An achievement gap exists between the academic performance of students who live in poverty and those who do not. This research examined the relationship between the attributes of creativity, cultural proficiency and self-efficacy in rural school principals and the reduction of the achievement gap for low-income students.
A census survey was given to rural principals to determine the degree to which they demonstrated these attributes. State test data were obtained from the schools of these principals in reading and math for low-income students and the total student population from the years 2003 through 2006. A multiple regression analysis was done to determine if a relationship existed between the level of the principals’ creativity, cultural proficiency and self-efficacy and the degree to which the achievement gap had closed over the 4-year period. A secondary analysis was done to determine if the level of these attributes was related to the actual level of academic achievement.
Follow-up interviews were done with a selected group of principals who had made progress in closing the achievement gap. The interviews focused on their specific practices and beliefs related to closing the achievement gap.
The analysis of the survey and test data did not show a significant relationship between the levels of creativity, cultural proficiency and self-efficacy and the closing of the achievement gap for low-income students. The secondary analysis indicated that there was a significant relationship between the level of self-efficacy in principals and the achievement level of both low-income students and the overall student population in reading and in math. The results of the interview also indicated that behaviors associated with self-efficacy were present in the principals interviewed.
|Commitee:||Doyle, Carol, Sagor, Richard|
|School:||Lewis and Clark College|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Achievement gap, Creativity, Cultural proficiency, Leaders, Low-income, Principals, Rural, Rural education, Self-efficacy|
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