Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Steven Norfleet, Dissertation Proposal PPT.
A STUDY OF EFFECTIVESCHOOLS PRACTICESIMPORTANT TO THEACHIEVEMENT OF THEAFRICAN AMERICAN LEARNERA Proposal PresentationbySteven NorfleetOctober 2008
Dissertation CommitteeMembersWilliam Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D.(Dissertation Chair)David E. Herrington, Ph.D.(Member)Ronald Howard, Ph.D.(Member)Wanda Johnson, Ph.D.(Member)
Research OutlineI. IntroductionII. Background of the ProblemIII. Statement of the ProblemIV. Purpose of the StudyV. Research QuestionsVI. Null HypothesesVII. Significance of the StudyVIII. Review of LiteratureIX. Method of Procedure
INTRODUCTION Public schools in the United States continue tostruggle with the issue of underachievement ofthe African American learner relative to theirWhite peers (Walker, 2006). Educators and researchers alike haveattempted to implement many solutions to closethe achievement gap. Using primarily top-downapproaches, solutions have ranged fromimproving teacher and administrator qualities,to improving the curriculum, to placing moreemphasis on student outcome data, toincreasing the rigor in core subjects.
INTRODUCTION Marzano (2003) asserts, “Research in the last35 years demonstrates that effective schoolscan have a profound impact on studentachievement” (p. 8) Since the first National Assessment ofEducational Progress (NAEP) report card wasissued in 1969, African American achievementscores in reading, mathematics, and scienceamong 9, 13, and 17 year olds have averagedsome 30 points below their White peers.
INTRODUCTION Alfred Rovai, Louis Gallien Jr. and Helen Stiff-Williams (2007) present the added complexityin Closing the African American AchievementGap in Higher Education that closing theachievement gap in elementary and secondaryschools has now carried over to highereducation.
INTRODUCTION Gail Thompson (2002) further remarks thatbecause of the increase in pressure on schooladministrators to meet higher federal and stateaccountability standards including all of theother responsibilities placed on schooladministrators, California school leaders areasking, “What can we do to improve theacademic performance of African Americanchildren” (p. xvii)?
INTRODUCTION Hans Luyten, Adrie Visscher, and Bob Witziers(2004) have called for studies on the why andhow of the school’s perspective in schooleffectiveness research, and particularlyfocusing on the classroom and at the campuslevel. Their research stresses that the ultimategoal of conducting effectiveness research is toidentify effective interventions.
INTRODUCTION Bob Lingard, Jim Ladwig and Allan Luke (ascited in Luyten et al., 2004) point out “theblack box of schooling needs to be openedwith more in-depth, qualitative analyses ofprocesses that actually occur in schools,which they perceive to have a potentialinfluence on school performance” (pp. 256-257).
Background of the Problem In Texas public schools, differences in achievementbetween African American students and their Whitepeers mirrors the national average. According to theTEA, TAKS (2007) passing rate for African Americanswas 55% and their White peers was 82%. Few studies have allowed African American students atthe high school level to articulate their view on theschooling practices that affect their education, and evenfewer have allowed African American freshman collegestudents to articulate their perspective on the practicesimplemented by school leaders that push the student toachieve.
Background of the Problem Bush (2002) conducted a study utilizingqualitative methods with African Americanstudents in suburban settings to analyzeschool factors that lead to their success.Student suggestions to schooladministrators were “a designated person toassist with minority student problems, moreinteraction with the principal and teachers,and get families more involved withstudents that are having trouble” (p. 83).
Background of the Problem Marzano (2000) states it well when hesays “If a school can simply identifythose variables on which it is notperforming well, it can pinpoint andreceive the information it needs toimprove student achievement” (p. 87).
Background of the Problem Cooper (2000) states “If reform-mindededucators are serious about closing theachievement gap before several decadespass in the new millennium, we mustcontinue to identify alterable factors in theschooling process that help to promoteacademic success among all students andparticularly students of color” (p. 620).
Statement of the Problem While there is an increase in thenumber of African American studentshaving success on the TexasAssessment of Knowledge and Skillsand college readiness tests in Texashigh schools, the lack of a significantimprovement may be due to thedegree of effective schools practicesimplemented by school leaders.
Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to buildhighly effective leadership practices ofschool leaders, which are influential inthe academic success of students.
Purpose of the Study Chubb and Moe (as cited in Marazno, 2003)affirm:All things being equal, a student in aneffectively organized school achieves atleast a half-year more than a student in anineffectively organized school over the lasttwo years of high school. If this differencecan be extrapolated to the normal four-yearhigh school experience, an effectivelyorganized school may increase theachievement of its studentsby more than one full year (p.8).
Conceptual FrameworkENHANCE EFFECTIVESCHOOLS PRACTICESSAFE AND ORDERLYENVIRONMENTCLIMATE OF HIGH EXPECTATIONFOR SUCCESSCLEAR AND FOCUSED MISSIONPOSITIVE HOME/SCHOOLRELATIONSFREQUENT MONITORING OFSTUDENT PROGRESSOPPORTUNITY TO LEARN, TIMEON TASKINSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
Quantitative ResearchQuestion #1 How do freshman African American studentsenrolled in a selected Historically Black Collegeand University (HBCU) rate their former highschool campus with regard to each criterion ofeffective schools identified in the “effectiveschools” literature?
Quantitative ResearchQuestion #2 Is there a relationship between the highschool characteristics of effective schoolsrated by freshman African Americanstudents enrolled in a selected HistoricallyBlack College and University (HBCU) andtheir post-secondary achievement duringtheir first semester of college inDevelopmental Education Mathematics?
Null Hypothesis H01 - There is no statistically significantrelationship between a selected HistoricallyBlack College and University (HBCU)freshman African American student ratingsof their former high school’s “effectiveschools” characteristics, and the student’sfirst semester of college achievement in aDevelopmental Education Mathematicscourse.
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #1 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using instructional leadership?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #2 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using clear and focusedmission?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #3 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using climate of highexpectations?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #4 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using safe and orderlyenvironment?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #5 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using frequent monitoring ofstudent progress?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #6 How do African American studentsreport that their high school campusstrives to improve academicachievement by promoting learningfor all using positive home-schoolrelations?
Qualitative ResearchQuestion #7 How do African American studentsreport that their former high schoolcampus strives to improve academicachievement by promoting learning forall using opportunity to learn andstudent time on task?
Significance of the Study A constant in schooling, schoolleadership, teaching and learning, andincreased success in studentachievement is the effectiveness ofthe school’s program to reach everystudent at the highest levels.
Significance of the Study “In the 1960s the US led the world in high schoolqualifications and Korea was 27th. Now Korea leads theworld and the US is 13th and falling. As recently as 1995the US was second in the world on college-levelgraduation rates; just a decade later it has slipped to14th…” (Barber, 2008). Given the history of achievement differences betweenAfrican American students and their White peers, it iscentral to improve the performance of the education teamto achieve greater success in schools. This study will seek to enhance the effective schoolspractices of the education team, by providing a stage forAfrican American students to participate and articulatetheir views on schooling practices that motivate them toachieve.
Significance of the Study Results of the study may: generate new strategies andapproaches employed by schoolleaders that could lead to improvedacademic achievement in the AfricanAmerican learner;
Significance of the Study provide college and university teachereducation programs with informationon effective schools practices thatresonate with the African Americanlearner; For policy makers, results may shedlight on funding support and programinterventions that African Americanstudents say are effective and neededwith future generations of AfricanAmerican students.
Significance of the Study The study will provide quantitative andqualitative data to school leadersindicating the impact of an effectivehigh school on the achievement ofAfrican American students that arecollege freshmen.
Review of Literature Collyn Bray Swanson (2004) examinedSafe and Orderly Climate in a study todetermine if there was a difference in theperformance of military dependent AfricanAmerican students attending a public schooland military dependent African Americanstudents attending a Department ofDefense Education Activity (DoDEA)school. Results indicated students in theDoDEA system scored slightly higher on theACT college entrance exam than did thestudents in the public education system.
Review of Literature Scheerens and Bosker (1997) identifiedeight characteristics of successful schoolsin their work entitled The Foundations ofEducational Effectiveness. Monitoring ofstudent progress was determined to be akey component to improving achievement. Robert Marzano (2003) in What Works inSchools identified five characteristics ofhighly successful schools, and stresseschallenging goals and effective feedback asmajor components to achieving highexpectations.
Review of Literature Bamburg and Andrews (1990) conductedan investigation specifically looking at therelationships of a clear and focused missionand the role of the principal as the campusinstructional leader to the academicachievement of students. Results indicatedthat the school goal “To insure academicexcellence” showed a significant differencebetween high achieving and low achievingschools.
Review of Literature Gentulucci and Muto (2007) conducted a studyinvestigating students’ perceptions of whatprincipals do to influence their academicachievement. Findings indicated principals thatvisited classrooms and interacted with studentswere more influential as instructional leadersthan those whose visits were few, short, andpassive. Students also indicated that principalsthat walked around the classroom, checked ontheir work, and provided gentle advice hadmore powerful influence on their learning thanthose sitting in the back of the classroom andobserving passively.
Review of Literature Boscardin et al. (2005) conducted a study todetermine how Opportunity To Learn (OTL)variables impact student outcomes and ifthe effects were consistent across thesubjects of English and algebraassessments. One result of the study wascontent coverage, which was defined byBoscardin as the amount of time dedicatedto key content areas, was found to beconsistently associated with studentperformance.
Review of Literature Zuelke (1982) attempted to customize amodel that school districts could use toreallocate human and material resources toenhance reading and mathematicsachievement. The study summarized thatevidence existed to suggest certain schoolrelated variables such as student time-on-task do make a difference in mathematicsand reading achievement.
Review of Literature Zavadsky (2006) examined frequentmonitoring of school progress in describingfive urban school districts that wereawarded the Broad Prize for the mostimproved school districts in the UnitedStates. One consistent finding of the BroadPrize finalist’s awards was a commitment toanalyze and share data and assessments tohelp make informed decisions that affect thestudent, the school, and the district.
Review of Literature Stewart’s (2007) study looked at 546 highschools and included 1,238 AfricanAmerican students. Students were asked onthe survey to indicate the degree to whichparents engaged in a variety of schoolactivities ranging from parent organizationmeetings to volunteering. Results revealedthe importance of the role of school leadersin improving the relationships betweenparents and the school to improveachievement of the African Americanlearner.
Method of Procedure This section will include a review of:(1) research design, (2) sample, (3)instrumentation, (4) proceduraldetails, (5) internal validity, and (6)data analysis. To advance the research proceduresthe study will employ survey,correlational, and descriptiveapproaches.
Research Design The researcher will employ quantitativeand qualitative techniques in a mixedmethod research design To meet the objectives of the researchdesign, the procedure will be: (1) collectquantitative data 1a; (2) followed bycollect qualitative data; and (3) followedby collect quantitative data 1b.
Research Design The researcher will collect quantitative datain two phases: (1)administer a survey tofreshman college students enrolled in aDevelopmental Education Mathematicscourse; and (2) collect student grades fromcollege instructors assigned to teach theDevelopmental Education Mathematicscourse at the end of the Fall Semester2008. The researcher will administer the survey ata class time of the instructor’s preference. Grades will be grouped.
Research Design In the qualitative phase, the researcher willbe the instrument for data collection. Usingfocus group interviews, the study seeks todevelop an in-depth understanding of theresearch phenomenon associated withimplementing the correlates of effectiveschools at the high school level, and theimpact on achievement. To maintain accuracy of the data theresearcher will utilize an audiotaperecorder, will write field notes, and theresearcher will keep a journal for reflections.
Subjects of the Study The population to which the study will begeneralized is African American studentsattending Texas high schools. The population sample will be drawn usingconvenience sampling techniques in thequantitative phase and purposeful sampling(homogeneous sampling) techniques in thequalitative phase.
Subjects of the Study The population sample will comprise first yearand first time freshman college students, from aselected Historically Black College andUniversity (HBCU) located in the south westpart of the United States. Sample participants will self-identify themselveson the survey as first year and first timefreshman college students, by ethnicity, gender,high school attended, year graduated, courselevel Math 0100, 0113, 0133, identificationnumber, and by instructor. There are a total 806 students in 35 sections ofDevelopmental Education Mathematicscourses, and 10 instructors.
Instrumentation(Quantitative) Correlates of Effective Schools Survey – takenfrom Reality Check database of 2000 questionsproduced by Dr. Lawrence Lezotte. Permissionhas been granted by Effective Schools ProductsLtd. to use the database. There are seven correlates with three sub-categories and nine questions that combine todescribe and operationally define eachcorrelate. The survey contains 63 question-items with 21items worded in the negative. Dr. Teresa Hughes will review the survey forcontent validity.
Instrumentation(Qualitative) Using the focus group as the unit ofanalysis, there will be three groups of tenrandomly drawn from the population sampleand invited to participate in the qualitativephase. A room will be reserved to conduct thefocus group interviews at the research sitestudent center. A focus group interview session will takeapproximately 45 minutes.
Analysis of Data The researcher will use a triangulationdesign to analyze the data fromdescriptive statistics collected fromthe survey, notes and audiotaperecordings collected from focus groupinterviews, and student fall semestergrades collected from instructors ofthe Developmental EducationMathematics course.
Analysis of Data (Quantitative)Research Question #1 Statistical MeasurementHow do freshman AfricanAmerican students enrolledin a selected HistoricallyBlack College and University(HBCU) rate their former highschool campus with regard toeach criterion of effectiveschools identified in the“effective schools” literature?Descriptive statisticsmeasures including centraltendencies, frequencydistribution, and percentageswill be used to summarizethe results of the survey.Effective Schools Ltd. willcompile the results in anarrative, tabular, andgraphical form.
Analysis of Data (Quantitative)RESEARCHQUESTION #2HYPOTHESES INDEPENDENTVARIABLESDEPENDENTVARIABLESTATISTICAL TESTIs there arelationshipbetween the highschoolcharacteristicsof effective schoolsrated by freshmanAfrican Americanstudents enrolled ina selectedHistorically BlackCollege andUniversity (HBCU)and their post-secondaryachievement duringtheir first semester ofcollege inDevelopmentalEducationMathematics ?H01 - There is nostatistically significantrelationship between aselected HistoricallyBlack College andUniversity (HBCU)freshman AfricanAmerican studentratings of their formerhigh school’s “effectiveschools”characteristics, and thestudent’s first semesterof college achievementin DevelopmentalEducationMathematics.CorrelatesofEffective SchoolsSemesterGrade inDevelopmentalEducationMathematics1. Correlationusing Pearson r2. MultipleRegressionAnalysis R²*SPSS 13.0 willbe used to runthe statistic.
Analysis of Data (Qualitative)Research Questions #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 A code and a table of contents will beassigned to each focus group interviewsession. Data will be organized by file folderand computer file, whether recorded aswritten field notes or audiotape recordings. Audiotape recordings will be transcribed usinga projection of one hour of recording time tofour hours of transcription. A text documentwill be used with spacing for questions andnotes to be written in margins. Personal reflections will be noted in themargin of the field notes and in a journal.
Analysis of Data (Qualitative)Research Questions #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Field notes, journal reflections, and audiotaperecordings will be sorted and sifted for similarphrases, relationships, themes, anddifferences. Patterns, differences, and commonalities willbe noted. Consistencies in interviews will begeneralized. Generalizations will be examined in terms ofthe body of knowledge surrounding theresearch problem and questions.
Summary The study will explore the view of theAfrican American student onincreasing achievement for futurestudents from similar backgrounds asthemselves, by focusing on theschooling practices implemented byschool leaders which influence theexperiences of the learner.
References Bush, R. (2002). Factors contributing to thesuccess of African American students insuburban settings: Students’ perspectives,Unpublished doctoral dissertation, RooseveltUniversity, Chicago, Illinois. Barber, Sir M. (2008). Neither rest nortranquility: Education and the American dreamin the 21st century. Aspen Institute, WashingtonDC: September 15, 2008. Chubb, J. & Moe, T. (1990). Politics, markets,and America’s schools. Washington, DC: TheBrookings Institute. Lezotte, L. (1997). Learning for all. Okemos, MI:Effective Schools Products, Ltd.
References Lingard, B., Ladwig, J., & Luke, A. (1998). School effectsin postmodern conditions. In R. Slee & G. Weiner (with S.Tomlinson) (Eds.), School effectiveness for whom?Challenges to the school effectiveness and schoolimprovement movements (84-100). London: FalmerPress. Luyten, H., Visscher, A., & Witziers, B. (2004). Schooleffectiveness research: From a review of the criticism torecommendations for further development. SchoolEffectiveness and School Improvement, 16(3), 249-279. Marzano, R. (2003). What works in schools: Translatingresearch into action. Alexandria, VA: Association forSupervision and Curriculum Development Publishers
References Rovai, A., Gallien Jr., L. & Stiff-Williams, H.(2007). Closing the African AmericanAchievement Gap in Higher Education. NewYork, New York: Teachers College Press,Columbia University. Thompson, G. (2002). African American teensdiscuss their schooling experiences. Westport,Connecticut: Gergin and Garvey Publishers Walker, E. (2006). Urban high school students’academic communities and their effects onmathematics success. American EducationalResearch Journal, 43(1), 43-73.