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It's about more than money

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Respondents in a 2017 Gallup poll said they have little confidence in the public schools today with only 36 percent having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the schools. While the rising tide of mediocrity so often mentioned in educational research pushes for more funding— smaller class sizes and higher teacher salaries, this research and that of others shows money may not be the leading factor in success in a scholastic media environment. When 310 of the most successful scholastic broadcast, yearbook, newspaper and online programs were examined, the qualifications of the teachers, the location of the school and the racial diversity of the school were more likely to predict success than per pupil revenues or low student/teacher ratios.

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It's about more than money

  1. 1. A presentation for SWECJMC Southwest Education Council for Journalism & Mass Communication 2018 | Denver, Colorado by Bradley Wilson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Midwestern State University Wichita Falls,Texas It’s About More Than Money.Adviser qualifications, racial makeup of staff 
 and school location predict scholastic media success
  2. 2. Respondents in a 2017 Gallup poll said they have little confidence in the public schools today with only 36 percent having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the schools. While the rising tide of mediocrity so often mentioned in educational research pushes for more funding— smaller class sizes and higher teacher salaries, this research and that of others shows money may not be the leading factor in success in a scholastic media environment. When 310 of the most successful scholastic broadcast, yearbook, newspaper and online programs were examined, the qualifications of the teachers, the location of the school and the racial diversity of the school were more likely to predict success than per pupil revenues or low student/teacher ratios. Abstract
  3. 3. Introduction “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” A Nation at Risk, 1983
  4. 4. Introduction Education is not a fundamental right. San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973) Texan’s are still ‘broadly negative’ on the state’s handling of public education. University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll, 2018
  5. 5. Work environment Teachers quit for several reasons, but the one you’d expect to be at the top of the list — salary — typically isn’t. National Center for Education Statistics, 2017 administrative support workplace conditions lack of influence within the school system classroom intrusion inadequate time
  6. 6. It’s not the money There is a lack of consistent evidence on whether education expenditures are related to achievement. Lips, Watkins, Fleming, 2008
  7. 7. Is white privilege 
 a real thing? In virtually every aspect of life — from the risk of racist violence, to getting a job, to find a place to live, to the simple act of hailing a cab the black person will face struggles and threats that the white person will not. Jensen, 2005
  8. 8. Why study awards? “[T]he motivation of students themselves is critical to the educational process.” Hanushek, 1994 “[P]eople tend to over invest resources whenever ‘winning against others’ is involved because winning confers status.” Huberman, Loch and Önçüler, 2005
  9. 9. • H1 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will not be significantly different from schools with JEA certified teachers. • H2 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will be more affluent. • H3 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will have lower student/teacher ratios. • H4 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will have more white students and be less racially diverse than average. • H5 More urban schools will have award-winning scholastic media programs than rural schools. Hypotheses
  10. 10. Methodology JEA membership by adviser | 2,271 members in spring of 2015 NSPA membership by school | 2,215 members in 2014-2015 CSPA eligible schools | 1,186 newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and digital publications in 2014-2015 180 unique schools that won CSPA top awards or NSPA top awards. 589 advisers with JEA teacher certification. Control group: 180 “regular” schools selected randomly by ZIP code
  11. 11. The control group 180 “regular” schools Randomly selected by ZIP code Special education schools, juvenile detention schools, hospital and homebound schools and alternative schools were not included in the control group
  12. 12. Findings Award-winning group Control group Pacemaker 262 (100%) 3 (1.7%) Pacemaker AND Crown 59 (22.5%) 1 (1.1%) NATIONAL AWARDS
  13. 13. Findings JEA CERTIFICATION Award-winning group Control group Sig. of difference None 83 174 CJE 32 4 MJE 25 2 Certified 57 (40.7 %) 6 (3.3 %) p<0.001 Total 140 unique advisers 180 advisers
  14. 14. Findings SCHOOL REVENUE Award-winning group Control group Sig. of difference Revenue per student $12,740.85 $14,294.89 p<0.05 Population 1,828.26 984.69 p<0.001 Student/teacher ratio 17.74 15.68 p<0.001 Free lunch eligible 355.09 333.73 —
  15. 15. Findings “The system is rigged for the rich. I am sure that none of the winning students or schools would consider themselves rich, but if they have constant electricity, a working stove in the kitchen and heat they have more than many of my students.” Thomas Kaup, 2015
  16. 16. Findings RACE Award-winning group Control group White 1,073.3 526.9 Non-white 630.2 439.5 Sig. of difference p<0.001 Publications in award-winning programs tend to be less diverse than schools in the control group. Specifically, back students were under-represented and Asian students were over-represented.
  17. 17. Findings Award-winning group Control group City 32.2% 19.6% Suburban 58.9% 38.8% Town 4.0% 9.5% Rural 5.1% 31.8% LOCALE
  18. 18. • H1 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will not be significantly different from schools with JEA certified teachers. NOT PROVEN • H2 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will be more affluent. NOT PROVEN • H3 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will have lower student/ teacher ratios. NOT PROVEN • H4 Schools with award-winning scholastic media programs will have more white students and be less racially diverse than average. PROVEN • H5 More urban schools will have award-winning scholastic media programs than rural schools. PROVEN Hypotheses
  19. 19. When 310 of the most successful scholastic broadcast, yearbook, newspaper and online programs were examined, the qualifications of the teachers, the location of the school and the racial diversity of the school were more likely to predict success than per pupil revenues or low student/ teacher ratios. In one sentence
  20. 20. A picture So, let’s paint a picture of award-winning school. Schools that win the nation’s top awards in scholastic media do tend to have JEA certified advisers. High-quality teachers are the most important determinant of student learning.
  21. 21. A picture So, let’s paint a picture of award-winning school. Schools with award-winning programs tend to have a larger-than-average student/ teacher ratio. And the revenue per student is less in the award-winning group.
  22. 22. A picture So, let’s paint a picture of award-winning school. Award-winning scholastic media programs tend to be less diverse than the control group — predominately white — and exist in large, suburban schools.
  23. 23. Areas for future research • Why did award-winning programs have a larger-than- average student-teacher ratio? Maybe this gave them access to more students to produce content. • Do more successful programs make use of large, outside forms of revenue from advertising to donations? • Advisers tend to remain on the job 3-5 years. Is adviser tenure associated with award-winning programs?
  24. 24. Areas for future research • “If our schools aren’t teaching youth how to sniff out the truth 
 when so many today seem determined to give us anything but, 
 who will?” Preston Tolliver, 2018 High school journalism / media programs provide students with at least the opportunity to develop all the desirable, marketable skills and ethical standards. Jack Kennedy, 2012
  25. 25. By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D. Department of Mass Communication bradley.wilson@msutexas.edu bradleywilson08@gmail.com @bradleywilson09

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