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A Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Three Different GED Preparation Programs

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify effective instructional programs for GED tests preparation for students in a large suburban school district. Three different nonrandom, unequal naturally occurring instructional groups at three different locations were examined. One group participated in a traditional instruction program, a second group in a test/retest program, and a third group in a computer-assisted program. The demographics of the district population, the GED population, and the individual study groups were catalogued and analyzed. The demographics of the GED population were similar to the district population but different from the GED passers. Student characteristics did affect GED success. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Random students in each of the three groups were interviewed about their experiences in GED preparation using a questionnaire. Quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies, means, correlations, and a multiple regression analysis. Since the GED credential is an alternative to the high school diploma, its use as a dropout alternative is important to every school district. The study found that instructional methods had little impact on students' success in receiving the GED credential. The overall success rate of students was low in each group. The student's reading achievement score, GPA, and IQ score were predictors of GED tests success. Little research has been done in the area of GED instruction; perhaps this lack of work is due to the known limited effectiveness of GED preparation. Districts hoping to build effective GED programs should screen students prior to admission to a GED program. High school GED instruction seems to be effective for students likely to be successful in the regular school setting but in need of an immediate credential because of pregnancy or parenting or the need to work full-time or the desire to begin college study. Districts should also design programs ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Gardner, Marlene K.

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.

Factors that influence teacher turnover in Texas: Correlations with variables from the academic excellence indicator system for the year 1998-99

Description: The teacher shortage problem is a national and state concern. In 1998, the Texas State Board of Education Certification reported that school districts in Texas had to hire teachers to fill over 63,000 vacancies. Teacher resignations, other than retirement, contributed to over 46,000 teachers who left the profession about 19 % of the state's total teacher workforce. A significant number of Texas teachers left the profession in the first five years. The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996) called the attrition of new teachers a chronic problem for American schools. Reducing the teacher shortage in Texas must begin with reducing the teacher turnover rate. Most studies concerning teacher attrition or turnover either address salary, or working conditions. Many of the studies deal with affective and subjective data regarding teacher turnover. The studies on teacher turnover often do not address quantifiable data collected uniformly across districts. Few studies address a comprehensive set of quantitative data to determine the variables associated with teacher turnover. This study addressed teacher turnover through quantitative research of data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) with multiple analysis to provide insights to teacher turnover conditions and trends. The population for the study included all 1042 Texas school districts, and 61 Charter schools. The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) was used to determine the variables and supply data for the study. The study addressed only district data not individual school or campus data. The data captured for this dissertation were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlational methods, and regression tools of research.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Burns, Bobby C.

The Impact of Poverty on Comparable Improvement Ranking for Elementary Campuses in Texas

Description: The problem was to determine how comparable is comparable improvement for campuses in Texas. An alternative strategy for determining comparable improvement was developed using 2000 comparable improvement data provided by the Texas Education Agency for 2,403 elementary campuses. Comparable improvement is a measure that shows how student performance has changed from one year to the next and then compares that growth to 40 schools that are demographically most similar to the target school. Instead of using the most dominant characteristic as in the current process, the percent of students in poverty was the initial sorting characteristic. The impact of sorting by poverty was reviewed in four areas: 1.) the impact on quartile placement, 2.) the TLI average growth for the comparison group, 3.) the award eligibility, and 4.) the changes in comparison group composition. No practical significant difference was found for research questions 1 and 3, however, a practical significant difference was found in group average TLI growth for math and in the comparison group composition. Overall, the alternative process had the greatest impact on campuses with 40-80% poverty. Three possible factors may have influenced the results. First, the middle poverty campuses had the most change in comparison group as found in question 4. Second, the interaction between the middle poverty campuses and the alternative process could have been fueled by the removal of the 1,295 campuses with poverty as the dominant characteristic in current system. Third, the high correlation between poverty and ethnicity may have limited any impact of the alternative process.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Holland, Vicki Gay

The Relationship Between Classroom Climate and Student Achievement

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between sixth grade students' academic achievement levels in math and their perceptions of school climate. Student characteristics of socioeconomic status and gender were used to identify groups for the purpose of data analysis. Data was gathered using the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory (satisfaction, friction, competitiveness, difficulty, and cohesiveness) and the dependent variable of the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The results of the data collection were tested using a Pearson product-moment analysis and a backward multiple regression analysis. A univariate analysis of variance was also used to compare the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory as well as to compare socioeconomic status and gender with the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The schools selected for this study were from a city in Texas with a population of approximately 100,000. The sample consisted of 262 sixth grade mathematics students. The findings of this study are as follows: (a) The Pearson product-moment correlation analysis revealed little, if any, correlation for any of the five subscale predictor variables; (b) the multiple regression analysis revealed that all five classroom climate indicators combined together could explain only 10.5% of the variance in mathematics achievement; (c) the univariate analysis of variance revealed that there is a significant relationship between the climate factors of friction and difficulty when compared to mathematics achievement; and (d) the univariate analysis of variance also revealed that mathematics achievement scores vary significantly as a function of economic category membership, but there appears to be no relationship to gender.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Bennett, Jan

A Study Of Correlations Between Learning Styles Of Students And Their Mathematics Scores On The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test

Description: The problem of this study was to determine whether learning styles of students affect their math achievement scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test. The research questions addressed relevant to this study were: 1. Is there a positive correlation between students' learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? 2. Is there a positive correlation between specific sub group's (as deemed by the state of Texas) and gender's learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? The Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient and the Point-biserial correlation analysis was applied to the data collected from 500 fifth grade students attending a North Texas Intermediate school. The significance level was established at the .05 level. Part of the data was the student's responses to the Learning Style Inventory by Dunn, Dunn and Price. The findings established that the learning style preferences of all students in the area of persistence significantly impacted their math achievement scores. Gender and ethnicity were mitigating factors in the findings. These learning style preferences significantly impacted achievement in the following ways: * Caucasian students' preference of a high level of persistence in completing a difficult task. * Hispanic students' preference for a warm learning environment and motivational factor of pleasing the teacher. * Afro-American students' preference for kinesthetic learning. * Female students' learning style preferences appear in: - the design of the learning environment - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high level of responsibility - a high sense of self-motivation , of teacher and of parent motivation. * Male students' learning style preferences appear in: - a warm learning environment - a high level of responsibility - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high sense of teacher and of parent motivation - a late morning ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: Kopsovich, Rosalind D.

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.