• Advanced Accreditation Impact Regarding the Achievement Gap between Schools of Poverty and Schools of Affluence for Secondary Education in a Five-State Region

      Langevin, Michael John
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether there are significant differences among AdvancED accredited middle and high schools that consist of those with high poverty populations and those affluent accredited schools regarding school effectiveness. This study examined whether there was a significant difference between schools of poverty and affluent schools on reading and mathematics state assessments. This study also examined which AdvancED school effectiveness accreditation standards predict student achievement success through standardized test performance in both reading and mathematics. Is there a significant difference between accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in the seven AdvancED school effectiveness accreditation standards? Is there a significant difference between AdvancED accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in state achievement scores in reading? Is there a significant difference between AdvancED accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in state achievement scores in mathematics? Are the AdvancED school accreditation standards predictors of success on student achievement through standardized test performance in the area of reading? Are the AdvancED school accreditation standards predictors of success on student achievement through standardized test performance in the area of mathematics? Based on the findings, this study determined schools of poverty were being rated significantly lower than schools of poverty in the following standards: governance and leadership, teaching and learning, resources and support programs, as well as stakeholder communication and relationships. Schools of poverty that enter the accreditation process still lag behind accredited schools of affluence, but a significant difference was determined when the accredited schools of poverty were compared to non-accredited schools of poverty. When school effectiveness accreditation scores for each standard were examined a relationship was significant between how affluent schools were scored in documenting and using results, as well as stakeholder communication and relationships and their success on standardized tests in reading and mathematics. When school effectiveness accreditation scores for each standard within schools of poverty a significant relationship between the following standards was determined in regard to standardized testing for reading and mathematics: teaching and learning, documenting and using results, as well as resources and support programs. A negative relationship was determined for schools of poverty between the test results in reading and mathematics and their rating on the commitment to continuous improvement standard.
    • Examining the Decision Making Process of a Literacy Coach for Literacy Implementation in a Secondary School Setting

      Wilson, Sandra J.
      The purpose of this study was to understand the role and responsibilities in the decision making strategies and actions of a literacy coach while implementing literacy practices within secondary school setting. The influence of these decisions upon instructional practice within the school setting through professional development was also explored. The qualitative study utilized a case study theory methodology in the process of data collection and analysis. Purposeful sampling was used to select four secondary schools defined as post-primary grade, including middle school that was currently implementing a coaching model with active literacy coaches. Data was gathered through on-site, semi-structured one-on-one interviews conducted in the school setting where the literacy coach and corresponding teacher worked. Teachers and coaches responded to a series of four questions that explored the coach’s roles and responsibilities impacting student learning at the school level, literacy coaching decisions made focusing on literacy practices at the school setting, how decisions are enacted, and the influence decisions had on school staff’s instructional practices regarding whether they impeded or enabled the practices. Field observations were conducted and examination of school demographic and achievement data were reviewed for each site. As a result of the study, the researcher developed ten themes from the secondary school settings: data collection and analysis is utilized to inform instruction, training provided by coaches gives teachers new knowledge to help struggling readers, coaching techniques enhance teacher responsiveness and student engagement, principal support provides a positive coaching environment, collaborative atmosphere accelerates coaching ability to develop and improve literacy practices, trust and relationships with coach building foundation for professional growth, district level decisions impact schools, communication maintains consistency for all stakeholders, coaching decisions enable purposeful instructional practices, coaching decisions may impede instructional practices in the school setting.
    • Students' College Preparation Level Based on Quality Factors of the High School Attended

      Richmond, Lori M.
      The present qualitative study examined the views and perspectives of five Executive Directors of Admissions of Midwestern colleges and universities to seek data on high school students‟ college preparation level based on the quality factors of the high school they attended. Interviews were conducted using multiple open-ended questions on various aspects of high school characteristics that had potential to impact college admissions and college success. Themes emerged that encompassed high school size, high school offerings, and factors of high school attended. All high schools were not viewed as providing neither equal opportunity nor adequate educational opportunities for all students sufficient enough for them to be admitted to a four-year college or university and/or to successfully graduate from college. Emerged themes of significance included larger high schools being more effective than smaller high schools; Advanced Placement courses being more effective than dual-credit classes; and the rigor of high school curriculum being unequal amongst schools. Each of these themes is identified in detail with examples, experiential stories, and views by the participants. School leaders can use this data as a piece in their continual search to further student success in high schools and beyond.
    • 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.