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Explores how rural communities support or constrain school‐levelprocesses which enable effective instruction to occur. Grounded in aconceptual framework of school context…
Explores how rural communities support or constrain school‐level processes which enable effective instruction to occur. Grounded in a conceptual framework of school context indicators, reviews the research and literature on rural education to describe rural community characteristics. Then utilizes analytic induction to consider how these characteristics may influence the school processes identified. The findings suggest that rural community influences are not immutable, and that communities can both constrain and enable structural and cultural aspects of schools which shape effective instruction, depending in large part on how the school mediates the community′s influences. Then offers suggestions for research and development in rural schools.
There is a vast amount of literature which identifies characteristics of effective schools and effective classrooms. This paper examines selected studies and their…
There is a vast amount of literature which identifies characteristics of effective schools and effective classrooms. This paper examines selected studies and their findings and provides an organizing framework which tries to relate these findings to one another and to the school and its environment. A number of implications for school improvement are discussed.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical comparison of two measures of school success – a value‐added assessment system and the federally‐mandated system of…
The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical comparison of two measures of school success – a value‐added assessment system and the federally‐mandated system of adequate yearly progress (AYP) – to identify highly effective urban schools in the USA and to explore the predictive relationship between evidence‐based decision‐making and school improvement.
A total of 204 urban schools with 6,684 teachers and 149,665 students in grades 1 through 10 participated in the study. Data included teacher survey and students’ standardized reading and math scores from 2002 through 2005. Analyses included factor analysis, growth modeling, and multiple logistic regression analyses.
AYP status was strongly predicted by student and school demographics rather than by organizational climate and instructional practices. In contrast, school growth as measured by the district's value‐added assessment system was unrelated to the demographics of the student population and related strongly to specific school practices. Specifically, high growth schools exhibited strong evidence‐based decision‐making practice where teachers used the district's benchmark assessment to reflect on instructional practice, used the core curriculum to guide instruction, and received frequent and high quality professional development on reading and math instruction.
As states gravitate away from relying on AYP status as a measure of school success, districts will benefit from integrating measures of growth and using school data management systems that integrate benchmark assessment capabilities and provide teachers with the training and tools needed to use the information in their daily practice.
This study provides a direct comparison of evaluation models using a variety of current methods within a single district that has played a central and highly‐visible role in the education reform movement in the USA.
The effective school paradigm has dominated educational and political thinking concerning the nature of schools for the last two decades. This paradigm asserts that it is…
The effective school paradigm has dominated educational and political thinking concerning the nature of schools for the last two decades. This paradigm asserts that it is the characteristics of schools that are the important factors that influence academic achievement. It is a perspective that is the opposite of the view that was widely held in the 1960s and early 1970s; which placed a much greater emphasis on the social context. Explores weaknesses in the effective school paradigm, considers how adequately the effective school paradigm explains recent developments such as the events at Hackney Downs in the London Borough of Hackney, and stimulates a debate on how the social environment affects what happens inside schools.
Principals play a pivotal role in teachers’ professional growth, which impacts student outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to understand the perceptions principals have…
Principals play a pivotal role in teachers’ professional growth, which impacts student outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to understand the perceptions principals have about effective elements of professional development (PD) and the role they play in facilitating the growth of teachers, and how this affects student learning.
Q methodology was utilized to investigate the subjective views of public school administrators about PD. A post sort survey was used to interpret demographic and perceptual data. The Q sorts were factor analyzed to reveal statistical correlations among the administrators. Focus group interviews representative of each emergent factor were then conducted with eight of the 34 principals who sorted the statements.
In total, 31 of the participants loaded on one of three factors. Though there were perceptional differences about which PD elements are effective, all of the principals expressed a desire to take an active role in teachers’ professional growth. These distinct viewpoints of PD included the themes of sustainability and collaboration.
School leaders are commonly named as the most important influence on teachers and their practices. PD is among the significant strategies that principals employ to impact teachers. Thus, studies that provide insights into how school leaders perceive PD are crucial to the in-service development of school teachers.
One of the critical factors that separate great organizations from good organizations is leadership (Collins, 2001). To support this statement, find a school that…
One of the critical factors that separate great organizations from good organizations is leadership (Collins, 2001). To support this statement, find a school that consistently has high performance, regardless of the students’ socio-economic background, and there will be present a talented, highly effective leader. Effective school leadership is a major, if not the major, key to our overcoming the morass of failure in our schools. School leadership, especially in independent charter or autonomous schools, is complicated by the fact that schools are irrational organizations (Patterson, Purkey, & Parker, 1986) that require legislative (relational) rather than executive (direction from the top) leadership (Collins, 2001). For many years, the author has been examining school leadership through his experiences: as a leader, reading, studying leaders, and producing tools to select talented people to lead schools. It has become apparent to the author that the key to successful leaders is not found in personality or style but originates in something much deeper – the leader’s core values or mental models (Covey, 1990; Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday) and how these translate into transformative leadership beliefs and behaviors or attributes. In this chapter, the author will share some of the attributes he and others have found to set great school leaders apart. The rationale for, and implementation of the structured interview in a charter school setting are described. Challenges and outcomes of the implementation of the structured interview are detailed as well.
In this study the authors set out to investigate the nature of administrative control in school districts in general and the control processes and activities employed in…
In this study the authors set out to investigate the nature of administrative control in school districts in general and the control processes and activities employed in instructionally effective school districts in particular. Nine control functions are identified which are assumed to affect student outcomes by influencing the culture and technology (curriculum and instruction) of schools. Data were collected from interviews of superintendents in 12 effective school districts in California. The findings revealed inter alia more district‐level control of principal behavior and site activity than anticipated; control functions that were pervasive and connected; a wide range of control mechanisms; and the key role of the superintendent in connecting schools and district offices.
Growing appreciation for the potential impact of principals ontheir schools has stimulated a significant body of research concerningthe principalship. While many aspects…
Growing appreciation for the potential impact of principals on their schools has stimulated a significant body of research concerning the principalship. While many aspects of the principalship have been the object of study, it is often difficult to determine the relationship among these studies and how these studies, as a whole, contribute to a better understanding of the principalship. It is also difficult to judge which aspects of the principalship would provide the most productive focus for subsequent research. The review reported in this article addressed both sets of difficulties by analysing a total of 135 empirical studies conducted between 1974 and 1988; 60 of these studies were reported between 1985 and 1988 and received more attention than the earlier 75. Results of the analysis identify aspects of the principalship about which much is known, approaches to research which appear to have exhausted their usefulness and areas in which further study seems likely to be of most value. One major conclusion from the analysis is that we know most about effective principal practices and least about how such practices develop.
The study reported on in this article examines how instructional leadership is exercised by superintendents in effective school districts. We employ concepts drawn from…
The study reported on in this article examines how instructional leadership is exercised by superintendents in effective school districts. We employ concepts drawn from school effectiveness studies and from organizational literature on coordination and control in an attempt to understand how superintendents organize and manage instruction and curriculum in these effective districts. Specific instructional management practices are examined within a framework of six major functions, setting goals and establishing expectations and standards, selecting staff, supervising and evaluating staff, establishing an instructional and curricular focus, ensuring consistency in technical core operations, and monitoring curriculum and instruction. Based on interviews with superintendents from 12 of the most instructionally effective school districts in California and analysis of selected district documents, we present descriptions of district‐level policies and practices that these superintendents use to coordinate and control the instructional management activities of their principals. Similarities and differences in the patterns of control and coordination found in these districts are highlighted. The implications of the findings are then examined in light of recent findings regarding coupling and linkages in schools. The results of this study suggest that superintendents in instructionally effective school districts are more active “instructional managers” than previous descriptions of superintendents would have led us to expect. In particular, coordination and control of the technical core appears more systematic in these districts. The results do not, however, provide a uniform picture of how instruction is coordinated and controlled. A wide range of both culture building activities and bureaucratic policies and practices were emphasized by the superintendents in this study as they exercised their instructional leadership roles.