This study examined Missouri's A+ Schools Program and its impact on school improvement. Effective schools research combined with the mission learning for all provided a conceptual foundation for guiding research development. A mixed-method design allowing a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data was applied using telephone interviews and Likert-scale surveys from A+ Coordinators having two or more years' experience. Questions about the A+ Schools Program's success centered on the following: graduation rate, curriculum and assessment, career preparation, rigorous coursework, and at-risk students. As a result, four themes emerged; the first of two were students realizing the importance to graduate and enhanced at-risk programs. Both A+ Coordinators interviewed and those surveyed concluded, the program forced districts to develop methods for increasing graduation rates as well as tracking and maintaining at-risk students. However, the third theme revealed while curriculum and assessment changes were implemented, the changes may not be attributed to the A+ Schools Program. A fourth theme discovered the A+ Schools Program prepared students for college and career paths by counseling them to enroll in appropriate rigorous coursework. A+ Coordinators perceived positive transformations in their districts to be a direct result of the A+ Schools Program. Districts seeking an A+ designation must continue adhering to a strict effective schools model, and the implication for practice is Missouri legislators must maintain funding in the A+ Schools Program with additional schools being designated.
|Commitee:||DeVore, Sherry, Reid, Terry|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||A+ Schools Program, At risk programs, Graduation rate, Missouri, School improvement|
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