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ABOUT BROWSE FEED
The Federal Constitution and Race-Based Admissions Policies in Public Charter Schools
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.
Mentoring the first-year superintendent in Texas public schools.
This study determined what mentoring experiences first-year superintendents have had and what they need from a mentoring relationship. Structured interviews and field notes were used in this qualitative study focused on Texas first-year superintendents' perceived needs from mentors. Three patterns of mentoring relationships were found: 1) no mentor in the first year, 2) mentor-protégé relationship - those who developed mentoring relationships early in a career with a more senior person in the same school system, and 3) mentoring relationships of convenience - young relationships which developed outside the same system. Skills and knowledge areas novice superintendents identified as critical for mentor assistance were school finance, development of effective relationships with groups that have expectations of the superintendent while also improving student achievement, and working within the politics of the position. Mentor characteristics novice superintendents considered necessary for a positive effect on job success include: trustworthiness, confidentiality, empathy, encouraging, active listening, and integrity. An attitude in which the mentor problem solved with the protégé, and did not give an immediate solution was displayed. Mentors actively and frequently initiated contact. Ideas were freely exchanged, giving the protégé undivided attention while not making the protégé feel inferior. The effects that previous mentoring experiences had on novice superintendents influenced whether they chose to mentor another person. Most reported seeking or engaged in a new mentoring relationship. Differences in areas where help was needed among first-year superintendents associated with district size were reported. Assistance in finance was needed regardless of district size, gender, or ethnicity. Superintendents in small districts reported needing assistance in specific skill and knowledge areas. Those in larger districts reported mentor assistance in problem-solving processes to accomplish a task. Differences in needs of first-year superintendents based on gender or ethnicity were identified but generalizations could not be made due to small numbers. ...
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.
Computer Skills And Usage Of Students In Grades 10-12 Who Are Legally Blind: A Descriptive Analysis
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.
Career Paths to the Texas Public School Superintendency
This study focused on the identification of career paths that led to the Texas public school superintendency, including an examination of career path differences associated with gender, ethnicity, and district type, and on the identification of the career path positions superintendents perceived as being the most beneficial in preparing them for the superintendency. Additionally, the study examined place-bound versus career-bound superintendents. The most common career path to the Texas public school superintendency was secondary teacher, secondary principal, and superintendent. Female administrators and administrators who worked in large districts were more likely to take the director route to the superintendency. Additionally, most major urban superintendents took the director route to the superintendency. Ethnicity was not a significant factor in determining the career path to the superintendency. A significant correlation did exist between educational attainment and the secondary teacher, secondary assistant principal, secondary principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent career path. A higher representation of superintendent respondents who held earned doctorates existed in that career path than in any of the other career path groups. While educational attainment was important in higher paying districts, most Texas superintendents did not hold doctorates. Few held doctorates from the most prestigious, nationally recognized universities.
The impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance in the mainstream school environment.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance. The literature review examined the history and development of alternative schools, the legislation pertaining to alternative schools, and related studies. The population consisted of students placed in the discipline alternative education program (DAEP) of an alternative school located in a large suburban school district in north Texas. Students placed in DAEP in the spring semester of 2001 in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 were included in the sample. Data on student success was gathered for the one semester prior to placement (pre-intervention) and for the two semesters after placement (post-intervention). Student success was measured in terms of course grade averages and attendance. The student sample was divided into the following subgroups: grade level, sex, ethnicity, and qualification for the school meal program. The students' grade averages were compared within the subgroups utilizing a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Tukey's post hoc comparison was utilized on the groups when ANOVA was found to be significant. The students' attendance was analyzed by comparing the proportion of days attended in each of the three semesters included in the study. A normal test of two independent means was conducted on the attendance proportions. The results of the study indicated the following significant findings (p <. 05): the eighth-grade students' grade averages were significantly lower in the second post-treatment semester, the 7th-grade students had lower attendance in the first post-treatment semester, the 8th-grade students had lower attendance in the second post-treatment semester, and the 10th-grade students had higher attendance in the first post-intervention semester. The female students' attendance was higher in both post-intervention semesters and significantly higher in the second. A discussion of the dropout rate for this group and recidivism to DAEP was included.
Principals' Leadership Beliefs: Are Personal and Environmental Influences Related to Self-Efficacy?
The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between principal self-efficacy and personal characteristics, school conditions, and professional preparation among a selected group of Texas, public school principals. The survey instrument included the Principal Self-Efficacy Scale (PSES) developed by Tschannen-Moran & Garies in 2004, and other items. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a random sample of 965 Texas, public school principals. From that population, 289 principals completed the survey for a response rate of 30%. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for the analyses which included descriptive statistics, correlations, and analysis of variance. Additionally, factor analysis and reliability were calculated for the PSES. The factor structure and reliability found in this study closely mirrored the results of earlier investigations, providing further support for the reliability and validity of the PSES. Out of 12 variables examined in relation to principal self-efficacy, a statistically significant relationship was found for gender, years of teaching experience, level, SES, parental involvement, and student discipline. However, all six of the statistically significant variables had a small effect size indicating limited practical significance. The results of this study support the need for continued research of principal self-efficacy beliefs. Principal self-efficacy research may help explain the relationships between effective principals and effective schools.
Funds Budgeted for Educational Programs in Texas Schools during a Period of Changing Enrollment
This study analyzes budgets of Texas school districts experiencing declining enrollments, as opposed to districts with increasing or steady enrollments. This study identifies how schools are expending funds to meet those needs while dealing with enrollment changes. A total of 924 school districts are studied. The changes in average daily attendance from 1993-1994 to 2003-2004 are used to categorize each district as having increasing, stable, or decreasing enrollments. The total dollar amount expended is compared to the total number of students in each district to determine the amount expended per student. The amounts expended for special education career and technology education, bilingual education, and compensatory education are compared to the number of students being served by those programs to determine a dollar amount that can also be compared from the 1993-1994 and 2003-2004 school years. The per-student expenditures for each educational program are compared to the overall per-student expenditures in each enrollment category (increasing, stable, decreasing). The study reveals no clear pattern of change in the comparison of overall spending to individual program spending as district enrollments fluctuated.
State accountability ratings as related to district size and diversity.
All Texas school districts were examined to determine the relationship of district size and diversity to the accountability ratings of selected Texas school districts and the implications of including all data in the accountability rating system. Eight large districts and 12 small districts were matched demographically utilizing data from the 2003-2004 school year. Information from the Texas Education Agency was accessed over 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The ratings were found to be lowered from Recognized to Academically Acceptable with the inclusion of these groups 6 out of 20 times. These findings indicate that the Texas accountability system, in its current structure, excludes certain students based upon race and economic status and is not in compliance with what the law intended. This study should be replicated on a larger scale to assess its validity for a larger sample of small districts. Equity among states should be examined to provide information for a nationwide accountability system.
An Analysis of the Emotional Intelligence and Personality of Principals Leading Professional Learning Communities
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between a principal's emotional intelligence and personality and his or her ability to implement and develop professional learning communities within the school. The Professional Learning Community Assessment (PLCA) was administered to principals and teachers in 13 schools in Texas ranging from elementary to high school. Based on the strength of the PLCA scores, two elementary schools were selected to participate in case study research. The principals of these two campuses were administered an emotional intelligence instrument (MSCEIT), a personality instrument (DiSC), and were interviewed along with three of their teachers. The findings indicate that both of these principals scored high in the Influential and Conscientiousness subscales and low in the Dominance subscale. The principals also possessed either near-average or above-average emotional intelligence with both principals scoring particularly strong in the Strategic subscale.
Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of the Impact of Content Literacy Strategy Instruction on Teaching and Learning
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.
Supplementing Annual School District Budgets: Partnerships, Fundraisers, Foundations, and Local Support Venues
School finance is the topic of numerous research studies; printed in newspapers and magazines, heard on the radio and television, and frequently spoken among educators throughout the nation. Anyone dealing with education is searching for methods of obtaining additional funds for projects and supplies; and even adding money directly to school districts' budgets. To better understand the importance of searching for additional funds to supplement the annual school districts' budgets, this study examines four sources for obtaining financial assistance: partnerships, fundraising, foundations, and local source venues. Participants include 10 school districts in the state of Texas having only a single high school campus; five Chapter 41 school districts and five Chapter 42 school districts. Two school districts are selected from each classification level: A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. One Chapter 41 (wealthy) district will be compared with one Chapter 42 (poor) school district within the same classification level. The five selected Chapter 41 school districts are above the equalized wealth limit of $305,000 per weighted average daily attendance. Data gathering procedures utilize a purposive case study by interviewing administrators in each of the school districts; studying Texas Education Agency's School Report Card, each school district's Actual Financial Data Report; sending a survey to a district administrator within each school district; gathering data from the directors of partners-in-education or adopt-a-school programs; reviewing financial records from booster clubs and education foundations; and studying financial audits for each of the school districts. This study looks at the dependency on outside financial assistance to further educational endeavors, whether they are for enrichment purposes or for extended educational pursuits. The study examines how each school district utilizes some combination of supplements to obtain additional funds for their annual budgets, whether the district is classified as Chapter 41 or 42. Using the actual financial data ...
The impact of the core knowledge curriculum at the junior high level as it relates to performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the comprehensive school reform model core knowledge on the reading achievement of eighth grade students located in a suburban north Texas school district. The data compared the mean scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills of students attending the experimental core knowledge school with the control school that did not use the core knowledge curriculum. Students from both schools were compared for student achievement gains overall as well as several other categories. The study also used a qualitative survey that asked key faculty members at both schools questions regarding levels of curriculum implementation, staff knowledge of curriculum, etc. The data showed no significant differences between student achievement scores at the experimental school compared with students at the control school. However, the study found that the type of standardized test seems to have an impact on whether students in a core knowledge curriculum show higher achievement than students in a traditional curriculum. Students in a core knowledge curriculum show higher achievement on norm-referenced standardized tests when compared with students not attending a core knowledge school. When taking a criterion-referenced test such as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, there is no difference in reading achievement between the two groups.
Equity of access: Exploring Internet connectivity within Oklahoma public schools.
The purpose of this study was to ascertain if conditions or combinations of conditions existed within Oklahoma public schools that created inequities in the availability of classroom Internet connections. A stratified random sample of the 471 school districts was used to identify 300 specific schools for the purpose of data analysis. Data was gathered utilizing a database provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and a researcher developed questionnaire. The database provided data relating to four independent variables (region, district size, school type, and school size,). The dependent variable, percentage of classrooms connected to the Internet, was obtained by the researcher designed questionnaire. The state database also provided percentage information relating to students who qualify as minorities and qualify for free or reduced lunches. The data was tested using a series of ANOVAs and a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. The findings of the study are as follows: (a) The analysis of variance showed that none of the independent variables had a significant effect upon the percentage of classrooms connected to the Internet; (b) The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient revealed little or no correlation between the percentage of disadvantaged or minority students and the percentage of classroom Internet connections.
The Reading Together™ cross-age tutoring program and its effects on the English language proficiency and reading achievement of English language learners.
This dissertation provides research and data based on a study of cross-age tutoring and its effects on English language proficiency and English reading achievement of English language learners. The subjects for the study included native Spanish-speakers enrolled in third-grade bilingual classrooms in four elementary schools. The research study focused on the implementation of Reading Together™, a cross-age tutoring program published by The Learning Together Company. The 30-session tutoring program is designed to help English-speaking students progress from decoding words to reading with fluency and comprehension through older students tutoring younger students in a one-to-one setting. This highly structured program is used to provide supplemental instruction to second and/or third-grade students. This study utilized a quantitative approach to compare the results of English language learners who participated in the Reading Together cross-age tutoring program and English language learners who did not participate in the program. A quasi-experimental design was used in the research study. In this design, the treatment group and the control group were selected using specific criteria. Both groups took a pretest and posttest, but only the treatment group received the intervention. The study also determined if there was a relationship between initial language levels and reading gains. The study concluded the following: 1. Cross-age tutoring might possibly be an effective instructional strategy to assist English language learners in improving their oral language proficiency in English. 2. Even though third-grade participants in the cross-age tutoring program did not demonstrate significantly different reading levels from students not participating in the program, cross-age tutoring may still be an instructional strategy to be used with English language learners to assist them in second language reading. 3. Students' initial English oral language proficiency level does correlate to the students' English reading level.
School Resource Allocation in Texas Public Schools: Study of High-Poverty, High Performing Schools and High-Poverty, Low Performing Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between resource allocation practices in specific categorical functions and student performance in reading and math. This study utilized quantitative research methods to study the effects of spending and performance over four years of analysis. Quantitative data was acquired utilizing information from the Texas Education Agency. The data was collected from 81 campuses and represented over 1,500 students. The study's outcomes reported that little or no correlation could be found between inputs (dollars spent in three categories) and outputs (student results in reading and math). However, subgroup analysis revealed that students from non- low socioeconomic (SES) households started out higher than their low SES counterparts, and low SES students performed worse over time in both reading and math. Math results decreased more dramatically than reading indicating a need for school-level training in data analysis to ensure that limited dollars are spent appropriately. The study recommends that principals and school administrators be especially knowledgeable in critical data analysis skills. The study further recommends that state policy-makers invest more heavily in early math instruction. In addition, the current study found that student achievement, in low-SES students, especially in mathematics is very alarming. Low SES students are starting out behind the non low-SES counterparts and perform progressively worse over time. State policy makers must address these concerns.
The Influence of National Standards for Early Childhood Programs on Selected Rural Settings of the Education Service Centers in East Texas
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.
A study of the technology leadership of Texas high school principals.
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 ...
Placement in the prekindergarten bilingual and English as a second language programs as a predictor of reading achievement of 3rd grade students.
At the beginning of the 21st century, few challenges for educators compared to that of meeting the academic needs of the growing number of limited English proficient (LEP) students. Divergent views on whether those needs were best met through instruction in the student's first language and English, known as bilingual education, or instruction solely in English, compounded the challenge and led to varied language support programs. The present study looked at the prekindergarten (preK) language support program as a predictor of 3rd grade reading achievement of students with the intention of helping educators understand how best to serve LEP students. The study included an analysis of 3rd grade reading achievement for four groups of students with a primary home language of Spanish who attended bilingual or ESL prekindergarten. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) followed by descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) was used to analyze scores from the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) reading test and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading test. No statistically significant difference in 3rd grade reading achievement was found among the four groups at the .05 level. There was, however, a small-to-medium effect size. The MANOVA indicated that the group to which the students belonged accounted for 5.5% of the variance in their scores. The DDA revealed the ITBS explained most of the difference in the group performance. The findings suggest that ESL instruction is a viable option to bilingual instruction for LEP preK students.
Ninth grade student success: An analysis of a credit recovery program.
The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which a credit recovery program improved the academic success for high school freshmen. For the purpose of this study, academic success was defined as whether or not the student advanced from 9th to 10th grade. A total of 255 students from two junior high schools and one comprehensive high school were included in the study. Independent variables included program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, and TAKS Mathematics results. A review of related literature provided background information regarding the issues surrounding high school freshmen, dropouts, grade retention, and effective intervention programs. This quantitative study utilized descriptive statistics and logistic regression to analyze the relationship between the independent variables and student success as measured by whether or not the student advanced from ninth to tenth grade. In addition, the study examined the odds of success if participating in the credit recovery program. Sources of data included Incomplete and Failure Listing, Ninth Grade Advisor Listing, Tenth Grade Advisory Listing, and the Student Roster-Fall Collection. The Ninth Grade Success Initiative Program Evaluation for Cycles 6, 7, and 9 provided the individual student results of participation in the program. Levels of significance were set at the .05 level. The findings of this study indicated that no statistically significant relationship existed between participation in the credit recovery program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, TAKS Mathematics results, and advancing from 9th to 10th grade. It was concluded that further study would be needed to determine the most effective means for providing academic assistance to ninth grade students.
The Effects of Teacher Certification on Freshman High School Students' Algebra I Achievement
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.
An Examination of the Relationship Between Teacher Efficacy and Teachers' Perceptions of Their Principals' Leadership Behaviors
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 ...
Equity in Texas Public Education Facilities Funding
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 ...
Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.
Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses.
Early Literacy: An Examination of the Principal Behaviors That Impact Reading Achievement
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 ...
A Comparison of Principals’ Perceptions of Preparedness Based on Leadership Development Opportunities
This research study identified the frequency in which six public school districts in Texas provided principals with effective development opportunities prior to the principalship excluding university or certification programs. A purposive sample of over 200 principals from six school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area were asked to participate in the study yielding a response rate of 41%. Respondents identified through a questionnaire their leadership development opportunities and perceptions of preparedness on nine standards common to the profession. Principals were nominally grouped for comparison. The perceptions of preparedness for principals who received effective leadership development opportunities were compared to those who did not receive these same opportunities using an independent samples t-test to determine statistical significance (p < .05). Peer coaching yielded the most statistically significant results in three standards. This finding indicates principals who receive peer coaching prior to the principalship compared to those who did not perceive themselves as more prepared in the areas of community collaboration, political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context, and curriculum, instruction and assessment. Effect size was measured for the statistically significance standards to determine practical significance. Each of the five statistically significant standards yielded a medium effect size indicating that the leadership development methods received by participants explained approximately 30% of the difference.
An Analysis of Advisory Committee Activities in a Successful Public School Bond Election
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.
Predicting student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Exit Level Exam: Predictor modeling through logistic regression.
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 SPSS® 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.
The school reform movement and high stakes standardized testing: An analysis of factors impacting the academic outcomes of students receiving special education services.
The purpose of this study was to investigate special education outcomes in relation to state standardized testing. It specifically sought to determine if a relationship existed between selected data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) comparing district students receiving special education services TAAS scores with selected district demographic, fiscal, and special education data. The population for this study consisted of all 2001-2002 grades 3-8 and 10 public school students with the exception of charter schools, special-purpose statutory districts, and state-administered districts. The reading analysis incorporated data from 896 Texas school districts. The mathematics analysis used data from 914 school districts. Multiple linear hierarchical regression was chosen as the method for statistical analysis. Data was obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as a special data pull. For both the reading and mathematics analyses, wealth and ethnicity were statistically insignificant although ethnicity individually accounted for a large percentage of the variance for both the reading (20.3%) and mathematics (13.2%) scores as well as producing negative β weights. All other predictor variables produced varying degrees of statistical significance. Community type, socioeconomic status, instructional expenditures per students, and instructional expenditures per student receiving special education services also produced negative β weights. Two variables in this study, enrollment and the percentage of students receiving special education services tested, produced positive β weights, substantial squared structure coefficients, and positive Pearson correlation coefficients. Of these two predictors, the strongest overall positive predictor for students receiving special education services success on the grades 3-8 and 10 reading and mathematics TAAS exams was the percentage of students receiving special education services tested. These percentages produced the largest positive correlations with passing rates (reading r = .283, mathematics r = .219) and the second largest regression coefficients (reading β = .224, mathematics β = .202). They individually ...
The Relationship Among Effective School Correlates, School and District Practices, and Exemplary Student Performance in Texas
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) annually rates campuses and districts on how well they meet standards of student performance. Since the high standard is so difficult for campuses and districts to reach, educators continually seek ways to improve student performance. The effective schools process is research-based and has stood the test of time. Descriptive statistics were used in this study to identify practices within the effective schools correlates that exemplary campuses implement. Campuses with long-term exemplary ratings were identified using the TEA data base. Campus site-based teams were surveyed using the More Effective Schools Staff Survey. Data was collected on elementary and secondary campuses with homogenous, diverse, economically advantaged, and economically disadvantaged student populations. District instructional leaders for those campuses completed a District Instructional Leader Survey to determine what practices districts implement to support their exemplary campuses. Findings from this quantitative study revealed what effective schools practices were highly evident on these exemplary campuses, regardless of diversity, economic status, district size, community type, property wealth, or location within the state. Findings also revealed that district leaders provide direction and support in the areas of (a) professional development; (b) beliefs, mission, and goals; (c) curriculum; (d) instruction; (e) assessment; and (f) site-based decision making. The research data imply that campus or district administrators can improve the performance of their students if the identified practices are implemented.
Factors that influence teacher turnover in Texas: Correlations with variables from the academic excellence indicator system for the year 1998-99
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.
An Historical Analysis of Rule and Policy Changes in the Texas University Interscholastic League One-Act Play Contest, 1986-2006, and the Results of Those Changes: Administrator and Teacher Perceptions
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) One-Act Play Contest is a competition where similarly sized Texas schools present an 18-40 minute play usually adjudicated by a single judge. At each level of competition the judge awards individual acting awards as well as selecting two productions to advance to the next level of competition. After the awards are announced the judge gives an oral critique to each of the schools. Because of the wide participation and diversity of plays produced, certain rules and guidelines have been adopted to ensure safety, allow for equity, satisfy legal standards, and make the running of the contest practical. These rules can be modified to achieve positive outcomes and improved educational results. Changes in the rules of a UIL contest are in accordance with stated educational objectives of the UIL. Occasionally, however, modifications in procedures raise questions. The problem of this study was to determine, from the perceptions of administrators and teachers, whether significant modifications in the rules and policies for the UIL One-Act Play Contest over a time span of 20 years have had impacts on the goals and procedures of the contest. The study utilized a qualitative approach through historical analysis and a survey to answer two research questions. Historical analysis identified the six modifications in the UIL OAP over the years 1986-2006. The survey instrument determined the impact of these changes on the goals and procedures of the contest. Based on the responses of the survey the competition experience has been enhanced by recent changes.
A study of the relationships between personality as indicated by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and leadership strengths and weaknesses as identified by Skillscope
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.
Math literacy: The relationship of algebra, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and AVID enrollment with high school math course completion and college readiness.
The questions guiding this research seek to discover the factors that affect high school math course completion and college readiness in a Texas suburban public school district. The first research question examines the relationship between 8th grade completion of Algebra I and high school mathematics course taking patterns and college readiness. The second question evaluates the relationship between race, gender, socioeconomic status and enrollment in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program to college math readiness and high school mathematics course completion. Participants included 841 high school graduates of the class of 2006; 76% of the graduates were White, 15% Hispanic and 7% African American. Twenty-three percent of students were economically disadvantaged and 46% of students completed Algebra I in 8th grade. Chi-square, Cramer's V, and multiple regression were conducted to evaluate possible relationships between variables. The Chi-square and Cramer's V showed statistically significant (p<.05) relationships between 8th grade algebra completion and both college readiness and high school math course completion. A significant statistical relationship was also found between college readiness and each of the independent variables, ethnicity, economic status, completion of 8th grade algebra and enrollment in AVID. The number of math courses completed in high school was statistically related to ethnicity and economic status.. The findings of this study indicate that early access to Algebra I can positively affect the number of high school math courses a student completes and the likelihood that the student will be college ready after high school graduation.
Correlates of Texas Standard AP Charter Campuses and How They Compare with Standard AP Traditional Public Campuses
The research sought to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of Texas standard AP open-enrollment charter school campuses and to discover independent variables that may be utilized to predict effective charter school campuses. The literature review was designed to enhance the current understanding of charter schools and therefore facilitate a more effective evaluation of them. A basic knowledge and understanding of the origins, characteristics and purposes of charters allow for a more objective analysis. The literature review covered the history of charters including their founders, characteristics, and growth patterns. The data items used in the analyses were downloaded from the 2007-2008 Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), which contains a variety of data from all Texas public schools. Multiple statistical analyses were utilized including chi-square, ANOVA, multiple regression and discriminate analysis. In order to evaluate Texas standard AP open enrollment charter campuses, their accountability ratings were compared with those of standard AP traditional public school campuses. The research evaluated twelve independent variables for charter schools to determine their relationship to accountability ratings, thereby providing charter operators indicators or predictors of accountability ratings to facilitate better academic quality. By analyzing the same variables for traditional public schools as charter schools, a baseline model was developed to compare the similarities and differences with the results of the charter school analyses.
Determining Factors that Influence High School Principal Turnover Over a Five Year Period
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of salary, compensation and benefits, accountability, job stress, increased instructional responsibilities, changes in student demographics, lack of support, politics, advancement opportunities and promotion on tenure and turnover among high school principals in the state of Texas. The participants in the study included 60 Texas high school principals who left a high school principalship for a different high school principalship within the past 5 years. The participants completed the Texas Principal Survey and data were analyzed using binary logistic regression. The data indicated that salary, compensation and benefits was a significant factor in predicting an increase in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Additionally, advancement opportunities was a significant factor in predicting a decrease in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Responses from an open ended question asking principals why they left their prior principalship suggested that principals left for reasons including new challenges, lack of support and family. The results of this study support the need for continued research in the area of principal turnover and provide insight to district superintendents, school boards and principals.
A Study Of Correlations Between Learning Styles Of Students And Their Mathematics Scores On The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test
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 ...
Instructional Leadership Responsibilities of Assistant Principals in Large Texas High Schools
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent secondary assistant principals in large Texas high schools demonstrate behaviors consistent with what the literature describes as instructional leadership. Three hundred seventy principals and assistant principals of large Texas high schools participated in this study. The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (Hallinger, 1987) was used to quantify instructional leadership in 10 different job functions. The study found that (a) assistant principals perceive themselves as exhibiting instructional leadership behaviors at a high frequency, (b) principals perceive their assistant principals exhibiting instructional leadership behaviors at a high frequency, (c) the perceptions of the principals and assistant principals were similar, and (d) principals and assistant principals reported more engagement in instructional leadership responsibilities and felt more pressured over the last five years under the new accountability and rating requirements of No Child Left Behind and the state assessments. These findings suggested that the administrative roles and responsibilities in high schools should be restructured to allow assistant principals to focus on instructional leadership.
Networking of North and West Texas Superintendents
This study examined the professional networking of North and West Texas public school superintendents. It looked at how these superintendents professionally network, use professional organizations in networking, and how they extend opportunities beyond the organizations to gain knowledge and information about their demanding and stressful responsibilities. Lastly, it looked at superintendents in the field on whom others rely for knowledge and understanding. Surveys were mailed out to 443 North and West Texas public schools. Only the superintendents from those districts were asked to complete the survey. This limitation was desired to restrict the population to only the superintendents of schools, thus focusing the study on the professional networking of only superintendents. Three hundred sixty (360) superintendents responded to the survey, a return rate of 81.3%. This research concluded that superintendents professionally network by communicating through monthly meetings, organizational conferences or meetings, or email. Their networks are facilitated through communication, contacts, location, longevity, and organizational associations. These organizations provide the superintendent's primary network contact. The number of contacts in a network is usually a small group of 5 to 9 professionals who are known from longevity in the profession, prior educational positions, similar district size, being located in or near a city, and other geographic neighbors.
A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Oklahoma Educators and School Districts under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act
This dissertation analyzed public court decisions in cases against Oklahoma school districts and their employees involving sovereign immunity claims filed under Oklahoma's Governmental Tort Claims Act. The questions addressed were: (1) How have the Oklahoma courts interpreted the Governmental Tort Claims Act, (Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 151 et seq.) in litigation against school districts and their employees? (2) What are the limits of immunity protection for Oklahoma school districts and their employees? (3) How has the statute of limitations in Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 156 and Okla. Stat. tit. 51 § 157 been applied to Oklahoma educators in tort litigation? This dissertation utilized legal research as the methodology to answer the research questions. Chapter II provides a review of existing literature regarding sovereign immunity in the United States. Chapter III is a comprehensive study of Oklahoma sovereign immunity cases filed against Oklahoma school districts and educators under the Governmental Tort Claims Act with regard to negligence, corporal punishment and the statute of limitations. Chapter IV discusses the findings of the analysis of cases in Oklahoma and the amount of protection afforded to Oklahoma school districts and educators.
The School-Family-Community Partnership: A Superintendent's Perspective
The purpose of this study was to describe, from a superintendent's perspective, the current status of school-family-community partnerships in North Texas school districts. A secondary purpose of this study was to allow the superintendents to express themselves in an open-ended format regarding factors that encourage and limit the development of these partnerships, as well as their three-year goals for creating successful partnerships in their districts. A review of the literature revealed that very limited research exists regarding the relationship between the school superintendent and the school-family-community partnership. This literature review focused on research related to the school-family-community partnership including its place in federal legislation, and a historical and current perspective of the school superintendency. The target population for this study included 156 superintendents from the two educational service centers that make up the Dallas/Fort-Worth Metroplex. This research study employed an online survey research methodology. The instrument used in this study was the Measure of School, Family, and Community Partnerships by Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University. Participants were asked to respond to fifty-two items placed in the six categories that represent Dr. Epstein's six types of involvement. Superintendents were also asked to respond to open-ended questions regarding what they perceive to be major factors that contribute to and limit the success of their school districts' school-family-community partnership efforts and what their primary goals were for improving these partnerships over the next three years. An analysis of district size in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded no significant partnership practices. An analysis of district accountability ratings in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded seven significant partnership practices. Finally, an analysis of superintendent experience yielded four significant superintendent partnership practices. The major factors superintendents perceive as not only contributing to, but limiting the ...
Impact of Teachers' Common Planning Time on the Academic Performance of Students in a Middle School Setting
The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of the common planning time for a team of middle school teachers by comparing the standardized test scores of middle school students selected from two school districts located in North Texas. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) 2 * 4 design was utilized to measure the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) math and reading scale score for 7th grade students from the test administered in spring 2005. The data for this study were compared by the variables of school, gender, and ethnicity. The measuring tool utilized in this study determined the ratio of the amount of variance of the scores for individuals of between-groups as opposed to the amount of variance of within-groups, indicating if there were a statistically significant difference on the scores in any one particular variable compared to the variances of scores for the other variables in this study. The statistical results indicated that there were no statistical significant differences in the scores of students attending a middle school where the teachers received a common planning time. However, there was a noted difference in the percentage ratings on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report published by TEA for the African American students who attended the school with the common planning time. These students had higher scores on the TAKS reading test. The TAKS math scores did not indicate any notable differences.
The Effectiveness of Business Leadership Practices among Principals on Student Achievement on Public School Campuses in Texas
The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if business leadership practices by Texas public school principals have an impact on principals' campus student achievement in mathematics and reading, as measured by TAKS scores. The survey instrument was the Leadership Assessment Instrument (LAI), developed by Warren Bennis in 1989. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a sample of 300 public school principals in Texas. Of the 300, 140 principals completed and returned the survey, for a response rate of 47%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0, was used for the analysis of data, which included descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and regression. In addition, reliability for the LAI was also calculated. The LAI consists of the following five categories of effective business practices: focused drive, emotional intelligence, building trust, conceptual thinking, and systems thinking. No significant relationships were found between principals' use of LAI elements and student achievement in mathematics and reading. However, the lack of significant relationships between the business model as used in public schools and student achievement reveals that current models of principal preparation programs do not result in school leaders who are adequately prepared to increase student achievement. Further research is recommended as public school leaders continue to seek alternative strategies and innovative practices to improve student achievement.
The Effects of Professional Learning Communities on Student Achievement
The purpose of this study was to examine data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) report, identify questions and statements that correlate to the dimensions of professional learning communities (PLCs), and determine the effect PLCs have on student achievement based on the ECLS-K data. In addition, the rationale for doing this research was to measure growth in student achievement over time. A multilevel growth model was used for this research. Univariate analysis was conducted in order to reveal frequencies and percentages associated with teacher responses. Bivariate analysis was applied in order to determine the inter-correlations between the fourteen variables. Once the inter-correlations were determined from the bivariate analysis, principal component analysis was applied in order to reveal the theoretical relationship between the variables. Through the use of principal components a set of correlated variables is transformed into a set of structure coefficient: support and collaborative. Finally, a multilevel growth model was used in order to determine the effect that each variable within the support and collaborative structure coefficients had on student achievement over time. This study revealed a number of variables within the ECLS-K report that correspond to the dimensions of PLCs have a statistically significant effect on student achievement in math and reading over time. This study demonstrated that support and collaborative variables within PLCs have a positive effect on both math and reading IRT achievement from 3rd grade to 5th grade.
The relationship between computer-assisted instruction and alternative programs to enhance fifth-grade mathematics success on the annual Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and success on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) mathematics exam with fifth-grade students in Texas compared to the effect of alternative improvement approaches used by a control group. Research explored the use of SuccessMaker® CAI educational software (Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, www.pearsoned.com) in public elementary schools in Texas. Successmaker® CAI was not a good predictor of passing percentage on the mathematics TAKS. Multiple regression analysis utilized in this quasi-experimental design study predicted a negative and not statistically significant change in the percentage of students passing the mathematics TAKS exam (B = -.448, p > .05). SuccessMaker® use exhibited a very small effect size (r = -.04) and accounted for less than 1% of the change in passing percentage (r2 = .0016). Multiple regression model predicted a negative and statistically significant effect upon mathematics passing percentage by economic disadvantage percentage (B = -.211, p < .01). The 95% confidence interval for B ranged from -.365 to -.057. The large effect size correlation coefficient (r = -.51) accounted for 26% of the variance in the mathematics TAKS passing percentage (r2 = .26).
Mainstream Success Following Placement in a Modified Type II Setting
The topic of alternative schools is widely available in the literature; however, once a student has been labeled a "troublemaker" and has been placed in a District Alternative Education Program (DAEP), a Type II setting, there is limited information about the overall success of students upon their return to the mainstream. This study compared the success of students formerly placed in a modified disciplinary Type II setting, once they have returned to the mainstream, with their success prior to disciplinary placement. The purpose of the study was to examine if disciplinary measures that remove students from the mainstream environment negatively impact the variables that measure school success, despite legislative mandates such as No Child Left Behind, which advocates success for every student. The population for this study was 86 7th- through 11th-grade students assigned to a DAEP in Texas during the spring of 2003. A comparison of pre- and post-placement dependent variables measuring school success-attendance, passing core courses, behavioral achievement, standardized test score achievement, recidivism, and dropout rates-comprised this study. The independent variables-gender, ethnicity, grade level, socioeconomic status, and disciplinary offense-were used to compare and analyze each dependent variable. The dependent variables of attendance, passing core courses, and behavior demonstrated a decline in the measurement of school success across time. The only dependent variable that demonstrated improvement between the pre- and post-placement periods was achievement on standardized test scores. From the number of students who withdrew from the mainstream during the post-placement semesters, large recidivism and dropout rates were determined, which reflected the large percentage of students who were not successful in the district's mainstream. The comparisons of dependent variables by independent variables resulted in significance only in the analyses of attendance by grade level. This interaction was determined to be significant since p < .05. During both post-placement semesters, ...
The Constitutionality of Dress Code and Uniform Policies
This dissertation proposes to delineate the criteria for determining the constitutionality of public school dress codes based on an examination of relevant case law. The study addresses the following underlying questions: (1) Do students have a constitutional right to freedom of choice regarding their personal dress and grooming in public schools? (2) If so, what is the origin of the right? (3) What justification does a school district need in order to intrude upon the right? (4) Does the extent to which there is a right, and that it is accorded support by the judiciary, depend on the student's age and grade level? (5) What do state statutes say about dress codes and uniforms? (6) Do state statutes comport with the circuit courts' rulings in the various jurisdictions? The first part of Chapter I examines the purpose of school uniforms as set forth in relevant educational literature and commentary. The second part of the chapter examines empirical evidence on the effects of dress codes and uniforms. Chapter II addresses the first three questions listed above concerning students' right to choice in personal dress, the origins of such a right, and the justification required for a school to intrude upon this right. Chapter III examines dress code rulings from the United States Courts of Appeals in order to ascertain patterns of judicial rationale and determine whether students' rights vary depending on age, grade level, or federal circuit court jurisdiction. Chapter IV examines existing state statutes with regard to dress codes and uniforms. Chapter V utilizes the legal principles that emerge from the research in Chapter III and draws from the survey of state statutes in Chapter IV to make a comparison of state statutes and circuit court rulings in each jurisdiction. If a state statute does not comport with federal law ...
Government Funding and Regulation of a Texas Voucher Program
This study was designed to determine how willing private schools are to participate in a limited school voucher program if various state regulations are required and whether willingness to participate varies among types of schools. Provisions of voucher bills proposed in the Texas legislature and requirements included in other states' legislation were used to determine the sample, hypothetical voucher amount, and possible state regulations. Three hundred eighteen surveys were sent, and 150 were returned, giving a 47% return rate. Data were entered into SPSS and analyzed using chi-square and crosstabs. Initially chi square was used to see if findings were significant at the .0041 level. This alpha level was reached by using the Bonferroni correction factor, which holds experiment wise Type I error to .05. Crosstabs was used to determine if relationships between regulation acceptance and type of schools were significant. Overall, as the amount of regulation increased, private school willingness to participate in a voucher program decreased. The regulations rejected by a large majority of schools in all categories were open admissions and student religious exemptions. In the areas of testing, curriculum, and teacher qualifications, private schools were much more willing to participate if they were allowed to utilize their own practices than if required to follow regulations required of Texas public schools. These findings were significant. When analyzing what type of school would be most interested in participating in a voucher program, the factor that yielded the most significant results was amount of yearly tuition. Private school willingness to participate in a voucher program was directly related to the amount of tuition charged. Those private schools with tuitions that were at or below the hypothetical voucher amount were much more likely to participate than those with higher tuition. Overall, significant results were shown with almost every regulation.
A study of computer technology use and technology leadership of Texas elementary public school principals.
The purpose of this study was to determine Texas elementary principals' level of computer technology use and their leadership in technology integration activities as defined by the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS*A). Additionally the study addressed technology implementation as an innovation and used the literature concerning change and innovation models to identify organizational and personal factors that might affect the level of technology use and the leadership behaviors. Survey data retrieved from 216 Texas elementary public school principals led to the formation of the following conclusions. The elementary principals involved this study reported high level computer technology use, especially with the computer tools involving communication. Principals also reported high level leadership performance to the NETS*A standards. Multiple analyses of variance (MANOVA) revealed no significant difference in mean scores between the dependent variables of computer use or leadership performance to the NETS*A standards and the independent variables including the organizational factors of school location, district spending per student, campus minority status, and campus Title I status. A regression analysis revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between principals' computer technology use and personal variables of training and perceived risk-benefit. Another regression analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between principals' technology leadership performance to the NETS*A standards and personal variables of training, perceived risk-benefit and perceived pressure to implement technology. Multiple regression analyses revealed no correlation between the dependent variables of technology use and technology leadership. A correlation analysis revealed a weak correlation between the two dependent variables with less than 4% of the variance explained by that relationship. There is a need for continuing research examining possible relationships between principals' technology use, their technology leadership behaviors, and the degree of technology integration in their schools. The findings from this study could be used by principal preparation programs to focus on ...
The impact of selected school factors on the test performance of African-American economically disadvantaged elementary students.
In order for America to retain its superior position in a global economy it is imperative that all students receive educational opportunities that will prepare them for the future. Currently, African-American economically disadvantaged students in the United States perform lower on standardized tests than their grade and age-level peers. Educators must find ways to improve the performance of students in this group in order to maximize future opportunities. Through a mixed-methodology approach, the current study finds three school factors that may positively impact the performance of African-American economically disadvantaged students: high expectations, student-teacher relationships and teacher effectiveness. Quantitative and qualitative analysis provides perspectives from principals primarily from a large urban school district on the impact of these factors on student performance.