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Full-Text Articles in Education

Bridging The Future To Postsecondary Readiness, Brian Patrick Sien Jun 2014

Bridging The Future To Postsecondary Readiness, Brian Patrick Sien

Dissertations and Theses

Continuing education advances society. For every student, our educational system should provide a seamless transition from one level to the next until a degree or certificate is earned that reflects a mastery of skills needed to secure employment. This helps prepare each individual for a successful life after exiting the educational system and greatly benefit our society. Today, however, many students graduating from high schools are not ready for a postsecondary education. Transitioning students from high school to college is a complex process that requires many different approaches. Students making this transition are finding it more difficult to enter and ...


Keeping Equity In Mind: Strategies For Continuing Equity Work Once Formal Training Has Ended, Teri Lynn Tilley May 2014

Keeping Equity In Mind: Strategies For Continuing Equity Work Once Formal Training Has Ended, Teri Lynn Tilley

Dissertations and Theses

Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, there remain large gaps in academic achievement between children of color and White students (Darling-Hammond, 2007). It is estimated that by 2050, the population of the United States will increase by 50%; 90% of which will be accounted for by minorities (Vanneman, Hamilton, Anderson, & Rahman, 2009). In less than 50 years, our citizenry will be comprised of "groups that are over represented among low achievers, and under represented among high achievers" (Ferguson, 2005, p. 4). Nationwide, districts are addressing the issue of the achievement gap through implementing formal equity professional development opportunities ...


School District Bond Campaigns: Strategies That Ensure Successful Outcomes, Linda L. Florence May 2014

School District Bond Campaigns: Strategies That Ensure Successful Outcomes, Linda L. Florence

Dissertations and Theses

When the polls close and the ballots are counted, the best sound is the roar of ecstatic cheering from delighted but exhausted campaign committee members. A bond campaign takes an inordinate amount of work, but the results are worth the effort when the campaign is managed in a systematic way. Districts can be successful bond recipients when they effectively market their schools to gain the support of their constituents.

Public schools across the U.S. are in dire need of major repairs, remodeling, and rebuilding to meet the educational needs of students. Unfortunately, passing a school bond election is entrusted ...


Guiding The Work Of Professional Learning Communities: Perspectives For School Leaders, Daniel Paul Draper May 2014

Guiding The Work Of Professional Learning Communities: Perspectives For School Leaders, Daniel Paul Draper

Dissertations and Theses

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are groups of educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2006). Researchers and practitioners agree that PLCs are critical to the overall success of schools. The problem is that implementing PLCs with fidelity to an inquiry process is a real challenge. Most school districts do not have a systematic or comprehensive approach to guide their PLC process. School leaders are in need of quality tools and resources to assist them in implementing PLCs.

As a possible solution to this problem, a design team of four Estacada School District principals and one vice principal was convened to create, field-test and refine a handbook for PLC leadership. The handbook was field-tested in four schools and evaluated to determine its usefulness. The study's primary research questions were: (a) Is the PLC handbook a useful resource for school leaders? and (b) What are the handbook's strengths and weaknesses? Secondary research questions focused on specific topics and sections of the handbook: (a) How do school leaders organize and support a PLC framework? (b) How can PLCs support school change initiatives? (c) How can PLCs gather and analyze student data? (d) How can PLCs plan for future action? and (e) How can PLCs troubleshoot challenges?

The design team relied on a problem-based learning approach (Bridges & Hallinger, 1995) and the use of a research and development process (Borg & Gall, 1989) to design an educational product ready for operational use in their schools. The design team met weekly for regularly scheduled meetings. They used the Critical Friends Consultancy Protocol (Harmony Education Center, 2013) as a systematic way to problem solve and collect qualitative data. The data collected from these sessions were transcribed, coded for themes, and analyzed. Other data sources that were used included the review of institutional documentation, structured interviews with teacher leaders, and survey results. The design team then refined its PLC handbook through the first seven steps of the research and development process: (a) Research and information collecting; (b) Planning objectives, learning activities, and small scale testing; (c) Developing a preliminary form of the product; (d) Preliminary field-testing; (e) Main product revision; (f) Main field-testing; and (g) Operational product revision.

The design team determined that the handbook was in fact a useful resource for school leaders ...