confirms the importance of the change process in the implementation of the PLC framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283851/
Character education programs and student suspension rates from school: Do character education programs decrease student suspensions from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas?
The purpose of this study was to determine if character education programs impact the suspension rates of students from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas. The data was also examined to determine if the number of years since a school's implementation of a character education program has an impact on the effectiveness of the programs as measured by the suspension rates of students from school. Finally, the study sought to determine if the socio-economic status of the schools has an impact on the effectiveness of character education programs as measured by the student suspension rates. A random sample of 135 regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas was collected. The principal of each school completed a questionnaire that was used to sort schools into three groups: schools with "direct" character education programs, schools with "indirect" character education programs, and schools that have implemented no type of character education program. A two-year history of suspensions was obtained for each school. The data was analyzed using one-way and two-way ANOVAs. The results of the analyses indicated that the implementation of character education programs, no matter what type, did not produce statistically significant differences in student suspension rates from school. Furthermore, the data revealed that neither the number of years since the implementation of the character education programs nor the socio-economic status of the schools had an impact on the effectiveness of the character education programs as measured by the student suspension rates from school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4778/
The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute
This qualitative naturalistic descriptive case study provides an understanding of the characteristics of a community of practice within a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. This study utilized naturalistic, descriptive case study methodology to answer the research question: What characteristics of a community of practice are revealed by the perceptions and experiences of the fellows of a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute? Data were gathered in the form of interviews, focus group, observations, field notes, and participant reflective pieces. Peer debriefing, triangulation, thick rich description, as well as member checking served to establish credibility and trustworthiness in the study. Bracketing, a phenomenological process of reflecting on one's own experiences of the phenomenon under investigation was utilized as well. The findings of this study point to five analytic themes. These themes, ownership and autonomy, asset-based environment, relationships, socially constructed knowledge and practices, and experiential learning, intertwine to illuminate the three essential components which must be present for a community of practice to exist: joint enterprise, mutual engagement, and shared repertoire. Participants' portraits provide a description of their unique experiences as they moved fluidly between the periphery and core of the community of practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28461/
Children of teenage mothers: School readiness outcomes and predictors of school success.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teenage motherhood on the school readiness, literacy skills, and parental involvement of children participating in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) early intervention program, as well as make recommendations for optimal outcomes. Study children were participants in HIPPY at five diverse, urban school districts. Using a mixed method design, this study examined the results of quantitative measures of children's school readiness, literacy skills, and parent involvement along with qualitative data collected through mothers' responses to two, open-ended questions related to their satisfaction with HIPPY. According to results of independent samples t-test, mean scores on school readiness and parent involvement measures were not statistically significantly different for the children of teenage mothers and the children of traditional age mothers. However, there were moderate effect sizes for parent involvement and physical development indicating some practical significance. Chi-square results of literacy skills indicated that the children of teenage mothers were almost twice as likely [c2 (1, N = 36) = 4.21, p < .05] to have literacy skills that were "not on grade level" according to scores on the TPRI/Tejas. Descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) indicated that the multivariate relationship of the four parent involvement variables statistically significantly contributed to whether children born to teenage mothers had literacy skills on grade-level, but it was not significant for the children of traditional-age mothers. DDA analysis conducted on the school readiness variables did not yield any significant results. In addition, odds ratios conducted between literacy level and each of the parent involvement and school readiness variables indicated an increased probability of a child's literacy skills being on grade level when scores were high, but these increases were not statistically significant. While there were differences in literacy skills, teen mothers indicated, through their responses to two, open-ended questions, their desire to for more support for their children in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9117/
Children with Autism in Taiwan and the United States: Parental Stress, Parent-child Relationships, and the Reliability of a Child Development Inventory
Autism is one of the fastest growing childhood disorders in the world, and the families that have children with autism experience frustration and stress due to many practical problems. with the increase in the prevalence of autism, it is urgent to raise awareness of autism and to provide services and support for children with autism and their parents to improve the parent-child relationship and moderate the parental stress. with regard to families with children diagnosed as autistic, the purposes of this study are to: (a) examine the group differences in parental stress and parent-child relationship between Taiwan and the United States based on racial and cultural differences; (b) identify factors, if any, that influence the parental stress and parent-children relationship; (c) investigate if there are differences in the results of child development when children are diagnosed with autism in these two countries; (d) establish the Battelle Development Inventory-II in Mandarin Chinese version for use of evaluation with development delays in Taiwan. Findings revealed that: (a) the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II), is highly reliable with a great value of internal consistency in the use with parents and children with autism in Taiwan; (b) there is no significant difference in child development and parent-child relationship based on geographic region (Taiwan and the United States); (c) parents of children with autism in the United States overall have a more positive parent-child relationship and parenting attitude than parents of children with autism in Taiwan; (d) Children with autism who have a positive relationship with their parents have a higher pass rate on the evaluation of child development; (e) fathers reported higher pass rate on BDI-II than mothers in one of the standard deviations of over BDI-II performance; (f) parent-child relationships are positively correlated with parental stress; (g) parents who received services and support from a government agency or school in Taiwan have significantly lower scores on the parent-child relationship inventory; (h) fathers of children with autism have higher stress level than mothers; (i) parents who received services and support from parent groups (such as PTA or parent association) and from a government agency or school feel less stress than parents that did not receive those supports in Taiwan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115114/
Children's spiritual development: Analysis of program practices and recommendations for early childhood professionals.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which faith-based preschools promote spiritual development in preschoolers. The participants in the study were faith-based early childhood teachers and administrators from seven states. Early childhood professionals representing 11 Christian faith traditions completed written surveys or online surveys. A total of 201 faith-based educators completed the survey; 20 respondents participated in semi-structured interviews. The concurrent triangulation mixed-method design provided data on 8 program dimensions which support children's spiritual development: prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. I analyzed quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics. All items were examined using mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentages. Qualitative data gathered from semi-structured interviews were coded and analyzed using NVivo8® qualitative analysis software (QSR International, Inc., Cambridge, MA, http://www.qsrinternational.com). From this data I identified the extent to which faith-based preschool programs support children's spiritual development through the practices of prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. Data analyses revealed statistically significant differences in faith-based teachers' hours of training in children's spiritual development across all program practice dimensions. A key finding of the study was that training in children's spiritual development is important regardless of the education level of the early childhood professional. Qualitative data indicated no standardized spiritual development training in faith-based preschools represented in this study. The mixed-method analysis revealed that the 8 program practice dimensions were not always connected in a framework that supported children's spiritual development. Recommendations for professional practice include a program framework to support children's spiritual development in faith-based preschool programs; training for faith-based early childhood professionals in children's spiritual development; and formulating a definition of children's spiritual development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12169/
A Chronological Study of Experiential Education in the American History Museum
This study traced the evolution of experiential education in American history museums from 1787 to 2007. Because of a decline in attendance, museum educators need to identify best practices to draw and retain audiences. I used 16 museology and history journals, books, and archives of museums prominent for using the method. I also interviewed 15 museum educators who employ experiential learning, one master interpreter of the National Park Service, and an independent museum exhibit developer. Experiential education involves doing with hands touching physical materials. Four minor questions concerned antecedents of experiential learning, reasons to invest in the method, the influence of social context, and cultural pluralism. Next is a review of the theorists whose works support experiential learning: Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Lewin, Bruner, Eisner, Hein, and David Kolb plus master parks interpreter Freeman Tilden. The 8 characteristics they support include prior experiences, physical action, interaction with the environment, use of the senses, emotion, social relationships, and personal meaning. Other sections are manifestation of experiential learning, transformation of history museums, and cultural pluralism in history museums. The research design is descriptive, and the procedure, document analysis and structured interview. Findings are divided by decades after the first 120 years. Social context, examples of experiential learning, and multicultural activities are detailed. Then findings are discussed by patterns of delivery: sensory experiences, actions as diversion and performance, outreach of traveling trunks and of organized activity, crafts as handwork and as skills, role-playing, simulation, hands-on museum work, and minor patterns. The decline of involvement of citizens in the civic and cultural life of the community has adversely affected history museums. Experiential learning can stop this trend and transform museum work, as open-air museums and the National Park Service have demonstrated. In the future history museums may include technology, a more diverse audience, and adults in its experiential educational plans to thrive. Further research is needed on evaluation, finances, and small museums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5190/
A Comparative Study of School District Expenditures in Texas Since the Enactment of Senate Bill 7
The purposes of this study were to: (a) determine the effects of Senate Bill 7 on expenditures in Texas school districts, (b) compare similarities and differences in expenditures among property-poor, medium-wealth, and wealthy-districts, (c) analyze spending patterns in light of equalization efforts, and (d) provide useful data to researchers in the area of equalization and adequacy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278137/
A Comparative Study of the Impact of the Total Quality Management Program on Exit Level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Scores
The management style being used by school personnel in Texas and across the nation today is predominately that of a bureaucracy. This model was organized around the industrial revolution that was exercising authority at the turn of the century. Writers and researchers have pointed out that such a model is not capable of providing students the knowledge and skills they will need to enter an increasingly demanding society. One management style relatively new to the educational arena today is that of Total Quality Management. This study reports the results of the impact of the training in those principles by measurement of student test scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277696/
A Comparison of Academic Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students Served in Title I Part A Programs: Targeted Assistance Versus Schoolwide Models
This study analyzed test scores of economically disadvantaged students who attended two elementary schools implementing different types of Title I models from 1999-2001. Test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) were analyzed. One school implemented the targeted assistance model (less than 50% poverty), which focused resources on students were identified as failing or at risk of failing. The other a schoolwide model (95% poverty), which used resources to help all students in a school regardless of whether they ware failing, at risk of failing, or economically disadvantaged. The quantitative approach was used with a causal comparative design. A cohort of continuously enrolled students was identified for the TAAS (n=169 and 189) and the ITBS/SAT-9 (n=49 and 87). Descriptive statistics such as the frequency, mean, and standard deviation, were used to measure differences on the Texas Learning Index (TLI) for the TAAS, and Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) on the ITBS/SAT-9. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to partially adjust for preexisting differences among the groups and because randomization was not possible. The independent variable was type of Title I model, targeted assistance or schoolwide. The dependent variable was the achievement measure, and the covariate was the initial achievement scores in third grade (pretest). The ANCOVA reports and descriptive statistics showed that economically disadvantaged students performed better in reading and math on TAAS and ITBS/SAT-9 at the targeted assistance school in 1999 and 2001, with mixed results in 2000. The academic performance of economically disadvantaged students at the targeted model was consistent all three school years. They scored slightly lower than the non-economically disadvantaged students, but higher than their peers at the schoolwide model. The students' third grade pretest score was the most significant predictor of future performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4773/
A Comparison of Personality Types of Alternative and Traditional Campus Students
The purpose of this study was to determine personality characteristics of students who are successful on traditional campuses and students who are successful on alternative campuses. With this knowledge, more students may be served on the traditional campus without the necessity for alternative education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277653/
A Comparison of Principals’ Perceptions of Preparedness Based on Leadership Development Opportunities
This research study identified the frequency in which six public school districts in Texas provided principals with effective development opportunities prior to the principalship excluding university or certification programs. A purposive sample of over 200 principals from six school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area were asked to participate in the study yielding a response rate of 41%. Respondents identified through a questionnaire their leadership development opportunities and perceptions of preparedness on nine standards common to the profession. Principals were nominally grouped for comparison. The perceptions of preparedness for principals who received effective leadership development opportunities were compared to those who did not receive these same opportunities using an independent samples t-test to determine statistical significance (p < .05). Peer coaching yielded the most statistically significant results in three standards. This finding indicates principals who receive peer coaching prior to the principalship compared to those who did not perceive themselves as more prepared in the areas of community collaboration, political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context, and curriculum, instruction and assessment. Effect size was measured for the statistically significance standards to determine practical significance. Each of the five statistically significant standards yielded a medium effect size indicating that the leadership development methods received by participants explained approximately 30% of the difference. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84217/
A Comparison of Quantitative Skills in Texas Year-round Schools with Texas Traditional Calendar Schools
This study analyzed the academic impact of year-round calendar schools as compared with the academic achievement of traditional calendar schools. The population studied was the 1998 public elementary schools in Texas. The academic impact was based upon the 1998 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test administrated by the Texas Education Agency. The two groups of schools studied were Texas elementary schools that were on a year-round calendar schedule, and the Texas elementary schools on a traditional calendar schedule. Multiple regression statistics were used, in addition to means, and differences between the means of variables. Year-round schools (YRE), when compared to the means of traditional schools, have means lower in math scores (6.16 percent) than traditional schools. Year-round schools have fewer African Americans students (2.78%), White students (21.06%), and special education students (.25%). Year-round schools are higher in population size (72.72students), Economic Disadvantaged students (15.87%), Hispanic students (23.46%), and Mobility (3.23%). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2810/
A Comparison of Teachers' Sense of Efficacy of Traditionally and Alternatively Certified First Year Teachers
The purpose of this study was to compare the self-efficacy of two groups of first year teachers working in a large urban school district in North Texas. Twenty-eight of the participants were certified teachers. Ten participants held college degrees unrelated to teaching and were undergoing an alternative certification process. The Teacher Efficacy Scale was administered at the beginning and the end of the school year. Data from this scale was analyzed to determine if there were differences between the regular certification teachers and the alternative certification teachers at the beginning and the end of the school year, and to determine if their sense of efficacy changed over the course of the school year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278702/
A Comparison of the Academic Intrinsic Motivation of Gifted and Non-gifted Fifth Graders Taught Using Computer Simulations and Traditional Teaching Methods
This study investigated the use of interdisciplinary computer-based simulations compared to traditional teaching methods. The academic intrinsic motivation of gifted and non-gifted students was analyzed using a quasi-experimental design, similar to a pretest/posttest design. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278001/
A Comparison of the Self-Efficacy Scores of Preservice Teachers Based on Initial College Experience
The purpose of this study was to determine if any statistically significant difference exists between the self-efficacy scores of student teachers who began their college experience at the community college level and student teachers who began their education at the university level. The study was used to determine whether or not the type of initial college experience impacted the first two years of college study, in relation to the development of a sense of self-efficacy at the end of the program of study. Self-efficacy data were gathered from beginning student teachers at two comparative institutions. The participants were enrolled in the colleges of education at two large metropolitan universities. One university was located in southern Texas and the other was located in north central Texas. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was the instrument used, as well as a researcher-made questionnaire that collected demographic data. In addition to pattern of education, other independent variables included age, gender, ethnicity, certification level sought by the participant, and the number of contact hours spent by the participant in early field experiences in K-12 classrooms. A multiple regression analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in the composite score of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, a measure of self-efficacy. The TSES also loads on three factors: Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management, and Student Engagement. Multiple regression analyses of the individual factor scores indicated no statistically significant predictive ability for self-efficacy on any of the subscales across initial college experience. Multiple regression analyses as well as MANOVAs were conducted to determine if the demographic variables of gender, age, ethnicity, G.P.A, certification level, and contact hours impacted TSES scores. The dependent variable was the general self-efficacy scores and the individual factor scores (i.e., Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management) of student teachers as measured by the TSES. Analyses indicated a positive relationship between age, pattern of education, and global self-efficacy scores. In addition, a statistically significant relationship was indicated between age, pattern of education, and the factor of Instructional Strategies. No statistically significant relationship was found between initial college experience and global TSES scores or factor scores across the other demographic variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5250/
Computer-assisted instruction in literacy skills for kindergarten students and perceptions of administrators and teachers.
The perceptions of administrators and teachers of a computer-assisted instructional program in literacy skills were collected by a survey. The survey participants were kindergarten teachers and administrators from four elementary schools in the same, fast-growing, suburban school district in Texas. Literacy assessments were given to all kindergarten students in the district in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2005-2006 school year. This study included a quasi-experimental research design to determine if students using the computer-assisted instructional program improved more on the district literacy assessments than students who did not use the program. The treatment group members were the 449 kindergarten students of the survey participants. The treatment group worked in The Imagination Station program for a nine-week trial period. The control group members were 1385 kindergarten students from thirteen other schools in the same school district. The study found that teachers and administrators perceived that their students' improvement in literacy skills after using the program was good. The quasi-experimental portion of the study found that there was a statistical difference between the treatment and control groups on the composite literacy assessment score. The group membership variable could explain 1.4% of the variance in the students' literacy assessment scores. Based on the small effect size, there was no practical difference between the groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3651/
Computer Skills And Usage Of Students In Grades 10-12 Who Are Legally Blind: A Descriptive Analysis
This research project was a descriptive analysis of the computer usage and skills of academic students in grades 10-12 who are legally blind and attending public school in the Region 10 Education Service Center service area of Texas. In addition, this study provided a process that other regions in the state or educational agencies may duplicate to document the computer skills and usage of students with visual impairments in their area. Twenty-seven students who are legally blind were surveyed by their teachers of the visually impaired regarding their computer usage and skill abilities, and eleven of the twenty-seven students were interviewed by the researcher to gain further information pertaining to computer usage and future plans upon graduation. Using prior research as a basis for understanding how sighted students used the computer, it was found that students who are legally blind used the computer similarly to their sighted peers except that students with significant visual impairments seemed to use to the computer to listen to music more than their sighted counterparts. In addition, students who are legally blind indicated that they learned most of their computer skills at school rather than at home like their sighted teenagers. Furthermore, it was determined that students who are legally blind were not learning the computer skills necessary for success in post-secondary education and vocational endeavors. Although the students were being exposed to many different computer applications, most did not use the applications weekly, nor report that they were experienced with the majority of basic skills related to applications such as word processing, Internet searching, emailing, spreadsheets and databases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4327/
A content analysis of reading software commercially available for Pre-K to 3rd grade children.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the content and characteristics of the currently available commercial reading software for Pre-K through third grade children. The design of the study was a content analysis. Based on the evaluation rubric established by the researcher, ten commercial reading software were selected to be analyzed. By reviewing and transcribing, the data were obtained, and then coded, categorized, and interpreted. The findings from the analysis revealed that all reading software programs offered exercised for practicing basic phonics skills; the alphabetic principle, letter-sound association, word knowledge, sentence building, and reading comprehension. Depending on the software developers, phonics-based practice was presented in two ways; separate skill-based practice emphasis and storybook-reading emphasis. All software programs utilized drill-and-practice, direct instruction and mastery learning methods and utilized gaming strategies to motivate and engage the learners. Multimedia technology was used to make the software more appealing. All reading software programs were developed on the perspectives that view learning to read as the continuum of a child's oral language development and background experience about words. It is recommended that parents and teachers review and select the software based on reliable information sources, use the software as supplementary practice based on the learning objectives identified and individual student needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3124/
Correlates of Texas Standard AP Charter Campuses and How They Compare with Standard AP Traditional Public Campuses
The research sought to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of Texas standard AP open-enrollment charter school campuses and to discover independent variables that may be utilized to predict effective charter school campuses. The literature review was designed to enhance the current understanding of charter schools and therefore facilitate a more effective evaluation of them. A basic knowledge and understanding of the origins, characteristics and purposes of charters allow for a more objective analysis. The literature review covered the history of charters including their founders, characteristics, and growth patterns. The data items used in the analyses were downloaded from the 2007-2008 Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), which contains a variety of data from all Texas public schools. Multiple statistical analyses were utilized including chi-square, ANOVA, multiple regression and discriminate analysis. In order to evaluate Texas standard AP open enrollment charter campuses, their accountability ratings were compared with those of standard AP traditional public school campuses. The research evaluated twelve independent variables for charter schools to determine their relationship to accountability ratings, thereby providing charter operators indicators or predictors of accountability ratings to facilitate better academic quality. By analyzing the same variables for traditional public schools as charter schools, a baseline model was developed to compare the similarities and differences with the results of the charter school analyses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11042/
Critical Literacy Practices, Social Action Projects, and the Reader Who Struggles in School
This study, conducted at an urban public school, explored the engagements of five, fourth grade, African American students who struggled with reading in school as they participated in critical literacy practices and social action projects with the assumption that critical analysis of written texts and concrete social actions were necessary for student empowerment. Using Discourse Analysis within a microethnographic framework, participants’ responses were analyzed. Early in the study, participants were hesitant to join in critical conversations about race. Over time, as participants deepened their critical literacy engagements, they divulged lived racism both in their private and public worlds. Specifically, the participants described the tensions and transgressions they experienced as minorities from civil rights curriculum, teachers and other students. The findings revealed instead of text based analyses, critical literacy practices transformed into the participants’ critical analysis of racism they experienced in their various worlds (home, school, and the larger, outside world) through language (not text). Similarly, the pre-conceived idea of social action projects changed from the creation of concrete products or actions into discussions in which mainstream discourse was interrupted. Tacit and overt understandings about race, identity and power suggested that the participants assumed multiple and contradictory identities (such as “victim of racism” and “racially prejudiced”) that both empowered and oppressed others in the social action group. Implications for critical literacy practices include that empowering and liberating pedagogy through ‘risky conversations’ is difficult, transitory and radical within the context of school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103287/
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