Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Training program effectiveness: Perceptions of public school board members in Connecticut
by Polistena-D'Agosto, Louise, Ed.D., University of Hartford, 2009, 184; 3369691
Abstract (Summary)

This exploratory quantitative study investigated the perceptions of Connecticut's K - 12 board of education members to training programs they attended. The 262 respondents to the electronic survey revealed that board members differed significantly in perceptions of training programs available based on their years of service particularly between those with one year or less to those with three or more years. In addition, board members differed in perceptions of available training programs based on the size of their districts with those in districts with 2500 or fewer students differing significantly with members in mid-sized districts of 5000 to 7500 students and with members from the largest districts of more than 10,000 students.

Using Bolman and Deal's (1997) organizational frames as the conceptual framework, attention focused on perceived impact regarding training benefits at addressing district structural, human resource, political, and symbolic issues as well as board actions to promote student achievement. The study's methodology involved a researcher-developed self report three-part questionnaire which included demographic information, training topics cued with the organizational frames, and open-ended responses. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square analyses and one-way analyses of variance were used to analyze the data in response to the seven research questions. A p-value of .05 was used to determine significance of results. Open-ended survey questions were analyzed using the standardized qualitative data analysis techniques involving open coding.

The study's six conclusions were: (1) The focus of board member training in Connecticut is on procedures and process, the rules and regulations of board membership. (2) Training is limited in guiding board members on ways to work collaboratively with members who differ politically. (3) District size matters in how members perceive training. (4) Board members have limited time to devote to training. (5) Board members have limited understanding or training in educational innovations that enhance student achievement. (6) Perceptions of training programs in all conceptual frames plus student achievement are impacted by member years of service.

Recommendations for further studies include: repeated use of the survey format to assess its validity and reliability; a qualitative study to provide board members with opportunity to discuss perceptions of training programs in each of the organizational frames. Recommendations for practice include using technology to make training available via webcasts and offering multiple paired-district sessions for like-sized districts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weinholtz, Donn
Commitee: LaPlaca, Peter, LaRocco, Diana, Miskavitch, Rosi
School: University of Hartford
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration
Keywords: Boards of education, Connecticut, District size, Leadership, Program effectiveness, School board, School board leadership, Training programs
Publication Number: 3369691
ISBN: 9781109321364
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