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ItemAn Investigation of the Modes of Conflict Utilized by Large School Principals(2015-11-24) Martinez, Doreen A; Simieou, Felix; Kajs, Lawrence; Grigsby, Bettye; Morgan, BryanThis was a study of the investigation of the modes of conflict utilized by large school principals when dealing with principal-teacher conflict. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between the principal’s sex, years of administrative experience, years on current campus, and years of educational experience have on the mode of conflict resolution utilized when dealing with principal-teacher conflict. The modes of conflict explored in this study were the following: avoiding, competing, accommodating, compromising, and collaborative modes. The participants of this study included 39 large school secondary principals employed in Texas during the 2013-2014 school year. The modes of conflict were measured by the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI). The data from the TKI were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent samples t-test, and the Pearson Product Moment Correlation (r). The results of the analysis indicated a strong, statistically significant mean relationship between the sex of the participant and the collaborating mode of conflict. This finding indicated females tend to utilize the preferred mode of conflict. In addition, a statistically significant negative relationship existed between the principal’s years on their campus and the use of the competitive mode of conflict. Thus as the number of years the principal remains on their current campus, the less likely they were to utilize the competitive mode of conflict when dealing with principal-teacher conflict. No significant relationships were found in the principal’s years of education and administration and their use of the modes of conflict when dealing with principal/teacher conflict. The results of this study will help educational leaders gain a better understanding of how conflict can be utilized to bring about change in education. In addition, it provided research to support the need to include conflict resolution training to principal preparation programs in order to retain highly qualified leaders and reduce burnout due to unmanaged conflict. The results of the study also added to current research that males and females approach conflict differently. Ultimately, this study brought an awareness that conflict is not necessarily bad for an organization, and has the potential to help a school make the necessary leaps to achieve academic success. ItemThe influence of leadership development programs on the job-related self-efficacy of first year assistant principals(2015-12-07) Craig, Emily Anne; Schumacher, Gerald T.; Peters, Michelle; Divoll, Kent; Lemley, BrettThe purpose of this mixed methods study was to consider the influence of participating in a Leadership Development Program (LDP) on the job-related self-efficacy of first-year assistant principals. By conducting this research, more focused attention could be given to the leadership succession planning of school administrators. The procedure involved a purposive sample of first-year assistant principals who were members of TEPSA (Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association) or TASSP (Texas Association of Secondary School Principals). These participants were surveyed using the researcher-constructed First-Year Administrator Job-Related Self-Efficacy Scale. The quantitative data involved a 6-point Likert-style survey based on the TExES competencies for principal certification. A smaller group of nine first-year assistant principals who had participated in a LDP provided qualitative data through structured interviews with the researcher. Results of this study indicated that those participants who participated in a LDP had a higher self-efficacy on 30 of the 33 (90.9%) competency statements which were assessed. Additionally, interview participants identified personal motivation, support from others, and prior experiences as factors in their success during their first year. Areas in which first-year assistant principals felt less confident involved management and operational tasks. ItemExploring the interplay between psychosocial learning environmental factors, motivation, and self-regulation in 9th -12th grade science(2015-12-09) Blanco, Kathleen; Grigsby, Bettye; Weiser, Brenda; Carman, Carol; Divoll, KentStudents who once loved science are somehow losing the passion as they progress through their high school courses. There is a need to create science literate citizens; however, it is difficult to accomplish this task if students are not motivated to learn science during their high school years. As a result, this non-experimental, quantitative study examined 9th -12th grade student perceptions of the psychosocial learning factors within a science classroom and their impact on motivation and self-regulation to learn science concepts. Archival data from a convenience sample during the 2013-2014 school year was used for this study. The What is Happening In This Class (WIHIC) and Students’ Adaptive Learning Engagement in Science (SALES) instruments were used to measure the relationships between the psychosocial learning factors, motivation, and self-regulation within a science classroom. Findings indicated there is a statistically significant positive relationship between student perceptions of the psychosocial learning environment and motivation to learn science. There is also a statistically significant positive relationship between student perceptions of the psychosocial learning environment and a student’s self-regulation practices as they relate to learning science concepts. Additionally, there is evidence of a statistically significant relationship between grade level and student perceptions of the psychosocial learning environment. ItemDetermining Equivalence in learning outcomes for freshman-level composition courses taught online and via face-to-face delivery(2016-03-15) Delauro, Kimberly Ann; Morgan, Bryan; Carman, Carol; McEnery, Lillian; Willis, JanaDistance learning has become an increasingly important element in the landscape of higher education, with more colleges and universities considering distance learning course delivery as part of their strategic plans. While distance-learning courses are often assumed to have equal learning outcomes as their face-to-face counterparts, very few studies have quantitatively explored whether this is indeed the case. This study sought to determine whether freshman-level composition courses taught via a traditional face-to-face delivery method and courses taught via online delivery had equivalent course outcomes. For this study, essays written by community college freshman students in the second half of the fall 2014 semester in courses using both delivery modes were assessed by three independent raters, using a rubric. The two one-sided t test (TOST) method was used to determine equivalence and ascertain whether the students’ scores fell within a zone of equivalence of ±30% of the mean for the scores. Because the face-to-face students had consistently higher means, t tests were then used to determine whether these differences were significant. The findings of this study revealed that the face-to-face and distance learning freshman composition courses were not equivalent for any of the rubric outcome areas of essay structure, essay content, essay clarity, and use of sources. The findings also indicated that for most of the outcome areas, the means were significantly different, with the face-to-face students out-performing the distance-learning students in all of the rubric outcome areas. ItemThe importance of the principal evaluation process on student achievement(2016-05-09) McMahon, Marcia K; Schumacher, Gerald T.; Divoll, Kent; Harrell, Scott; Weiser, BrendaOver the last 30 years, research has examined the role principals play in shaping school improvement and developing a foundation for student learning. This mixed methods study examined the relationship between school districts' principal evaluation processes and potential impact on student achievement in reading and mathematics. This study, conducted within 27 Texas school districts, surveyed principals and teachers from 41 campuses, as well as district office representatives. This study was conducted in three parts. First, principals were administered the Principal Evaluation Attributes, Feedback and Perception survey to measure their perceptions concerning the evaluation process in the areas of accountability, increased student achievement, professional growth, incentives for improvement, adherence to policy, and fostering school climate. Next, district evaluation instruments were analyzed with student performance in reading and mathematics on the 2011 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skill assessment to determine if a relationship between the quality of district developed instruments and student performance existed. Findings indicated that there was no correlation between principal evaluation instruments and student achievement. Survey results indicated that evaluation processes within districts are perceived as merely a checklist for complying with district policy and have little impact on principal professional growth or student achievement. The second component of the study included semi-structured interviews with school district level officials who were responsible for conducting the principal evaluation process. The findings suggest principal supervisors concurred with the use of district developed checklists as a means to evaluate campus principals, but had a different perception in relationship to principal performance, use for professional development, and impact on student achievement. Finally, new to this body of research, was the capturing of teacher perceptions regarding specific principal behaviors that impact student achievement in relation to the principal evaluation process. On on-line survey of teachers from the 41 campuses from this study was conducted in the spring of 2015. Teachers in this study indicate that professional growth opportunities for the campus principal should focus on school wide improvements, not necessarily personal principal development. Teachers found effective principals implement classroom-coaching strategies to improve instruction, outline expectations, and mandate needed professional growth individualized for optimal teacher performance. Thus, effective principals align professional development identified through the analysis of multiple sources of data and relate those findings to specific areas of teacher professional growth. Critical in this process is the amount of time principals spend observing classroom instruction and providing effective feedback to classroom teachers. ItemExamining the influence of academic, procedural, and social factors on students’ transition from elementary to middle school(2016-05-13) Lovette, Christina; Peters, Michelle; Orange, Amy; Graves, Shanna; Corrales, AntonioThe purpose of the study is to examine the perceptions of students, teachers and parents regarding the transition from elementary to middle school. Research was conducted using a sequential mixed methods approach to examine the perceptions and attitudes of key stakeholders involved in the transition process. A purposeful sample of 6th grade students, parents and teachers from four middle schools located in a large suburban school district in Southeastern Texas participated in both a survey and focus group interviews. This study investigated the academic, procedural and social factors that occur in middle school and their influence on the students’ transition process. Analysis was conducted on responses from perception surveys and interviews conducted with students, teachers and parents. The theoretical frameworks used as a basis for this study include both the Stage Fit Environment Theory and Social Bonding Theory. Findings appear to be mixed across stakeholders. Findings related to academic factors from students, teachers, and parents indicated Positive perceptions on most factors including being able to choose some classes, having new teachers, getting good grades, and changing classes. Varied responses were reflected from students, teachers, and parents from the four campuses about pressure to do well, harder classes, and how much homework students are assigned. Responses related to procedural factors showed mostly Positive perceptions from students, teachers, and parents pertaining to being in a larger school, more freedom, older students, more choices at lunch, and new rules and expectations. In slight contrast, stakeholders responded either Positive or Neither Neutral nor Positive about having lockers, using lockers, and riding the bus. Students, teachers, and parents were divided on perceptions related to finding their way around or getting lost, and getting to class on time. Social factors were responded to Positively by stakeholders related to making new friends, participating in sports, clubs, and etc., attending school events, getting along with other students, new and more students, and fitting in. Negative perceptions were reflected about being made fun of, and safety and being hurt by others by most students, teachers, and parents. Variations in responses were observed about feeling pressure to do well by all stakeholder with both Negative and Neither Negative nor Positive perceptions reflected. ItemFactors That May Lead Instructional Coaches to Leave That Role: A Mixed-Method Case Study(2016-05-13) Lancaster, Amy L.; Browning Hawkins, Sandra; McDonald, Denise; McEnery, Lillian; Beavers, ElizabethIn many school districts across the United States, initiatives geared toward improving classroom instruction now include instructional coaching models. The utilization of instructional coaches (ICs) is becoming more prevalent in districts for the purpose of providing job-embedded PD and follow-through with additional coaching sessions to help teachers implement new learning. If utilized correctly, ICs benefit districts by improving instruction, which impacts students' learning (Knight, 2007). In one large suburban school district in Texas, ICs were leaving the profession at an average rate of 26% annually. Frequent changes of ICs on campuses impede progress; therefore, school districts should identify reasons ICs leave the profession. This mixed-method case study provides insight into the factors that lead ICs to leave the coaching role. A survey of 90 instructional coaches from kindergarten-12th grade was conducted to solicit perceptions of the job. Eight interviews were also conducted to delve deeper into the experiences of four coaches who left the field to return to the classroom as well as four coaches who have remained in the role for at least six years. Utilizing grounded theory, an analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data revealed reasons ICs leave the coaching position as well as the experiences that motivate coaches to remain in the role despite the challenges they face. A lack of a clearly defined instructional coaching model was found to be the root cause of many of the challenges experienced by these coaches. Roles and responsibilities were not clearly defined for coaches, administrators, or teachers, leading to frustration. Instructional coaches were being utilized as data coaches, content specialists, administrators, and even substitute teachers. Recommendations are provided for district and campus administrators to create an instructional coach model that provides adequate training and support necessary to retain ICs in the role. ItemThe influence of information and communication technology implementation on teacher technological self-efficacy, technology proficiency, frequency perceptions, classroom practices, and student's classroom interactions(2016-08-02) Rossacci, Skyler Kay; Willis, Jana; Orange, Amy; Peters, Michelle; Shulsky, DebraThe study compared the differences between pre- and post-teacher technological self-efficacy, technology proficiency, frequency of use, perceptions, classroom practices, and student interactions when information and communication technology (ICT) is implemented in the classroom. Survey, teacher information technology logs, observation, and interview data were collected from a purposeful sample of urban middle school teachers in a southeast Texas school district. Quantitative data was analyzed using frequencies, percentages, means and two-tailed paired t-test. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis. Quantitative analysis revealed there was a significant mean difference between pre- and post-teacher technological self-efficacy for the Technology and Teaching Efficacy Scale and that there was not a significant mean difference between pre- and post- teacher technological proficiency for the Technology Proficiency Self-Assessment for 21st Century Learning survey. The qualitative analysis provided supporting evidence of the influence implementation of ICT had on teacher classroom practices and student classroom interactions pre- and post-ICT implementation. ItemFactors affecting early adoption of technology(2016-08-24) Mizell, Staci; Willis, Jana; Orange, Amy; Baker, Sheila; Peters, MichelleThe study examined preservice teachers’ personal use of technology, self-efficacy with technology, attitude about technology, perceived usefulness of technology, and knowledge and skills with technology related to early adoption of technology. Survey, interview, and demographic data were collected from a purposeful sample of instructors of an instructional technology course and a convenience sample of the preservice teachers enrolled in their sections of the class, in a mid-sized suburban university in the Gulf Coast region. The Students and Information Technology in Higher Education Survey, Computer Technologies and Strategies Scale, Attitudes toward Computer Technologies Scale, Technological Knowledge Survey component of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) surveys were used to determine the beliefs and attitudes reported by the preservice teachers. One-to-one interviews further explored the instructors’ beliefs and attitudes associated with the preservice teachers identified as early adopters of technology. Quantitative data was analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) and two-tailed independent t-tests, while an inductive coding process analyzed the collected qualitative data. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that there was a significant relationship between perceived usefulness and early adoption of technology. Significant correlations were also found between the independent variables: personal use was correlated with self-efficacy, attitude, perceived usefulness, and knowledge and skills. Statistically significant positive relationships were also observed between self-efficacy and attitude, self-efficacy and perceived usefulness, attitude and perceived usefulness, attitude and knowledge and skills, and perceived usefulness and knowledge and skills. The qualitative analysis provided supporting evidence that the model had correctly identified the early adopters of technology within each section of the course. ItemResiliency: Factors Effecting Academic Achievement of At Risk Fifth Grade Girls Living In Poverty(2016-08-26) Delestre, Niccole R.; Jones, Lisa; Dodo Seriki, Vanessa; Kahn, Michele; Marquez, JudithIn this study, the researcher explored the perceptions of academically successful at risk fifth grade girls living in poverty regarding risk factors present in their everyday lives. Also, the researcher explored the various coping processes these students used to negotiate life stressors to be academically successful. Therefore, the study was designed to examine resilience from the girls’ perspectives, allowing them to share their story about their success in school. The following research questions guided this study: 1. What protective factors contribute to resilience in at risk academically successful fifth grade girls living in poverty? 2. What effect does family have on the resiliency of at risk academically successful fifth grade girls living in poverty? The researcher collected and analyzed qualitative data from focus group sessions composed of five girls. The findings revealed that life stressors such as unclear expectations of teachers, experiencing a loss, and bullying caused life disruptions. In addition, the girls discussed how several coping processes like establishing and maintaining positive friendships, having a role model, and possessing certain inner qualities help them to achieve academic success. Findings suggest that educators must respect and value girls' assessment of their own academic success and allowing girls to enable their voice. In doing this, the practitioner can learn explicitly what works for at risk yet academically successful girls and perhaps apply it in closing opportunity gaps. In addition, after girls are encouraged to enable their voice, educators need to assist and support girls as they determine what changes they can implement to increase their self-efficacy. ItemA case study of teacher attitudes, belief systems, and behaviors associated with substantive student academic achievement in a charter school serving an economically disadvantaged urban population(2016-11-09) Goodman, Jennifer Suzanne; Schumacher, Gerald T.; Orange, Amy; McEnery, Lillian; Price, CarlosThe purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to research teacher attitudes, belief systems, and behaviors associated with academic achievement for students in a charter school serving an economically disadvantaged, urban population. This research sought to acquire teacher and student perceptions concerning what they believed were the most effective perspectives, convictions, and actions of successful teachers. Since the research shows that the teacher really matters and is the most impactful component to student academic achievement, then administrators can use these guiding qualities to hire the best teachers for their students and to focus on improving the caliber of their teachers. Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory was utilized to frame this study as the researcher viewed perceived best practices through the lens of four teachers and nine high school students in a public charter school. The findings indicated that research based best practices supporting effective teacher attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are consistent in a public charter school as well and the greatest opportunity for academic achievement improvements lies with the quality of the teachers. ItemThe Effects of Student and Teacher Ethnicity, Sex, and Teacher Experience on Achievement(2016-11-14) Parker, Brooke; Morgan, Bryan; Browning Hawkins, Sandra; Divoll, Kent; Williams-Duncan, OmahThere are multiple aspects of a learner’s experience, including instructional and environmental factors, which may affect achievement. Students may be more comfortable with whom they relate and share common experiences (Haberman & Post, 1998; Heath, 1971; Marx, 2008). But does this mean students learn best from teachers who look like them? This quantitative study, utilizing an ex post facto causal comparative analysis, investigated the effects of student and teacher ethnicity. All data was archival, consisting of 3,104 students in grade 10 and 139 teachers. Additional quantitative variables found in the data were also explored, including the effect of the sex of the student and teacher and the effect of teacher experience. Ethnicity, as well as sex, were found to have little impact. However, the data indicate teacher experience may have a greater impact on student achievement than either ethnicity or sex. Students whose teachers had 10 to 14 years’ experience demonstrated higher achievement in Mathematics. Further, students whose teachers had zero to four years’ experience outperformed their peers in Reading. Although the effect size was small, the data indicate students whose teacher had zero to four years of experience outperformed their peers respectively. ItemThe Dynamics between Immigrant Students Intercultural Competence/Adaptation and Language Learning of Chinese Immigrant Students: A Case Study(2016-11-28) Shi, Li; Kajs, Lawrence; Peters, Michelle; Divoll, Kent; Milovanovic, EdithAs a part of the immigrant population, the number of English language learners (ELLs) has steadily increased in United States (U.S.) schools. Most of these young immigrants who come to the U.S. with their parents are not prepared linguistically and culturally for the new culture and new school system. Consequently, many of these students arrive as non-English or limited English speakers. Along with the language barriers, immigrant children face issues of cultural adjustment in schools. Low language proficiency and lack of intercultural adaptation strategies can create difficulties that could impact immigrant students' academic learning, leading to low performance and low achievement. This study examines the dynamics of the relationship between first generation Chinese students' intercultural competence/adaptability and English language learning. ItemExamining general education teachers' perceptions about the factors that affect the academic progress of former bilingual education students who exit into all English classes(2016-12-05) Sandoval, Robyn; Sawyer, Cheryl; Corrales Chavez, Antonio; Peters, Michelle; Orange, AmyThe purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the general education teachers’ perceptions of factors that affect academic progress of former early-exit bilingual education students once they exit to all-English classes. The research questions guiding this study were: (1) What are the general education teachers’ perceptions of factors that affect the academic progress of former bilingual education students who have exited into all-English classes? (2) What instructional accommodations do general education teachers report using with their formerly bilingual education students? This study included data from a modified version of English-as-a-second language (ESL) Students in Mainstream Classrooms: A Survey of Teachers: and semi-structured interviews with 4th and 5th grade general education teachers. A purposeful sample of 15 general education teachers were interviewed in an attempt to provide a more in-depth understanding of the potential impact of general education teachers’ perceptions of former early-exit bilingual education academic progress once they exit into all-English classes. Data were collected through a mix-methods approach. Quantitative data were obtained through a modified 28-item Likert-scale survey instrument previously developed and validated, supplemented with qualitative, semi-structured interviews. The research questions were analyzed using statistical analyses of the survey data using SPSS and qualitative data analysis of the interviews. Demographic variables were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was recorded, transcribed and analyzed into common and overarching themes that general education teacher believe are the processes that provide former bilingual education students with the foundation needed to be successful in an all-English classroom: (a) benefits of bilingual education, (b) language acquisition, (c) educational support from school and home. Qualitative analysis results show that participants believe the main reasons why students have low academic achievement after transition is related to low proficiency in the area of English as a second language; lack of formal English as a second language instruction, especially in the areas of vocabulary and comprehension; inadequate implementation of the bilingual program model, and students’ early exit. ItemPerceptions of Administrators, Faculty, and Staff Regarding a Redesign Initiative Integrating Developmental Reading and Writing Instruction in a Community College Setting(2016-12-06) Deforest, Joanie; McEnery, Lillian; Huss-Keeler, Rebecca; Matthew, Kathryn; Raymond, RobertaNationally, an increasing number of underprepared students are enrolling in community colleges, and as a result, the enrollment of at-risk students in Developmental Education programs has soared. Community colleges have undergone much criticism for their lengthy college preparatory programs. Often, these programs require students with low placement test scores to endure many semesters of foundational coursework before they can progress to transferrable academic-level study. Severely at-risk students often give up and drop out. States across the country have begun to scrutinize Developmental Education programs, charging community colleges with the task of developing accelerated curriculum models to move students more quickly through college preparatory coursework. The Southeast Texas community college in this study redesigned two levels of existing standalone developmental reading and writing courses into a two-level integrated reading and writing curriculum, which cut the time to completion in half. This qualitative comparative analysis case study examined the perceptions of top and mid-level administrators, college preparatory reading and writing faculty, and academic advising staff, who were involved in the development and/or implementation of the course redesign. This examination was framed in Kotter’s Change Management Theory, Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory, and Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory. Four major themes resulted from this study: impetus of change, commitment to student success, trust and confidence, and collective collaboration. ItemInfluence of a district leadership development program on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year principals(2016-12-07) Tingle, Eric D; Peters, Michelle; Bell, Sanee; Corrales, Antonio; Orange, AmyThe purpose of this sequential mixed methods study was to determine the influence of a district leadership development program on 2nd, 3rd and, 4th year principals. A purposeful sample of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year principals in a large urban school district in the southwest region of the United States (U.S.) was solicited to provide responses to the Principal Effectiveness Survey to assess the influence cohort support, instructional leadership, human capital, executive leadership, school culture, and strategic operations had on principal effectiveness as school leaders. The survey data were analyzed using frequencies and percentages, while the focus group and interview data were analyzed using an inductive coding process. Findings obtained from participant responses to the Principals Effectiveness Survey indicated principals tend to feel that the activities related to Cohort Support had “medium” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders; activities related to Instructional Leadership had “medium” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders; activities related to Human Capital had “high” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders; activities related to Executive Leadership had “high” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders; activities related to School Culture had “high” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders; and activities related to Strategic Operations had “high” influence on their effectiveness as school leaders. Findings obtained from the focus groups and interviews identified four themes related to how the leadership development program’s trainings and support influenced principals’ effectiveness as school leaders: (a) principal supervisor and peer support, (b) no recollection of trainings, (c) shortcomings of the program, and (d) ways the program prepared the principals for leadership. ItemUsing a framework for collaborative teaching: how the constructs of the framework impact administrators' attitudes and practices regarding inclusion(2016-12-13) Stone, Melinda; Browning Hawkins, Sandra; Hendrix, Elaine; McDonald, Denise; Beavers, ElizabethThe purpose of this qualitative study was to look at how administrators perceive their role in supporting collaborative practices and their effectiveness while incorporating the framework of the Collaborative Teaching Project (CTP). The CTP was created by a suburban district to provide structure to collaborative teaching in order to address the needs of special education students. In this study looked, six different administrators were interviewed using an interview protocol in order to gain insight in to how they perceive their role as they implement collaborative teaching on their campuses. This study used a descriptive case study design and moved to an exploratory case study design in order to initially describe the Collaborative Teaching program created by a district and then explore its undetermined impact and outcomes as it relates to administrators’ attitudes and practices towards inclusive teaching. Results of this study indicated that the administrators that participated perceived their roles as relational and responsive. All of the themes and subthemes that emerged are directly related to how the teaming and training of the collaborative teaching project helped to provide support in the facilitation of co-teaching. The data also provide information on whether the project changed administrator perceptions of collaborative teaching and how administrators can support collaborative teaching on their campuses. ItemShaping a new suburban reality: a school district's response to its changing student demographic(2016-12-14) McConnell, Katie; Kahn, Michele; McDonald, Denise; Graves, Shanna; Jones, LisaDespite historical patterns of racial homogeneity, the composition of suburban areas and their schools are changing throughout the United States. This fact presents major challenges to the suburban schools charged with educating all students, including those that do not fit a suburban stereotype. This study focuses on one suburban community in Texas that experienced a significant change in racial and socio-economic demographics in the 1970s and 1980s. The research sought to understand how the change was experienced by different members of the school community, including school personnel, students, and community members. Using qualitative data collected through interviews with various members of the school community, a critical ethnography analysis was conducted. Based on normative, subjective, and objective claims made by the participants, the researcher made inferences on the participants’ statements to reconstruct them in to truth, identity, and subjective claims. These reconstructed claims allowed major trends to emerge. The trends that emerged include understanding the how and why of the demographic change, privilege, geography, the desire to maintain control, fear and safety, high school determinations, families, and gangs. The inclusion of Personal Asides, based on the researcher’s experiences being raised in the area and later as an employee of the district, were included as a narrative process to enhance the methodology and as an additional data source. As more districts across the country are facing such trends, taking a deeper look as to how such changes were experienced by different members of one educational community underscores the difficulty of such a transition and the necessity to be proactive and responsive to the needs of the community. Recommendations made based on the results suggest that consideration must be given equity within our school system to ensure that as more minority students move to suburban areas, we cannot perpetuate systems that have for many years failed too many minority students. ItemThe Impact of Public Prekindergarten on Social Competence and School Attendance for Hispanic Students Identified as English Language Learners(2017-03-30) Pelton, Robin RaNae; Graves, Shanna; Divoll, Kent; Jain, Preeti; Lastrapes, ReneeParticipation in prekindergarten for English Language Learners may positively impact social competence and decrease school absences, which may promote increased levels of academic achievement throughout the years a student is enrolled in school. The purpose of this two-phase, explanatory sequential mixed-methods study was to assess the impact of participation in a half-day public prekindergarten program on social competence and on school attendance of kindergarten, first, and second grade Hispanic English Language Learners, and then follow up by utilizing teacher focus groups to explain the results in greater depth. In the first phase of this study, quantitative survey data were collected from teachers, parents, and students themselves regarding their perceptions of social competence skills as measured by the Social Competence Scale – Teacher Version, the Social Competence Scale – Parent Version, and the Child Development Project Student Questionnaire – Social Competence Scale, respectively. Data were then analyzed using independent-samples t tests to determine if there was a statistically significant mean difference between social competence of Hispanic English Language Learners in kindergarten, first, and second grade who attended half-day public prekindergarten and a matched sample of Hispanic English Language Learners who did not, and determine if there was a statistically significant mean difference between school attendance rates of Hispanic English Language Learners in kindergarten, first, and second grade who attended half-day public prekindergarten and a matched sample of Hispanic English Language Learners who did not. For the second phase of this study, three qualitative focus groups were held with teachers in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, to better understand and explain the findings related to social competency. Quantitative data revealed that kindergarten Hispanic English Language Learners displayed statistically significant mean differences in their self-assessment of social competence, and second grade students displayed statistically significant mean differences in school attendance. Overall, Hispanic English Language Learners in this study who participated in half-day public prekindergarten demonstrated slightly increased, but not statistically significant differences in social competence and school attendance when compared to a matched set of Hispanic English Language Learners who did not. Qualitative data provided depth of understanding to those findings. Further research on structural variables of public prekindergarten programs and instructional quality is warranted to evaluate what specific components may have a statistically significant impact on developing social competence skills and increasing school attendance for Hispanic English Language Learners, making public prekindergarten a more effective early intervention strategy. ItemExamining Factors Contributing to the Resiliency of Unaccompanied Immigrant Students in High School(2017-04-18) Pena, Clara I.; Simieou, Felix; Marquez, Judith; Orange, Amy; Jones, LisaThe purpose of this qualitative study was to analyze the resiliency factors that influence academic achievement in unaccompanied alien children in high school. To determine factors that motivate unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Central America to have academic success, data from three student participants in a Texas high school, their parents, and several educators were collected and triangulated through interviews, observations, and photo-elicitation. Resiliency contributing to the student participants’ success in school was analyzed in two parts, internal and external protective factors. Overall, the internal factors derived from the individual character traits were similar for the three student participants to include: a high internal locus of control, personal competence, and religiosity and spirituality. The external factors in the study examined environmental and socio-cultural factors implemented by the school to engage and support UAC academically. Institutional structures that facilitated learning included curriculum and instruction, as well as a cohesive team of educators. The school culture and climate reinforced clear learning goals by setting high, yet reachable expectations for students while developing trusting and caring relationships. Specific teaching strategies, such as cooperative learning, encouraged students to socialize, facilitated acculturation, and supported both the student participants and the school’s goals for learning. Findings from the study indicated that the student participants experienced high academic achievement due to their personal character traits and the educational structures in place at their school that promoted resiliency.