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University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Education Policy

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Addressing Urban Income Inequality Through Education: A Case Study In Atlanta, Garrett Bronn May 2020

Addressing Urban Income Inequality Through Education: A Case Study In Atlanta, Garrett Bronn

Finance Undergraduate Honors Theses

For decades, the income inequality gap between the rich and poor has continued to expand dramatically, with criticism of existing education systems often at the heart of the issue. Large urban cities are commonly at the forefront of the issue, given the plethora of teacher strikes in recent years. Events such as the 11-day Chicago teacher’s strike in October of 2019 that idled academics and college prep for 350,000 students, have highlighted many current education issues (Hauck, 2019). With underfunded and poorly equipped middle and high schools, students in poor and minority neighborhoods in cities are less prepared academically, ill …


Crumbling Foundations: The Case For Prioritizing Self-Care Among Educational Leaders, Joshua Brent Ray May 2019

Crumbling Foundations: The Case For Prioritizing Self-Care Among Educational Leaders, Joshua Brent Ray

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

There is a potentially dangerous disassociation between human behavior, decision-making, and ethics and the notion that these fundamental aspects of what it means to be human originate simply as the functions of an organ. A deeper knowledge of the operation and limitations of the brain suggests biological input could possess the ability to unknowingly alter human behavior and effectiveness. This study utilizes a research-based understanding of the implications of human health and self-care habits on neurological, psychological, and behavioral function to examine the current practices of educational administrators across Arkansas while exploring systemic and job-based factors within the profession that …


The Effect Of Teacher Race On Student Perceptions In Low-Income Schools, Benton M. Brown May 2018

The Effect Of Teacher Race On Student Perceptions In Low-Income Schools, Benton M. Brown

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, thousands of teachers of color lost their jobs as black students were integrated into mostly white schools. The number of black teachers in schools across the United States has never recovered resulting in a teaching workforce that is less diverse than the student population that they teach. Many studies have examined the possible impact of this discrepancy including the possibility that this has contributed to the black-white achievement gap that exists in the United States. Other studies have examined the non-academic impacts of a less diverse workforce including …


Evaluating The Policies That Lead To Stem Educational Attainment At The University Of Arkansas For Transfer Students, Bryan Hill Aug 2017

Evaluating The Policies That Lead To Stem Educational Attainment At The University Of Arkansas For Transfer Students, Bryan Hill

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The US has a critical need to produce more STEM graduates and that need is exponentially more critical in Arkansas. Arkansas currently ranks last in the percent of STEM degrees conferred compared to overall degrees awarded. Students intending to pursue a STEM four-year college degree who start at a two-year college are significantly less likely to succeed in earning that degree. Arkansas passed Acts 672 and 182 aimed at strengthening the success of students who transfer from two-year colleges into four-year institutions. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the Acts by determining if the University of Arkansas (UA) …


Increasing Superintendent Longevity In Kansas, Cory Lee Gibson Dec 2016

Increasing Superintendent Longevity In Kansas, Cory Lee Gibson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study aims to illuminate the factors that may impact a superintendent’s longevity in the same district. Specifically, this study is motivated by four research questions: (1) What factors do superintendents in Kansas attribute to remaining in the same position greater than six years? (2) What factors do superintendents in Kansas attribute as the causes for leaving a district? (3) What is the current level of satisfaction of Kansas school superintendents within their current roles? and (4) What are some changes in policy or practice that may increase superintendent longevity in Kansas?

According to Dale Dennis, Kansas Deputy Commissioner of …


Examining Exemplary P-20 Partnerships Using A Mixed Methods Approach, Elizabeth Erin Smith Dec 2016

Examining Exemplary P-20 Partnerships Using A Mixed Methods Approach, Elizabeth Erin Smith

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Historically, P-12 schools and institutions of higher education have operated independently of each other, creating a gap that acts as a barrier between high school and postsecondary institutions. This gap is blamed for many societal issues including high college remediation rates, low college-going rates among minority groups, and low six-year college graduation rates. P-20 partnerships, agreements between P-12 schools and institutions of higher education with the purpose of improving the P-20 education system, have emerged as a way to address these problems.

From laboratory schools in the 19th century to modern-day professional development schools, P-20 partnerships in teacher education have …


Teachers And The Development Of Student Noncognitive Skills, Albert Cheng Aug 2016

Teachers And The Development Of Student Noncognitive Skills, Albert Cheng

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Scholars of education policy are increasingly aware of the independent role that noncognitive skills (e.g., self-regulation, Social skills, and other personality or character traits) play in long- and short-run student well-being. However, little is known about how these skills are effectively developed. One theory is that noncognitive skills are developed through role modeling by teachers. A student, by virtue of observing and sharing a Social connection with his or her schoolteachers, begins to emulate noncognitive skills that they exhibit. In this dissertation, I test this theory. I focus specifically on noncognitive skills related to conscientiousness and measure them using new …


Character Assessment: Three Essays, Collin E. Hitt May 2016

Character Assessment: Three Essays, Collin E. Hitt

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I propose a new approach to measuring character skills. In the following three essays, my co-‎authors and I measure the effort that adolescent students appear to put forward on surveys ‎and tests. First, I examine the extent to which students simply skip questions or plead ‎ignorance on surveys. Second, I develop new methods for detecting careless answers, those ‎instances in which students appear to be "just filling in the bubbles." I show, using ‎longitudinal datasets, that both measures are predictive of educational degree attainment, ‎independent of measured cognitive ability and other demographic factors. Finally, I ‎demonstrate that international differences in …


Perceived Relevance Of Special Education Performance Indicators: Teacher Excellence And Support System, Tiffany Kristin Mrla May 2016

Perceived Relevance Of Special Education Performance Indicators: Teacher Excellence And Support System, Tiffany Kristin Mrla

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

A study was conducted to investigate the perceived relevance of using a teacher evaluation rubric with performance indicators specific to special education services in place of the standard rubric for teachers used in the State of Arkansas Teacher Excellence Support System (TESS). Through a multi-method approach, the perceptions of special education teachers and administrators regarding implementation of the current model, the significance of perceived differences in pedagogical factors, and potential barriers to effective implementation were identified. This was achieved through survey, interviews, and observations.

Special education teachers and administrators in a given school district were sent a brief survey to …


Selling College: Student Recruitment And Education Reform Rhetoric In The Age Of Privatization, Paige Marie Hermansen May 2016

Selling College: Student Recruitment And Education Reform Rhetoric In The Age Of Privatization, Paige Marie Hermansen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation explores the success of for-profit colleges and universities (FPCUs) as a socio-cultural phenomenon that hinges on distinct public discursive strains and neoliberal rhetorics. This project examines the role of language in creating and sustaining particular discourses of higher education and how those discourses are reinforced and reflected in channels of discourse like documentary films and advertisements.

In the context of shifting demands on and representations of higher education, this project critiques the evolving rhetoric of American education and the shift toward a wider acceptance of privatization efforts, as well as the effect this shift has had on prospective …


The Educational Benefits Of Cultural Institutions, Brian Kisida Jul 2015

The Educational Benefits Of Cultural Institutions, Brian Kisida

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

A significant portion of the education children receive occurs outside of the traditional classroom and produces outcomes not typically captured by standardized achievement tests. This dissertation is part of an effort to expand the educational venues and outcomes educational researchers rigorously examine. In particular, I present the key results from experimental studies of the effects of school tours to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR., and to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, AR.

Chapter 1 focuses on arts exposure and critical thinking outcomes. A problem for the arts’ role in education has been a …


The Effectiveness Of Cash Transfers As A Policy Instrument In K-16 Education, Jonathan Norman Mills Jul 2015

The Effectiveness Of Cash Transfers As A Policy Instrument In K-16 Education, Jonathan Norman Mills

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Cash transfers, defined as direct transfers of purchasing power from an institution or individual to another individual, are an increasingly popular policy instrument both abroad and in the United States. This dissertation investigates how two educational interventions utilizing cash transfers affect participating students. The first, the Louisiana Scholarship Program, is a statewide program offering publicly financed scholarships for low income students attending poorly performing public schools to attend K-12 private schools. The second program, the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, is a state financed broad-based merit-aid scholarship for students in college within the state of Arkansas. In general, the results presented …


A Random Assignment Evaluation Of A College And Career Coaching Program, Sarah Burks Moore Jul 2015

A Random Assignment Evaluation Of A College And Career Coaching Program, Sarah Burks Moore

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Razor C.O.A.C.H. (Creating Opportunities for Arkansan’s Career Hopes) is a college and career coaching program for at-risk students in 15 Northwest Arkansas high schools. To perform a random assignment evaluation, at-risk students were targeted to apply to the program, and applicant students were randomly assigned to the program. Academic coaches from the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions utilized a needs-based intervention focusing on pro-academic behaviors, college or technical school preparation, and post-secondary and career exploration. The evaluation included two cohorts of students. Cohort One treatment students received the full intervention throughout the 2012-13 school year, and …


A Search For Understanding Why Male, Long Term High School Dropouts Resist Returning To Complete A Secondary Credential, Robert S. Mcgowan Jul 2015

A Search For Understanding Why Male, Long Term High School Dropouts Resist Returning To Complete A Secondary Credential, Robert S. Mcgowan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Much of the resistance for returning to education seems to be related to the same reasons students left school to begin with. The reason for dropping out and resisting to return to school may be a result of too much emphasis on academic preparation and too little emphasis on satisfying the perceived needs for preparing a youth for adulthood. Four themes emerged from the field-note based interviews: (1) all students do not learn the same way, (2) there is a need for more participatory learning, (3) learning should be relevant to life as perceived by the student, and (4) there …


Comparing Schools: From Value Added To Sound Policy, Jeffery Richmond Dean May 2015

Comparing Schools: From Value Added To Sound Policy, Jeffery Richmond Dean

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Over the last twenty years, value added measures (VAMs) have proliferated in education research and policy. Whether applied to teachers, schools, or districts, VAMs have attempted to measure the contribution made by a unit of interest toward observed student outcomes, typically test scores in literacy and math. At the same time, a small number of states have developed methods to formally compare schools on those outcomes, and such methods may be used and intended in ways that qualify them as a kind of VAM. My primary interest is to evaluate the properties of a similar schools model I develop in …


A Promise Kept In El Dorado? An Evaluation Of The Impact Of A Universal, Place-Based College Scholarship On K-12 Achievement And High School Graduation, Jennifer W. Ash May 2015

A Promise Kept In El Dorado? An Evaluation Of The Impact Of A Universal, Place-Based College Scholarship On K-12 Achievement And High School Graduation, Jennifer W. Ash

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The El Dorado Promise is a scholarship program that provides approximately $7,818 per year toward college tuition - for up to five years - to public high school graduates in El Dorado, Arkansas who have attended El Dorado schools since at least the ninth grade. The program was announced in January 2007, and students were able to use the college scholarships in the fall of 2007. School leaders in El Dorado hoped that the enhanced access to college would increase student interest, engagement, and achievement throughout the school district. In this study, I use one-to-one student-level matching to estimate the …


The Impact Of Latino Growth On Educational Institutions In Northwest Arkansas From 1990- 2010: Two Decades Of Change In Curriculum Design, Educational Resources And Services For Latino Students, Aíxa García Mont May 2015

The Impact Of Latino Growth On Educational Institutions In Northwest Arkansas From 1990- 2010: Two Decades Of Change In Curriculum Design, Educational Resources And Services For Latino Students, Aíxa García Mont

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With the changing demographics nationwide of Latinos moving from urban traditional

settlements sites to non-traditional settlement sites such as Arkansas (Pew Hispanic Research Group, 2013; Smith, 2014; Smith and Furuseth, 2005) Arkansas is now part of the new south or El Nuevo South (Smith and Furuseth, 2005). Although Arkansas is a non-traditional receiving state it is one of the states with the largest growing Latino population (Pew Hispanic Research Group, 2013). Northwest Arkansas in particular has the largest concentration of Latinos to date with the area being host to some of the largest companies in the United States, such as …


The Effects Of Kindergarten Redshirting From A Parental Perspective, Kelli Dougan May 2014

The Effects Of Kindergarten Redshirting From A Parental Perspective, Kelli Dougan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Kindergarten redshirting is the term used to describe the phenomenon where a parent chooses to keep their child from attending kindergarten so that the child may gain a year's worth of maturity. This qualitative dissertation examines the decision making process undergone by parents who have redshirted their children. While some parents began the decision making process soon after their child's birth, every parent in the study considered the decision carefully. The study also provides an analysis of the outcomes the redshirting has provided for children as perceived by their parents. Parents rated the academic, Social and emotional effects of kindergarten …


Risky Business? An Analysis Of Teacher Characteristics And Compensation Preferences, Daniel Henry Bowen Dec 2013

Risky Business? An Analysis Of Teacher Characteristics And Compensation Preferences, Daniel Henry Bowen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Teacher quality has a significant impact on both student learning gains and later life outcomes. With this is mind, policymakers implement reforms to attract and retain more effective educators. A major obstacle for designing these policies is that the ingredients for training, as well as initially identifying, effective teachers remain largely a mystery. However, there are strong theoretical arguments for certain education policy reforms producing improvements in the quality of the teacher workforce. One increasingly popular example is performance-based pay. Performance pay has the potential to better align teachers' incentives to produce increases in student achievement. Paying teachers based on …


The Academic Impacts Of Attending A Kipp Charter School In Arkansas, Caleb P. Rose Aug 2013

The Academic Impacts Of Attending A Kipp Charter School In Arkansas, Caleb P. Rose

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

KIPP Delta College Preparatory School (KIPP: DCPS), an open-enrollment charter school, opened in 2002 in Helena, Arkansas. Since its opening, KIPP: DCPS students have consistently outperformed their peers in the Helena/West Helena School district, and moreover, recent test scores suggest that white students and minority students are achieving at the same rate, essentially eliminating the achievement gap that persists between whites and minorities elsewhere in the state. In fact, KIPP's achievement record was so influential that when Arkansas lawmakers instituted a cap on the number of open-enrollment charter schools in the state, they made an exception for KIPP, essentially allowing …


An Analysis Of Intradistrict Funding Equity In Rural And Urban School Districts, James Lynn Woodworth May 2013

An Analysis Of Intradistrict Funding Equity In Rural And Urban School Districts, James Lynn Woodworth

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

After a long process of judicial action, states have revised the education funding distribution systems to meet the legal requirement of providing both horizontal and vertical funding equity between districts (interdistrict) in the state. A major part of the judicially required reforms was a shift to weighted student funding or funding which provides differential amounts of education funding dependent on the estimated needs of students based on their individual characteristics. However, little research has been done to examine the equity of the funding distribution systems between schools within districts (intradistrict).

Intradistrict funding inequities are likely to persist in districts today …


Does Mission Matter? Examining The Role Of Organizational Mission And Religious Identity In Schools Participating In The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Michael Mcshane May 2013

Does Mission Matter? Examining The Role Of Organizational Mission And Religious Identity In Schools Participating In The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Michael Mcshane

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

For decades, theories of bureaucracy have emphasized the importance of organizational mission in thriving organizations. This dissertation will examine the role of organizational mission in schools, particularly, a sample of schools that participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the nation's oldest and largest school voucher program. Using teacher and school leader survey data, coupled with measures of student achievement, it will measure mission coherence and correlate it with a variety of outcome variables of interest. It will also take a particularly close look at the role of mission in religious schools.


Perceptions Of High School Students Of The Impact Of A School Uniform Policy, Stacy L. Gregory May 2013

Perceptions Of High School Students Of The Impact Of A School Uniform Policy, Stacy L. Gregory

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

High schools are tirelessly pondering ideas of enhancing the learning environment by increasing academic engagement and safety. This phenomenology study was designed to report and analyze the perceptions of selected students about their academic engagement and safety while attending one high school. Data for this study were obtained through interviews that were conducted on two levels: focus group and individual interviews. The results indicate that uniforms by themselves have little to do with a student's academic engagement. Students believe that their teachers play a big part in the way that they participate in educational tasks. They also believe that engaging …


The Impact Of State Characteristics On College Graduation Rates At Land-Grant Institutions, Melissa Bridges May 2013

The Impact Of State Characteristics On College Graduation Rates At Land-Grant Institutions, Melissa Bridges

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

As our nation's economy has become increasingly knowledge-based, an educated citizenry is paramount to maintaining a competitive edge in a global marketplace. Thus, college participation and completion have emerged as the gateway to survival and growth for individuals, states, and the nation, making college completion rates a top priority. Stakeholders have begun to equate graduation rates with institutional quality and performance and often use such data to make judgments, create policies, and allocate funding. However, graduation rates are not fully understood and numerous scholars urge caution when interpreting and utilizing single outcome measures. The purpose of this cross-sectional ecological study …


Alternative Education Completers: A Phenomenological Study, Becky Lynne Murray May 2013

Alternative Education Completers: A Phenomenological Study, Becky Lynne Murray

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Billy is a bright, wide-eyed, little boy with bounding enthusiasm and wonder as he enters the doors of school on his first day of kindergarten. When the school doors open in Billy's sixth grade year the wide eyes and bounding enthusiasm have diminished only to leave behind dread and dismay at the thought of confronting yet another abysmal nine months of failure. How can we, as educators, better serve the needs of at-risk students like Billy? Shouldn't we ask them? What elements of the alternative education experience were significant to successful completion of the alternative education program? The phenomenological paradigm …


The Effects Of Summer Reading Programs On The Academic Achievement Of Elementary Students, Renee Deshommes May 2013

The Effects Of Summer Reading Programs On The Academic Achievement Of Elementary Students, Renee Deshommes

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Children with weakened academic skills face the possibility of having less access to higher education, or advanced career opportunities later in life. Such disadvantages, if not addressed, may result in a series of diminished opportunities that may affect a child's overall quality of life. Several educational experts suggest that the negative effects of the academic achievement gap are cumulative, and many educational experts also believe that the achievement gap between high and low socioeconomic students continues to be a persistent problem for which few solutions have materialized. The potential for summer reading programs to be implemented as a mechanism to …


Family Policies And Institutional Satisfaction: An Intersectional Analysis Of Tenure-Track Faculty, Heather Lee Schneller Dec 2012

Family Policies And Institutional Satisfaction: An Intersectional Analysis Of Tenure-Track Faculty, Heather Lee Schneller

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Gender and faculty career advancement have been examined with a focus on academic work environment, including faculty workloads, mentoring relationships, access to research networks, and work-life balance. Previous studies concerned with gender, employment, and care work only have considered child care. Additionally, the exploration of faculty and care work focused specifically on gender instead of examining the interaction of race and gender. To date, no study on academic work-life policies includes faculty perceptions of their importance and effectiveness nor has the faculty assessment of eldercare policy been examined in relation to career success.

Guided by an intersectional perspective, this study …


The Neglected Minority: Interviews With Successful Community College Students From Poverty, Heather Hollifield-Hoyle Aug 2012

The Neglected Minority: Interviews With Successful Community College Students From Poverty, Heather Hollifield-Hoyle

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Poverty in the US is growing at an alarming rate. The current economic climate demands higher education to embrace the economic diversity of all students and to prepare them, regardless of economic class, for a globally competitive workplace. Unfortunately, the higher education community is not as adept at serving low-income students, as it is middle- and upper- income students. Low-income students are less likely than their more affluent peers to enroll in college or graduate. Employing qualitative narrative methods, this dissertation explores the factors that contributed to the persistence and success of 18, low-income, community college students. This study addresses …


Merit Pay In Arkansas: An Evaluation Of The Cobra Pride Incentive Program In The Fountain Lake School District, Nathan Charles Jensen May 2012

Merit Pay In Arkansas: An Evaluation Of The Cobra Pride Incentive Program In The Fountain Lake School District, Nathan Charles Jensen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Starting in the 2010-11, administrators at the Fountain Lake School District implemented the Cobra Pride Incentive Program (CPIP), a merit pay program designed to financially reward all school employees with year-end bonuses primarily for significant improvements in student achievement. At the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year, over $800,000 in bonuses were distributed to school personnel. Because of the substantial investment in this program, it was important to determine how the CPIP impacted the school counselors, teachers, and students of Fountain Lake, to see if any of the potential benefits of a merit pay program were realized.

The results from …