Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An exploratory study of reform initiatives in relatively small Missouri school districts
by Masters, James P., Ed.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2012, 202; 3531159
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to identify commonly implemented school reform initiatives in relatively small Missouri school districts and determine the degree of relationship, if any, between those commonly implemented efforts and student academic success. The population for this study consisted of superintendents from 81 school districts in the state of Missouri with student populations of 500-2000 students. Quantitative and perceptual data were collected from a single data table and analyzed to determine, collectively and by grade level (a) commonly implemented reform initiatives in the school’s represented in this study; (b) the amounts of fiscal and human resources invested in the implementation of those initiatives; (c) the stages of implementation of the initiatives; (d) the perceived levels of impact of the initiatives on academic success of the students in those schools; (e) if any significant relationships existed between full years of implementation, personnel hours, dollars spent, average daily attendance, persistence to graduation, superintendent’s perceived impact, percent of students passing communications arts as measured by the MAP assessment and percent of students passing mathematics as measured by the MAP assessment; (f) if those relationships were noticeably different across the major grade levels of elementary, middle and high schools.

The study identified 297 initiatives implemented in 81 participating schools districts. The ratio of fiscal investment and personnel hours committed to the implementation and support of elementary grade related reform raises questions of why reform resources, across a rather robust sample of schools, would be so disproportionate toward elementary grades. Significant correlations were found between years of full implementation and superintendent perceived impact, personnel hours and dollars spent and percent passing communication arts and percent passing mathematics. No significant correlations were found between any of the variables of years of full implementation, superintendent’s perceived impact, dollars spent, personnel hours invested, average daily attendance, persistence to graduation and the percent of students passing communication arts or mathematics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Valentine, Jerry W.
Commitee: Gauzy, Susan, Laffey, Mary, Maher, Carol, Simmons, Juanita
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Academic achievement, Reform implementation, Reform initiatives, School reform, Student achievement
Publication Number: 3531159
ISBN: 978-1-267-72225-6
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