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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Factors that may lead to an urban high school's outperforming status: A case study of an institution's achievement in the age of accountability
by Hernandez, Jose Ignacio, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 168; 3389613
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed-methods case study investigated factors that may contribute to the outperforming status of an urban high school. Urban high schools are possibly more challenged than ever before in preparing students for a 21 st century economy (Orfield et al., 2006). In this context, success for California urban high schools is measured, in conjunction with other factors, by ranking 3 to 4 deciles above other similar public comprehensive high schools. However, other questions remain regarding the extent to which students' own involvement in their learning influences an outperforming high school's success.

Even with diminished resources the case study school has outperformed similar schools due to existing factors contributing to the rise its academic performance index (API), a measure largely prompted by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation and an important effectiveness indicator. Five years ago the urban high school in this case study was ranked by the California Department of Education (CDE) as a 5 on a statewide rubric where 10 is considered the highest score. On another similar but different state measure, one comparing similar schools' indicators where one school is compared to 100 other institutions sharing key characteristics, the case study school scored higher. In 2007 the school raised its statewide rank to a 6 and its similar schools rank to a 9. This case study researched factors possibly explaining this case study school's outperformance, including: (1) Quickly identifying students scoring at levels below proficient; (2) Utilizing innovative curricular strategies by reworking the school day and implementing a strong scientifically-proven intervention curriculum and support technology; (3) A culture composed of caring stakeholders (i.e., highly qualified teachers, visionary leader, involved parents and support staff) who hold students accountable.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gothold, Stuart E.
Commitee: Hocevar, Dennis, Stowe, Kathy
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Achievement, Engagement, High school, Outperformance, Resiliency, Secondary, Student engagement, Urban, Urban education
Publication Number: 3389613
ISBN: 978-1-109-56345-0
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