Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Outperforming Nontraditional Urban School: A Success Case Study
by Guardado Ramirez, Cindy C., Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2017, 100; 10277529
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to determine and analyze evidence of connection between an outperforming nontraditional urban school and minority students’ high academic achievement. The factors examined were instructional practices, leadership practices and school culture.

An outperforming nontraditional urban high school was selected based on four criteria: a consecutive graduation rate above the California state average for the last three years, an A-G completion rate above the California state average, a drop-out rate below California state average and a consecutive passing rate for the school’s California High School Exit Exam above the California state average for last three years.

This qualitative study examined organizational practices that narrow the achievement gap at an outperforming nontraditional urban school. Identified in the study are the efforts to address the achievement gap along with the impact the achievement gap had among diverse populations and the solutions to these issues. The study analyzed high school completion rates, various test scores, and A-G course completion to determine outperforming criteria. Data were collected via surveys, staff interviews, document analysis, and classroom and campus observations. The data were triangulated to identify organizational practices that narrow the achievement gap through the lens of instructional practices, leadership practices, and school culture.

The results of the study addressed the following research questions: (1) what instructional practices exist in outperforming nontraditional schools; (2) what leadership practices exist in outperforming nontraditional urban schools that address the achievement gap; and (3) what is the school culture in outperforming nontraditional urban schools. The study used qualitative methods because the researcher needed to identify ways in which the information was interconnected and the manners in which the three focal points interacted with one another. The study revealed that outperforming nontraditional schools pay special attention to creating a culture that is student centered, where every stakeholder takes into account how any instructional, cultural, and leadership decision will impact the academic outcome of students. In addition, outperforming nontraditional urban schools have sustainable and consistent systems of communication for all stakeholders; a relevant and timely system for offering appropriate professional development for their educators, and a culture that fully supports a career and college ready mentality, where every stake holder has identified themselves as a long-life learner.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gothold, Stuart
Commitee: Hocevar, Dennis, Ott, Maria
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Nontraditional, Outperformin, Schools, Secondary, Urban
Publication Number: 10277529
ISBN: 978-1-369-82243-4
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