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Analysis of Special Education Compliance and Special Education Funding in Four Texas Open-Enrollment Charter Schools.

Description: The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth examination of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools in north Texas and to examine relationships between special education compliance and funding. Six questions guided the research: How have the charter schools designed special education services, and do these services meet individual needs of students with disabilities? Have federal education and disability laws affected charter schools' admissions, operations, or student performance ratings? What were the levels of special education funding and compliance with federal and state regulations? Is there a relationship between special education funding and special education compliance with rules and regulations? Studies at the national and state levels have frequently been conducted in the form of surveys, and provide only preliminary information about the status of special education in charter schools. There is a paucity of case specific information about the management and delivery of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. A within-case study research design was used for this investigation utilizing qualitative methods of structured open-ended interviews, observations at the schools, and document analysis. Administrators at four open-enrollment charter schools were interviewed to gather data for this multi-case study. The data supported the hypotheses related to special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. The schools in this study provided special education services with an inclusion model for the first two years. In their first years of operation, charter schools face challenges of small budgets, few if any special education students, and difficulty finding special education teachers and other staff. In the third year and beyond, the schools were able to add special education services and staff and were more stable in terms of budget and operations. For the time period analyzed, special education costs exceeded special education funding. Compliance with special education regulations was relatively high ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Rudebusch, Judith
Partner: UNT Libraries

Candidates' Perception of Training and Self-Efficacy in Traditional and Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs.

Description: This research was encouraged by the tremendous demand for teachers. Two million new teachers will be needed in the United States over the next decade. The teacher shortage has school administration, school boards, education agencies, and institutions of higher education investigating how to train and retain more teachers. Alternative certification programs have been developed to address the teacher shortage. This study examined the effectiveness of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers in two separate programs with regard to their self-efficacy, perception of their training, and their ExCET scores. Traditional candidates (10) and alternative candidates (74) were examined using survey research. According to this data on self-efficacy, perception of training, and ExCET passing rates, there is no significant difference between those teachers who receive traditional training and those who are trained in alternative certification programs.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Thompson, Tierney M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Analysis of Management and Employee Job Satisfaction and Policy Perceptions.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate the perceptions of job satisfaction as defined by management and nonmanagement employees and to compare both parties' perceptions of organizational benefits to a list prepared by the organization's benefit personnel. Turnover is costly to the organization, both in money and in the impact it has on those individuals remaining with the organization. Every effort should be undertaken to reduce the amount of turnover within the organization. A contributing factor leading to turnover may be a gap between what the employees believe is important to them and what management believes is important to the employees. The boundaries of the gap need to be identified before any effort can be made to reduce or bridge the gap. Once the boundaries are identified, policies can be analyzed and the possibility of reducing the gap investigated. Management as a whole must be aware of the needs and wants of their employees before any attempt to develop a retention strategy is undertaken. This knowledge can be acquired only through two-way communication with the employee. The communication process includes the simple process of asking employees for this information and then listening to how they respond. This study suggests that little difference exists in perception of job satisfaction importance for gender, age group, length of time with the organization, topic training hours, and between management and nonmanagement employees. However, perception gaps exist between the job satisfaction items addressed by organizational policies and procedures and those perceived by employees. Additional studies that include a number of varied organizations are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Andrews, Charles G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of IRT and Rasch Procedures in a Mixed-Item Format Test

Description: This study investigated the effects of test length (10, 20 and 30 items), scoring schema (proportion of dichotomous ad polytomous scoring) and item analysis model (IRT and Rasch) on the ability estimates, test information levels and optimization criteria of mixed item format tests. Polytomous item responses to 30 items for 1000 examinees were simulated using the generalized partial-credit model and SAS software. Portions of the data were re-coded dichotomously over 11 structured proportions to create 33 sets of test responses including mixed item format tests. MULTILOG software was used to calculate the examinee ability estimates, standard errors, item and test information, reliability and fit indices. A comparison of IRT and Rasch item analysis procedures was made using SPSS software across ability estimates and standard errors of ability estimates using a 3 x 11 x 2 fixed factorial ANOVA. Effect sizes and power were reported for each procedure. Scheffe post hoc procedures were conducted on significant factos. Test information was analyzed and compared across the range of ability levels for all 66-design combinations. The results indicated that both test length and the proportion of items scored polytomously had a significant impact on the amount of test information produced by mixed item format tests. Generally, tests with 100% of the items scored polytomously produced the highest overall information. This seemed to be especially true for examinees with lower ability estimates. Optimality comparisons were made between IRT and Rasch procedures based on standard error rates for the ability estimates, marginal reliabilities and fit indices (-2LL). The only significant differences reported involved the standard error rates for both the IRT and Rasch procedures. This result must be viewed in light of the fact that the effect size reported was negligible. Optimality was found to be highest when longer tests and higher proportions of polytomous ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Kinsey, Tari L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparisons of Improvement-Over-Chance Effect Sizes for Two Groups Under Variance Heterogeneity and Prior Probabilities

Description: The distributional properties of improvement-over-chance, I, effect sizes derived from linear and quadratic predictive discriminant analysis (PDA) and from logistic regression analysis (LRA) for the two-group univariate classification were examined. Data were generated under varying levels of four data conditions: population separation, variance pattern, sample size, and prior probabilities. None of the indices provided acceptable estimates of effect for all the conditions examined. There were only a small number of conditions under which both accuracy and precision were acceptable. The results indicate that the decision of which method to choose is primarily determined by variance pattern and prior probabilities. Under variance homogeneity, any of the methods may be recommended. However, LRA is recommended when priors are equal or extreme and linear PDA is recommended when priors are moderate. Under variance heterogeneity, selecting a recommended method is more complex. In many cases, more than one method could be used appropriately.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Alexander, Erika D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Educators' Technology Level of Use and Methods for Learning Technology Integrations.

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe technology learning methods that teachers attend and perceive as effective. The goal was to provide district personnel data that may be utilized when planning for more effective technology staff development. This study examined (1) the methods of learning instructional technology that are being utilized by teachers and administrators and (2) why these methods are being utilized in two Texas school districts. Data was collected from educators via an online survey consisting of demographics, technology training methods, level of technology use (CBAM 1 item), stages of adoption and technology level of use (LoTi, 50-item). Educators with different technology levels of use (high, low) differed on their perceptions and utilization of technology training methods. Specifically, educators with different technology levels of use differed in their perceptions of independent online help, and learning through trial and error technology training methods. Results from the study showed that educators tended to use the technology training method that they perceived as most effective. Educators tended to utilize learning by trial and error, peer support, and technology personnel support the most frequently for learning technology integration Educators' in the study had varying technology levels of use based on their educator categories. Administrators tended to score much higher than both elementary and secondary teachers on their technology levels of use. Participants gave a variety of reasons for utilizing certain technology training methods most frequently. The most popular reason was that the method fit into their time schedule followed by the location of the training. The least given reason was that it was the best method for learning the technology skill.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Griffin, Darlene Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptomatology on Marital Satisfaction

Description: Many women reporting PMS symptoms state their symptoms affect their mood, social, and family functioning. This study attempted to provide clinicians with information to assist in psychotherapeutic intervention, by determining the effect PMS has on marital satisfaction. Nineteen female subjects reporting PMS symptoms and their partners completed the study. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory - Revised (MSI-R) and the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire-Form T (MDQ-form T) were used to determine if the nineteen couples reported marital distress as a result of the women's cyclical premenstrual symptoms. The results of the study suggested that the women and their partners, report high levels of marital distress that is not reflective of the cyclical nature of the PMS symptomatology. Scores on the MSI-R for the subjects and their partners indicated the couples perceived level of distress in the t-50 to t-70 range on scales 3-8 is consistent throughout the menstrual cycle. The couples reported higher levels of marital distress than would be the expected norm, suggesting that PMS may be a contributing factor to the level of distress they reported experiencing. This study did not include a control group, which would have provided a norm for couples who do not report PMS by which to compare the MSI-R scores.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Rodgers, Glenda S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Great Debate continued: Does daily writing in kindergarten lead to invented spelling and reading?

Description: Many children in the United States cannot read on level by fourth grade. Traditionally, teachers have delayed reading instruction until first grade. However, involving children sooner in literary activities may provide skills needed to enable them to read on grade level. The purpose for this study was to determine the extent to which daily writing in kindergarten influences the development of invented spelling and learning to read. Five teachers modeled writing with 78 kindergarten children who wrote every day or almost every day for 20 weeks. There were 51 children in an experimental group, and 27 in a control group who were given a pretest and a posttest using the Observation Study (Clay, 1993). Results from a mixed model ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the control group and the experimental group on the Dictation Task F (1, 76) = 11.76, P≤ .001 and the Writing Test F (1, 76) = 4.33, P≤ .01. Results from a z-Test of dependent proportions indicated there were significant differences in the reading levels of the control group from the pretest to the posttest (z = 7.51, P ≥ .05) because (z = 7.51, Zcv = 1.96). The experimental group results from pretest to posttest were also statistically significant (z = 6.48, P ≥ .05) because (z = 6.48, Zcv = 1.96). At the end of kindergarten 82.35% of the experimental group was reading, while only 48.15% of the control group was reading. This research indicates that if kindergarten children are encouraged to write daily and use invented spelling there is a greater possibility they will enter first grade reading.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Pierce, Laura Boehl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impact of Absent Father-Figures on Male Subjects and the Correlation to Juvenile Delinquency: Findings and Implications

Description: This study was predicated on the belief that a father brings something unique to the family, thus, making irreplaceable contributions to the life of a child. Fathers are unique in that they provide something different from mothers. They are irreplaceable because when they are absent, children are said to suffer emotionally, intellectually, socially, and behaviorally. The contributions of fathers to a child's well being cannot be fully replaced by better programming, ensuring child support programs, or even by well-intentioned mentoring programs. A review of literature relevant to delinquency and adolescent behavioral and academic success revealed that there may be a correlation between a male role-model and the teaching of self-control and socially appropriate behaviors. Indeed, much of what the large body of research pertaining to fatherhood reveals is that, compared to children raised in two-parent homes, children who grow up without their fathers have significantly worse outcomes, on average, on almost every measure of well being (Horn, 2002). In addition, an understanding of the factors that may influence delinquent behaviors, in particular within the family unit, can better equip parents and educators to support those who may be exhibiting the beginning signs of delinquent behavior. This study was designed to determine the influence of, or correlation between, juvenile delinquency and the presence or absence of a father-figure in a child's life. Responses made on the Delinquency Check List between two sample sets, delinquent and non-delinquent adolescents, were examined. The study attempted to determine if delinquent activity among adolescents was differentiated by the absence or presence of a father-figure in a child's life. This study also investigated the frequency and severity of delinquent activities between adolescents in the determined sample groups.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Eastin, Jennifer Flood
Partner: UNT Libraries

The impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance in the mainstream school environment.

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance. The literature review examined the history and development of alternative schools, the legislation pertaining to alternative schools, and related studies. The population consisted of students placed in the discipline alternative education program (DAEP) of an alternative school located in a large suburban school district in north Texas. Students placed in DAEP in the spring semester of 2001 in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 were included in the sample. Data on student success was gathered for the one semester prior to placement (pre-intervention) and for the two semesters after placement (post-intervention). Student success was measured in terms of course grade averages and attendance. The student sample was divided into the following subgroups: grade level, sex, ethnicity, and qualification for the school meal program. The students' grade averages were compared within the subgroups utilizing a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Tukey's post hoc comparison was utilized on the groups when ANOVA was found to be significant. The students' attendance was analyzed by comparing the proportion of days attended in each of the three semesters included in the study. A normal test of two independent means was conducted on the attendance proportions. The results of the study indicated the following significant findings (p <. 05): the eighth-grade students' grade averages were significantly lower in the second post-treatment semester, the 7th-grade students had lower attendance in the first post-treatment semester, the 8th-grade students had lower attendance in the second post-treatment semester, and the 10th-grade students had higher attendance in the first post-intervention semester. The female students' attendance was higher in both post-intervention semesters and significantly higher in the second. A discussion of the dropout rate for this group and recidivism to DAEP was included.
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Date: December 2003
Creator: Galloway, Cathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The impact of computer assisted instruction on sensory cognitive factors in literacy learning.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of computer assisted instruction on the development of literacy skills. The effect of instructional methodologies designed to stimulate sensory processing (auditory, visual, and somatic sensory) through information processing activities was analyzed. A software program was designed to present instruction to stimulate learning in one sensory modality, visual processing. Also, the effect of delivery mechanisms on the acquisition of literacy skills was investigated. Three treatment groups and a control group were established to analyze differences: cognitive processing methodologies presented via computer technology, conventional methodologies presented via computer technology, cognitive processing methodologies presented through traditional classroom tools, and a control group. A portable keyboard computer with word processing capabilities was selected to deliver technology-enhanced instruction. Results from this study suggest that activities designed to specifically promote processing in one sensory modality, do not promote acquisition of skills in other regions. There was no change in scores when visual methodologies were applied to auditory and somatic sensory cognitive processing goals. When spelling tests that utilized all sensory modalities were analyzed, visual processing instruction had no effect on achievement. This result was duplicated when tests requiring auditory processing skills were examined. However, when visual processing skills were applied to words requiring sight word memorization techniques, the methodologies improved achievement scores. Therefore, it can be concluded that methodologies increase achievement only if activities are designed to stimulate the sensory cognitive modality that the skill requires. Results of analysis concerning the effect of delivery mechanisms on spelling achievement revealed that technology is a useful tool when used to promote information processing related to the learning goal. Visual cognitive processing activities delivered via computer technology were effective only when practice activities matched instructional objectives. When conventional methods of learning spelling skills were presented utilizing technology, student scores ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Walton, Donna L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Knowledge and attitudes of preservice teachers towards students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.

Description: The study used a survey design to ascertain the levels of knowledge and attitudes of special education and non-special education preservice and inservice teachers towards students with different sexual orientations. The results of this study are based on 408 responses from preservice and inservice teachers enrolled at seven institutions of higher education within North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia offering teacher training programs in regular and/or special education. Two previously developed instruments were used to measure dependent variables in this study. Koch's modified version of The Knowledge about Homosexuality Questionnaire developep by Harris, Nightengale & Owen was used to measure the dependent variable of the preservice and inservice teacher's knowledge about homosexuality. Herek's Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) measured the dependent variable of attitudes towards homosexuals. The study found no significant differences reported mean scores for knowledge or attitude of homosexuality among the teacher groups surveyed: (a) special education preservice teachers, (b) non-special education preservice teachers, (c) special education inservice teachers, and (d) non-special education inservice teachers. Neither gender nor age were found to be factors in measures of knowledge or attitude of preservice or inservice teachers. Receiving prior instruction in serving the needs of GLBT students, or with a focus GLBT issues, contributed to higher levels of knowledge and more positive attitudes. This research identified current levels of knowledge and attitudes of preservice and inservice teachers towards GLBT youth, and this information may help outline areas of possible changes necessary in teacher preparation programs, research, and policy.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Morgan, Daniel J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ninth grade student success: An analysis of a credit recovery program.

Description: The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which a credit recovery program improved the academic success for high school freshmen. For the purpose of this study, academic success was defined as whether or not the student advanced from 9th to 10th grade. A total of 255 students from two junior high schools and one comprehensive high school were included in the study. Independent variables included program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, and TAKS Mathematics results. A review of related literature provided background information regarding the issues surrounding high school freshmen, dropouts, grade retention, and effective intervention programs. This quantitative study utilized descriptive statistics and logistic regression to analyze the relationship between the independent variables and student success as measured by whether or not the student advanced from ninth to tenth grade. In addition, the study examined the odds of success if participating in the credit recovery program. Sources of data included Incomplete and Failure Listing, Ninth Grade Advisor Listing, Tenth Grade Advisory Listing, and the Student Roster-Fall Collection. The Ninth Grade Success Initiative Program Evaluation for Cycles 6, 7, and 9 provided the individual student results of participation in the program. Levels of significance were set at the .05 level. The findings of this study indicated that no statistically significant relationship existed between participation in the credit recovery program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, TAKS Mathematics results, and advancing from 9th to 10th grade. It was concluded that further study would be needed to determine the most effective means for providing academic assistance to ninth grade students.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Christian, Fredelyn Walters
Partner: UNT Libraries

Presidents' Leadership Behaviors Associated with Followers' Job Satisfaction, Motivation Toward Extra Effort, and Presidential Effecitveness at Evangelical Colleges and Universities

Description: Transformational leaders have tendencies that include: 1) projecting confidence and optimism about goals and followers' ability, 2) providing a clear vision, 3) encouraging creativity through empowerment and rewarding experimentation, 4) setting high expectations and creating a supportive environment, and 5) establishing personal relationships with followers. Transactional leadership as a process in which leaders and followers decide on goals and how to achieve them through a mutual exchange. The leader provides followers with resources, rewards, and punishment in order to achieve motivation, productivity, and effective task accomplishment. Laissez-faire leadership is the process of letting followers work without direction or guidance from the leader. The laissez-faire leader avoids providing direction and support, shows a lack of active involvement in follower activity, and abdicates responsibilities by maintaining a line of separation between the leader and the followers. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the assumption that a combination of transformational and transactional leadership factors is more predictive of greater followers' job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness than either leadership style alone. The study investigated perceptions of the degree to which transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and laissez-faire leadership were practiced by presidents of member colleges and universities in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In addition, the study considered whether some combination of transformational and transactional behaviors is more predictive of job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness than either transformational or transactional leadership alone. The independent variables in the study included the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership behaviors of the college and university presidents and the dependent variables were job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness. This study points to specific behaviors that are predictive of job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness. By combining ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Webb, Kerry S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Student preferences in screen design factors for Internet delivered college courses.

Description: Colleges and universities throughout the world are offering many of their courses via the Internet. Some institutions offer entire degrees online. This has ushered in a renewed interest in the debate on the effectiveness of non-traditional course delivery method. Numerous educational research studies have been conducted in an attempt to quantify that effectiveness. In any form of experimental research, control of variables is paramount. The rich multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web give educators a wide variety of delivery media. However, with the exception of advice from artisans on design factors of the media, little research has been conducted with regard to the aesthetics of Web page design as viewed by the student. This study was conducted in an effort to establish student preferences with regard to two factors of Web page design as they might be used on those Web pages, background color and typeface used for text. In addition, it contains an analysis of whether or not there is an interaction between the two factors. Use of the results of this study should prove beneficial to both educators and educational researchers in their future endeavors.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Pineau, Joseph Roy
Partner: UNT Libraries