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Exploring the Purpose of School after NCLB Steve Stemler Lauren Sonnabend Wesleyan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring the Purpose of School after NCLB Steve Stemler Lauren Sonnabend Wesleyan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring the Purpose of School after NCLB Steve Stemler Lauren Sonnabend Wesleyan University

2 Intro What is the purpose of school? –Clearly not monolithic –Varies by school type – focus on secondary Thesis: The prominent purposes of school shift over time as a result of political, social influences –Empirical way to evaluate prominent purposes? Four Specific Research Questions

3 Do missions vary by State? Need different pictures to represent different political influences (red/blue) and different landscapes (cornfields of IA v. City of NY v. Industry of XX v. Microsoft in WA)?

4 Do missions vary by Urbanicity? Show pictures of urban, suburban, rural schools/areas Different needs for different schools Media statements about what urban schools should do for children –Some evidence that indicates that urban schools are called upon to be “home”

5 Do Missions Vary by NCLB Status? Failing Schools v. High-Performing Schools Show league table ranking high- performing and low-performing schools Picture of a multiple-choice test with pencil

6 Do Missions Change over Time? Insert Blank Timeline with Dates from 1900 to today –We can just create this in the draw feature

7 Background Philosophers of Education Historical Timeline that shows when civic development was important, when emotional, when social, when cognitive, etc.

8 Background Federal v. Local Control of Education Show different Federal educational policies (Goals 2000 with their safe schools, NCLB with their cognitive emphasis) on Historical Timeline –Can you search for something like this on the web?

9 Background State Influences on Education MA Constitution –First US State Constitution –Written by John Adams –Direct quote on purpose of schools

10 Background How this gets translated into legal responsibilities today McDuffy 7 –Kentucky, MA, other states

11 Background Parental perspectives and student perspectives Survey results

12 Summary All conclude that there are multiple purposes to schools No one purpose has inherent precedence over another Two problems –No systematic voice of the schools themselves! –Can’t all have precedence simultaneously; must change over time. Influenced by policy?

13 Our Study Look at school’s perspective Using Mission Statements Why Mission Statements? –Simple, effective, easy to obtain and analyze –Necessary for accreditation (cite) –School Effectiveness Lit shows that more effective schools show comittment to shared vision –Prior research (Stemler & Bebell; Strobel; Havelauk)

14 Study 1: Purpose Longitudinal Analysis of School Mission Statements Research Question: Do they change over time and if so, in what ways?

15 Study 1: Methods Truly random sample of 50 MA secondary schools. 90% response rate (n=45) Content Analysis of Statements –Give Example with Scoring Rubric

16 Study 1: Methods Example Statements and Scoring Rubrics Rubric Interrater reliability results:

17 Study 1: Methods Reported in Stemler & Bebell 2001 NEERO paper –Pre-NCLB Looked at same schools 5 years later. Had they changed at all?

18 Study 1: Results 50% changed, 50% did not Graph showing how they changed Common argument – NCLB narrow’s schools focus Findings = added one more thing on top – didn’t throw anything away! Shift in emphasis from civic, emotional, cog to cog, civic, emot Qualitative example of loss of “love of learning” in favor of “critical thinking” –Need 2 or so examples here

19 Study 2: Purpose Large-scale empirical analysis –Examine systematic differences by state, urbanicity, and NCLB status Geographically and politically diverse states –Give picture with the states we picked highlighted

20 Study 2: Methods How we did it –Purposive selection of 10 geographically and politically diverse states –Random selection of 50 public high schools in each state –Selection criteria > 70% with mission statements Coding Rubric –Interrater reliability –Modification from 2001 to 2006

21 Study 2: Results Table with 10 states and % with mission statements/websites Kind of interesting sidenote, probably first study to look at truly random sample and estimate prevalence of school websites

22 Results Systematic differences by state? Graph Summarize – CO, NY/CA, TX/FL

23 Results Urbanicity Table Urban schools being asked to do more than most (article lit review/media)

24 Results NCLB Confounded with urbancity? –Check this – compare percentage of pass and fail by urbanicity Explanation

25 Discussion Summary of our findings overall as related to major questions

26 Limitations Does mission match practice? –Any influence practice at all? Mention phone interviews –Findings –Summary –Qualitative

27 Broader Implications Study presents empirical approach to evaluating school perspective –Currently missing in literature Study provides a technique for monitoring social weather and its impact on school


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