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A Comparative Analysis of Curricular Programs in Private, Public Choice, and Public Attendance-Zone Schools in San Antonio, Texas

Description: 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.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Miller, Alice Elizabeth Owen

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

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