Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The f-requirement and the arts in California public high schools: The impact of f-requirement on the taking of arts classes by California public high school students…an institutional perspective
by Andrzejczak, Nancy Lee, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2008, 206; 3332655
Abstract (Summary)

In 1999, the two state university systems aligned their entrance requirements. One of the major changes involved the addition of a university-approved arts class to the courses required for university admission. Furthermore, the supporters of the policy saw this policy as an opportunity to increase arts enrollment and to elevate arts courses to college preparatory status.

Institutional isomorphism, resulting from coercive pressures often regulative in nature or from normative pressures often standards set by professional organizations or universities, occurs when organizations become alike in terms of structures, attitudes and behaviors. I use this theoretical framework of institutional isomorphism proposed by DiMaggio and Powell (1983, 1991) to predict the response of public high schools to the f-requirement in the midst of the school accountability movement. Using path analysis, I explored the relationship between the two coercive pressures, the f-requirement and the academic accountability, on the arts enrollment in public high schools. I specifically wanted to understand the impact of these two policies on low performing schools. Through analysis, it is apparent that college bound students at low performing schools have less access to arts classes needed for UC/CSU admission.

This study offers insight into the success of the policy implementation at the school level. In California, the percentage of high school students enrolled in the arts by 2005-06 had increased from the 1999-2000 baseline. However, the disparity in the percentage of students enrolled in the arts between high and low performing schools is significant. Furthermore there was a significant decrease in enrollment in all schools seen after the CAHSEE was implemented, but this loss in enrollment was offset in part by the increases seen across schools for the first year of the f-requirement, 2003-04. The belief amongst the groups supporting this policy that it would maintain the arts in public high school was not unfounded. The normative impact of the university on course design and content is also seen. The study also revealed that the arts networks did have an impact on organizational behavior in terms of course development and successful submission through the provision of technical support and information.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mitchell, Douglas
School: University of California, Riverside
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Art Education, School administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Arts classes, Arts education, California, Education policy, F-requirement, High schools, Institutionalism
Publication Number: 3332655
ISBN: 9780549846765
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