Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis
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Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis

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Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: ...

Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis

PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU, The Texas A&M University System

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    Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis Dr. Elias Alex Torrez, Dissertation PPt. - The Impact of Smaller Learning Communities on Closing the Achievement Gaps among Student Population Groups in Texas High Schools - Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis Presentation Transcript

    • 1
      The Impact of Smaller Learning
      Communities on Closing the
      Achievement Gaps among Student
      Population Groups in Texas High Schools
      A Dissertation
      by
      Alex Torrez
      Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
      PhD Program in Educational Leadership
    • 2
      Committee Members
      William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
      Dissertation Chair
      -----------------------------------------------
      Carl Gardiner, EdD
      Patricia Hoffman-Miller, PhD
      Solomon Osho, PhD
    • 3
      Dissertation Defense Format
      I. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
      II. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
      III. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
      IV. METHOD
      V. REVIEW OF LITERATURE
      VI. FINDINGS
      VI. RECOMMENDATIONS
    • 4
      Conceptual Framework
      Student Academic Achievement Gaps
      19th- 20th Century Traditional Educational Model
      21st Century
      Educational Model
      Smaller Learning Communities
    • 5
      19th Century Classroom
    • 6
      20th Century Classroom
    • 7
      Smaller Learning Communities
      ELA/Mathematics TAKS/
      Eco. Disadvantaged
      Attendance
      Theoretical Framework4 Areas of Relevance
      ELA/Mathematics TAKS/
      Sub-Populations
      Completion Rate
    • 8
      Purpose of the Study
      The purpose of this conceptual quantitative study is
      to determine if a difference exists between the
      implementation of the career-themed smaller SLC
      design and an increase in high school students’
      academic achievement, attendance, and high school
      completion rate between populations as reported in
      the Texas Education Agency AEIS report.
    • 9
      Research Question (1)
      Is there a difference in student achievement between career-themed Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) and traditional high schools, as reported on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) for Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in ELA/Reading for ethnic subpopulations and economically disadvantaged subpopulations?
    • 10
      Research Question (2)
      Is there a difference in student achievement between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported on the AEIS for TAKS in Mathematics for ethnic and economically disadvantaged subpopulations?
    • 11
      Research Question (3)
      Is there a difference in student attendance between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported in the AEIS?
    • 12
      Research Question (4)
      Is there a difference in student completion rates between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported in the AEIS?
    • 13
      Educational Leaders
      What factors are driving Transformation?
    • 14
      The Achievement GAP
      • In the 2009 Comprehensive report on Texas public schools, TEA (2009) stated that:
      “In the 2008-09 school year, 48 percent (2,292,574) of the 4,749,571 public school students in Texas were identified as at risk of dropping out of school, the same percentage as in the previous year. On the 2009 TAKS assessments, students not at risk out-performed at-risk students at all grade levels and on all subjects tested.” (p. viii)
    • 15
      Hispanic, African American, Economically Disadvantaged
      Fryer and Levitt (2004) noted, “on average, black students typically score one standard deviation below white students on standardized tests – roughly the difference in performance between the average 4th grader and the average 8th grader” (p. 64).
    • 16
      Percent of Texas Population by Age Groupand Ethnicity, 2000
    • 17
      Percent of Texas Population by Age Groupand Ethnicity, 2040*
    • 18
      Changing Ethnicity
      Lopez (2006) said,
      “By 2050 the Anglo population is projected to be near 211 million people, the black population 61 million people, the Latino population 103 million people, and the Asian population nearly 33 million people. These changes represent only a 7.4 % increase for non-Latino Anglos, compared to 71.3 % growth for Blacks, 188 % growth for Latinos, and 212.9 % growth for the Asian population.” (p.5)
    • 19
      Economic Impact
      • Among minority students, the problem is even more severe with nearly 50 percent of African American and Hispanic students not completing high school on time (America's Promise Alliance, 2009).
      • The achievement gap is not closing fast enough to ensure improved living and earning opportunities for these sub-populations. According to Zhao (2009, p. 13), “these gaps almost certainly put the minorities at a disadvantage for securing high-income jobs in the future.”
    • 20
      21st Century Skills
      The complexities resulting from a global economy and an evolving workforce magnify the importance of not just graduating students but ensuring that they are well equipped with the 21st century skills they are going to need to succeed.
    • 21
      Null Hypotheses
      H01- There is no statistically significant difference in student achievement between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported on the AEIS for TAKS in ELA/Reading for ethnic and economically disadvantaged subpopulations.
    • 22
      Null Hypotheses
      H02- There is no statistically significant difference in student achievement between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported on the AEIS for TAKS Mathematics for ethnic and economically disadvantaged subpopulation.
    • 23
      Null Hypotheses
      H03 - There is no statistically significant difference in student attendance between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported in the AEIS.
    • 24
      Null Hypotheses
      H04 - There is no statistically significant difference in student dropout/completion between career-themed SLCs and traditional high schools, as reported in the AEIS.
    • 25
      Method
      • The independent variable identified in the study is the cohort of schools implementing the SLC design and their paired counterpart traditional high schools.
      • Dependent Variable – Student achievement based on change in Mathematics and Reading/English Language Arts TAKS scores, completion rate, attendance.
    • 26
      Method
      Subjects of the Study
      (1). 21 Texas public high schools that have implemented smaller learning communities with career academies
      (2). 21 Texas public traditional high schools
      (3). Grades 9 through 12
      (4). Total student enrollment minimum of 1500 students
    • 27
      Method
      Step 1:
      • Researched and Selected Career
      Academy SLCs
      • Department of Education Smaller
      Learning Communities Program
      • Texas High School Project
    • 28
      Method
      • Texas schools that attended the 2010 Smaller Learning Communities National Conference: From Structure to Instruction conference at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas obtained from Education Northwest
      • The National Career Academy Coalition
      • Extensive internet search
    • 29
      Method
      Step 2:
      Downloaded the AEIS report from the TEA website from the 21 career themed SLC schools selected.
      Step 3:
      A convenience sample of 21 traditional schools was selected from the TEA assigned school cohort. The schools were selected based on the TEA cohort school that is most similar in size, ethnic subpopulations (African American, Hispanic, and White), and economically disadvantaged.
    • 30
      Method
      Step 4:
      • Collected the AEIS data
      Step 5:
      • Disaggregated the data by ethnic and economically disadvantaged
      • ELA scores
      • Mathematics scores
      • Attendance
      • Completion
    • 31
      Method
      Step 6:
      SPSS was utilized to disaggregate and analyze data
      Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
      Step 7:
      Interpreted the results of the statistical procedure
    • 32
      Career Theme Academies
      • The academies are designed to address the broad spectrum of student interest and career possibilities and provide transferable skills. The goals of the Academies are to open a student's mind to relevancy of academic courses and to show how high standards relate to career success.
      • In addition to the essential academic elements, students will develop knowledge regarding careers where they may best utilize their talents and aptitudes.
    • 33
      Career Theme Academies
      • Academy of Business, Marketing & Finance
      • Academy of Consumer Science & Education
      • Academy of Fine Arts, Communications & Humanities
      • Academy of Government, Law & Criminal Justice
      • Academy of Health Science
      • Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
      • Academy of Veterinary & Agricultural Science
    • 34
      Review of Literature
      • Alliance for Excellence in Education
      • America's Promise Alliance
      Among minority students, the problem is even more severe with nearly 50 percent of African American and Hispanic students not completing high school on time (America's Promise Alliance, 2009).
    • 35
      Review of Literature
      • Bill & Melinda Gates
      “It has been estimated that between 53% and 55% of minority students nationwide are not completing high school in the four-year format” (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2003, p. 2).
      • Bill Daggett, International Center for Education
      • Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
    • 36
      Review of Literature
      • Partnership for 21st Century Skills
      1. Competencies needed to succeed in the current economy and prepare for the changing world as a wage earner and citizen (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2004).
      2.Wolfe (2007) explained, "In virtually any occupation, learning is part
      of the job. Gone are the days when employees learned to master a
      single task and then spent the next 40 years repeating that task” (p. 40).
      • U.S. Department of Education
    • 37
      Review of Literature
      Schlechty, P. (2009). Leading for learning:
      How to transform schools into learning
      organizations (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA:
      Jossey Bass Publications.
      • “Transformation by necessity includes altering the beliefs, values, and meanings – the culture – in which programs are embedded, as well as changing the current system of rules, roles, and relationships – social structure – so that the innovations needed will be supported.” (p. 3)
    • 38
      Review of Literature
      Cotton, K. (2001). New small learning
      communities: Findings from recent literature.
      (ERIC No. ED459539). Portland,
      OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.
      1. Self-determination
      2. Identity
      3. Personalization
      4. Support for Teaching
      5. Functional
    • 39
      Review of Literature
      Daniels, D., Bizar, M., & Zemelman, S. (2001). Rethinking high schools: Best practice in teaching, learning, and leadership. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, A division of Reed Elsevier.
      • “Research has been rapidly accumulating that, as far as high schools are concerned, size does matter – and smaller is better” (Daniels, Bizar, & Zemelman, 2001, p. 27).
    • 40
      Review of Literature
      Sammon, G. (2008). Creating and sustaining smaller learning: Strategies and tools for transforming high schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
      • Noted that SLCs, when done well and comprehensively, build in the rigor, relevance, and relationships that lead to the all-important results we seek in school improvement.
    • 41
      Review of Literature
      Schargel, F., & Smink, J. (2001). Strategies to
      help solve our school dropout problem.
      Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
      • Strong leaders know that decreasing the dropout out rate“requires fundamental changes in curriculum design process, work-flow design, and staff training; it demands creative technology use and the development of partnerships with key stakeholders” (Schargel & Smink, 2001, p. 10).
    • 42
      Review of Literature
      Klimek, K., Ritzenhein, E., & Sullivan, K.
      (2008). Generative leadership: Shaping new
      futures for today’s schools. Thousand Oaks,
      CA: Corwin Press.
      • “Generative leaders see their school as a dynamic system that is being co-created through the interactions of all its participants internally and with the outside environment. They emphasize systems thinking consistently. They question assumptions and presumed limits of an issue that are embedded in the prevailing mental models.” (Klimek, Ritzenhein, & Sullivan, 2008, p. 55)
    • 43
      Transformation
      Schlechty (2009) states:
      • “Make no mistake, transformation is not as simple as installing a new program, a new process or new procedure. Unlike efforts to improve the operation of existing systems, transformation requires more than changes in what people do; it requires changes in what they think and what they feel about what they do.” (p. 210)
    • 44
      Smaller Learning Communities
      Oxley (2006) states:
      • “The central feature of a high-functioning SLC (Small Learning Community) is an interdisciplinary team (or teams) of teachers who work closely together with a group of students they share in common for instruction. Traditional schools organize teachers around subject areas or departments.” (p. 22)
    • 45
      Table 5ELA/Reading Pass Rates between Selected SLC and Non-SLC High Schools
      *Degrees of freedom (df = N-1) vary as a result of case exclusions due to AEIS practice of not reporting subpopulations unrepresented on a particular campus.
      **No statistically significant differences were found within the AEIS reported ELA/Reading Rates between selected SLC high school campuses and non-SLC high schools for any subpopulation of interest, African-American, Hispanic, White, or Economically Disadvantages at the p <.05 criterion value.
    • 46
      Table 9 Attendance Rates between Selected SLC and Non-SLC High Schools
      * Degrees of freedom (df = N-1) vary as a result of case exclusions due to AEIS practice of not reporting subpopulations unrepresented on a particular campus.
      ** No statistically significant differences were found within the AEIS reported Attendance Rates between selected SLC high school campuses and non-SLC high schools nor were differences found between African-American, Hispanic, White, or Economically Disadvantages subpopulations at these campuses at the p <.05 criterion value.
    • 47
      Table 10Completion Rates between Selected SLC and Non-SLC High Schools
      *Degrees of freedom (df = N-1) vary as a result of case exclusions due to AEIS practice of not reporting subpopulations unrepresented or underrepresented within a particular campus.
      **No statistically significant differences were found within the AEIS reported Completion Rates between selected SLC high school campuses and non-SLC high schools for any subpopulation at these campuses at the p <.05 criterion value.
    • 48
      Table 6ELA/Reading Pass Rates for all Selected SLC and Non-SLC High Schools
      * Degrees of freedom (df = N-1) vary as a result of case exclusions due to AEIS practice of not reporting subpopulations unrepresented on a particular campus.
      **Statistically significant differences were found within the AEIS reported in Reading/ ELA for all selected SLC high school campuses and non-SLC high schools for the subpopulation of interest, African-American, Hispanic, White, or Economically Disadvantages at the p <.05 criterion value.
    • 49
      Table 8Mathematics Pass Rates for all Selected SLC and Non-SLC High Schools
      * Degrees of freedom (df = N-1) vary as a result of case exclusions due to AEIS practice of not reporting subpopulations unrepresented on a particular campus.
      **Statistically significant differences were found within the AEIS reported in Mathematics for all selected SLC high school campuses and non-SLC high schools for the subpopulation of interest, African-American, Hispanic, White, or Economically Disadvantages at the p <.05 criterion value.
    • 50
      Recommendations
      1. The review of literature, findings for each question of
      the study, and their subsequent conclusions provide
      the basis for the following recommendations.
      2. School districts must select innovative and contemporary leaders who are prepared to initiate change in the 21st century.
      3. Educational leaders should implement disruptive transformation designs in an effort to close the achievement gaps of subpopulations.
    • 51
      Recommendations
      4.Educational leaders must support the selected design for 7 to 10 years to create authentic and systemic transformation.
      5. Educational leaders must use effective communication to ensure the alignment and success of professional development.
    • 52
      Recommendations for Further Research
      1. A qualitative study could be conducted of
      SLCs and their relationship to student performance.
      2. A national study could be conducted comparing the difference between ACT and SAT scores between SLC schools and traditional high schools.
    • 53
      Recommendations for Further Research
      3.A study could be conducted comparing the
      difference in teacher retention between SLC and
      traditional high schools.
      4.A study could be conducted on SLCs and their
      impact on student performance for African American, Hispanic, and White subpopulations for the four 11th grade required TAKS tests.
    • 54
      Recommendations for Further Research
      5. A study could be conducted in which different types
      of Smaller Learning Communities are compared on student performance.
      6.A study could be conducted comparing the difference
      in student achievement for the schools studied in this research for multiple years.
      7. A study could be conducted comparing traditional
      small schools of 900 students or less to large schools of 1500 students or more that have implemented SLCs.
    • 55
      Future Transformation
      Future transformation efforts must have a core axis overhauling the inherent shortfalls of an outdated system of delivering instruction that was designed to reflect the 19th century industry model.
    • 56
      Smaller Learning Communities
      As transformational discussions continue toward the quest for change, I believe there is still much to learn about Smaller Learning Communities and this design will stay at the forefront of this movement.
    • 57
      Committee Members & Guests
      Thank You