UNT Theses and Dissertations - 128 Matching Results

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The Response of a Public School District to Charter School Competition: An Examination of Free-Market Effects

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine a school district's responses to charter schools operating within its boundaries. The selected district was the only one in the state with two large academically competitive charter schools for at least two years. Four questions guided the research: In terms of instruction, finance, communication, and leadership, how has the traditional district been impacted due to charter school existence? The exploratory research was timely since charter schools are proliferating as tax-supported public choice schools. While many have speculated about free-market effects of charter school competition on systemic educational reform, the debate has been chiefly along ideological lines; therefore, little empirical research addresses this issue. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used to present a comprehensive case study. Twenty-six school officials and teachers were interviewed; 159 teachers and 1576 parents were surveyed. District, community, and state education department documents were analyzed. Since charter schools have existed in the district, numerous activities have taken place. Instructional initiatives included a high school academy, expanded technology, gifted and talented, tutoring, and dropout prevention. All elementary and middle schools required uniforms. The district's state accountability rating improved from acceptable to recognized. A leadership void was perceived due to students leaving to attend charter schools initially. The district was perceived as making efforts to improve communication with the community. The financial impact of charter schools was neutralized due to the district's student population increase, property wealth, and state charter funding structure. The data supported all of the hypotheses in terms of the impact of charter schools in the district on these activities: free-market effects of charter school competition were not established as the primary reason for internal organizational changes that occurred in the district. Anecdotal evidence suggested that charter schools may have played some role, but primarily they seemed to ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Patrick, Diane Porter
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of National Standards for Early Childhood Programs on Selected Rural Settings of the Education Service Centers in East Texas

Description: This study addressed the current status of early childhood curriculum design and implementation in the Texas Education Service Centers Seven and Eight. No Previous research about the characteristics of the preschool programs had been completed in those areas. This research established if preschool programs were receiving priority status in East Texas. The results yielded evidence regarding the characteristics of administrators, teachers, curriculum implementation, plus parent and community involvement. The information also provided insight regarding short-term and longitudinal effects on children who have attended preschool programs. Data were collected from a search of educational literature, regional service preschool directors, administrators, and teachers. The procedure used in designing the survey and interview documents was Michael Scriven's goal-free strategy. The main sources for the questions were the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Head Start. The study first directs attention to the common characteristics of national programs/standards, then discusses the level of implementation in local rural prekindergartens. The fifteen open-ended interviews yielded concise information relevant to the population of students served and administrative beliefs on current practices. Surveys were sent to a total of all preschool administrators in the Education Service Center Regions of Seven and Eight. A 51 percent response rate was received. The results of the analysis demonstrated the direction current administrators hope early childhood will take in the areas of 1) developmentally-centered curriculum, 2) parental and community input, and 3) professional development. The administrators' commitments and focal points were correlated with the national standards. Recommendations are made that should result in an overall increase of successful prekindergarten and high school graduates.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Sanders, Mary Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of the Impact of Content Literacy Strategy Instruction on Teaching and Learning

Description: Reading researchers agree that content literacy strategies are beneficial in helping students learn. However, teachers remain resistant to teaching the strategies. Additionally, many students, even at the college level, lack the learning strategies necessary to experience academic success. This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of content literacy strategy instruction. The research questions that guided the study addressed the benefits, obstacles, and support and experiences needed to sustain the use of the strategies over time. Multiple data sources were used to investigate teachers' and students' perceptions of the research questions. The main benefit found was increased student understanding and learning of content; additional benefits included increased instructional repertoire, increased student engagement in class, and improved learner independence. Most of the obstacles documented in the literature were supported in the study; however, the obstacle of time was noted most frequently. Teacher confidence was observed by the researcher as an obstacle. The majority of participants indicated they would continue using the strategies learned during the study in the future. Students noted the support needed to sustain content literacy strategy use depended on teachers providing direct instruction, practice using the strategies, and personal success with the strategies. Teachers also identified practice and perseverance as critical to sustaining content literacy strategy instruction. The support teachers noted most frequently as important to successful implementation was collegial support - teachers helping teachers. Teacher meetings discussing the implementation process were viewed as critical to sustain effective content literacy strategy instruction. Additionally, quality teacher training, administrative support, and accountability were documented by teachers as important.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Maher, Sheila
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Among Teacher Expectations, Teacher Attitudes Toward the TAAS, and Student Achievement

Description: Accountability is a major issue in education and in Texas, the TAAS test is used to indicate performance of students, teachers, campuses, and districts. The stakes are high for students, as performance on this test has determined whether they progress to another grade and whether they will receive a diploma. Most research studies focus on relationships between the teacher and individual students or groups of students, but not classrooms. Expectations and high stakes testing are central within the educational process, and their relationship on student achievement should be investigated, especially since no studies on teacher attitudes toward the TAAS test have been found. This correlational study measured teacher attitudes toward the TAAS and teacher expectations for students through data collected from a survey. Student achievement information was collected from averaged Texas Learning Index scores for students by classroom over a two year period. The sample consisted of 22 4th, 8th, and 10th grade reading and/or math teachers who had taught in the same Texas mid-sized, rural school district for at least two years. Frequency, percent, mean, and standard deviation were used to analyze the responses on the survey. A median score distinguished between high/low expectations and between positive/negative attitudes toward the TAAS. The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient identified relationships, with levels of significance determined at the .05 level. From this study, it appears that no relationship exists among teacher expectations for students, teacher attitudes toward the TAAS, and student achievement. It appears that teachers support the TAAS and see a relationship between the test and improved student performance, and view the TAAS as nondiscriminatory for race and socioeconomic status. While teacher expectation levels are not the same for all students, most teachers feel responsible for insuring that students learn while they are in the teachers' classrooms, and communicate, via word ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Sweatt, Shelley S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of the relationships between personality as indicated by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and leadership strengths and weaknesses as identified by Skillscope

Description: The purpose of this study was to improve the quality of information used in leadership assessment and development programs. The study determined the relationships between personality type, as indicated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and leadership strengths and developmental needs as measured by Skillscope. The study also determined the relationships between personality type and congruence between self-awareness of strengths and developmental needs and ratings by knowledgeable observers. The discriminate analysis of the Skillscope leadership feedback instrument compared with the selected personality types revealed that personal management was a strength for both ISTJs and ESTJs. The decision-making skill was a strength for ISTJs, and power/influence was determined to be a strength for ESTJs. The high energy/results oriented skill was determined to be a developmental need for ISTJs. There was agreement between ENTJs and other raters as they both saw interpersonal relationships as a strength for that type. INTJs underrated themselves in interpersonal relationships, and ISTJs underrated themselves in decision-making. Further study is recommended to expand the general body of knowledge of leadership development research. Of particular concern are methods to identify and explore developmental needs of leaders and how those needs can be addressed in training programs. Three hundred sixty degree feedback instruments should be further analyzed in an effort to explain the differences between raters. Of concern is the high percentage of ISTJ types, which reveals a need to expand research to include significant numbers of other personality types. Consideration should be given to studies that identify the unique contributions of gender to leadership skills and development, and the impact culture has on leadership in organizations. Although statistically significant research is difficult to obtain in the behavioral sciences, the effort is worthwhile as it provides information that allows leadership development decisions to be made based on dependable data.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Cunnyngham, Hal F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Descriptive Review and Analysis of the Creation and Development of an Advisory Program in an Inner-City Middle School

Description: This study described and analyzed the development and implementation of an advisory program at one urban middle school. Development of the advisory program began during the 1997-98 school year. The implementation of the program was examined during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years. This school site was chosen because of the in-depth research and planning of the program beyond the typical amount performed by many schools, and the wide-scale staff participation utilized in the program's development. In order to follow the processes of development and implementation, several models of change, innovation, and organizational analysis were used to provide focus for analysis of events that occurred during the three years of the program examined in this study. Data was collected in multiple manners. A complete review of school documents concerning the advisory program was performed, and over 50 percent of the faculty were interviewed through individual and team interviews. The findings of this study include various elements concerning the development and implementation of the advisory program. Data was collected and analyzed in three main categories including a) driving and resisting factors for beginning and implementing the program, b) processes used to plan, maintain and develop the program, and c) the periods in which the program became stable. Additional considerations were examined including the evaluation of the program, future possibilities for implementation, and staff roles in the program. Recommendations of the study include: limiting the focus of the advisory program; maintaining consistent goals; starting with a limited program; securing high staff participation; providing extensive time for planning; maintaining a high level of monitoring by administration and staff leaders; providing in-depth training; and, insuring that open lines of communication exist.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Hunter, Matthew P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Federal Constitution and Race-Based Admissions Policies in Public Charter Schools

Description: The primary questions addressed in this dissertation are whether race-based admissions policies in charter schools are constitutionally permissible, and if not, how could an admissions policy be designed so that it would promote school diversity without violating the law? These questions are important because there are significant numbers of philosophers and scholars who hypothesize that student body diversity not only enhances educational outcomes but also is a necessary component of civic education in a liberal democracy. The researcher takes no particular stance on the benefits of educational diversity, focusing instead on the constitutional questions raised by the use of race-sensitive policies in the interest of diversity. The primary methodology used throughout is legal research, though the literature review includes references to political philosophers and social scientists as well as primary legal sources. Chapter I outlines the most frequent arguments made in favor of school diversity and suggests that the judicial philosophy expressed by the Supreme Court over the last twenty-five years has moved away from the philosophy expressed in Brown v. Board. In Chapter II, Supreme Court precedent on affirmative action policies is analyzed, focusing mainly on the decision of the divided Court in University of California Board of Regents v. Bakke. Chapter III provides a detailed analysis of how six different Federal Circuit Courts interpreted Bakke, highlighting numerous recurring judicial themes and concerns. In Chapter IV, existing charter school laws are examined state by state. Chapter V suggests several policy options for those interested in promoting a diverse charter school student body.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Black, Watt Lesley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attrition Rates of Teachers Trained in Alternative Teacher Certification Programs, Those Trained in the Centers for the Professional Development of Teachers, and Those Trained in Traditional University Programs.

Description: This study uses teacher employment data provided by the State Board for Educator Certification to examine the similarities and differences between initial employment and attrition rates of teachers trained in three prevalent types of Texas teacher preparation programs; alternative certification programs (ACP), the centers for professional development of teachers (CPDT), and traditional certification programs (TCP). The population for the study includes all Texas teachers who completed training in these programs in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The study found that ACP participants gain employment as Texas public school teachers at a significantly higher rate than their CPDT and TCP trained peers in year-one after completion of their training. However, ACP completers experience higher attrition rates in each of the subsequent years investigated. The study concludes that the overall cumulative attrition rate of new teachers trained in these programs is not as pronounced as originally presumed, but that low production levels cannot keep up with the growing demand for new teachers. Teacher preparation program leaders must seek ways to recruit and train more teachers.
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Date: May 2002
Creator: Harris, Steven A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Drug Testing on Secondary School Students

Description: The purpose of this study determined whether use of student random drug testing provided an effective means to reduce drug usage by secondary school students. The participants included 50,214 7th through 12th grade students in 12 selected public schools. All school districts participated in the Texas School Survey of Substance Use in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000. The six districts in the experimental group used drug testing as a method of reducing drug usage among students. The six districts in the control group did not use drug testing. Although athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities remain the focus of random dug testing, this research focused on an entire school population to determine whether drug testing only a select group of students reduced reported drug usage in the entire school. Two questions guided the research: First, does the use of random drug testing have an impact on student drug usage? Second, does the year of implementation of random drug testing have an impact on students' self-reported drug usage? The findings for each research question were categorized according to nine illegal drugs. The researcher used a one-way repeated measures factorial design. The data were analyzed via the univariate (split-plot) 2 x 4 analysis of variance (ANOVA), with the data from four periodic surveys (1994, 1996, 1998, & 2000) as a within-subject factor and the treatment group (participation in drug testing or control/no drug testing) as a between-subjects factor. The results of the study showed there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental group of school districts that used random drug testing and the control group of school districts that did not use random drug testing. In addition, the study showed there was no statistically significant difference in drug usage between the students in districts who began random drug testing in ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Lee, Elton David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer-Assisted Instruction in Literacy Skills for Kindergarten Students and Perceptions of Administrators and Teachers.

Description: The perceptions of administrators and teachers of a computer-assisted instructional program in literacy skills were collected by a survey. The survey participants were kindergarten teachers and administrators from four elementary schools in the same, fast-growing, suburban school district in Texas. Literacy assessments were given to all kindergarten students in the district in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2005-2006 school year. This study included a quasi-experimental research design to determine if students using the computer-assisted instructional program improved more on the district literacy assessments than students who did not use the program. The treatment group members were the 449 kindergarten students of the survey participants. The treatment group worked in The Imagination Station program for a nine-week trial period. The control group members were 1385 kindergarten students from thirteen other schools in the same school district. The study found that teachers and administrators perceived that their students' improvement in literacy skills after using the program was good. The quasi-experimental portion of the study found that there was a statistical difference between the treatment and control groups on the composite literacy assessment score. The group membership variable could explain 1.4% of the variance in the students' literacy assessment scores. Based on the small effect size, there was no practical difference between the groups.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Larson, Susan Hatlestad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Equity in Texas Public Education Facilities Funding

Description: The need to establish appropriate, adequate, and decent educational facilities for school children across the nation has been well-established. The ability of school districts in each state to build these facilities has varied widely in the past. Historically, most facilities funding ability for school districts has come from the local community and has been tied to property wealth and the ability of the community to raise significant tax dollars to pay for school buildings. Responding to an expanding need for increased facilities funding and school funding litigation, the state of Texas added facilities funding mechanisms for public school facilities construction in the late 1990s. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the methods of facilities funding were equitable in the state of Texas. In this study, equity values were framed around three equity concepts established in school funding equity literature. These three concepts were (1) horizontal equity defined as the equal treatment of equals, (2) vertical equity defined as the unequal treatment of unequals, and (3) wealth neutrality defined as the absence of a relationship between school district wealth and the equal opportunity of students. The sample comprised 1,039 school districts in the state of Texas. Well-established equity measures were administered to data including capital outlays, weighted per pupil capital outlays, instructional facilities allotments, and school district wealth. Horizontal equity measures included the McLoone index, the Verstegen index, the federal range ratio, and the coefficient of variation tests. The Odden-Picus Adequacy index (OPAI) was administered to determine levels of vertical equity. Finally, wealth neutrality was determined utilizing the Pearson product-moment correlation test. Findings indicated that there were poor horizontal equity levels both in the top half and bottom half of the distribution of capital outlay spenders. A coefficient of variation test was administered to determine overall ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Luke, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Benefits of the Student Success Initiative in the 3rd and 5th Grades in a District in Texas.

Description: The state of Texas passed the Student Success Initiative (SSI) in 1999 which requires all 3rd graders to pass the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test to be promoted to the 4th grade, and for 5th graders to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 6th grade. Beginning in spring 2008, 8th graders will also need to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 9th grade. The purpose of this study was to examine the academic performance of 3rd and 5th grade students who did not meet the passing standard on the TAKS test and were retained during the 2005-2006 school year. The population of this study included 33 3rd graders and 49 5th graders who were retained during the 2005-2006 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. There was also a second population of 49 5th graders who were retained in 3rd grade during the 2003-2004 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. These students were enrolled in the 5th grade for the first time during the 2005-2006 school year. Their TAKS scores were examined to see whether students were still benefiting from the year of retention in 3rd grade. Results for all populations were broken down by ethnicity and program codes. The results of the study showed a statistically significant gain in 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math scores. The 5th grade reading scores did have a statistically significant improvement even though the reading mean score was still below the minimum passing score even after a year of retention. A cross tabulation done on students who had been retained in 3rd grade due to SSI ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Neblett, Pamela S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of the Relationship Between Teacher Efficacy and Teachers' Perceptions of Their Principals' Leadership Behaviors

Description: Over the years there has been significant discussion of the connection between principal's leadership qualities and teacher efficacy. Students come to the classroom from stable, traditional, supportive home environments as well as from unstable, broken, and homeless situations. Teachers are asked to teach a classroom full of students with a wide range of learning abilities as well as a varied range of learning disabilities. The confidence to do this for the measure of a teacher's career takes a strong sense of efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers' sense of efficacy and teachers' perceptions of their principals' leadership qualities that enhance and/or diminish the teachers' sense of efficacy. This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative research methods to study the effects of leadership qualities on teacher efficacy. Quantitative data was acquired utilizing the teacher sense of efficacy scale and the principal leadership questionnaire. Qualitative data was gathered through a focus group meeting of teachers with measurably strong efficacy to identify principal practices that affect teachers' efficacy. The study's outcomes reported that total respondent data indicates a generally positive relationship between these two variables. Subgroup analysis revealed varying results with diminishing relationships measured from elementary to secondary teachers. Qualitative information gathered from teachers with strong efficacy reported strategies that foster teacher efficacy, make teachers feel good about teaching and inhibit the development of teacher efficacy. The study recommends that principals and school administrators be especially knowledgeable of the six components of transformational leadership as well as the three aspects of teacher efficacy examined in this study. Being mindful of how daily leadership decisions not only fit within the transformational leadership constructs, but more importantly, how they affect good classroom teaching practices, should help principals plan and initiate strategies and programs that create a campus atmosphere ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Ryan, Harry D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Third-year Evaluation of the University of North Texas/ Dallas Independent School District/ Southern Regional Education Board Leadership Development Program

Description: Under No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002, school principals shoulder the burden of school success determined by test scores of students. Challenges principals face demand school leaders possess greater knowledge and skills than administrators of the past. The need for well-trained, skilled school leaders makes it important to study the subject of school leadership training. This study examined a school leadership preparation partnership between the University of North Texas and Dallas Independent School District. Primary supporting references include work by Bottoms and O'Neill (2001) calling for the 16-member states of the Southern Regional Education Board to train a new breed of principal to meet the current demands for student achievement in public schools. This research adds to the body of knowledge of school leadership development programs, particularly those that involve cohort-based study groups and shared service partnerships between school districts and universities. Major questions investigated: 1) How did participation in the program change the involvement of administrative interns in campus-based decision-making? 2) How has participation in the program changed the ways participants perceive themselves? 3) What actions have members of the cohort group taken in their teacher-leader/administrative positions to affect student achievement? 4) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UNT/DISD/SREB Leadership Development Program partnership? Information was gathered from 16 of the 26 program participants through questionnaires, interviews, and document study.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Jordan, Mary Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of a Telementoring Program on Beginning Teacher Self-efficacy.

Description: This study examined whether the telementoring program had a positive impact on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Telementoring is an adaptation of mentoring, using telecommunications technology as the means to establish and maintain mentoring relationships between the participants. The program was intended to create an atmosphere of community; to provide expert training in the profession; to retain good teachers; and to offer support for the new teacher in times of self-doubt. A quasi-experimental design and mixed methods measures were used to determine the effect of a telementoring program on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Participants were members of a district induction/mentoring program. An experimental group of 20 first-year teachers that participated in a supplemental telementoring program were compared to 20 first-year teachers who did not. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was used to collect data on beginning teacher self-efficacy. A pretest was administered prior to the treatment and members completed a post-test at the conclusion of the study. Results were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. The experimental and control group results from both assessments were measured and compared. No statistically significant differences were found between the experimental group that participated in the telementoring program and those in the control group who did not. Messages posted to a discussion board were analyzed by comparing concerns of beginning teachers in this study to concerns of beginning teachers found in current literature. A compilation of concerns served as a comparison framework. Participants in this study discussed many of the same issues and concerns found in current literature. Although statistically significant results were not found, discussion board postings suggest that telementoring is an effective form of mentoring and provides beginning teachers a forum for collegiality and support, which contributes to self-efficacy.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Muehlberger, Linda S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study Of The Effects Of High School Scheduling Systems On Achievement Rates, Attendance Rates, And Dropout Rates

Description: This study attempted to determine if the type of class schedule (traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block) used in Texas public high schools significantly affects students' achievement results, attendance rates and dropout rates. One thousand four hundred ninety (1490) Texas high school principals were surveyed to determine the type of schedule currently in use on each campus, the type of schedule previously used on each campus, the length of time the current schedule has been in place on each campus, and the length of time that the previous schedule was used on each campus. This study is particularly significant in that this research provides information to assist principals in determining if block scheduling is instrumental in improving achievement in reading and mathematics, in improving attendance and in lowering dropout rates. The results of the study indicated that the use of a particular type of schedule: traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block is not directly correlated to improved achievement, attendance, or dropout rates. An expectation that the implementation of a traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block schedule will be the sole factor to cause improved student achievement, improved attendance rates or improved dropout rates is inappropriate. Ultimately, campus and districts officials must assure that effective teaching practices are occurring on each campus, regardless of the schedule type. Currently, a projected (Texas) state education funding shortfall is causing school district administrators to review cost-saving options for the 2003 - 2004 fiscal year. There is discussion in many districts regarding the fact that traditional scheduling is more economical than A/B block or accelerated block scheduling. The results of this study indicate that the decision to move campuses from A/B block or accelerated block to traditional scheduling might be made as a cost-saving move without negatively impacting student achievement, attendance rates or dropout rates.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Kelchner, Thomas Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer Skills And Usage Of Students In Grades 10-12 Who Are Legally Blind: A Descriptive Analysis

Description: This research project was a descriptive analysis of the computer usage and skills of academic students in grades 10-12 who are legally blind and attending public school in the Region 10 Education Service Center service area of Texas. In addition, this study provided a process that other regions in the state or educational agencies may duplicate to document the computer skills and usage of students with visual impairments in their area. Twenty-seven students who are legally blind were surveyed by their teachers of the visually impaired regarding their computer usage and skill abilities, and eleven of the twenty-seven students were interviewed by the researcher to gain further information pertaining to computer usage and future plans upon graduation. Using prior research as a basis for understanding how sighted students used the computer, it was found that students who are legally blind used the computer similarly to their sighted peers except that students with significant visual impairments seemed to use to the computer to listen to music more than their sighted counterparts. In addition, students who are legally blind indicated that they learned most of their computer skills at school rather than at home like their sighted teenagers. Furthermore, it was determined that students who are legally blind were not learning the computer skills necessary for success in post-secondary education and vocational endeavors. Although the students were being exposed to many different computer applications, most did not use the applications weekly, nor report that they were experienced with the majority of basic skills related to applications such as word processing, Internet searching, emailing, spreadsheets and databases.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Gray, Kitra Hill
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Case Study of Parental Behaviors in an English Language Learner Community Technology Literacy Lab Setting and the Extension of the Behaviors in the Home

Description: The purpose of the study was to describe a family literacy program attempting to teach adult English language learners (ELL) the knowledge and skills that would allow them to support their children's learning at home. The methodology employed was a multi-case study. Fourteen adult participants were interviewed to gather information regarding the factors that influenced the adult participant's ability to support their child's learning prior to participation in the family literacy program. The study focused on the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the literacy program and used to support their child's learning at home and the curriculum and instruction that the participants used to influence their child's learning. The methodology used to gather information included adult English language learner interviews, field observations, and contact analysis of lesson plans. The following conclusions were derived based on analysis of the data: 1. In the family literacy program that was studied, the only prior factor that appeared to influence the parent's ability to support their child's learning was the education level of the participant. 2. Pronunciation, conversation, listening, grammar and writing are are essential skills that ELL parents use to support their child's learning. Attitudes were directly affected by the participants' ability to master the English language in order to be able to guide their children through the U.S. educational system. 3. The curriculum supported the learning; however the instruction was vital to modeling the procedures for learning that the participants used to support their children's success in school. 4. Regardless of other factors such as marital status, occupation, and other variations in family background, all participants based their ability to support their child's learning on their own ability to master the English language.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Preston, Jenny L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Early Literacy: An Examination of the Principal Behaviors That Impact Reading Achievement

Description: Literacy is fundamental to formal education, learning, and training for future career related skills. It provides not only the means of acquisition of information and skills during schooling, but it is a vital predictor of a person's general level of education in school as well as successful completion of schooling. Literacy skills serve as the major foundational skill for all school-based learning and without it, chances for academic and occupational success are limited. Despite the efforts of teachers, a significant portion of students continue to fail to achieve success in early literacy in school, with severe consequences for their subsequent educational progress, career opportunities and life chances. The extent of this problem varies throughout school systems. All of our children are affected by their reading ability, and as educators it is critical to provide for all students the most effective literacy programs and strategies which are research based, data-driven and successfully replicated. Because of the psychological, social and economic consequences of reading failure, it is critical to review the research to determine the risk factors that may predispose youngsters to reading failure, and the instructional practices that can be applied to ameliorate reading deficits at the earliest possible time. The failure to achieve in literacy is a fact, which continues to carry dire social and economic consequences for the children, as well as for this society. Furthermore, there is a substantial body of research indicating that schools have a narrow window of opportunity to make a difference. Students who fail to make progress in literacy during the first two years of school rarely catch up with their peers and are at-risk of becoming low achievers who are alienated from school and who dropout of education at the earliest opportunity. On the other hand, impressive empirical evidence is now available to ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Baker, Brenda
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Teacher Certification on Freshman High School Students' Algebra I Achievement

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether students taught by certified teachers and those taught by uncertified teachers had significantly different achievement on a state Algebra I End of Course examination. The specific research questions were: (1) Does type of teacher certification impact Algebra I End of Course (EOC) Exam scores for high school freshman when controlling for students' past mathematics success as measured by 8th grade TAAS mathematics test scores and teachers' years of experience? (2) Does type of teacher certification impact Algebra I End of Course (EOC) Exam passage rates for high school freshman when controlling for students' past mathematics success as measured by 8th grade TAAS mathematics test scores, socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, and teachers' years of experience? This research was conducted in a large north Texas suburban school district. The entire population (N=1,433) of freshman students enrolled in year-long Algebra I was included for this study. Three statistical tests were used in data analysis for the first question. Analysis of covariance using student as well as teacher as the unit of analysis and hierarchical multiple regression were used to analyze students' specific scores. Logistic regression was used for the second research question. This study found that students in classes with non-certified teachers scored eight points lower on the Algebra I EOC Exam than those in classes with certified teachers. However, when controlling for students' prior mathematics achievement and other variables, the difference was of no practical significance. There was no practical significance in a student's odds of passing the examination between students in certified teachers' classrooms and those in uncertified teachers' classrooms. The results of this study offer further understanding of the debate over type of certification.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Ringrose, Laura Chamberlin
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of the technology leadership of Texas high school principals.

Description: Effectively integrating technology into school requires the presence of informed and visionary leadership. Past research on change in schools demonstrates the importance of the principal to that process. In that research it is obvious that the principal must possess more than skills and knowledge about the change, he or she must also possess leadership skills to lead the campus through the change. Despite this finding, very little research has been attempted to determine the leadership knowledge and skills of principals for technology integration. This study attempts to investigate the technology leadership of high school principals in Texas using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS*A). In addition, this study compares technology leadership among principals who have attended the Technology Leadership Academy with those who have not attended this training. The two questions that guided this study are: (1) What are the technology leadership actions of Texas' high school principals in each of the six technology leadership standards identified by the NETS*A standard document? (2) How are the technology leadership practices of high school principals who participated in the Technology Leadership Academy sponsored by TASA and TBEC different from those who have not participated in the training? Because no existing survey measured technology leadership using the NETS*A, a 46-part survey document was created by the researcher. The survey contained multiple questions covering each of the six standards of the NETS*A and was administered online. Descriptive statistics were used to answer the first research question. A MANVOA, using the combined mean scores for questions covering each NETS*A standard as the dependent variable and the principal's participation in the Technology Leadership Academy as the independent variable, was run to provide answers to the second research question. The principals in this study scored highly in each of the six NETS*A standards. The lowest ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Seay, D. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Exit Level Exam: Predictor modeling through logistic regression.

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate predicting student success on one example of a "high stakes" test, the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Exit Level Exam. Prediction algorithms for the mathematics, reading, and writing portions of the test were formulated using SPSSĀ® statistical software. Student data available on all 440 students were input to logistic regression to build the algorithms. Approximately 80% of the students' results were predicted correctly by each algorithm. The data that were most predictive were the course related to the subject area of the test the student was taking, and the semester exam grade and semester average in the course related to the test. The standards of success or passing were making a 70% or higher on the mathematics, 88% or higher on the reading, and 76% or higher on the writing portion of the exam. The higher passing standards maintained a pass/fail dichotomy and simulate the standard on the new Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Exit Level Exam. The use of the algorithms can assist school staff in identifying individual students, not just groups of students, who could benefit from some type of academic intervention.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Rambo, James R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Effect of Distance Learning on Student Self-Efficacy of Junior High School Spanish Students.

Description: Prior to the development of interactive television, schools that were either geographically isolated or financially restricted were often unable to provide courses that may have been essential for students. Interactive television has helped such school districts provide appropriate courses for their students. Because student self-efficacy is a significant indicator of student success, the relationship between distance learning and students' self-efficacy requires research. The problem of the study was to examine the impact of site location in a distance learning environment on student self-efficacy in Spanish instruction. The participants in this study were junior high school students enrolled in distance-learning Spanish classes at two junior high schools in a north central Texas independent school district. All of the students were taught by the same instructor. The age range of the students was from 11 to 14 years of age, and all students were in either the seventh or the eighth grade. Students took a modified version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire at the end of each treatment. Using the counterbalanced design, each subject was matched to themselves. T-tests for nonindependent samples were used to compare the two treatments. The findings indicate that there is no significant difference in the level of student self-efficacy by site location. The findings in this study support the use of distance learning as a medium for Spanish instruction at the junior high school level. Because of the strong statistical relationship between self-efficacy and student performance, teachers and administrators can reasonably believe that site location will not hamper their students' success.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Vroonland, David W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Advisory Committee Activities in a Successful Public School Bond Election

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effectiveness of specific advisory committee activities during a school bond proposal and election process. The study began with an extensive review of the literature on the use of advisory committee activities in school districts for the purpose of promoting a school bond issue. This revealed that school officials maintaining a low profile, the presence of a diverse community task force, focusing on YES voters, involving the committee in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community are all important in the passage of a school bond election. A survey was developed and administered to committee members, school board members and school district administrators in a North Texas school district that had successfully completed a bond election. Survey respondents consistently supported the practices put into place by the studied school district, which closely mirrored the activities espoused in the research. Respondents believed the diversity of the task force and the roles of the committee members to be crucial to the passage of the bond. The only subcategory of questions that drew mixed reviews and positions of support was that of the need for the administration and board to maintain a low profile. Participants in the survey viewed having a diverse community task force, focusing on YES votes, involvement in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community as being important to the successful passage of the school bond election, with clear dissemination of information being the most important activity of the committee.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Waters, Philo W.
Partner: UNT Libraries