Factors Influencing Greatness in Economically-Challenged Minority Schools Presented to the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education Prairie View A & M University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Presented by Margaret Curette Patton Dissertation Committee William Allan Kritsonis, Chair Camille Gibson, PhD., Member David E. Herrington, PhD., Member Douglas Hermond, PhD., Member June 2008
The purpose of the research is to explore the universal distinguishing factors that exist among high achieving economically challenged minority (ECM) schools compared to similar acceptable performing schools in the state of Texas.
Problem Statement Academic scores of minority groups, namely African and Hispanics, continue to fall well below Caucasian students . The gap between economically-challenged populations of students and their more affluent counterparts continue to exist. Texas has not been able to eliminate the gaps between minority students and other more affluent sub-groups. 11 th Grade TAKS Scores 5 th Grade TAKS Scores March 2006 March 2007 March 2006 March 2007
The education system has the distinct opportunity to significantly improve the accessibility and quality of education for its entire people and to enrich their future. The findings of this study can accelerate this process.
A small number of years of data were used for the study (Post-TAKS years).
The sample was selected based on the final accountability rating rather than specific indicators like attendance, drop-out rate, and subgroup test scores.
The final sample of schools was selected from the same educational Region in Texas. The critical analysis revealed that there were a sufficient number of high-performing feeder groups in Region 4 to provide ample data to answer the research questions. The other two regions that were included in the selection process did not have as many feeder groups from which to choose.
Comparison schools : Schools that are similar in demographic data: percentage of economically disadvantaged and minority populations; school size; and campus location, but different in academic achievement scores. For example, “matched pairs” was the terminology used in the Arizona Study – schools that are alike in most ways, yet different in the performance measurement that is of interest (Waits, et al., 2006).
Economically-challenged student : A student who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program/free/reduced-price school lunch: (a) eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Program; (b) from a family with annual income at or below the federal poverty line (e.g. annual income for a family of three is less than $22,880); (c) eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or other public assistance; and (d) eligible for benefits under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (McMillion & Roska, 2007).
Minority school status : A measure of the level of historically disadvantaged minority student groups being served in a school. Low minority schools have less than 5% disadvantaged minority students. Medium minority schools have 5 to 50% disadvantaged minority students. High minority schools have over 50% disadvantaged minority students (Shettle, et al., 2005).
Conceptual Framework Good to Great ™ – Jim Collins Visit www.jimcollins.com to take the Good to Great™ survey. Input Principles Stage 1: Disciplined People Level 5 Leadership First Who, Then What Stage 2: Disciplined Thought Confront the Brutal Facts The Hedgehog Concept Stage 3: Discipline Action Culture of Discipline Technology Accelerators Output Results Delivers Superior Performance relative to its mission Makes a Distinctive Impact on the communities it touches Achieves Lasting Endurance beyond any leader, idea or setback
Conceptual Framework Good to Great ™ – Jim Collins
Level 5 Leaders are self-effacing, quiet, reserved, and even shy. These leaders are a blend of personal humility and professional will.
The great companies made sure to hire the right people for the right positions (First Who then What) before setting a vision or creating the strategy of how to reach the company’s goal.
Conceptual Framework Good to Great ™ – Jim Collins
Each good to great company maintained unwavering faith that they would prevail in the end, no matter the difficulties, while always confronting the brutal facts of its current reality.
The Hedgehog Concept reflects a deep understanding of those things that individuals are deeply passionate about, what they can be the best in the world at, and what drives their economic engine.
Conceptual Framework Good to Great ™ – Jim Collins Disciplined Action In the culture of discipline , disciplined people with discipline thought combined with an ethic of entrepreneurship yields great performance. Technology accelerators were found to have never been a primary role in achieving excellence, but when carefully selected assisted in transforming companies.
Making Literature Connections What does Good to Great ™ have to do with Economically-Challenged Minority Schools? Collins’ (2001) findings - there was no single defining action, innovation, or miracle that elevated companies to greatness Reeves (2007) also found that school improvement in high performing ECM schools “was not the result of a short burst of energy by a few people who soon burned out, but rather the result of steady, sustained efforts” (p. 87). Read the entire article at: http://www.newburghschools.org/newburgh/subpages/cni/articles/November_2007_How_Do_You_Sustain_Excellence.pdf
Making Literature Connections What does Good to Great ™ have to do with Economically-Challenged Minority Schools? In the Beat the Odds Study (2006), there were no easy answers or magic bullets, instead the answer came with the school selecting the most appropriate programs and actions for their particular population and sticking with it. “What performance requires is hard, focused, purposeful work. If diligence, persistence and commitment are lacking, ingenuity and a good program are wasted. It is focus and hard work that matter most.” For more information visit the Beat the Odds Institute: http://www.beattheoddsinstitute.org/index.php
Making Literature Connections What does Good to Great ™ have to do with Economically-Challenged Minority Schools? The literature on high-performing ECM schools reveals… INPUT FACTORS Disciplined People Collaborative leadership Purpose-driven Staff Disciplined Thought Address Student Need Clear vision Curriculum Focus Data Driven High Expectations/No Excuses Streamlined Activities Discipline Action Assessment for improvement Distributed Accountability Learning Communities OUTPUT RESULTS High levels of proficiency among students Continued gains in achievement; Effective and enduring practices and policies are widespread. 0.2% 0.7% Annual Dropout Rate 95.0% 85.0% Completion Rate I 90% 70% SDAA II All Subjects 90% 75% Social Studies 90% 75% Science 90% 75% Writing 90% 75% Math 90% 75% Reading/ELA TAKS (Met Standard) Exemplary Recognized Output Results in 2007 Texas Accountability Rating Terminology
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined People Level 5 Leaders “ The research evidence consistently demonstrates that the quality of leadership determines the motivation of teachers and the quality of teaching in the classroom.” (Harris, et. al., 2006, p. 121) See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined People First Who Then What “ If you want to improve a school system, before you change the rules, look first to the ways that people think and interact together.” (Senge, 2000, p. 19) “ Effective hiring goes beyond selecting teachers: Savvy principals will employ secretaries, custodians, food service personnel, para-educators, and teacher aides who embrace the overall mission of the school.” (Harris, 2006, p. 10) Another principal suggested, “Hire wisely. Use an interview team, and don’t second-guess your gut. Keep looking until you are satisfied.” (Harris, 2006 , p.3) See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined Thought Confronting the brutal facts “ Focus on the needs of the individual child as they look at achievement per classroom, per teacher, per student. This approach unmasks poor performance and forces everyone at the school to take responsibility for student performance.” (Waits, 2006, p. 6). See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined Thought Hedgehog Concept Trimble (2002) found that high performing, high poverty schools have built-in criteria for making decisions. These procedures are crucial when numerous issues attempt to cause distractions that could take the campus off track from their goals. See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined Action Culture of discipline “ In the ‘built to suit’ paradigm, high achieving schools went beyond the big picture that standards posed to focusing on the individual performance of each child. In essence, what was present was a vital cycle of instruction, assessment, and intervention.” (Waits, 2006, p. 7) See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
More of What the Literature Says Good to Great ™ – Education Sector Disciplined Action Technology accelerators The Prichard Report (2005) surprisingly noted that the eight high-performing schools in their study did not perform well on the use of technology. The findings further suggested that technology may not be a necessary component of attaining success. Effective use of technology may enhance what successful schools are already doing, but it is not a crucial ingredient. See handout for thorough literary synthesis on high performing ECM schools.
Schools selected for the study met the following sampling criteria…
Received an Exemplary or Recognized rating for at least two of the four years from 2004-2007 . Each middle school had to be associated with an elementary school that received a rating of Recognized or Exemplary within the same years.
Consisted of at least a 50% economically disadvantaged population;
Consisted of at least a 50% minority (African American and Hispanic) population.
Considered a small, medium or large campus; and
Located in or near one of the three largest urban areas in Texas – Houston , San Antonio, or Dallas/Fort Worth.
Received an Acceptable rating under the accountability rating system for Texas public schools from 2004-2007.
Are associated with an elementary school with an Acceptable rating from 2004-2007.
Met criteria numbers 2-5 on the previous slide.
Why these groups? 2006 Accountability State Summary Report – Texas Education Agency
Sample A A A A 77.7 71.1 958 CMID4/5 A A A A 80.7 81.9 839 CELEM4/5 District 4 Comparison R R A R 85.3 79.2 878 MID5 A R A R 90.2 90.5 591 ELEM5 District 4 A R R R 95.1 92.2 841 MID4 E R R R 88.9 83 613 ELEM4 District 4 High Performing A A A A 96.4 79.9 971 CMID3 A A A A 97.6 87.3 780 Cfifth-Sixth3 A A A A 98.2 92.4 799 CELEM3 District 3 Comparison R R R R 96 86.5 971 MID3 R A A R 95.9 90.8 949 Fifth-Sixth3 E E E E 98 88.8 891 ELEM3 District 3 High Performing A A A A 98.8 61.7 1090 CMID1/2 A A A A 96.5 73.7 696 CELEM1 District 2 Comparison A R A R 93.1 68.3 938 MID1 R R A R 83.7 67.9 1299 MID2 R R R R 88.5 68.9 1112 Sixth -1 E E E E 96.2 81.3 653 ELEM1 District 1 High Performing 2007 2006 2005 2004 Min. Econ Dis. Total School
What do you see as the top five factors that contributed to or caused the upward shift in performance during the years 2004-2007 (years since TAKS)?
Now let’s return to those five factors, and I’d like you to allocate a total of 100 points to those factors, according to their overall importance to school improvement (total across all five factors equals 100 points).
Could you please elaborate on the top two or three factors? Can you give me specific examples that illustrate the factor?
Did the school make a conscious decision to initiate a major change or transition during this time frame?
Coding matrix contains key themes from the Good to Great Model
Responses will be color coded based on categories.
Coding Category 1 ( red ) – Leadership: Who are the leaders? What are the characteristics of the leaders? Is leadership distributed to others?
Coding Category 2 ( blue ) – Recruiting and Retaining Highly Qualified: What are the hiring practices? Is there collaboration before hiring? What types of qualities are looked for in staff? Is there autonomy in hiring?
Data Analysis APPENDIX E - CODING MATRIX – HIGH-PERFORMING SCHOOLS Disciplined People Category 2: Recruiting and Retaining Staff Category 1: Leadership Disciplined People Significant Quotes Freq. Responses
Displaying the Findings - Chart APPENDIX F – Checklist Matrix: Predictors of Recognized or Exemplary ECM Schools Disciplined People First Who Then What Level 5 Leadership Acceptable Campus Exemplary/Recognized Campus Category
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Gibson, C. (2002). Being real: The student-teacher relationship and African American male delinquency. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.
Harris, S. (2006). Best practices of award winning secondary school principals. Thousands Oak, CA: Corwin Press and National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Kannapel, P., & Clements, S. (with Taylor, D., & Hibpshman, T.) (2005). Inside the black box of high-performing high-poverty schools. Lexington, KY: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Reeves, D. (2007). How do you sustain excellence? Educational Leadership, 65 (3), 86-87.
Senge, P. (2000). Schools that learn: a fifth discipline fieldbook for educators, parents, and everyone who cares about education. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Texas Education Agency. (2007). Texas assessment of knowledge & skills performance report.. Austin, TX: Agency Division of Performance Reporting-Academic Excellence Indicator System. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/index.html.
Trimble, S. (2002). Common elements of high performing, high poverty middle schools. Middle School Journal, 33(4) , 1-13.
Waits, M. J., Campbell, H. E., Gau, R., Jacobs, E., Rex, T., & Hess, R. K. (2006). Why some schools with Latino children beat the odds…and others don’t. Tempe, AZ: Morrison Institute for Public Policy School of Public Affairs, College of Public Programs Arizona State University and Phoenix, AZ: Center for the Future of Arizona.