Although inequity in educational opportunity provided to children (based on poverty, ethnicity, disability, or English as a second language) has led to a massive federal and state initiative to reshape public education (ESEA 1965 and ESEA 2001, known as the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB), the issue of the condition of the schools such children attend has been resistant to inclusion in the culture of educational reform. This study was undertaken to probe this resistance by examining the perceptions of a specific population of principals whose evaluation and continuing employment was tied to improving student achievement in their schools, in order to assess the condition of their buildings and their identification of condition with effect on student achievement.
An online survey was designed to obtain descriptive results using frequency and percentages to answer the proposed research questions. Demographic questions were included, based on those used by Cash (1993) in her study to provide a basis for describing these schools. Of the 74 schools identified as being in school improvement, 39 were ineligible due to nonparticipation by districts. Of the 35 schools that were eligible for the study, one had closed, and three had replaced the principal. A total of 31 school principals received the survey and 27 responded (87%).
The survey findings indicated that Respondents did not attach the same level of importance to building condition as they did to eight of the nine essential elements of school improvement. Unexpectedly, respondents attached even less importance to using teacher mentoring programs than they did to achieving and maintaining satisfactory building condition. The extent to which principals perceived Earthman's prioritized building conditions as problems in their buildings was related to their perceptions of overall building condition. The extent to which principals perceived that the physical condition of the building impacted their ability to engage in effective schools practices appeared to be related to their perceptions of overall building condition, as did their perceptions that their schools had lost instructional time. Discernible differences in building condition between schools of varied community settings, grade ranges, and sizes were not apparent.
|Advisor:||Lemasters, Linda K.|
|Commitee:||Dannels, Sharon A., Earthman, Glen I.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Administration and Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Achievement, Building condition, Principals, School facilities, School improvement, Student achievement|
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