Award Date

8-1-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Sherri Strawser

Second Committee Member

Susan Miller

Third Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Fourth Committee Member

Cyndi Giorgis

Number of Pages

137

Abstract

Since the middle of the last century, student education in the U.S. public school systems has been deemed inadequate. Critics developed measures in the form of standardized testing to measure student progress in an attempt to help facilitate reforms. In the last thirty years, the federal government has played an increasing role in school reform efforts in the form of laws and unfunded mandates. School districts have attempted to respond to federal pressure by attempting radical changes from replacing all school administration and staff to a complete curriculum overhaul. While school reform efforts have been widely documented by various groups, no actual quantitative studies have been conducted on the dynamics that occur in successful school turnarounds. There is little research concerning specific programs within the context of turnaround schools that contribute to increased student achievement and the small body of research that does exist in more anecdotal accounts. The literature on the turnaround school improvement process has reported anecdotal evidence and highlighted a few successful schools, but has not provided data on student achievement following implementation of a turnaround program.

Given the lack of specific programs available for high school administrators to utilize, it has been necessary for leadership to use strategies reported to be effective, but not necessarily supported by research that demonstrates effectiveness with student populations involved in the turnaround program. In addition, little information exists about demographic factors that may be related to students' successes or failures in the high school turnaround process. In a high school, the SIG program requires that student academic proficiency be tracked by student scores in reading and math on a state high school proficiency exam. The academic proficiency of students must be reported as the percentage of all students who passed, as well as percentages of students in specific subgroups (i.e., ethnicity, students with disabilities, and students with limited proficiency in English).

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on students' high school proficiency exam scores in math and reading in the initial two years of implementation of a Turnaround Intervention Package (TIP). The TIP incorporated common formative student assessments and teachers' use of student assessment data in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to inform and differentiate instructional practices. The underlying question was whether the use of this package of interventions would contribute to improved student achievement in the critical areas of math and reading as measured by state high school proficiency scores. It was hypothesized that the use of the

Keywords

Academic achievement; Education and state; Educational change; High schools; School improvement programs

Disciplines

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership

Language

English


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