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An Analysis of a Major State and a Small Local Newspaper Reporting on Public Education in the Years 1988 and 1993
This study was conducted to analyze the differences in the news coverage of public education by a state and local newspaper, to ascertain if trends exist in the coverage of topics, and if the coverage is negative, positive, or neutral. All issues of The Dallas Morning News and The Piano Star Courier from the years 1988 and 1993 were evaluated. All articles about public education (with the exception of athletics, obituaries, and advertisements) were evaluated using a content analysis form. The content analysis form provided information for classifying all articles. Information was tallied for the number of articles and column inches by newspaper and category. Findings indicated a number of differences between the two newspapers in 1988 and 1993. The Dallas Morning News increased the number of articles and column inches of space it committed to the coverage of public education from 1988 to 1993. During the same period The Piano Star Courier reduced both the number of articles and column inches of space which it used for the topic of education. The Piano Star Courier began publishing editions on only five of the seven days per week in February, 1993. The Dallas Morning News reduced its local coverage and increased its coverage of state and national education topics during the same period. The change in coverage was shown through the increased number of articles and space allocated to state and national topics. Changes also occurred in the number of negative articles published by the newspapers. The Dallas Morning News increased the number of negative articles as it focused on state and national news. The Piano Star Courier reduced the number of negative articles as it focused on local topics. The findings also indicate that certain categories of articles are more likely to present education in a positive manner. Local ...
An Analysis of a Title I Inclusive Middle School Program in Texas over a Three Year Period: A Case Study
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 ...
An Analysis of Program Options for Gifted Middle School Students
The purpose of this study was to compare three different types of programming options for identified gifted and talented middle school students.
Analysis of Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education Decisions Regarding Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, School Administrator, Athletic Director and Central Office Administrator Term Contract Nonrenewal Appeals From 1983 to 2013
I conducted a legal analysis of decisions by Texas Commissioners of Education in appeals by Texas school administrators from nonrenewal decisions made by Texas school districts from 1983 to 2013. I analyzed the findings of fact and conclusions of law described in the commissioners’ rulings to determine the legal basis of school districts’ decisions to nonrenew school administrators’ term employment contracts. I also examined the legal rationale for commissioners’ rulings and determined which party most commonly prevailed in these administrative proceedings—the respondent school district or the petitioner school administrator. In particular, the study determined factors that contributed to commissioners’ decisions to overrule or support school districts’ nonrenewal decisions. A careful review of commissioner decisions, which are accessible on the Texas Education Association website, identified 44 commissioner decisions involving appeals by superintendents, associate superintendents, public school administrators, athletic directors, or central office administrators concerning school districts’ term contract nonrenewal decisions from 1983 to 2013. Commissioners’ decisions in these cases were surveyed using legal research methods. This study provides recommendations to assist local education agencies to refine current policies and regulations regarding the nonrenewal of administrators’ term contracts, and provides insight on Texas Commissioners’ rulings on term contract nonrenewal appeals brought by Texas school administrators. The findings revealed that school boards’ lack of understanding of local policies and lack of evidence resulted in commissioners granting 27% of appeals. Additionally, commissioners denied 73% of the appeals because school boards provided at least one reason that met the substantial evidence standard of review, and respondents failed to substantiate allegations or enter evidence in evidentiary hearings.
An Analysis of Texas Special Education Due Process Hearings from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992: Implications for the Administration of Special Education Programs
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of selected characteristics on the outcomes of those special education due process hearings brought forth in the state of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A further purpose was to determine if district characteristics of size or location affect the likelihood of a district's becoming involved in a special education due process hearing. Data for the study was collected for all special education due process hearings conducted in the State of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A coding system was used to record the data for the study and the Chi-square test of independence was used to determine whether a relationship existed between the selected variable (hearing issue, disability classifications and restrictiveness of placement) and hearing outcome. The frequency of involvement in hearings for districts of various size and urban characteristics was displayed as a percentage.
An Analysis of the Impact of Curriculum Management Audits on Public School Systems in Texas
The purposes of this study were to (1) identify the recommendations of Curriculum Management Audits conducted in Texas Public School systems, (2) determine the degree to which each of the recommendations had been implemented, and (3) determine the perceptions of stakeholders as to the factors instrumental in the real and potential impact of the audit. The researcher conducted interviews with superintendents and key central office administrators with a working knowledge of the audit report in each of the eleven Texas school districts studied. Respondents were asked to rate recommendations written for their districts using the following descriptors: Implemented, In Progress, Plan to Implement, Recommendation Modified, No Implementation. The ranking of recommendation implementation revealed that 85% of the recommendations made in the 11 audit reports reviewed in this study had received action toward implementation to some degree. Respondents were also asked to cite factors which facilitated or impeded recommendation implementation. Significant factors facilitating the implementation of recommendations were reported to be time, organizational structure/personnel and planning. The analysis of the collective recommendations revealed that school board policies were not adequate to direct the design, delivery and monitoring of curriculum when measured against audit Standard One criteria. School districts in Texas rely on the Texas Association of School Boards' policy division for policies. Findings indicate that greater alignment between the Texas Association of School Boards' policies and Curriculum Management Audit criteria must be sought in order for school districts in Texas to meet this Standard. System-wide planning, curriculum documents, and program-driven budgeting processes were other areas requiring attention of the school districts in the study. Evidence of the extent of implementation of recommendations suggests that school districts valued the audit report with its recommendations. It can be generally concluded that the Curriculum Management Audit had a positive impact on the involved school ...
An Analysis of the Management and Leadership Development Training Needs of Texas Principals on the Texas State Board of Education's Core Curriculum
The problem of this study was to determine training priorities as mandated by the Texas Legislature on the CORE Curriculum for Management and Leadership Development and their implications for Texas public school principals. Purposes of the study were to validate an instrument for assessing principals' training needs, to provide data for planning and delivering training for principals, to provide results to staff developers, and to develop a profile of similarities and differences in the perceptions of principals and their superordinates.
Assessment and Analysis of Per Pupil Expenditures: a Study Testing a Micro-Financial Model in Equity and Student Outcome Determination
The purpose of this study was to examine district level financial data to assess equity across districts, to compare equity benchmarks established in the literature using selected functions from the state's financial database, and to determine the predictive value of those functions to the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests of 1997.
A Case Study of a School Superintendent's Decision Making in Initiating Year-Round Education in a Public School in Texas
Using a case study approach, this investigation focused on the decision-making processes and leadership of a school district superintendent as he initiated and implemented the school restructuring effort of year-round education. The study was conducted during 1 school year period but was enhanced through a 3 year follow-up report. The research questions focused on the superintendent's decision-making processes and the impact that groups had on those processes. Questions also emerged during the data collection phase of the study about the superintendent's change-facilitation leadership behaviors. A Texas school superintendent committed to the implementation of year-round education was selected as the subject of this study. Data were collected for 1 school year by the participant observer who served as an unpaid intern to the superintendent. Data included field notes recorded during the day-to-day operations and interactions of the district, meetings which the superintendent attended, newspaper articles, district memoranda and documents, observation, and interviews. Field notes and interviews were triangulated with document analysis to identify patterns in the data and to identify the factors influencing the decision-making processes and the leadership behaviors of the superintendent.
A Case Study of an Urban Charter School’s Journey of School Improvement: Organizational Theory, Institutional Learning and School Reform
The problem for this study was the need to increase and maintain in student achievement in charter schools. The purpose of this single-case study was to discover how an inner city charter school with a high percentage of at-risk students increased overall student achievement and attained acceptable performance status when faced simultaneously with administrative challenges and increases in state and federal standards. The participants for the single-case study included the school district’s superintendent, the high school principal, the dean of students, four faculty of the district, and one outside consultant appointed to work with the district by the state of Texas. The sampling for this study allowed for the opportunity to study in greater depth the choice of reform strategies and organizational structure designed to result in increased student achievement and student success over the course of two years. Since this was a single-case study of one charter school district, participants were referenced by the role in which they served. All district, campus, and participant names remained anonymous. The results showed the increased student achievement was made possible by several reform strategies and best practices. The primary reform strategies and best practices that had the greatest impact were consistent campus leadership and parent and community involvement with the campus. Mission and focus were secondary strategies that contributed to increasing teacher effectiveness and student achievement. All of the interviewees stated their work was “all about the kids” to support the theme of the common mission and focus the campus and district.
Changes in Attitudes and Anxieties toward Teaching of Interns and Traditional Student Teachers
The problem of this study was to determine the difference in attitude and anxieties toward the teaching profession of beginning teachers entering public education in Texas who have been through a semester-long intern program as opposed to those who have gone through a traditional eight-week student teaching program. Purposes of the study were to provide assessment data for planning and delivering preservice training experiences to prospective teachers, to compare similarities and differences in the attitudes of prospective teachers who have been through the intern program with those who have been in traditional student teaching, and to provide useful information to colleges and universities concerning the effectiveness of their teacher education programs. The targeted study groups were 22 fall semester interns and a comparison group of 27 fall semester traditional student teachers. All participants were seeking secondary certification. The study was conducted in the fall of 1994. The groups were matched according to gender, chronological age, race designation, grade-point-average, and level of family income. In summary, the findings of this study indicate that only two of the six research questions proved to be statistically significant. It is interesting to note, however, that individually a significant percentage of both of the groups showed a reduction in anxiety and a significant percentage of both groups showed a reduced positive attitude toward teaching as a profession. It is only for the student teachers, however, that the results were statistically significant for both tests.
A Comparative Analysis of Curricular Programs in Private, Public Choice, and Public Attendance-Zone Schools in San Antonio, Texas
The purpose of this study was to examine curricular programs in private, public choice, and public attendance-zone schools to determine whether differences exist among curricular programs in the three types of schools. The findings from the student survey data indicated that private school students reported their curriculum to be more challenging than public school students, but no other significant differences were noted. Findings from the teacher survey showed more positive results for private schools in indicators of a challenging curriculum, expectations of students, school climate, and external support than public schools. This study showed that of the types of schools examined, Catholic schools exhibited the most consistent and well written curriculum that reflected the four research questions. Future research needs to be done to establish whether these indicators of a challenging curriculum result in higher student achievement.
A Comparative Analysis of State Funds on Student Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Schools in Independent School Districts and Charter Schools in the State of Texas
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the instructional outcomes in the independent school districts and charter schools in relation to the expenditure of public funds for instruction and total operating expenditures from the general fund. The study considered Texas elementary charter schools and independent school districts, whose school populations were identified as having greater than or equal to 50% of economically disadvantaged students, according to the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The study made use of multiple regression and was an ex post facto cross-sectional analysis utilizing production function theory. The study’s outcomes reported the difference in student achievement between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools were small to negligible for math and reading achievement. The study also reported, there is no statistically significant difference in per pupil expenditure of public funds between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools. Furthermore, there is no statistically significant relationship between student achievement and per pupil expenditure of public funds on elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools.
A Comparative Study of School District Expenditures in Texas Since the Enactment of Senate Bill 7
The purposes of this study were to: (a) determine the effects of Senate Bill 7 on expenditures in Texas school districts, (b) compare similarities and differences in expenditures among property-poor, medium-wealth, and wealthy-districts, (c) analyze spending patterns in light of equalization efforts, and (d) provide useful data to researchers in the area of equalization and adequacy.
A Comparative Study of the Impact of the Total Quality Management Program on Exit Level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Scores
The management style being used by school personnel in Texas and across the nation today is predominately that of a bureaucracy. This model was organized around the industrial revolution that was exercising authority at the turn of the century. Writers and researchers have pointed out that such a model is not capable of providing students the knowledge and skills they will need to enter an increasingly demanding society. One management style relatively new to the educational arena today is that of Total Quality Management. This study reports the results of the impact of the training in those principles by measurement of student test scores.
A Descriptive Analysis of the Critical Thinking Model in Texas Elementary Education
Contributions from elementary education to the practice and reality of critical thinking are rare, largely because attempts in basic education to elucidate a concept of critical thinking have a hard time breaking through the elusiveness and indeterminacy that characterize the history and reality of the concept. This situation is due to, and a consequence of, the difficulty of delimiting critical thinking from related fields, such as metacognition, higher-order-thinking, problem solving, informal logic, reasoning skills, and decision making, to name a few. Texas school authorities designed and put into practice a battery of tools to evaluate critical thinking through the assessment programs TAKS and STAAR, without taking a position regarding the indeterminacy problems of the content of critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the pieces of the critical thinking model imparted to Texas elementary school children since 1999 and continues today. The findings indicate that the critical thinking model implemented in Texas elementary schools is a particular version of a skills-only approach of critical thinking that follows the classical logical paradigm, consisting of two sets of complementary skills. This model acquaints students with the components and structure of five types of arguments while it fails to substantiate the logic of argument support that demonstrates how reasons support claims and the strength of support. The application of an adequacy conditions rubric showed the strengths of the model at the argumentation analysis level, yet it showed clear signs of incompleteness and inconsistencies at the argument structure level that distort its purpose and function.
A Descriptive Study of Student Assistance Programs in the State of Texas
The purpose of this study is to examine the four basic student assistance models and determine their distribution in Texas, describe the student assistance programs in place in public school districts in Texas including the program's goals, objectives and components, and explore the perceived effectiveness of student assistance programs as a viable means of drug and alcohol education for students enrolled in public school districts in Texas in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Does an Online Post-baccalaureate Secondary Teacher Certification Program Produce Certified Teachers Who Remain in the Field?
Given issues in education concerning teacher shortages, the omnipresence of alternative certification programs and the growth of online programs in higher education, this study investigated teacher retention for 77 secondary education teachers who completed an online teacher preparation program in Texas. Teacher retention was examined from 2003-2013 and investigated the influence of factors such personal characteristics, working conditions and school setting characteristics on teacher retention. Data was collected electronically utilizing a survey instrument designed by two teacher education experts and I. A total of 21 variables and two open-ended questions were investigated using the survey instrument. Exploratory factor and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify a multi-factor model for teacher retention utilizing the participants' survey responses. These analyses yielded evidence of the program's effectiveness in preparing teachers for long careers. Specifically, the areas of program support, field experience, and classroom management were statistically significant factors that contributed positively to teacher retention. Additionally, variables outside the program, were examined. These factors included personal characteristics, working conditions, and school setting factors. The predictor model accounted for 56% of the variance; F (17, 54) = 3.015; p = < 0.001. In particular, working conditions contributed to 41% of the variance associated with the teacher retention model. A qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions was used to further examine decisions to remain in teaching. Support of administration, colleagues, staff, and parents was shown to influence teacher retention.
Early Childhood Educators' Beliefs and Practices about Assessment
Standardized tests are being administered to young children in greater numbers in recent years than ever before. Many more important educational decisions about children are being based on the results of these tests. This practice continues to escalate despite early childhood professional organizations' calls for a ban of standardized testing for children eight years of age and younger. Many early childhood educators have become dissatisfied with multiple-choice testing as a measure of student learning and are increasingly using various forms of alternative assessment to replace the more traditional testing formats. Teachers seem to be caught in the middle of the controversy between standardized testing and alternative assessment. This research examined what early childhood educators in one north Texas school district believe about assessment of young children and what assessment methods they report using in their classrooms, as well as factors which influence those beliefs and practices. The sample for this study was 84 teachers who taught prekindergarten through third grade. An eight-page questionnaire provided quantitative data and interviews and the researcher's journal provided qualitative data.
The Effect of Job Congruency and Discrepancy with the National Athletic Trainers Association Athletic Trainer Role Delineation on the Job Characteristics Model of Work Redesign in Secondary School Athletic Trainers in Texas
This study investigated person-situation relations of professional preparation and job classification of secondary school athletic training positions with core job dimensions and affective outcomes within Hackman and Oldham's 1980 Job Characteristics Model. Research focused on which relations show increased affective outcomes; relationships between core job dimensions and affective outcomes; and characteristics of the core job dimensions of task identification, task significance, and skill variety of athletic trainer tasks as defined by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification, Inc. 1995 Role Delineation Study.
The Effect of Parent Involvement Training on the Achievement of Hispanic Students
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effect of a parent involvement education program on the academic achievement, school behavior, and educational motivation of Hispanic students enrolled in a bilingual education program. Fifty bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents were compared to 50 bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents who were subjected to a parent education program. The groups were randomly assigned from a stratified random sample. Students in each group were given the Student Attitude Measure prior to treatment and immediately following the parent involvement training. Parents in each group were given the Parent Opinion Inventory prior to and immediately following the parent involvement training. Students were also compared utilizing a norm-referenced achievement test. Discipline referrals were compared between the experimental group and the control group.
The Effect of Teachers' Self-Esteem on Student Achievement
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the level of teachers' self-esteem on student achievement. This study surveys and analyzes factors of teachers' self-esteem. Its results are based on (1) a review of the literature to develop an understanding of historical perspectives and research, (2) the factors involved in the development of self-esteem, (3) the role of the parents, and (4) the role of the teacher. Forty-three teachers of grades three and five in North Central Texas completed the Gordon Personal Profile-Inventoiy to assess their levels of self-esteem. Six teachers with mid-range scores were eliminated from the study. The remaining 37 teachers were divided into high and low self-esteem categories. Students' Texas Learning Index scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills were matched with the appropriate teachers' scores. The findings of the study indicate that the students with teachers in the high level of self-esteem category scored an average of 5.67 points higher than those students with teachers in the low level of self-esteem categoiy. Findings resulting from the study led to the conclusion that teachers with high levels of self-esteem have a positive influence on the achievement of their students.
The Effect of Training in Test Item Writing on Test Performance of Junior High Students
Students in an inner city junior high school in North Central Texas participated in a study whose purpose was to examine the effect of training in test item construction on their later test performance. The experimental group underwent twelve weeks of instruction using the Test Item Construction Method (TICM). In these sessions students learned to develop test items similar to those on which they were tested annually by the state via the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The TICM aligned with state mandated test specifications.
Effects of Board Training on the Relationship Between Board Members and CEOs
The purpose of this study is to ascertain the opinions of chief executive officers (CEOs) and school board chairs of Texas private schools in educational service center (ESC) Regions 10 and 11 toward board training and the potential benefits for the success of their respective roles. Literature regarding private school board training is limited. As a result, most private school boards face challenges regarding school board training expectations, which could affect their roles and the roles of CEOs. The quantitative and qualitative cross-sectional research design examined Texas private school CEOs’ and school board chairs’ perceptions about school board training and the working relationships between Texas school CEOs and school boards. The researcher developed the survey and interview questions used in this study. Responses to a 4-point Likert-type scale instrument, short answer questions, and interviews were solicited from a population of private school CEO and school board chairs within ESC Regions 10 and 11 from schools with an enrollment of at least 100 students and that contained Grades 9 through 12. In-depth Interviews were conducted with 12 private school CEOs and 12 school board chairs with varying levels of school board training. The research findings indicate that board training does make a significant difference in the working relationships between CEOs and private school boards. The findings of this study may assist private school boards in addressing school board training and the components of such training, which would benefit the working relationships between CEOs and school boards, as well as the success of private schools.
Effects of Change Facilitator Styles on Elementary Teachers' Concerns about Adoption of Outcome-Based Education
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.
Effects of Child Development Associate Credential System 2.0 on Candidate Success Rates
The purpose of this research was to identify the impact of process changes that have been made to the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which is a beginning early childhood teacher credential that focuses on competency based standards widely seen as necessary for early childhood teachers to possess. The process in which early childhood teachers receive their credential changed in 2013 with the implementation of CDA credential 2.0. Changes included taking a computerized exam and the implementation of a professional development specialist conducting an on-site classroom observation. In order to determine the impact that CDA 2.0 had on teacher credentialing success rates, a mixed-method sequential design was employed. First, existing data sets of success rates from a national scholarship program were reviewed. Following, interviews with CDA credential seekers were conducted. Findings revealed that while candidate success rates increased for those receiving CDA credentials under the 2.0 system, the actual number of candidates receiving scholarships to pursue the CDA credential through the national scholarship program decreased. Qualitative analysis of the semi-structured interviews indicated that three areas that impacted CDA 2.0 candidate success rates were the professional education programs and instructors, the CDA Exam, and Professional Development Specialists. This is the first research study to examine the CDA credential process. The findings demonstrate that the 2.0 system provides candidates with necessary supports to be successful. A significant question arising out of the data is how a determination is made to issue a credential. Before QRIS and public policy initiatives employ more efforts to professionalize the field of early childhood – primarily through the CDA credential – the process by which one obtains a credential should be more thoroughly examined.
Effects of English and Bilingual Storybook Reading and Reenactment on the Retelling Abilities of Preschool Children
The purpose of this study was to investigate the story retelling abilities of preschool children who have experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment bilingually, in English and Spanish, and preschool children who have experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment in English only. This is a clinical case study employing both quantitative and qualitative measures comparing four treatment groups. Three evaluation instruments were developed by the researcher and used for posttesting; a story comprehension test, a story retelling guidesheet/scoresheet, and a storybook literacy response evaluation. In addition, participant observation and teacher interviews were used to gather qualitative data regarding learning center extensions of the target text and teacher beliefs and practices about the use of storybooks. The findings from this study show that scores for children who experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment were significantly better on both the story retelling and story comprehension measures. In addition, a larger proportion of children who experienced storybook reading and reenactment were found to perform at the second level of literacy response on the Levels of Literacy evaluation. No differences were found in relationship to the language used on any of the dependent measures. Findings fromqualitative data showed that children were involved in limited extensions of the storybook read to them regardless of whether they experienced storybook reenactment or discussion. Teacher beliefs and practices related to their role during learning center play was believed to have some influence on children's choices regarding story extensions or dramatic play theme content. Recommendations were made to pre-school teachers that story reenactment was an effective technique with both bilingual and monolingual presentation. Additional research questions were posed also.
The Effects of English Immersion Mathematics Classes on the Mathematics Achievement and Aspiration of Eighth-Grade Spanish-Speaking LEP Students
This research grew from concerns relative to the mathematical performance of Spanish-speaking limited English proficient (LEP) public school students. This investigation studied the effects of the sheltered mathematics class on eighth-grade Spanish-speaking LEP students with regard to mathematical achievement, attitudes toward mathematics, the dropout rate, and the number of math credits earned in high school. The enrollment of a sheltered mathematics class was limited to LEP students. The purpose was to compare Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in sheltered mathematics classes with Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in regular mathematics classes. The research hypotheses were that achievement, mathematical attitudes, the dropout rate, and high school math credits earned would favor enrollment in sheltered mathematics classes. The data for achievement, dropout information, and mathematics course work completed were drawn from student records in the school district data bank. A mathematics attitude survey was given to a sample from the 1995-96 eighth-grade advanced level Spanish-speaking LEP students. The research hypotheses were not accepted. All of the populations did show an academic deficit. However, they did have more positive attitudes than negative attitudes toward mathematics. To improve achievement, staying in school, and a higher rate of inclusion in mathematics related careers the following recommendations were made: 1. Research should be done to write standardized mathematics tests that would be accurate and fair for Spanish-speaking LEP students. 2. Further research should be done into teaching strategies and classroom management particularly suited to Spanish-speaking LEP students. 3. Attitude measures should be used as pretest and posttest to study the effect of sheltered mathematics classes on LEP students in relation to attitudes toward mathematics and motivation to continue schooling. 4. Recruit and train qualified mathematics teachers to teach English as a second language (ESL) mathematics.
Efficacy in Texas Charter Schools Compared to Traditional Public Schools
The need to spur innovation and improve student performance initiated the formation of, under different legislative acts, charter schools that include variations of traditional public schools. With the enthusiasm and level of investment going into the formation of charter schools, it is necessary to explore whether these schools have achieved their objectives. This study explored whether Texas open enrollment charter schools perform bettered compared to Texas public schools. The study applied a causal comparative quantitative research design. School data on graduation and dropout rates, college preparation, attendance rates, and overall performance were analyzed quantitatively. Student achievement data available for statistical analysis includes student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) state assessment from 2007 to 2011. Data analysis for race, special programs, at risk, economically disadvantaged, and limited English proficiency was incorporated. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance techniques were included in the data analysis. The analysis extended to post hoc tests to determine variables that caused variation. The study found Texas open-enrollment charter schools had more African American students but fewer Whites compared to public schools. Students in public schools performed better than those in charter schools, and Whites yielded the best performance. Charter schools had high dropout rates, low attendance, and low graduation rates, while public schools had low dropout rates, high attendance, and high graduation rates. Finally, public schools had more students ready for college than charter schools.
The Efficacy of the Chickasaw Nation Early Care and Education Programs
The purposes of this research were to explore the effectiveness of the Chickasaw Nation early care and education program in promoting school readiness while infusing tribally relevant values in children from birth through age five; engaging parents in all aspects of their children’s learning; and supporting children and families through the transitioning to kindergarten. The study used qualitative methods to examine the experiences and perceptions of ten parents, ten teachers, and five administrators within Chickasaw Nation’s early care and education system regarding the four basic areas of school readiness, parent engagement, transition, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Four primary themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews: 1) socialization, school readiness, and transition, 2) learning, curriculum, and assessment, 3) the role of parents, and 4) cultural integrity. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, transcribed, and analyzed based on four research questions. Findings indicated parents, teachers, and administrators were satisfied that the program was successful with assisting children in making progress toward achieving developmental and school readiness goals and that the children were physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively prepared to enter kindergarten. The program provided activities to encourage and promote parental involvement; however, parents did not indicate active involvement or participation in the activities. There was little evidence to support culturally relevant pedagogy alignment with curriculum and practices. Implications for additional research focusing on American Indian children in preschool programs and the importance of instilling pride and culture are recommended.
The Emergence of an Inner-City Professional Development School: A Case Study
This paper examined the process followed in the selection and establishment of an inner-city Professional Development School located in a large, North Texas school district.
An Evaluation of the University of North Texas' "Youth Opportunities Unlimited" Program (a Compensatory Education Program for At-Risk, Secondary School Students)
Even though the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program has been in effect for ten years, there exists no current, comprehensive, effectiveness research on YOU. Such analysis is needed to determine the value of the YOU program. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the YOU program. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in this study. Quantitative analysis is provided through factual data collected through an alumni survey. Qualitative analysis is provided through personal opinion information obtained from YOU alumni through the survey and by personal interview. The YOU program at UNT is a successful compensatory education program that helps improve the education and the lives of America's at-risk students.
Formal Education among the Siberian Yupik Eskimos on Sivuqaq, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska: an Ethno-Historical Study
The major focus of this study is the effect of formal education on individuals, communities, cultural traditions and values on Siberian Yupik Eskimos of Alaska. The first school on St. Lawrence Island (Sivuqaq), Alaska was founded in 1899 under the direction of Sheldon Jackson. The formal school curriculum for the next thirty years was secretarian. Upon the initial operation of formal schooling on the island, various other forms of schools have impacted the islanders of St. Lawrence. Chapter two is an overview of the background of education in Alaska from its beginning as a territory to its present status as the 49th state in the United States. Chapter three presents the history of formal schooling on St. Lawrence Island. Chapters two and three contain descriptions of various other forms of schooling within the state (i.e. Bureau of Indian Affairs, mission, state-owned) and when and how these forms either existed on the island or had an impact upon its villagers. Chapter four discusses the methodology utilized in conducting the research and fieldwork for this study. Research findings are discussed in chapter five and include verbatim transcriptions of interviews with villagers. These interviews are unedited in order for readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the study. The interviews included in this written finding are representative of interviews taken. Chapter six discusses conclusions gleaned over the course of this study and recommends further areas of study.
Framing Bilingual Education Policy: Articulation and Implementation in Texas
Language education policy and its implementation have been controversial and ongoing issues throughout the United States, especially in the border state of Texas, with its large population of students who are learning English. This dissertation reports two studies, the first of which was a frame analysis of problems and solutions as represented by the five bills amending the Texas Education Code with regard to bilingual education and English as a second language programs. These laws, passed in 1969, 1973, 1975, 1981, and 2001, have been enacted since 1968, the year the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) was passed. The problem framed consistently by these state policy documents was inadequate instruction for children who come to school speaking languages other than English. More variability was seen in the framing of solutions, with approaches changing from the authorization of instruction in languages other than English, to the establishment of mandated bilingual programs, to the extension of special language programs, and to the establishment of dual language immersion programs. The primary ideology influencing the policy documents was the monolingual English ideology; however, alternative ideologies are apparent in the policies that allow for dual language immersion programs. Geographic information systems (GIS) analysis was used in the second study to investigate the geographic locations of particular programs and the demographics of students they served. Choropleth maps showed variability in program distribution across the state with distinct patterns apparent in only two programs. The maps indicated that districts with high percentages of student enrollment in one-way dual language programs tended to be located in and near the major metropolitan areas, whereas many districts offering early exit transitional bilingual programs tended to be located along the Texas-Mexico border. Despite the literature on bilingual/ESL program effectiveness, the predominant program in the border region of Texas is among those considered ...
Funding and Effectiveness of Staff Development Programs in Three North Texas School Districts
This dissertation study focused on three aspects of staff development in North Texas: 1) funding sources, 2) types of professional learning programs, and 3) teachers' views of the effectiveness of the funded programs. Qualitative data came from interviews with nine district administrators concerning funding sources and how those resources enhanced teacher skills. Quantitative data came from 1,277 responses from teachers regarding their background and perceptions about staff development. Data from interviews with district administrators were diagrammed to depict elements of funding staff development and to reveal how resources were used to plan, implement, and evaluate staff learning. An analysis of interview data revealed that availability of grants, property tax rates, and student enrollment affected how districts funded staff development. Administrators reported that districts funded professional learning that was planned according to academic initiatives, met the needs of adult learners, and adapted to the changing needs of school communities. Both administrators and practitioners reported that time was a lacking resource critical to developing staff knowledge. Practitioners reported that sufficient opportunity to collaborate with colleagues about learning initiatives was more valuable than teaching materials. Teacher questionnaires were analyzed for possible relationships between participant variables and responses concerning knowledge about funding constraints and professional development experiences. Data revealed that practitioner experience and graduate degrees were not related to teachers' use of knowledge about financial constraints to more efficiently implement learning from staff development. Participants did not perceive professional learning differently than peers. Most teachers connected professional learning with improved teaching practices but a small percent attributed student achievement to their professional learning. The majority of teachers considered collaborative learning settings to elicit more personal professional growth than other formats. The findings of the teacher questionnaire suggest that teaching practices could be impacted if participants gained more knowledge about district financial constraints when developing ...
The History of a Model Program for Urban Underrepresented Students to Access Higher Education, 1990-1995
This study traced the development of the Equity 2000 Program in the Fort Worth Independent School District from its inception in 1990 to its sixth and final year as an exemplary program for equal access to higher education for minority and underserved youth. Program components included mathematics, counseling, staff development, academic enrichment activities, parent education and higher education linkages. Both primary and secondary sources were evaluated from the perspectives of internal and external criticism. The following conclusions were reached: 1) District policy must change if minority students are going to access algebra and geometry. 2) The lack of involvement of other curriculum areas created primarily a mathematics inservice program. 3) Required inservice was necessary to provide improved and more effective campus and district results. 4) The precollege guidance and counseling component needed integration with the mathematics component. 5) Lack of principals' involvement in the early development of the program contributed to uneven administrative support. 6) There was no definitive strategy for parental inclusion. 7) Funding sources were inadequate to fully implement all parts of the program. 8) There was limited participation of local institutions of higher education. 9) There was a lack of an ongoing, structured evaluation process to document the program's effectiveness. 10) Attitudes and perceptions of minority students and their parents about success in higher level mathematics courses can change over time. 11) The program was costly with limited documentation of the results. 12) Much of the training provided mathematics teachers and guidance counselors should be preservice instruction. The researcher made the following recommendations: conduct a historical study at each Equity site; continue the Summer Mathematics and Guidance Institutes; continue the Saturday Academy and the Algebra/Geometry Readiness Academies; provide outreach efforts to parents; provide precollege information to students and their parents; and provide related teacher and counselor preservice ...
Immunity for New Mexico Public School Districts and the 1978 Tort Claims Act
In a 3-year timeframe, nearly 800 student negligence suits were filed, and most involved some claim of personal injury. Despite heightened public attention of negligence lawsuits against school districts and their employees, an empirical study of court decisions revealed that the volume of litigation against school districts remained steady from 1990 to 2005, the majority of cases were ruled in favor of the school district employees, and government and official immunity were most often the basis for these rulings. Researchers have concluded that immunity laws are strong in the United States, although they vary by state in their application. However, a primary recommendation was that, because of the misconception of a lack of immunity for public school employees, a comprehensive study on governmental and official immunity is needed. This dissertation employed legal research, analysis, and methodology to engage in a comprehensive investigation of teacher immunity in the four southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Of central concern to this dissertation was the Tort Claims Act of 1978 from the State of New Mexico. The Tort Claims Act is the vehicle by which immunity is granted to public school employees. Court findings over the last 35 years point to three primary domains under which cases pertaining to immunity fall: negligence (62.5%), evaluation and supervision (16.7%), and student discipline (8.3%). Immunity appears strong across all three domains; however, only future studies on cases by state will determine whether states in the southwest United States are the norm or an anomaly.
Impact of School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports for African American Males in American Public Schools
Research has shown that African American males are performing poorly in American public schools and are disciplined at a higher rate than other ethnic and gender groups. Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) has a long history of success with individual students and more recently in school-wide settings. School-wide PBIS offers schools the ability to tailor their rules, rewards, and consequences to the specific needs and culture of a school. This descriptive and quantitative study sought to determine if implementation with fidelity of SWPBIS positively correlated to reduced disciplinary measures. The object of this study was to determine in what ways disciplinary rates for African American males differ in American public schools that identify as using SWPBIS with fidelity as compared to American public schools that do not implement SWPBIS with fidelity. Disciplinary rates examined included ISS, OSS single incident, and OSS multiple incidents. Descriptive findings indicated that schools that implement SWPBIS show a lower rate of ISS and OSS incidents for African American males. The quantitative findings did not yield a statistically significance between schools with fidelity of implementation of SWPBIS and schools without fidelity of implementation of SWPBIS.
The Impact of Target Revenue Funding on Public School Districts in North Texas
A pre–post case study was conducted to examine how target revenue funding from Texas House Bill 1 (2006) has impacted the school districts within the Texas Education Service Center Region X area. Forced by the courts, the Texas Legislature was required to fix the Texas school finance system because of a de facto statewide property tax it had created by capping school district’s maintenance & operations tax rate at $1.50. Texas Governor Rick Perry used this opportunity to reduce school district M&O taxes by one-third. The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1 (2006), the Public School Finance and Property Tax Relief Act, in response to the courts and to address a continuous decline in state funding support for public education. The Public School Finance and Property Tax Relief Act reduced local school districts’ property tax rates and revenue with the assurance that these funds would be exchanged for state aid. Local school property taxes were reduced over two years, 2006–2007 and 2007-2008, by 33%. In order for the State of Texas to meet the state aid funding guarantee from House Bill 1 (2006), each school district was frozen to its 2005–2006 revenue per weighted student, which was called a district’s revenue target. This study examined the impact target revenue has had on these school districts by analyzing and comparing revenues and expenditures prior to and following the law’s implementation. Specifically, changes in per-student revenue, per-student expenditures, and district fund balances were assessed.
The Impact of Teacher Quality on Reading Achievement of Fourth Grade Students: an Analysis of the 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (Naep)
This study investigated the effects of teacher background variables on fourth grade reading achievement data collected from the 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) using a causal-comparative research design. Teacher quality variables related to teacher credentials, instructional methods, training, and support were selected from the NAEP background questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were used to examine teacher background information and fourth grade reading NAEP scaled scores using measures of central tendency, independent t-tests, analysis of variance, and Tukey’s HSD post hoc analysis. Findings suggest that certain teacher quality variables positively impact fourth grade reading achievement. Significant differences existed among fourth grade reading scaled scores for the following variables: teaching credentials [region (p < .05), traditional preparation route (p < .001), highest degree earned(p < .05), years of experience (p < .001)]; instructional methods [reading aloud by students (p < .01), questioning character motives (p < .01), student selection of reading materials (p < .001), explaining/supporting text (p < .05), identifying main theme (p < .001), time spent on reading (p < .001), primary language arts integration (p < .05)]; teacher support [instructional grade level support/technical assistance by reading specialist (p < .05) and mentoring (p < .05)]. This study expands the current literature on teacher quality by exploring the effects of teacher variables on reading achievement.
The Implementation of Transition from Spanish Reading to English Reading Programs in Bilingual Classrooms
The purpose of this study was to describe the actual implementation of the transition process as observed in bilingual classrooms, and in particular, to examine the critical components (policy, curricular, and instructional characteristics) of the Spanish-to-English reading transition policies implemented in bilingual education programs in elementary schools in the Denton Independent School District in Texas. Four research questions drove this study. To investigate these questions, a multidimensional, descriptive research design was employed. The researcher used questionnaires, interviews, and field observations. The 11 educators, 6 bilingual teachers, 2 school-site principals, 2 school-site coordinators, and 1 district bilingual coordinator, were asked several types of questions (open response and closed response) using different types of instruments (questionnaires and interviews). Also, the six bilingual teachers were observed using two types of instruments (field notes and video tapes).
The Interpretations of the Concept of "Inclusion" Held by Key Policy Makers, Policy Drivers and Policy Implementers Concerned with Service Delivery to Special Education Students in Texas Urban Public School Settings
The purpose of this study was to examine concepts of "inclusion" held by policy drivers (PD), policy makers (PM) and policy implementers (PI) from various national organizations, state agencies and school districts. Interviews were conducted with 14 informants, and responses recorded, transcribed and clustered according to patterns of language. Documents provided by informants were reviewed. A Likert-type questionnaire was developed, grounded in patterns of language used in interviews and documents. Descriptive and inferential statistics identified variance between and within groups. Of 430 questionnaires sent, 266 were returned. Factor analysis of 29 items yielded 5 factors (definition of inclusion, training and support, receptivity, benefits/barriers, and prerequisites). One way analysis of variance, tests for homogeneity and multiple range tests were performed. Patterns of understanding of inclusion were clarified, and interpretations and conclusions were drawn. Significant variance was found among PD, PM, and PI on 3 of 5 factors (benefits/barriers, prerequisites, receptivity) with the greatest variance being between PD and PI. The most significant variance among 8 school districts occurred with factor 1 (benefits/barriers of inclusion). Informants' degree of support for inclusion was frequently not reflective of the organizations they represented. All groups associated inclusion with attitudes and beliefs, rather than with actions or programs. By describing patterns of definitions and critical attributes of inclusion, the development and implementation of educational policy relating to students with disabilities may be facilitated. Observed variations in how inclusion is philosophically and operationally defined may play a critical role in the implementation of inclusionary practices. The language used by informants reflects barriers to successful implementation of inclusion, as well as possible solutions. Variance between policy drivers, policy makers and policy implementers, as well as between individuals and their respective organizations may have implications for the evolution and development of educational policy.
A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Georgia Educators and School Districts Under the Georgia Governmental Tort Claims Act
This dissertation examines the impact of the 1992 Georgia Tort Claims Act on educators in court decisions involving liability cases against Georgia school districts and/ or their respective employees. By examining pertinent court cases in which Georgia educators were, for the first time, subjected to potential litigation, the researcher outlines circumstances in which educators can and should be held liable for their actions. Additionally, the researcher analyzes the Tort Claims Acts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi as well. This analysis allows the researcher to contrast the types of litigious actions that educators in each of these states are held liable. Findings include the types of actions in which educators in each of the respective states are subject to liability. Case study analysis of randomly selected court cases involving tort liability, provides the infrastructure for in-depth research allowing the following questions to be addressed: (1) How have Georgia courts interpreted the Georgia Tort Claims Act in litigation against school personnel and school districts? (2) How do tort liability rulings, involving school personnel or districts, in other states within the United States compare with similar cases filed in Georgia since 1992? The Georgia Tort Claim Act of 1992 propelled an array of circumstances in which educational entities would be held liable for their actions. This research clearly explains the types of actions in which educators in the state of Georgia are subject to suit and to what degree they are subsequently held liable. Case study research also uncovered specific areas in which Georgia educators can be held liable. Specific research involving actions deemed either ministerial or discretionary are detailed specifically through case analysis. Additionally, the degree to which liability insurance provides protection for educational entities or their respective employees is also addressed in this research in order that state-by-state comparisons can be ...
Levanten La Mano Si Me Entienden: Receptive Bilinguals’ Linguistic and Cultural Perceptions in Secondary Spanish Classes
Receptive bilinguals have been in a dilemma of knowing just enough Spanish to write and aurally comprehend the curriculum at the beginning-intermediate levels of a Spanish language course. This dichotomy in classrooms with mixed-ability learners has created a need to reconsider placement and pedagogical structures tailored for these students in foreign language courses. Thus, this descriptive study examined the perceptions of receptive bilinguals, drawn from two secondary Spanish courses regarding receptive bilinguals’ language use, personal Spanish language abilities and confidence, personal beliefs about the language, and contentment with the course. For this study, 31 participants were selected from two public high schools in a suburb of a large metropolitan area in north Texas. Two surveys, a listening assessment and an online questionnaire, were administered at the end of the academic year. The Likert questionnaire items were analyzed using SPSS software, while open-ended questions were coded for recurrent themes. Analyses revealed four major findings. First, with regard to influence on language use, participants’ grandparents created the most interaction with the Spanish language when compared with the other family groups. In addition, Spanish influence through television, literature, radio, and music contributed to students’ early childhood Spanish learning. Second, as to language preference, although participants perceived English to be the language with which they were most at ease, they were also confident in their Spanish conversational abilities. Third, with respect to perceptions of language abilities, Spanish 2Pre-AP students noticed an increased ability in listening, speaking, and writing the language. In both courses, students’ receptive ability was one of the highest abilities. Receptive bilinguals reflected a sense of pride and passion for the language. They desired to improve their language through their own self-motivation as a way to connect with family. Fourth, and finally, in reporting on course contentment, participants expressed overall contentment with ...
The Longitudinal Impact of Technology Immersion Through a One-to-One Mobile Technology Program on Reading and Math Performance in a Rural Title I Public School District
In conjunction with the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot program (TIP), the State of Texas implemented a four-year annual evaluation called the Evaluation of the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot (eTxTiP). It focused on the technology immersion experience through one-to-one mobile technology of sixth grade students in 22 selected middle schools. Initial findings suggested academic growth, especially in math, increased rigor of student work, greater teacher collaboration, a more positive school environment, and transformation of instructional practices. This study focused on one of the original schools selected to participate in the TIP program, exploring the impact over time of one-to-one mobile technology on one group of students over an 8-year period beginning with their third grade year. The selected school’s demographic makeup reflected a large number of schools within the state, including its size, rural location and economically disadvantaged student population. Based on an interrupted time series design, state assessment data was analyzed using a piecewise growth model. The study revealed no statistically significant academic growth in reading and math performance among the participants.
Measuring Teaching Effectiveness Using Value-Added and Observation Rubric Scores
This mixed-methods study examined the extent to which teacher performance and student performance measures correlated, and to understand which specific practices of mathematics teachers in Grades 3-5 related to student performance. Research was conducted at five elementary schools in a large, urban north Texas school district. Data sources included component scores and recorded evidence from observation rubrics, interviews with campus administrators, and value-added modeling (VAM) student growth scores. Findings indicated a modest relationship between teacher performance levels and student performance levels. Lack of access to individual teacher VAM data, per district policy, might have impacted the strength of the relationship. Interviews with administrators and an examination of the evidence cited in the observation rubrics identified specific practices associated with highly rated mathematics teaching. Differences in administrators’ experience levels with both mathematics instruction and the observation instrument might have influenced rubric scores and the level of specificity shown in evidence statements.
The (Mis)representation of the Middle East and Its People in K-8 Social Studies Textbooks: A Postcolonial Analysis
Critical examinations of cultural groups and the ways in which they are presented in schools are missing from current elementary and middle school curricula. Issues of this nature often fall under the umbrella of “multicultural education” or “cultural pedagogy,” but this rhetoric is dismissive in nature. Constructing the non-Western child as “culturally deprived,” “culturally disadvantaged,” or “at-risk” perpetuates an “us/colonizer” versus “them/colonized” mentality. The purpose of this study was to examine critically how the Middle East and its people are represented in U.S. social studies textbooks. Through the use of qualitative content analysis, 10 elementary and middle school social studies books from Florida, Texas, and Virginia were analyzed. Drawing largely from the postcolonial Orientalist work of Edward Said (1978/2003), this study unveiled the ways in which American public schools other children, specifically children of Middle Eastern or Arab descent. Othering occurs anytime an institution in power constructs a certain reality for a marginalized group of people.
Multiple Measures of the Effectiveness of Public School Montessori Education in the Third Grade
The problem of this study was to measure the effectiveness of a public school Montessori program. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare student academic achievement and self-concept, attendance and promotion rates, and level of parental involvement in the schools of students enrolled in public school Montessori and traditional programs. The 95 subjects in this study were third-grade subjects selected from the student populations in Montessori and traditional school sites. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was used as the pre-test scores, and the Norm-referenced Assessment Program for Texas (NAPT) was used as the post-test scores to compare academic achievement in reading and mathematics. Multiple regression was used to compare the levels of academic achievement and self-concept. Multiple regression was also used to test for possible relationship between the Montessori and traditional programs and gender and ethnicity.
Patterns of Vision, Action, and Effects in Professional Development as Experienced in the Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology
In 1992, the state of Texas awarded a number of inducement grants to collaboratives of universities, schools, and service centers to develop field-based professional development schools (PDSs) and provide preservice and inservice teachers with extensive professional development. This study investigated the design and effects of the professional development models in these Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology (CPDTs). This study used qualitative data collection and analysis procedures. Raw data were collected in the form of individual interviews, focus group interviews, documentation, and fieldnotes. Forty-six interviews were completed involving a total of 83 respondents representing all partnering entities: university representatives, school representatives, education service center representatives, and policymakers. Documentation included annual and quarterly reports, grant applications, and program approval requests. Fieldnotes included observational data from site visits. Data analysis was an iterative process using a constant comparative analysis of coded categories emerging fromtranscribed data. This comparison examined: the vision of professional development as perceived by the respondents, the enactment of professional development as experienced by the respondents, and the effects that the CPDT initiative had on professional development as perceived by the respondents. This study revealed 18 themes that were common across all eight Texas CPDTs. The themes revealed patterns of vision which included: developing a common ground, breaking barriers, evolving visions, and partnership tradeoffs. Patterns of enactment included formal and informal professional development opportunities. Patterns of effects included: empowerment of teachers, updating of university faculty on public school issues, better prepared classroom-ready interns, and more attention for K-12 students. Another pattern of effect included the distraction of "technology toys" and the difficulty keeping pace with new technologies. The study provided strong evidence that relationship building processes are crucial for building a sustained learning situation for a community of learners. The themes also provided information regarding the demands of institutionalizing ...
Peer Mediation: an Empirical Exploration Empowering Elementary School Children to Resolve Conflicts Constructively
Conflict is inevitable in school and in life. Many children lack skills necessary to resolve daily conflicts constructively. Without knowledge of positive ways to manage conflicts, violence may result. Limited research suggests that involvement in a peer mediation program may have a positive influence on children. This study assessed effects peer mediation training and mediation experience had on student mediators. The pretest-posttest, control-group, and quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of a year long peer mediation program implemented in a suburban elementary school.