Browsing Educational Leadership, Administration, and Foundations by Author "Keeley, Thomas Allen"
What Educational Initiatives contribute to higher than expected achievement in Student performance for Public Schools in the State of Indiana?Keeley, Thomas AllenThe purpose of this study was to determine whether the areas of teaching methods, teacher-student relationships, school structure, school-community partnerships or school leadership were significantly embedded in practice and acted as a change agent among school systems that achieve higher than expected results on their state standardized testing while controlling for their socio-economic status. Another area of insight gained from the comparison of the specific practices at the building level that were found in high-achieving schools and may not be present in schools identified as low-achieving. Individual characteristics of students impact the learning environment for all children. Educators can make informed decisions by examining what teaching methods, a school‟s structure, teacher-student relationships, school to community partnerships, and what school leadership aspects are common among schools identified as high-achieving. If the identification within these five areas showed a significant relationship for improved student performance for high-achieving schools, the classroom teacher and building administration may use the results as a guide for student improvement. The study used a 50-question survey divided into five constructs. The data showed significant differences in implementation between the high-achieving and low-achieving schools in four of the five constructs. The four constructs that were significantly higher in level of implementation as compared to low-achieving schools were teaching methods, teacher-student relationships, school-community partnerships and school leadership. Of the four constructs showing significance, teacher-student relationships showed the highest amount of variance for high-achieving schools as compared to low-achieving schools. School structure did not show statistically significant differences in variance for high-achieving schools. Interesting findings of differences between high-achieving schools and low-achieving schools were noted in the instructional methods construct for ensuring proficiency in reading and math, frequently assessing reading levels for all students, linking instruction to learning benchmarks, and implementing flexible skill grouping. Differences were also noted for high-achieving schools for facilitating two-way home/school communication, creating partnerships with parents and families and offering career exploration as part of the curriculum.