UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse


An Analysis of a Title I Inclusive Middle School Program in Texas over a Three Year Period: A Case Study

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe a Title I inclusion program in a north Texas middle school, to evaluate the degree of its success as a high achieving program, and to analyze how closely it met the requirements of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994. Data were collected from the learning facilitators and teachers at the middle school with the permission of the school district. This study began with extensive research on the nature of adolescents and the beliefs and characteristics of high achieving middle schools. It addressed the steps which were recommended in the literature to improve middle schools and benefit students that are at-risk of failing to master the curriculum at their grade level. The researcher concluded by reporting effective strategies being used in middle school at-risk programs. These are strategies noted by experts as successful in identified programs. The population for this study was seventh and eighth grade Title I students who attended middle school during the 1992-1993, 1993-1994, 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 school years. The data collected by the researcher are presented in two parts: the description of the Title I inclusion program; and the results of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests in reading and math, the Shaw-Hiehle Math Tests, and the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests. Findings from this study suggest that the program met the requirements of a Title I program established by the federal government. The test scores for the middle school improved during the three years of the program. The Title I inclusion program met the requirements of the Improving America's Schools Act. Finally, the Title I students were successful working in classrooms with other students on challenging curriculum which met the State's content and performance standards. These findings have implications for other middle schools who are developing Title I ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Restivo, Janet DiMaria
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Quantitative Skills in Texas Year-round Schools with Texas Traditional Calendar Schools

Description: 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%).
Date: May 2001
Creator: Cole, Homer W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effectiveness of Institutionalization of a Curricular Change in Department of Defense Dependents' Schools

Description: In this study factors which affect the degree of implementation of a curricular change were examined to determine how well a specific curricular change was implemented in relation to the original intent. The change, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, was implemented in Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Germany Region, beginning in school year 1991-1992 in grades kindergarten through two. During school year 1993-1994, grade three began the transition to Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Several factors which influence teacher behavior during the implementation process were investigated to determine if there is a correlation between those factors and degree of implementation, the dependent variable. The independent variables in this study were school culture; administrators' leadership effectiveness; teacher concerns about the implementation; and teacher characteristics including age, years teaching experience, years experience in Department of Defense Dependents' Schools, and training. The degree of implementation, the dependent variable, was defined in terms of the extent to which teachers had changed their behavior to become congruent with behavior required by the change. Teachers were identified as high, moderate, or low implementers, based on classroom observations. One purpose of the study was to increase understanding of implementation by analyzing the factors which affect the behavior of teachers in the change process. A second purpose of the study was to add to the body of research that explains why so many educational changes fail to become established practice. To establish interobserver reliability, two observers rated teachers using the same protocol. The interobserver reliability coefficient found was reported at .9820. The participants in the study completed the Stages of Concern Questionnaire, the Administrative Effectiveness Survey, the School Culture Survey, and a demographic survey. The results were correlated with the Early Childhood Classroom Observation form. Amount of training was found to have a statistically significant positive relationship with degree of implementation (p=.006). ...
Date: December 1995
Creator: Colvin, Janet D. (Janet Delores)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Change Facilitator Styles on Elementary Teachers' Concerns about Adoption of Outcome-Based Education

Description: The impact of change facilitator styles (CFS) on elementary teachers' stages of concerns (SoC) about adopting outcome-based education (OBE) in their schools was studied. The group studied was 266 teachers from the Texas Network for Outcome-Based Education. Principal styles are based on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM. Styles were determined by the Change Facilitator Style Questionnaire, and teachers' concerns profiles were measured by the Stages of Concern Questionnaire. ANOVA and t tests were conducted to assess the effects of CFS at each of the seven stages of concern. ANOVA assessed teachers' educational level, experience with teaching and OBE, principal gender and type of community related to SoC. Chi-square addressed the relationship among the demographic variables and CFS. With schools as the unit of analysis, significant differences at stages 0,1,2 were found. When teachers were the unit of analysis, significant differences were found at stages 0,1,2, and 3. Concerns of teachers with Initiator style principals were significantly lower at these stages. All teachers demonstrated concerns typical of nonusers, indicating resistance to OBE. Concerns were significantly lower for teachers with master's degree than for bachelor's at stages 0 to 3. Teachers with the least experience with OBE had significantly higher concerns. Chi-square compared change facilitator styles with the demographic variables. The only significant results were more males at the management style than expected. These findings support the CBAMtheory that the initiator style is more effective at impacting SoC and improving success in adopting an innovation. Teacher demographic variables do not affect SoC or CFS. The study indicates problems implementing OBE but suggests effective leadership could impact teachers' concerns.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Waddell, Stephen F. (Stephen Fred)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Five Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities in Improving Exemplary Texas Elementary Schools: A Descriptive Study

Description: This descriptive study investigated the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in 5 economically disadvantaged and diverse Texas elementary schools, which demonstrated improvement in student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) over a 5-year period. Each of the schools were given the highest performance rating of Exemplary during the 2008 school year according to criteria developed by the Texas accountability system and had changed from an Acceptable rating in 2004. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in improving exemplary Texas elementary schools and to identify and compare the possible commonalities and differences existing between the schools on the 5 dimensions of professional learning communities. The 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model investigated in this study include: 1) shared and supportive leadership, 2) shared values and vision, 3) collective learning and the application of learning, 4) shared personal practice and 5) supportive conditions (collegial relationships and structures). The method used in this study was a mixed method approach that employed a questionnaire, individual principal and teacher interviews and school performance documents to collect data. The questionnaire data was analyzed through descriptive and analytical statistics while the interviews were investigated by identifying and documenting emergent patterns and themes. The findings from this study suggest that sustainable professional learning communities are evident in the high performing schools selected for this study. The study implies the culture of these schools is supported by relationships fostered by trust and mutual respect and their success is attributed to the collaborative, collegial and collective learning of the staff. Staff members from these schools are focused on student learning while campus leadership, grade level and vertical teams provide the structures ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Blacklock, Phillip Jeffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hispanic Women Leaders in K‒12 Public Education: Overcoming Barriers to Success

Description: Scholarly research has been written on the forces behind the barriers preventing Hispanic women from reaching the top of the public school ladder. These barriers are to be recognized and addressed. This study focuses not on the barriers which hinder forward and upward career movement, but instead examines how many Hispanic American women have not allowed these barriers to prevent them from achieving their goals of attaining the principalship. This study seeks to determine how Hispanic women principals came to grips with the challenges and barriers to promotion, and to success as K‒12 school leaders. This qualitative research study consisted of 12 Hispanic female school principals from the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. The three districts selected were Fort Worth Independent School District, Arlington Independent School District, and Grand Prairie Independent School District. Three principals were from Grand Prairie Independent School District, two principals were from Arlington Independent School District, and seven principals were from the Fort Worth Independent School District. All of the 12 Hispanic school principals were interviewed. From the responses to each of the questions, themes became evident. The themes expressed what individual principals had done and the strategies they used to overcome the varied barriers which they confronted. The responses to the interview questions and the themes were very insightful and displayed the women's tenacity, courage, perseverance, and determination to succeed in their aspirations to become Hispanic female principals and leaders in their school districts.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Falk, Cora Torres
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predictors of College Readiness: an Analysis of the Student Readiness Inventory

Description: The purpose of this study was to better predict how a first semester college freshman becomes prepared for college. the theoretical framework guiding this study is Vrooms’ expectancy theory, motivation plays a key role in success. This study used a hierarchical multiple regression model. the independent variables of interest included high school percentile class rank, composite ACT scores, composite SAT scores, and the 10 themes as measured by the Student Readiness Inventory (SRI) to address two research questions: What are the psychosocial factors identified by the SRI are most relevant in predicting college success? What conventional academic indicators are most relevant in predicting college success? the sample size for this study was 5279 (n), including a stratified random sample of first semester college freshman enrolled in credit bearing courses; these participants were deemed college ready by the university. Academic Discipline accounted for 4.2% of the variance in first semester college GPA, General Determination accounted for 1.7% of the variance, and the remaining psychosocial factors of the SRI accounted for less than 1% of the variance. High school percentile class rank accounted for 10.7% of the variance, composite ACT accounted for 5.9% of the variance, and composite SAT accounted for 5.6% of the variance. Future analysis could be completed within demographic groups to include a stratified random sample of participants by ethnicity, gender, or economic status. Such analysis would build on this body of research providing additional guidance admission officers and K-12 educators.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wilson III, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of the Effects of Everyday Mathematics on Student Achievement of Third-, Fourth-, and Fifth-Grade Students in a Large North Texas Urban School District

Description: Data were examined in this study from student records in a large North Texas urban school district who were taught with two different mathematics curricula to determine whether or not they had different effects on student achievement. One of the mathematics curricula, Everyday Mathematics, was developed upon national mathematic standards, written by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The other mathematics curriculum was district-approved, using a textbook from a large publisher, with a more traditional approach. The students selected for the experimental group came from six schools that had implemented the Everyday Mathematics curriculum for the 1998-99 school year. An experimental group was formed from these students. Twelve schools with similar socioeconomic ratios, ethnic makeup and 1998 Iowa Test of Basic Skills mathematic score profiles were selected. A control group was formed from this population of students that was similar to the experimental group with the exception of having been taught using the district-approved mathematics curriculum. These two groups were very similar in socioeconomic, ethnic, gender, and grade level makeup. Most importantly, the experimental group and control group were almost identical (there was no statistically significant difference) in their 1998 Iowa Test of Basic Skills mathematics scores, a gauge used to demonstrate that prior mathematics ability was equal going into the 1998-99 school year. In the statistical analysis, almost all comparisons showed that the experimental group taught with the Everyday Mathematics curriculum had higher scores on the 1999 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills mathematics test. When compared to children with similar mathematics ability at the beginning of the 1998-99 school year, the students in this study who were taught using Everyday Mathematics showed greater achievement gains than students in classes that used the district-approved curriculum.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Waite, Robert D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Texas High School Principals' Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in the General Education Classroom

Description: This study examined Texas high school principals' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. School leaders today face increasing demands with the revised state accountability system. For example, students with disabilities are required to take the Texas Assessment Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS) and on grade level. Hence, one of the strategies of schools has been to mainstream or include special education students in the regular classroom. Inclusion provides the opportunity for students with disabilities to be educated in the general education curriculum with their non-disabled peers. This study investigated the attitudes of Texas high school principals' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. The principals' personal experiences, professional training, and formal training in inclusion were examined. This study was a qualitative study using survey methodology. The Principal's Inclusion Survey developed by Cindy Praisner and G.H. Stainback was distributed electronically to 1211 Texas high schools. With the permissions of Praisner and Stainback, the survey was loaded into Survey Monkey, which is a website for creation of professional online surveys. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The return rate was 395 (32.1%) overall responses. The results of the study concluded that majority of the principals agreed that inclusion of students with disabilities into the general education classroom was the best placement for the disabilities listed in the survey. However, for the more severe disabilities, the principals favored a more non-inclusive setting. Those disabilities included mental retardation and serious emotional disturbance. For the cognitive disabilities, combinations of an inclusive and non-inclusive setting were chosen. Also revealed in the study is that principals did not receive inclusion training as part of their formal education, but more emphasis was placed on special education law. The results of the survey indicated more training ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Farris, Troy K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Who Leaves and Why: an Examination of Latino Student Attrition from a Selective Public School Thematic Choice Program in San Antonio, Texas

Description: This study was conducted to examine the problem of attrition from a public middle school foreign language enrichment program by students who were admitted on the basis of superior grades, test scores, and recommendations from their teachers, counselors, and parents. The study took place in inner-city San Antonio and involves Latino sixth and seventh graders from mostly low-income families. Literature pertaining to school choice options, education of Latino students, and student attrition was reviewed. Research questions pertained to the differences in characteristics of students staying in the program and leaving it and in the reasons students gave for their decisions to stay or leave. In addition, the efficacy of an existing student attrition model, modified for this study, was tested for organizing data. Data sources included surveys of students and teachers, interviews with administrators and counselors, and school records. Logit regression analysis revealed two factors linked to student persistence in the program to be significant to the .01 level: student involvement in the initial decision to apply to the program, and the presence of a student's best friend at the school the student attended. A third variable approached significance (at the . 10 level): the student's score on the math subtest of a criterion-referenced test given statewide. Recommendations to the district program administrators include incorporating the math subtest score on the statewide instrument into the screening process and providing more and better information to parents and students who are eligible and wish to apply for acceptance into the program.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Thomas, Kathryn, 1948-
Partner: UNT Libraries