Students who live in poverty face many challenges. These challenges often result in lower student performance on standardized tests and lower academic achievement. Schools that serve high percentages of students who live in poverty have generally poorer educational outcomes than schools that serve more affluent students. Rural schools that serve high percentages of students who live in poverty face additional challenges often due to their small size and isolated locations. However, some rural schools have been able demonstrate high academic performance, even with high percentages of students who live in poverty.
This research study used a case study framework to evaluate how one rural, high poverty elementary school in Pennsylvania was able to demonstrate high student performance on the third grade English Language Arts portion of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment. This qualitative study utilized an interview with the school’s principal, three focus group interviews with teachers, and two focus group interviews with parents to gather data to answer the central research questions.
Themes that emerged demonstrated that the participants believed the school was successful in educating high percentages of students who live in poverty because of the following: strong communication both within the school and between the school and community; student support structures for academic and social emotional development; a high degree of teamwork among the school personnel; and robust formal and informal community support systems. Results from this study may provide administrators with a new model for school improvement that focuses less on test preparation and an emphasis on basic skills and more on the compound effectiveness of many caring individuals working together toward a common goal.
|Advisor:||Diller, Phillip F.|
|Commitee:||Gaudino, Ann, Ward, John|
|Department:||Educational Leadership and Special Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational administration, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||Case study, High achievement, High performing, Poverty, Rural, Pennsylvania|
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