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Roger S. Baskin, Sr. George Mason University April 21, 2010 Perceptions of Central Office Administrators Regarding the Achievement Gap.

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Presentation on theme: "Roger S. Baskin, Sr. George Mason University April 21, 2010 Perceptions of Central Office Administrators Regarding the Achievement Gap."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roger S. Baskin, Sr. George Mason University April 21, 2010 Perceptions of Central Office Administrators Regarding the Achievement Gap

2 Introduction This research prospectus is designed to communicate my interest in studying the perceptions of central office administrators regarding the achievement gap. In this presentation, I will relay my understanding of the problem, research questions, my conceptual framework, and proposed methodology.

3 Problem The achievement gap between majority population students and historically marginalized students is a persistent problem in American schools. The role of teachers and school-based administrators in impacting this phenomenon has been researched from a variety of methodological perspectives.

4 Problem The role of central office administrators, though significant in the direction that schools take, has not been thoroughly researched regarding its impact on the achievement gap. Additionally, the way central office administrators understand the achievement gap and its solutions has not been thoroughly dealt with among leadership scholars.

5 Research Questions RQ1: What beliefs do central office administrators have about the causes and solutions of the achievement gap? RQ2: What are the perceptions of central office administrators regarding their role in impacting the achievement gap? RQ3: How are their beliefs operationalized in their decision making regarding use of data, program development, and policy implementation?

6 Conceptual Framework Achievement Gap Perception of the Achievement Gap Agency Perception of their Role in Impacting the Achievement Gap as a Central Office Administrator Degree of Deliberative Intervention Outcomes for Data Interpretation, Program Development, and Policy Implementation

7 Results from a Previous Study Person 1Person 2Person 3 Race White Gender Female Male RQ1 Teacher gap between teacher preparation and student needs Performance gap between the childs performance and potential 1.Gap between business expectations and what schools offer 2. Gap in opportunity based on economic condition RQ2 Its been really challenging to promote this perspective … Alliances are beneficial. There are people who have positional power … They have to be consulted. Everyone has their own little thiefdom in central office. RQ3 Advocating for students by challenging schedule changes Making AP classes more accessible to underrepresented populations I have conversations about what I believe.

8 Methodology InterviewsSurvey I plan to interview central office administrators for one hour from instructional services departments, special education departments, and ESOL departments. I also plan to focus on one school district in the state of Virginia. Follow up interviews will be held on an as-needed basis. I plan to survey each person I interview regarding demographic information including race, age, years of experience in the position, teaching experience, and department for which they currently work. In addition to demographic information, the survey will also ask respondents to complete statements (for example: We have an achievement gap because...)

9 Methodology InterviewsSurvey I plan to use purposive sampling in the selection of interviewees in order to get perspectives from the aforementioned departments. After audio taping the interviews, I plan to transcribe each interview with the use of Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. I also plan to use NVivo to categorize responses from the various participants. The demographic information will be analyzed with the help of SPSS. The responses to statements will be coded through the use of NVivo.

10 Initial Findings In my previous study of this topic, I found that there was a relationship between the definition of the achievement gap, the degree of agency, and the actions taken to impact the achievement gap. Person one in the table above was the most critical of her district and demonstrated the highest degree of deliberative intervention by going to classrooms and advocating for specific children and schedule changes. Person one also intentionally developed social capital through the recruitment of allies to support her ideas about the achievement gap. Person three showed the least amount of criticism of the district and tended to support the current actions of the district.


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