The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of consolidation on various aspects of the school district organization, including student discipline, student achievement, expenditures per pupil, transportation costs, curriculum, extracurricular and co-curricular participation, and leadership. Board members, community members, teachers, administrators, students, and state policy makers will be able to utilize the data from this study to assist in making informed decisions about an emotional and sometimes contentious issue in Illinois.
A mixed-methods design was utilized to seek answers and analysis to both quantitative and qualitative research questions. Ex post facto research was utilized to explain the differences in student discipline, student achievement as measured by 8th grade ISAT scores, expenditures per pupil, transportation costs, curriculum, extracurricular and co-curricular participation, and leadership for school districts before and after consolidation. The quantitative population for the study was the downstate 60 school districts that have consolidated in Illinois since 1990. Data were collected from all sixty consolidated school districts, making the sample and the target population one and the same. The quantitative portion of the research included a 5 point Likert scale discipline survey completed by administrators in consolidated districts as well as a collection of pre and post consolidation data on 8 th grade ISAT scores, expenditures per student, and transportation costs. A t-test was performed on the scores, expenditures, and transportation costs to determine statistical significance. If the p-value reached a level of .05 or less, then the null hypothesis for each research question was rejected. The interview questions in the qualitative portion of the study were tested for trustworthiness by means of peer debriefing.
The data analyzed in this study indicates statistically significant findings in the areas of discipline, achievement, transportation costs, and expenditures per pupil at a p-value of .05 when comparing pre and post consolidation. In addition, the qualitative portion of the study provides deep and rich detail about curriculum, extra-curricular and co-curricular participation, and leadership in school districts after consolidation.
|Commitee:||Closen, John, Olds, Edward, Sheng, Bridget, marshall, Robert|
|School:||Western Illinois University|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Achievement, Consolidation, Costs, Illinois, School districts|
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