The purpose of this paper is to examine how Robbins ES has sustained high academic performance over almost 20 years despite several changes in principals.
The paper analyzed longitudinal data based on: state-level academic and demographic data; two earlier studies of the school; and recent interviews with teachers, the principal, and parent leaders.
The analyses of these longitudinal data revealed four ongoing factors were responsible for sustained academic performance: high expectations, distributed leadership, collective responsibility for student performance, and data-based decision making. However, challenges that persistently confront Robbins staff include limited resources (e.g. technology and library materials), high mobility rate, and some cases of unsupportive parents.
This study adds to understanding how high-need urban schools can sustain high academic performance in spite of changes in principals, shifting community demographics, and high student mobility.
Okilwa, N. and Barnett, B. (2017), "Sustaining school improvement in a high-need school: Longitudinal analysis of Robbins Elementary School (USA) from 1993 to 2015", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 55 No. 3, pp. 297-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-03-2016-0034
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