Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Equitable access to educational resources: An investigation of the distribution of teacher quality across secondary schools in south Florida
by Richards, Sabrina, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2014, 134; 3584897
Abstract (Summary)

This quantitative study examined secondary schools across a south Florida school district to determine the relationship between school characteristics and measures of teacher quality with the aim of ascertaining the equitable distribution of the educational resource, teacher quality. Data regarding student population, staff climate survey responses, school points, and measures of teacher quality were requested from the school district; however, the requested teacher quality data was not available from the district. The researcher accessed publicly available teacher quality data from the Florida Department of Education regarding advanced degree completion, out-of-field teachers, and highly qualified teachers to serve as measures of teacher quality at secondary schools.

Data were collected and analyzed using quantitative methods for 119 schools that served as the unit of analysis. Using multiple regressions, the study found a significant negative relationship between the percentage of students participating in the free and reduced-price lunch program and the percentage of teachers who possessed an advanced degree. The study also found a significant positive relationship between the percentages of Black students, English language learners, students with disabilities, students participating in the free and reduced-price lunch program and the percentage of out-offield teachers. Additionally, the study found a significant positive relationship between the percentages of Hispanic students, students with disabilities, students participating in the free and reduced-price lunch program, and the percentage of not highly qualified teachers at schools. The investigation also discovered predictive relationships between some of these school characteristics and the measures of teacher quality examined in the study.

All of the findings provided evidence of structural inequality regarding the distribution of teacher quality and were analyzed by the study’s theoretical framework, which drew on critical race theory, critical multiculturalism, and other critical studies. These works underscore the inequitable distribution of teacher quality. Implications and suggestions for future research are offered for further examination of the equitable distribution of teacher quality and the role of policy to inform the equitable distribution of teacher quality across schools in order to address the most urgent problem facing U.S. education: the unequal distribution of quality teachers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burnaford, Gail
Commitee: Morris, John D., Schoorman, Dilys
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Curriculum Culture and Educational Inquiry
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational sociology, Educational leadership, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Educational debt, Florida, Structural inequality, Teacher distribution, Teacher quality, Translation of policy
Publication Number: 3584897
ISBN: 978-1-303-97861-6
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