• The Indiana Public School Dropout Dilemma Differences in Superintendents' Perceptions

      Adams, David Albert
      This quantitative study examined Indiana public school superintendents‘ perspectives of efficacy toward the student dropout dilemma. A survey was administered to a random sample of Indiana superintendents, and an analysis was made to investigate whether superintendents in Indiana believe that there is an internal or external locus of control (efficacy) concerning the dropout issue. Further examination was made to determine if superintendent opinions towards efficacy differ by school geographic location (rural, suburban, town, metropolitan), socioeconomic status of the community (percent of students on free and reduced lunch), or superintendents‘ age. The study also compared superintendent opinions concerning the dropout issue with those of teachers and principals as reported in Bridgeland, Dilulio, and Balfanz (2009) to see if their opinions correspond. Analysis of variance was computed for the variables of interest to identify significant difference between groups. An ANOVA was run on each research question. A factorial ANOVA was then run to determine whether significant main or interaction effects exist between the independent variables. The statistical analysis showed moderate efficacy among Indiana superintendent concerning student dropouts. The ANOVA and Factorial ANOVA showed insufficient evidence to conclude that significant differences exist between different groups of superintendents based on geographic location, free and reduced lunch populations, or age of the superintendent. The examination of superintendent responses to survey questions showed similar responses to those of teachers and principals on the national study. A general discussion is presented on the conclusions of the research with recommendations made for reducing the dropout rate and further research on the topic.