Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Attitudes of School Leaders and the Academic Success of English Learners
by White, Natasha, Ph.D., Notre Dame of Maryland University, 2019, 158; 13805837
Abstract (Summary)

English Learners (ELs) are one of the fastest growing student populations across the country and in the State of Maryland. In tandem with the growth of this diverse student group has been increasing accountability for public schools to ensure academic success for all students. Annual reports of school progress reveal persistent achievement gaps between English speaking students and ELs. This study investigated the relationship between the beliefs and expectations of school leaders and the academic success of English Learners.

A correlational causal comparative, quantitative study was conducted using principal perception survey data and Maryland State assessment data. Principals' perceptions were not found to be good predictors in reducing the achievement gap between English Learners and English proficient students on state assessments. However, a statistically significant relationship was found between school practices and a change in the mathematics achievement gap. Also, principal training was found to have a significant positive relationship to school practices.

These findings, along with survey perception data, underscore the need for targeted professional development for school leaders to combat systemic practices and beliefs that may contribute to the achievement gap between language minorities and their monolingual counterparts. The results may be useful to State leaders as they consider certification requirements for school administrators.

District policies that restrict research and suppressed assessment data served as limitations to this study. Further investigation into principals' perceptions and an assessment of principal adequacy to close the achievement gap is warranted by State education leaders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thrift, Gary
Commitee: Fenster, Mark J.
School: Notre Dame of Maryland University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: Academic success, English learners, K-12, Perceptions, Principals
Publication Number: 13805837
ISBN: 978-1-392-04834-4
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