Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Closing the achievement gap: Breakthrough in the urban high school
by Trimis, Edward Antonios, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 142; 3355450
Abstract (Summary)

The achievement gap is arguably one of the greatest social injustices of our time. Unfortunately, in some people’s minds urban schools have become synonymous with low achievement, poor safety, poor attendance, and high drop-out rates. However, some schools have been able to “break through” from what is expected and far surpass other schools that look like them. These schools regularly stand out with surprisingly high test scores that continue to improve even more over time. Eventually some of these schools don’t even appear to be the same school they were years before. In addition to the schools’ higher test scores, attendance has improved, the schools are safe, and students tend to stay in school and graduate on time. North East High School (NEHS) is one such school.

This study looked at NEHS and what they have done to make a difference to help their students perform beyond expectations. The study examined the practices, policies, and procedures that appeared to have facilitated the change. Data was collected and analyzed from four different sources: documents, surveys, interviews, and observations. There were several attributes that North East had that were integral to their success including strong leadership, starting with the principal and fanning out to all staff and stakeholders, data-driven decision-making, strong relationships modeled by the principal with teachers, students, and all stakeholders, and strong organization and a culture of excellence that permeated every aspect of the school. What was learned from NEHS should help other schools and their challenges in eliminating the achievement gap and helping all students succeed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gothold, Stuart
Commitee: Love, Laurie, Stowe, Kathy
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Academic performance, Achievement gap, High school, Leadership, Learning gap, Public schools, School leadership, Urban schools
Publication Number: 3355450
ISBN: 978-1-109-14048-4
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