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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Educational Administration
Hispanic Representation in the Superintendency: Perceived Competencies and Organizational Outcomes That Benefit School Districts
This study assessed 40 factors often cited in literature to determine the extent that Hispanic superintendents perceive them as influential when accessing the superintendency. Eight Hispanic superintendents in Texas participated in this qualitative study, which was based on interviews as well as written responses to a survey. This study found that the factors considered most influential to these superintendents were their ability to communicate, self-perception/self-efficacy, and level of overall preparedness. These findings contrast with previous research indicating that race or ethnicity, mentoring, and career path are most influential. The study also identified factors related to race and ethnicity that most influenced a Hispanic's ability to access the superintendency, albeit to a lesser degree. These factors were the ability to serve as a Hispanic role model to students, ability to increase Hispanic students' academic performance, and the ability to speak a second language. Moreover, through analysis of a large number of survey responses the study examined the extent to which a superintendent's race or ethnicity is significant to addressing the needs of Hispanics. To assure this question a comparative analysis of Hispanics' and non-Hispanics competencies and organizational outcome was conducted. The results indicate that superintendents, in general, regardless of race or ethnicity, can acquire knowledge about the Hispanic culture, develop cultural competence, and produce outcomes that affect Hispanics. A Hispanic, however, who possesses the ability to speak Spanish and has authentic cultural experiences, can potentially provide unique competencies in serving Hispanics. Cultural competence with Hispanics, however, does not supersede the importance of a superintendent's overall effectiveness and ability to meet the needs of all students. Whereas other studies have addressed the significance of cultural competency in other institutions that serve the public, such as the healthcare industry, this study addressed cultural competency in public education. Progressive definitions of cultural competency included the extent to which outcomes met constituent needs for measuring cultural competency. The overall findings in this study suggest a need to develop preparation programs that result in culturally competent leaders, a need to revise state required certification requirements to reflect a need for cultural competence, and a need to revise locally-developed job postings/descriptions to indicate that the superintendent must provide culturally competent leadership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283806/
The Effects of the Texas Reading First Response to Intervention Program on Student Achievement and Campus Special Education Rates
The purpose of this study was to examine special education populations, special education reading achievement, and regular education reading achievement in relation to the implementation of the Reading First three-tiered model as a response to Intervention platform. The population for this study focused on rural schools with Grades K-3 in attendance. Schools participated in the reading first grant period of the 2003-2009 school years. Forty-seven Texas Reading First schools were compared to 47 campuses having similar populations, socioeconomic makeups, and grade structures. This study utilized quantitative research measures to evaluate the level of special education populations on Reading First campuses using a response to intervention model. Quantitative measures were also used to evaluate those same campuses achievement rates of both special education and regular education students on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills reading tests. The study's outcome data showed little to no statistic significance for the three research questions. However, the inferential statistics showed a decrease in the special education population of the Reading First schools. Inferential statistics also indicated both the special education and the regular education students showed growth on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills reading tests. The use of a response to intervention program can be effective in the reduction of special education students identified on school campuses. Response to intervention programs can boost achievement levels of students receiving special education services. Students not enrolled in special education can benefit from effective response to intervention services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283855/
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/
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/
First Amendment Constraints of Public School Administrators to Regulate Off-campus Students' Speech in the Technology Age
In a world where students and teachers both rely on technology in the process of education, understanding the constraints of public school administrators to regulate off-campus student's speech is a vital issue. This dissertation focuses on ways to evaluate legal analysis of cases involved in off campus speech. The methodology of legal analysis is used to identify judicial reasoning concerning established legal principles pertaining to the constitutional right of public school students to freedom of expression, and the application of those principles to off-campus student expression delivered by electronic means. This research produces a number of key findings: Many lower court cases have favored with the students unless the school district could prove substantial disruption to the learning environment or a true threat existed due to the off campus speech. In addition, it is crucial for the districts to have concrete policies in place to educate the students about acceptable usage of technology. The main conclusions drawn from this research are that current approaches to punishing students for their offensive off campus speech does not uphold in the courts and administrators must be resilient to speech that may be unpleasant to them. This research also includes several recommendations for administrators such as guidelines on how to write their acceptable usage policy. It also provides a chart with a summary of critical cases of importance to administrators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271894/
The Impact of a Community College Teacher Education Program on the Success Rate of Minority Teacher Certification Students
The relationship between the mission of community colleges and the increasing teacher shortage has become more transparent as many community colleges have implemented teacher education programs to address community needs, the shortage of qualified teachers, and the lack of diversity among teachers. As the community college's teacher education role has increased, many community colleges have responded by adding associate of arts degrees and certificate programs specific to teacher education to tackle the shortage of teachers and the lack of diversity among teachers in the nation's classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of one community college's pre-service teacher education program in transferring minority students to a university teacher education program and the likelihood of the students graduating with both bachelor's degrees and teacher certification. This longitudinal ex post facto causal-comparative mixed methods case study involved tracking a cohort of minority students over a 6-year period. Data were gathered from existing teacher education program records for native and transfer students at one community college and two four-year institutions. Unstructured interviews were conducted with administrators over the community college's program. For data analysis, ?2 and Phi Coefficients were conducted to compare the minority students' university transfer and graduation rates to native university students' transfer and graduation rates. Results of the study demonstrated that the minority students were graduating at an observably higher rate than both the native to university students and their respective ethnic peers who began college at two-year colleges at the national level. This study's findings might help community college teacher education programs to increase enrollments of minority students and to address the needs of surrounding communities. The findings contributed to the relatively scarce literature regarding minority teacher preparation in community colleges. The study's findings might also be useful to community colleges looking toward or already implementing similar pre-service teacher education programs. Overall, the results indicated that pre-service teacher education programs at the community college level can be effective at producing transfer students who successfully graduate from four-year teacher education programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271877/
A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Mississippi Educators and School Systems Under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act
This dissertation analyzes court cases involving tort claims filed against Mississippi public schools and their employees under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. The question addressed was: How have the Mississippi courts interpreted the Mississippi Tort Claims Act in litigation against Mississippi school districts and their employees? The intent of this dissertation is to add to the understanding of the legal concept of sovereign immunity as it has been applied to public schools and their employees. This study's focus centers on litigation in the state of Mississippi involving school districts. Chapter 2 provides a historical summary of sovereign immunity (also known as governmental immunity) in the United States and the state of Mississippi up to the enactment of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act as well as an overview of general legal concepts involved in tort claims. Chapter 3 explains the research design and methodology used. This dissertation relied on legal principles of research and document analysis used in the legal profession. Chapter 4 consists of a thorough analysis of published case law brought before the Mississippi courts pertaining to the Mississippi Tort Claims Act and public school systems and their employees. Finally, chapter 5 describes the key findings of the analysis of case law involving Mississippi school districts and their employees under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271847/
A Descriptive Law and Policy Analysis of Corporal Punishment in Florida Public School Districts
Corporal punishment is banned by state statute in 31 of the 50 U.S states. The 19 states that still allow the practice are largely located in the South and the Rocky Mountain West. However, data indicate that the practice of corporal punishment is still largely a Southern phenomenon. In the 19 states that allow the practice to continue in schools, many have seen the use of the disciplinary technique decline. Existing research documents the negative effects and very little research supports any positive benefits of corporal punishment. This study analyzes school board policies from the 67 public school districts in the state of Florida to determine if trends in policies and incidents of corporal punishment are similar Texas and North Carolina. Research on Texas and North Carolina indicate corporal punishment is used more frequently in districts with smaller enrollments, and in more rural areas. Data from this study suggests that the decrease in the number of incidents of corporal punishment as well as the concentration of the practice among school districts in Florida school follows the same trends of declining use that exist in Texas and North Carolina public schools. Findings illustrate a need for continued research of corporal punishment on a district-by-district and potentially a school-by-school basis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177202/
Educational Performance: Texas Open Enrollment Charter High Schools Compared to Traditional Public High Schools
The study examined mathematics and English student achievement, attendance rates, dropout rates, and expenditures per pupil for Texas high school students in both open-enrollment charter schools and traditional public high schools for the 2009–2010 school year. All data were assembled using archived information found at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This information included the TEA report entitled Texas Open Enrollment Charter Schools Evaluation; TEA Snapshot Yearly Report; and Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) data files. Microsoft Excel (Version 2010) was used to randomly select traditional public high schools categorized as Title 1 and non-Title 1 for comparison with Title 1 and non-Title 1 open-enrollment charter high schools. The IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (IBM Statistics Version 20) was used for a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) conducted between one independent variable (charter or traditional school) and five dependent variables (mathematics exit-level TAKS scores, English exit-level TAKS scores, attendance rates, dropout rates, and expenditures per pupil). Traditional public high school students had higher or better average mean values than charter schools for mathematics exit-level TAKS scores, English exit-level TAKS scores, attendance rates, dropout rates, and expenditures per pupil. The ANOVA found that four of the five dependent variables were statistically significant at the 0.05 confidence level for the independent variable of school type, whether charter or traditional school. There was no significant difference found between the schools for attendance rates. Effect size calculations, using the eta-squared method, confirmed the comparisons with significant differences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177215/
Superintendent Preparation for the 21St Century
This study focused on the perceptions of six superintendents regarding the state of the profession as of 2012, and it reports their thoughts and suggestions as to what preparation is needed by superintendents for the 21st century. The participating superintendents, who were all members of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, were employed in six school districts in five states. Data were collected through surveys and telephone interviews. The findings of this study clearly indicate a lack of cohesion between what superintendents learned in their university professional preparation programs and what they practice in their day to day activities. The superintendents involved in this study tended to favor a hybrid approach – rigorous theoretical insight grounded in real world practice. Since superintendents typically spend a good deal of their time solving challenging problems including funding shortfalls, competition from other educational institutions, and the constant scrutiny of the media; their preparation needs to provide opportunities to develop their leadership skills and solve real world problems in an environment where they can take risks. Mentoring and participation in professional consortiums were recommended as key elements for the preparation of the twenty-first century superintendent. This study contributes to the discussion of how to best prepare school leaders for the current and future demands of superintendency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149596/
Texas Principals’ Perceptions of Professional Development Provided By the Local School District
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of Texas principals as to the degree to which their local school districts are meeting their ongoing professional development need. The study was conducted to analyze and describe the survey and interview responses of Texas principals as to their perceptions of the degree to which their local school districts provide learning experiences aligned with their needs. Texas principals’ perceptions regarding the characteristics of important and meaningful professional learning experiences were explored. The study included an analysis of the extent to which Texas principals perceive that the learning opportunities they are provided adequately meet those needs. Additionally, various factors influencing principals and their perceptions were examined. These factors included type of school, school setting, school system size, characteristics of students, and characteristics of the principals. The perceptions of school district staff development administrators were analyzed regarding topic importance, topic provision by the local district, and the usefulness of those topics. Finally, the perceptions of the principals and the staff development administrators were compared. Thirteen school districts participated in this study. Of the 273 principals surveyed, 155 completed the survey, yielding a return rate of 56.8%. One campus principal from each of the 13 districts was interviewed. Additionally, 13 district staff development administrators were surveyed and interviewed. Data analysis produced several findings. First, as a whole, principals rated the importance of each of the 22 proposed professional development topics at or above the important level. However, the degree to which local school districts provided training on those topics varied according to the size of the district and the setting of the campus. Second, the relationship between the professional development provided and the quality, or usefulness, of that school district’s training was considered strong for several of the 22 topics. Finally, principals and staff development administrators agreed on several characteristics of successful professional development efforts. This study’s findings offer implications for campus principals and school districts striving to meet the individual, campus, and district needs for professional development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149565/
Data Envelopment Analysis: Measurement of Educational Efficiency in Texas
The purpose of this study was to examine the efficiency of Texas public school districts through Data Envelopment Analysis. The Data Envelopment Analysis estimation method calculated and assigned efficiency scores to each of the 931 school districts considered in the study. The efficiency scores were utilized in two phases. First, the school district efficiency scores were combined with school district student achievement to evaluate effectiveness with efficiency. A framework was constructed to graph the scores on an x-axis of student achievement scores and a y-axis of efficiency scores to further illustrate the data. The framework was evaluated with the full statewide sample and with school districts categorized into similar peer groups. Then, using variables selected from related scholarly literature, a regression analysis identified which factors impacted school district efficiency statewide. The non-discretionary variables included in the study were total student enrollment, the percentage of non-white students and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. The discretionary variables selected included the teacher-to-student ratio, teachers’ average years of experience, the percentage of teachers with master’s degrees and the average teacher base salary. Amongst the seven factors selected for regression analysis, five statistically significant variables were identified as impacting statewide school district efficiency. All three non-discretionary variables were identified as statistically significant on efficiency and included total student enrollment, the percentage of non-white students and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Two discretionary factors showed statistically significant effects on efficiency which included teachers’ average years of experience and the percentage of teachers with master’s degrees. The teacher-to-student ratio and the average teacher base salary were ineffective in predicting efficiency. This study contributed to the understanding on educational efficiency. Data Envelopment Analysis has been employed mainly in the private sector to analyze efficiency in economics and business organizations. This study added to the educational research on selecting Data Envelopment Analysis as a primary estimation method for analyzing the efficiency of school systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149569/
The Demographics of Corporal Punishment in Texas
This dissertation examined the student discipline policies of 1,025 Texas school districts, as well as data from the Texas Education Agency’s Academic Excellence Indicator System in order to identify demographic patterns regarding corporal punishment policies in Texas schools. the study also studied the relationship between a district’s corporal punishment policy and student achievement. the dissertation utilized legal research methods and document analysis as its research methodology. Document analysis was the primary methodology used to answer the research questions whereby individual school district policies were identified and classified based on a number of demographic characteristics as well as the variations in corporal punishment policies among the various districts. the results of the study found that although more Texas school districts permit corporal punishment than have banned the practice, 60 percent of Texas school children go to school in districts where corporal punishment is not permitted. Corporal punishment is generally permitted in rural areas, with the majority of school districts in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle still allowing it by policy. a case study affirmed a finding from a national study regarding the type and locale of a student that is most likely disciplined using corporal punishment. the study determined that the larger Texas school districts have moved away from using corporal punishment as a disciplinary tactic. No district categorized as “Major Urban” by the Texas Education Agency permits corporal punishment of students. None of the larger districts categorized as “Urban” or “Major Suburban” that prohibit corporal punishment were identified as “Academically Unacceptable” under the State accountability system. This study also found that districts that prohibit corporal punishment and have a large number of minority students tend to have higher AEIS ratings. This study’s findings suggest that the elimination of corporal punishment in highly populated Texas school districts may be an indication that corporal punishment in the schools is gradually changing from being a largely Southern occurrence to being a primarily Southern rural phenomenon. This information could prove valuable for policy makers and legislators who are under a misconception that their constituents support corporal punishment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115140/
Early College High School: Hispanic Students’ Perceptions and Experiences From a Texas Campus
Early college high school (ECHS) is a dual enrollment program that allows high school students to earn college credits while in high school. ECHS was developed with the intention of attracting students to pursue a 4-year college degree, especially students who might not attend college without intervention. The program targets students from low-income families, students who have low academic achievement, and students from minority groups including Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and opinions of Hispanic students about their experiences in an ECHS, and to better understand how their ECHS experiences affected motivation to engage in academics. The expectancy theory and college-going culture provided the theoretical framework for this case study. Semi-structured interviews captured the experiences of the participants. The study focused on 10 Hispanic students, 5 seniors and 5 juniors, enrolled at an ECHS located on a community college campus in Texas. The study found that students with higher motivation to work at high school and college courses had several reasons for choosing to attend ECHS. The reasons included a chance to earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree simultaneously, free college tuition, and an accelerated program to get through college. The students also identified rewarding outcomes for completing college. Those outcomes included satisfying career, personal satisfaction, ability to provide for their family and making their family proud as the first high school graduate and college attendee. One student had a lower motivation to work at high school and college work. He chose to attend ECHS to seek more freedom than a traditional high school. He was not certain about graduating from high school and doubtful about college graduation. This study contributes to the ECHS literature by providing details on students’ experiences at an ECHS. Using the qualitative method of an interview allowed the researcher to discover the richer picture of students' experiences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115053/
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/
High School Teachers’ Perceptions Of Their Principals As Culturally Proficient Leaders
This study examined Texas high school teachers’ perceptions of their principals as culturally proficient leaders, focusing specifically on how teacher-, school-, and principal-related factors impacted these perceptions. A sample of 104 teachers in culturally diverse secondary schools from a large urban district in Texas participated. An electronic survey was utilized to collect data. Results yielded an average total cultural proficiency score of 111 out of a possible 175, indicating that teachers perceived their principals “sometimes use” culturally proficient practices. Teachers’ perceptions of their principal’s use of culturally proficient leadership practices varied significantly by years of teachers’ experience and school accountability rating (exemplary, academically acceptable, and academically unacceptable). Perceptions of teachers at an Exemplary school were significantly different (higher than the perceptions of teachers at other schools from the same district). Teachers with 11 to 20 years of teaching experience gave significantly lower ratings (22.45 points) than teachers with 1 to 5 years of experience (125.53) and teachers with over 20 years of experience (118.94). While differences were not statistically significant, black and Hispanic teachers rated their principals’ culturally proficient practices higher than white teachers. Age, subject area taught and teacher’s gender, or race being the same as the principal’s gender or race had no significant effect on total proficiency scores. This study supports prior findings that leadership policy and development programs must be refined to help leaders develop and utilize more culturally proficient skills that will lead to greater academic success for all students. Results indicate that principals need assistance in adapting to and managing the dynamics of difference as well as providing teachers with conflict resolution training. It is recommended that professional development departments conduct similar district-wide proficiency assessments as a first step in helping educators to understand the cultural proficiency conceptual framework. It is also recommended that school districts develop a rating system using the tenets of cultural proficiency to assist principals in improving their cultural proficiency scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103367/
An Examination Of Three Texas High SchoolsÊ Restructuring Strategies That Resulted In An Academically Acceptable Rating
This study examined three high schools in a large urban school district in Texas that achieved an academically acceptable rating after being sanctioned to reconstitute by state agencies. Texas state accountability standards are a result of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2011 (NCLB). Texas state law requires schools to design a reconstitution plan after the second year of receiving an academically unacceptable school rating for failing to meet the required standards on state assessments, dropout rates, and graduation rates. The plan must be implemented by the third year. A mixed methods approach was used to uncover the strategies that were successful during the restructuring initiative. Data was obtained from three sources: interviews, document analysis and surveys. Interviews were conducted with district administrators, campus based administrators and teachers of the three high schools. A sample of core content teachers were surveyed using questions from the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success. Results revealed that each school chose to engage in a major form of restructuring that included the formation of a themed based magnet school. A team approach was used to devise, implement, and monitor the reconstitution plan. Common strategies unveiled in the study included the use of common assessments, collaborative planning among core teachers, professional development, continuous monitoring of student absences, extended learning times for students, and a focus on college readiness. Survey data revealed that the majority of teachers believed that collaboration positively impacted student achievement. It is recommended that schools undergoing restructuring choose a reconstitution option that allows for flexibility, use multiple resources to foster school improvement, and develop restructuring plans that serve as living documents. Further research is needed to study the principal's role in achieving an academically acceptable rating. This study could also be expanded to compare restructuring strategies of high schools across the country that has been forced by federal mandates to reconstitute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103357/
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/
The High School Associate Principal: Case Studies of an Emerging Role in Educational Leadership and Administration
Researchers in the field of educational administration have given little attention to the role of the associate principal. The research reported in this dissertation sought to fill that void through a close examination of the roles of the associate principals on two campuses in two different school districts. In addition to illustrating the role of the associate principal, the research examines how experience as an associate principal influences the careers of educational administrators. Data were collected primarily by means of semi-structured interviews with principals and district administrators as well as the associate principals themselves to provide multiple perspectives. Data were summarized in detailed interview logs, coded to discover the themes that were characteristic of each case, then analyzed to identify the patterns within and across the cases. The interviews were also analyzed as narratives reflecting on how experience as an associate principal can shape an educational administrator's career. The interview data were supplemented with documents relating to the associate principals, their campuses, and their districts. The results suggest that the associate principal position is a crucial step on the career ladder to a secondary principalship. Assistant principals with knowledge and skills in curriculum, instruction, and assessment are more likely to be selected as associates, and associates are more likely to be selected for principalships. The results also indicate that instructional leadership for associate principals in Texas focuses primarily on improving students' performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and on increasing participation in and performance on other standardized tests, in particular Advanced Placement, SAT (formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (formerly American College Testing), and the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33150/
A select study of Texas Principal Preparation Programs and their Relationship to Adult Learning and the Professional Leadership Responsibilities of their Graduates
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between principal preparation programs in Texas and professional leadership practices and responsibilities based on Mid-continent Research for Educational and Learning's (McREL) 21 leadership responsibilities. The study also examined the relationship between Texas principal preparation programs and Knowles's principles of adult learning. Through an online survey, the study solicited practicing principals' perceptions as to whether McREL's 21 leadership responsibilities and Knowles's principles of adult learning were included in their principal preparation programs. Quantitative findings indicated there were no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their principal preparation programs and the university/certification program in which they obtained their principal certification. Additionally, there were no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their programs and the year their principal certification was completed. There were also no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their programs and the geographic location of the school district in which they were presently employed. However, the study found there were significant differences in two areas of leadership responsibilities when comparisons were generated between principals who were fully certified before assuming the role of principal and those who were not fully certified: 1) ideas/beliefs and 2) optimizer. Principals who had not completed their certification program scored the two areas higher than those who had. The study also utilized qualitative methodology through in-depth interviews with principal program coordinators and practicing principals. Program coordinators and principals revealed leadership responsibilities of "communication," "culture," and "visibility" as areas of emphasis and importance in their programs. The need for more emphasis in the area of "discipline" was communicated mutually by program coordinators and principals. Principals stated areas of "knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment" and "resources" as leadership responsibilities needing more emphasis. Both program coordinators and principals concurred principal preparation programs should have more emphasis and importance placed upon Knowles's principles of adult learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33205/
An Examination of the Relationship Between Teacher Efficacy and Teacher Religiosity
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teacher religiosity and teacher self-efficacy. The present study builds upon previous research which has shown purposeful work in everyday living fosters intrinsic motivation, religious orientation affects daily living, and teacher self-efficacy beliefs predict student achievement. Religiosity and self-efficacy data were gathered from public school teachers from a suburban school district in North Texas and from private Christian schools in Western Washington. The Age Universal I-E scale (a measure of religious orientation intended to capture how one lives out his/her religiosity), Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, and a teacher characteristic form were used to collect data. In a multiple regression analysis, independent variables included teacher age, gender, grade level taught, experience level, campus type (public or private religious), and teacher religious orientation (intrinsic or extrinsic); the dependent variable was the score for teacher self-efficacy. The regression analysis resulted in an equation that explained only slightly more than 9% of the variance in the score for teacher self-efficacy. Three significant variables were identified--grade level taught, teacher age, and intrinsic religious orientation. Teacher age and teacher intrinsic religious orientation were the two most important contributors according to a comparison of beta weights. Intrinsic religious orientation contributed to the equation, but it acted as a suppressor variable in the study, having little predictive value by itself but contributing to the predictive value of the model. Based on the data collected, recommendations for future research and suggestions for field application are offered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33216/
School Authority Over Off-Campus Student Expression in the Electronic Age: Finding a Balance Between a Student's Constitutional Right to Free Speech and the Interest of Schools in Protecting School Personnel and Other Students from Cyber Bullying, Defamation, and Abuse
In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, the Supreme Court ruled that students have speech rights in the school environment unless the speech causes or is likely to cause 1) a substantial disruption, or 2) interferes with the rights of others. The Supreme Court has yet to hear a case involving school officials' authority to regulate electronically-delivered derogatory student speech, and no uniform standard currently exists for determining when school authorities can discipline students for such speech when it occurs off campus without violating students' First Amendment rights. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine 19 federal and state court decisions in which school authorities were sued for disciplining students for electronically delivered, derogatory speech. Eighteen of these cases involved student speech that demeaned or defamed school teachers or administrators. Only one involved speech that demeaned another student. Each case was analyzed to identify significant factors in court holdings to provide a basis for the construction of a uniform legal standard for determining when school authorities can discipline students for this type of speech. The full application of Tinker's first and second prongs will provide school officials the authority needed to address this growing problem while still protecting legitimate off-campus student cyber expression. Predictions of future court holdings and policy recommendations are included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33143/
Practices and Policies in High Schools to Prevent Educator-to-Student sexual Misconduct: A Principal's Study of Knowledge and Experiences
The purpose of this study was to investigate high school policies and procedures that address educator sexual misconduct. High school principals completed an online questionnaire which addressed administrator knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations; knowledge of district policies and procedures; experience with educator sexual misconduct; training and communication available in their schools and school districts for staff, parents, and students; the policies and procedures in place in secondary schools to prevent educator sexual misconduct; and related problems that are reported to school administrators. Responses were compared by school size, community type, and Title I eligibility. The findings of the study revealed that principals feel they have knowledge of the federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the district policies and procedures. However, principals reported a lack of specific policies addressing sexual harassment and discrimination of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender students; training for students and teachers in recognizing and responding to sexual misconduct; and sexual misconduct related to students with disabilities. In addition, most principals stated that their schools have not surveyed students to determine the extent of sexual harassment on the campus. Principals of the largest schools and the urban and suburban schools were more actively involved in educator-to-student sexual misconduct investigations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33204/
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/
Parental Rights: Curriculum Opt-outs in Public Schools
The purposes of this dissertation were to determine the constitutional rights of parents to shield their children from exposure to parts of the public school curriculum that the parents find objectionable on religious, moral, or other grounds and to determine the statutory rights of parents to remove, or opt-out, their children from objectionable parts or all of the public school curriculum as set forth in the statutes of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many pivotal federal court cases dealing with parent rights and curricular issues, including Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Education (1987), Vandiver v. Hardin County Board of Education (1987), Brown v. Hot, Sexy, & Safer Productions, Inc. (1995), Leebaert v. Harrington (2003), and Parker v. Hurley (2008) were surveyed using legal research methods. Specific types of curriculum opt-outs (e.g., sex education, comprehensive health programs, HIV/AIDS instruction) granted by each state were ascertained. States' statutes and regulations were categorized as non-existent, restrictive, or permissive based on the scope and breadth of each state's curriculum opt-out statute or regulation. A long list of federal court rulings have provided public schools the right to teach what school boards and administrators determine is appropriate. Parents did not have any constitutional right to opt their children out of public school curriculum. Many states' legislatures have granted parents a statutory right to opt their children out of certain parts of school curricula. In this study, 7 states had non-existent statutes or regulations, 18 states had restrictive statutes or regulations, and 26 states had permissive statutes or regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30507/
Determining Factors that Influence High School Principal Turnover Over a Five Year Period
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of salary, compensation and benefits, accountability, job stress, increased instructional responsibilities, changes in student demographics, lack of support, politics, advancement opportunities and promotion on tenure and turnover among high school principals in the state of Texas. The participants in the study included 60 Texas high school principals who left a high school principalship for a different high school principalship within the past 5 years. The participants completed the Texas Principal Survey and data were analyzed using binary logistic regression. The data indicated that salary, compensation and benefits was a significant factor in predicting an increase in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Additionally, advancement opportunities was a significant factor in predicting a decrease in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Responses from an open ended question asking principals why they left their prior principalship suggested that principals left for reasons including new challenges, lack of support and family. The results of this study support the need for continued research in the area of principal turnover and provide insight to district superintendents, school boards and principals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28476/
Instructional Leadership Responsibilities of Assistant Principals in Large Texas High Schools
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent secondary assistant principals in large Texas high schools demonstrate behaviors consistent with what the literature describes as instructional leadership. Three hundred seventy principals and assistant principals of large Texas high schools participated in this study. The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (Hallinger, 1987) was used to quantify instructional leadership in 10 different job functions. The study found that (a) assistant principals perceive themselves as exhibiting instructional leadership behaviors at a high frequency, (b) principals perceive their assistant principals exhibiting instructional leadership behaviors at a high frequency, (c) the perceptions of the principals and assistant principals were similar, and (d) principals and assistant principals reported more engagement in instructional leadership responsibilities and felt more pressured over the last five years under the new accountability and rating requirements of No Child Left Behind and the state assessments. These findings suggested that the administrative roles and responsibilities in high schools should be restructured to allow assistant principals to focus on instructional leadership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28432/
Networking of North and West Texas Superintendents
This study examined the professional networking of North and West Texas public school superintendents. It looked at how these superintendents professionally network, use professional organizations in networking, and how they extend opportunities beyond the organizations to gain knowledge and information about their demanding and stressful responsibilities. Lastly, it looked at superintendents in the field on whom others rely for knowledge and understanding. Surveys were mailed out to 443 North and West Texas public schools. Only the superintendents from those districts were asked to complete the survey. This limitation was desired to restrict the population to only the superintendents of schools, thus focusing the study on the professional networking of only superintendents. Three hundred sixty (360) superintendents responded to the survey, a return rate of 81.3%. This research concluded that superintendents professionally network by communicating through monthly meetings, organizational conferences or meetings, or email. Their networks are facilitated through communication, contacts, location, longevity, and organizational associations. These organizations provide the superintendent's primary network contact. The number of contacts in a network is usually a small group of 5 to 9 professionals who are known from longevity in the profession, prior educational positions, similar district size, being located in or near a city, and other geographic neighbors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28391/
An Exploration of the Relationship Between Principal Leadership Efficacy, Principal Computer Self-Efficacy, and Student Achievement
The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not relationships exist between principals' technology proficiency and student achievement as indicated by 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) ninth grade reading scaled scores. Secondly, the study examined whether or not relationships exist between principals' leadership self efficacy and student achievement as indicated in the 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) ninth grade reading scaled scores. Lastly, the select principal's personal and school demographic variables (principal gender, total years of experience as a professional, total years as principal at current school, total years of principal experience, highest degree earned, school economic status, school size) were considered within the study. The survey instruments used in this study were the Technology Proficiency Self Assessment Scale (TPSA) developed by Ropp in 2000 and the Principal's Self-Efficacy Scale (PSES) developed by Tschannen-Moran and Garies in 2004. A total of 129 Texas principal's participated in the study. Multiple regressions were utilized and effect size was considered to determine the strength of the relationship between variables. A statistical significance was found relating to the school's social economic status only when using both the PSES and the TPSA instruments. The effect sizes reported were all moderate, which acknowledged that relationships did exist between all predictor variables tested. Based on the information provided for B weights, School's SES was found to be the best predictor of reading TAKS achievement, preceded by Principal's Highest Degree Earned and Gender. SPSS 16.0 was used to analyze all data. This study adds to the literature on principals' technology efficacy and principal's self efficacy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28399/
An Historical Analysis of Rule and Policy Changes in the Texas University Interscholastic League One-Act Play Contest, 1986-2006, and the Results of Those Changes: Administrator and Teacher Perceptions
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) One-Act Play Contest is a competition where similarly sized Texas schools present an 18-40 minute play usually adjudicated by a single judge. At each level of competition the judge awards individual acting awards as well as selecting two productions to advance to the next level of competition. After the awards are announced the judge gives an oral critique to each of the schools. Because of the wide participation and diversity of plays produced, certain rules and guidelines have been adopted to ensure safety, allow for equity, satisfy legal standards, and make the running of the contest practical. These rules can be modified to achieve positive outcomes and improved educational results. Changes in the rules of a UIL contest are in accordance with stated educational objectives of the UIL. Occasionally, however, modifications in procedures raise questions. The problem of this study was to determine, from the perceptions of administrators and teachers, whether significant modifications in the rules and policies for the UIL One-Act Play Contest over a time span of 20 years have had impacts on the goals and procedures of the contest. The study utilized a qualitative approach through historical analysis and a survey to answer two research questions. Historical analysis identified the six modifications in the UIL OAP over the years 1986-2006. The survey instrument determined the impact of these changes on the goals and procedures of the contest. Based on the responses of the survey the competition experience has been enhanced by recent changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28480/
A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Oklahoma Educators and School Districts under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act
This dissertation analyzed public court decisions in cases against Oklahoma school districts and their employees involving sovereign immunity claims filed under Oklahoma's Governmental Tort Claims Act. The questions addressed were: (1) How have the Oklahoma courts interpreted the Governmental Tort Claims Act, (Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 151 et seq.) in litigation against school districts and their employees? (2) What are the limits of immunity protection for Oklahoma school districts and their employees? (3) How has the statute of limitations in Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 156 and Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 157 been applied to Oklahoma educators in tort litigation? This dissertation utilized legal research as the methodology to answer the research questions. Chapter II provides a review of existing literature regarding sovereign immunity in the United States. Chapter III is a comprehensive study of Oklahoma sovereign immunity cases filed against Oklahoma school districts and educators under the Governmental Tort Claims Act with regard to negligence, corporal punishment and the statute of limitations. Chapter IV discusses the findings of the analysis of cases in Oklahoma and the amount of protection afforded to Oklahoma school districts and educators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28446/
The effects of pre-kindergarten on Spanish-speaking bilingual students taking the third grade TAKS reading test.
The purpose of this dissertation is to provide research and data examining the impact of pre-kindergarten on Spanish-speaking ESL students on the third grade TAKS Reading test scores. The two questions that guided this study are: (1) As measured by the third grade TAKS reading test, what is the relationship between those limited english proficient (LEP) Spanish-speaking children who attended a pre-kindergarten program and those who did not attend a pre-kindergarten program? and (2) As measured by the third grade TAKS Reading test, how do the test scores of those LEP Spanish-speaking third graders who attended the district's pre-k program in 2000-2001 and testing in 2005, differ from those who attended the district's pre-k program in 2001-2002 and testing in 2006? The research study used a quantitative methodology designed as causal-comparative analysis. Independent t-tests were used to determine if there were any significant differences in test scores of third graders between the two groups of students. Although the results of the statistical analysis revealed some isolated statistically significant differences between those Spanish-speaking bilingual students who attended pre-kindergarten and those who did not, the data showed no real differences in the test scores of those students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12191/
The Effectiveness of Business Leadership Practices among Principals on Student Achievement on Public School Campuses in Texas
The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if business leadership practices by Texas public school principals have an impact on principals' campus student achievement in mathematics and reading, as measured by TAKS scores. The survey instrument was the Leadership Assessment Instrument (LAI), developed by Warren Bennis in 1989. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a sample of 300 public school principals in Texas. Of the 300, 140 principals completed and returned the survey, for a response rate of 47%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0, was used for the analysis of data, which included descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and regression. In addition, reliability for the LAI was also calculated. The LAI consists of the following five categories of effective business practices: focused drive, emotional intelligence, building trust, conceptual thinking, and systems thinking. No significant relationships were found between principals' use of LAI elements and student achievement in mathematics and reading. However, the lack of significant relationships between the business model as used in public schools and student achievement reveals that current models of principal preparation programs do not result in school leaders who are adequately prepared to increase student achievement. Further research is recommended as public school leaders continue to seek alternative strategies and innovative practices to improve student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12102/
The Effects of Professional Learning Communities on Student Achievement
The purpose of this study was to examine data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) report, identify questions and statements that correlate to the dimensions of professional learning communities (PLCs), and determine the effect PLCs have on student achievement based on the ECLS-K data. In addition, the rationale for doing this research was to measure growth in student achievement over time. A multilevel growth model was used for this research. Univariate analysis was conducted in order to reveal frequencies and percentages associated with teacher responses. Bivariate analysis was applied in order to determine the inter-correlations between the fourteen variables. Once the inter-correlations were determined from the bivariate analysis, principal component analysis was applied in order to reveal the theoretical relationship between the variables. Through the use of principal components a set of correlated variables is transformed into a set of structure coefficient: support and collaborative. Finally, a multilevel growth model was used in order to determine the effect that each variable within the support and collaborative structure coefficients had on student achievement over time. This study revealed a number of variables within the ECLS-K report that correspond to the dimensions of PLCs have a statistically significant effect on student achievement in math and reading over time. This study demonstrated that support and collaborative variables within PLCs have a positive effect on both math and reading IRT achievement from 3rd grade to 5th grade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12089/
The relationship between computer-assisted instruction and alternative programs to enhance fifth-grade mathematics success on the annual Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and success on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) mathematics exam with fifth-grade students in Texas compared to the effect of alternative improvement approaches used by a control group. Research explored the use of SuccessMaker® CAI educational software (Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, www.pearsoned.com) in public elementary schools in Texas. Successmaker® CAI was not a good predictor of passing percentage on the mathematics TAKS. Multiple regression analysis utilized in this quasi-experimental design study predicted a negative and not statistically significant change in the percentage of students passing the mathematics TAKS exam (B = -.448, p > .05). SuccessMaker® use exhibited a very small effect size (r = -.04) and accounted for less than 1% of the change in passing percentage (r2 = .0016). Multiple regression model predicted a negative and statistically significant effect upon mathematics passing percentage by economic disadvantage percentage (B = -.211, p < .01). The 95% confidence interval for B ranged from -.365 to -.057. The large effect size correlation coefficient (r = -.51) accounted for 26% of the variance in the mathematics TAKS passing percentage (r2 = .26). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12208/
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/
Math literacy: The relationship of algebra, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and AVID enrollment with high school math course completion and college readiness.
The questions guiding this research seek to discover the factors that affect high school math course completion and college readiness in a Texas suburban public school district. The first research question examines the relationship between 8th grade completion of Algebra I and high school mathematics course taking patterns and college readiness. The second question evaluates the relationship between race, gender, socioeconomic status and enrollment in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program to college math readiness and high school mathematics course completion. Participants included 841 high school graduates of the class of 2006; 76% of the graduates were White, 15% Hispanic and 7% African American. Twenty-three percent of students were economically disadvantaged and 46% of students completed Algebra I in 8th grade. Chi-square, Cramer's V, and multiple regression were conducted to evaluate possible relationships between variables. The Chi-square and Cramer's V showed statistically significant (p<.05) relationships between 8th grade algebra completion and both college readiness and high school math course completion. A significant statistical relationship was also found between college readiness and each of the independent variables, ethnicity, economic status, completion of 8th grade algebra and enrollment in AVID. The number of math courses completed in high school was statistically related to ethnicity and economic status.. The findings of this study indicate that early access to Algebra I can positively affect the number of high school math courses a student completes and the likelihood that the student will be college ready after high school graduation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11046/
School Resource Allocation in Texas Public Schools: Study of High-Poverty, High Performing Schools and High-Poverty, Low Performing Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between resource allocation practices in specific categorical functions and student performance in reading and math. This study utilized quantitative research methods to study the effects of spending and performance over four years of analysis. Quantitative data was acquired utilizing information from the Texas Education Agency. The data was collected from 81 campuses and represented over 1,500 students. The study's outcomes reported that little or no correlation could be found between inputs (dollars spent in three categories) and outputs (student results in reading and math). However, subgroup analysis revealed that students from non- low socioeconomic (SES) households started out higher than their low SES counterparts, and low SES students performed worse over time in both reading and math. Math results decreased more dramatically than reading indicating a need for school-level training in data analysis to ensure that limited dollars are spent appropriately. The study recommends that principals and school administrators be especially knowledgeable in critical data analysis skills. The study further recommends that state policy-makers invest more heavily in early math instruction. In addition, the current study found that student achievement, in low-SES students, especially in mathematics is very alarming. Low SES students are starting out behind the non low-SES counterparts and perform progressively worse over time. State policy makers must address these concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9927/
The Relationship Between TeacherInsight ™ Scores and Professional Development and Appraisal System Domain Scores
Many school districts and alternative certification programs use standardized interviews such as the TeacherInsight developed by the Gallup Organization. The TeacherInsight is a Web-based interview consisting of multiple choice and Likert-style items that produces a score between 0 and 100. The Gallup Organization claims that it helps hire the best teachers. The study analyzed the relationships between the TeacherInsight scores and the eight Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS) domain scores for 527 teachers. The TeacherInsight scores produced a statistically significant correlation with only one of the eight PDAS domain scores. However, even that correlation (r = 0.14) was weak. All eight PDAS domain scores were only able to account for an additional 1.9% of the variance of TeacherInsight scores, above and beyond what was explained by the teachers' age, gender, years of experience, and highest degree earned. Another finding was that 47.4% of the teachers hired had TeacherInsight scores below the district recommended cutoff score of 67. The findings do not support the ability of the TeacherInsight to identify more effective teachers, based on Professional Development Appraisal System scores. The findings also cast doubt on the extent of consideration that principals in this district give the TeacherInsight scores during the selection process. Recommendations for future studies are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9835/
Leadership and sustainable change: The relationship between leadership practices of principals and reculturing schools as professional learning communities.
This study examined the relationships between leadership practices of principals and strength of schools as sustainable professional learning communities. Strength of schools as professional learning communities was measured using the Professional Learning Communities Assessment; leadership practices were measured using the Leadership Practices Inventory both Self and Observer protocols. Findings indicated that neither principal's self-perceptions of their leadership practices nor teachers' assessments of their principals' leadership practices were related to strength of schools as professional learning communities. Findings did indicate ten specific leadership behaviors of principals that appear to be more highly related to strength of schools as learning communities. Further analysis which focused on the two strongest learning community schools and the two weakest learning community schools indicated that three specific leadership behaviors within Kouzes and Posner's practices of modeling the way and enabling others to act appear to be the most strongly related to reculturing schools as sustainable professional learning communities. Principals who set a personal example of what they expect of others are most likely to lead schools that function as strong learning communities. Additionally, principals who build consensus around a common set of values are also most likely to lead strong learning communities. Finally, principals who develop cooperative relationship with co-workers are most likely to lead schools that function as strong learning communities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9846/
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/
The Predictive Value of Educational Productivity Input Variables on the Academic Success of Moderate to Large Texas High Schools.
The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive value of selected input variables on the accountability rating of Texas high schools with student populations greater than or equal to 900. Specifically, this study analyzed the effect of student, staff and fiscal input variables in determining the odds of a high school in this study receiving a Low Performing, an Academically Acceptable, or a Recognized rating in the Texas public education accountability system - a system which is based in student performance on state standardized testing. Identifying a set of variables that helps predict campus accountability ratings provides campus administrators and teachers with information to improve student performance on standardized testing. Using statistical methods to determine the odds of campus ratings based on selected input variables, this study revealed that successful student remediation in mathematics is the most consistent, positive indicator of campus accountability rating out of 60 student, staff and fiscal inputs analyzed. However, the most telling aspect of this study is that inputs such as, teacher experience, teacher campus tenure, teacher degree level, student SAT performance, Advanced Placement testing performance and the percentage of low socioeconomic students were not statistically significant. The wider implications of these findings warrant further research into why these variables seem to have no affect on campus accountability rating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9725/
The impact of leadership capacity and style on professional learning communities in schools.
Leadership capacity may be enhanced when school staff members work together as a professional learning community (PLC). Leadership style may impact how well a school staff work as a professional learning community. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between principal leadership style and the level of PLC on 18 campuses across the US that were working on becoming PLCs. Staff members answered questions from two surveys which measured the level of leadership capacity, leadership style of the principal, and level of professional learning community within the schools. Questions regarding leadership capacity and leadership style were taken from the Leadership Capacity School Survey. Questions designed to measure the level of PLC on a campus were taken from the Professional Learning Community Assessment. The product-moment correlation coefficient or Pearson r was calculated between the answers from the questions from both surveys. The results indicated that when a capacity building principal is working with staff members to create a PLC, a higher level of PLC development is evidenced. When principals used collaboration with their staff, their schools operated at a lower level as a PLC. These results encourage principals to consider building capacity among their staff members if they want to create professional learning communities on their campus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9740/
Principals' Leadership Beliefs: Are Personal and Environmental Influences Related to Self-Efficacy?
The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between principal self-efficacy and personal characteristics, school conditions, and professional preparation among a selected group of Texas, public school principals. The survey instrument included the Principal Self-Efficacy Scale (PSES) developed by Tschannen-Moran & Garies in 2004, and other items. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a random sample of 965 Texas, public school principals. From that population, 289 principals completed the survey for a response rate of 30%. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for the analyses which included descriptive statistics, correlations, and analysis of variance. Additionally, factor analysis and reliability were calculated for the PSES. The factor structure and reliability found in this study closely mirrored the results of earlier investigations, providing further support for the reliability and validity of the PSES. Out of 12 variables examined in relation to principal self-efficacy, a statistically significant relationship was found for gender, years of teaching experience, level, SES, parental involvement, and student discipline. However, all six of the statistically significant variables had a small effect size indicating limited practical significance. The results of this study support the need for continued research of principal self-efficacy beliefs. Principal self-efficacy research may help explain the relationships between effective principals and effective schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9747/
From Block to Traditional Schedule: The Impact on Academic Achievement, Attendance Rates, and Dropout Rates
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of school schedule on student achievement and attendance of ninth and tenth grade students in metropolitan area Texas high schools (n = 22) and campus dropout rates. High schools that were analyzed in this study made a transition from A/B block scheduling in the 2003-04 school year to a traditional school schedule in the 2004-05 school year. Academic achievement, attendance rates and dropout rates were gathered through the archived files of the Texas Agency through the Academic Indicator of Excellence System (AEIS). Academic achievement was measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics standardized tests. This study compared the mean scores of ninth grader student achievement, attendance, and dropout rates from the 2003-04 school year to the mean scores of the tenth graders from the same schools from the 2004-05 school year, after the schools converted from an A/B block schedule to a traditional class schedule. Each independent variable was divided into four subgroups; campus mean results, minority student results, limited English proficient (LEP) student results, and low-socioeconomic student results. Students under the A/B block scored significantly higher in reading achievement than when they were instructed the following year under a traditional schedule. Paired sample t-tests were conducted to analyze the data for each subgroup, and showed there was a statistically significance in reading / language arts student achievement scores for all subgroups. Statistical significance was determined with a ninety five percent confidence level (p < 0.05). Statistical analysis revealed varied results in mean scores for math academic achievement and attendance rates, but no statistical significant difference. Comparison of data showed a slight increase in mean scores for dropout rates in traditional schedule, however the results were not significant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9128/
The effects of the recapture provision of Senate Bill 7 of 1993 upon the quality of schools: An analysis of perceptions of administrators in both Chapter 41 and Chapter 42 schools.
The purpose of this 4-case study was to determine the significance of the effects of the recapture legislation in Texas upon the quality of schools as perceived by administrators in participating school districts, including those surrendering funds (Chapter 41) and those receiving funds (Chapter 42). The recapture provision requires districts above a designated level of property wealth to surrender excess funds to be appropriated to districts with property wealth below a designated level. The study solicited administrators’ perceptions in both district types as to whether the changes in funding have significantly affected the quality of their schools. Using University Scholastic League classifications as a guideline for size, 2 Chapter 41 districts, and 2 Chapter 42 districts, 1 small and 1 large of each type, were selected to participate. Variables included 5 indicators of schools quality that are repeatedly mentioned in literature concerning effective schools: curriculum, climate, leadership, facilities, and safety and security. A review of literature included the historical development of public school finance systems as well as studies of the effects of efforts to equalize funding upon both the financial health and academic performance of schools. A weak link or no link between funding systems and student performance or financial health was indicated. This study supported these conclusions with both Chapter 42 districts; however, there was a discrepancy between the perceptions of administrators in the two Chapter 41 districts, indicating a need for further study. The unique aspects of this study are that it solicited directly the perceptions of acting administrators and that it included administrators in districts receiving funds to determine how those funds are being used and whether they have a significant effect upon school quality. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9013/
Funds Budgeted for Educational Programs in Texas Schools during a Period of Changing Enrollment
This study analyzes budgets of Texas school districts experiencing declining enrollments, as opposed to districts with increasing or steady enrollments. This study identifies how schools are expending funds to meet those needs while dealing with enrollment changes. A total of 924 school districts are studied. The changes in average daily attendance from 1993-1994 to 2003-2004 are used to categorize each district as having increasing, stable, or decreasing enrollments. The total dollar amount expended is compared to the total number of students in each district to determine the amount expended per student. The amounts expended for special education career and technology education, bilingual education, and compensatory education are compared to the number of students being served by those programs to determine a dollar amount that can also be compared from the 1993-1994 and 2003-2004 school years. The per-student expenditures for each educational program are compared to the overall per-student expenditures in each enrollment category (increasing, stable, decreasing). The study reveals no clear pattern of change in the comparison of overall spending to individual program spending as district enrollments fluctuated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9051/
The effects of academic interventions on the development of reading academic competence in fourth grade students.
This dissertation examined the effects of academic interventions on the development of reading academic competence in fourth grade students who performed at or below grade level as determined by TAKS reading scale scores. Fifty students in fifth grade were chosen to participate in the study from five elementary schools in the Fort Worth Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas. Only 46 students completed the study. The study was conducted with a control (n = 23) and treatment group (n = 23). The fourth grade students were administered pretests and posttests using the ACES and the fourth grade TAKS reading test. This quantitative study used a quasi-experimental design to answer the research questions. The final data results did not indicate that the implementation of interventions significantly increased TAKS reading scores at the p > .05 level. In addition, there were no significant increases at the p > .05 level between the ACES pretests and posttests. Although there were no significant gains on the TAKS or ACES, there are implications the interventions had a positive effect on teacher perceptions of their students' academic competence and some growth was evident for the treatment groups on both TAKS and ACE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9094/
State accountability ratings as related to district size and diversity.
All Texas school districts were examined to determine the relationship of district size and diversity to the accountability ratings of selected Texas school districts and the implications of including all data in the accountability rating system. Eight large districts and 12 small districts were matched demographically utilizing data from the 2003-2004 school year. Information from the Texas Education Agency was accessed over 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The ratings were found to be lowered from Recognized to Academically Acceptable with the inclusion of these groups 6 out of 20 times. These findings indicate that the Texas accountability system, in its current structure, excludes certain students based upon race and economic status and is not in compliance with what the law intended. This study should be replicated on a larger scale to assess its validity for a larger sample of small districts. Equity among states should be examined to provide information for a nationwide accountability system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6049/
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/
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