ERIC Number: ED297910
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Addressing the "At-Risk" Challenge in the Nonurban Setting.
Beyer, Francine S.; Smey-Richman, Barbara
Based on the assumption that the problem of the at-risk, low-achieving student lies at least in part with staff attitudes, the Special Populations Project at Research for Better Schools developed a survey instrument to measure staff attitudes and perceptions. The "Assessment of School Needs for Low Achieving Students: Staff Survey" includes nine scales: Classroom Management, Instruction, Parent Involvement, Principal Leadership, School Climate, School Programs, Staff Development, Student Involvement in Learning, and Teacher Expectations. To complete the survey, respondents rate their opinion or experience using a five-point Likert scale on the 228 individual items. The survey was field tested with 228 school staff from four nonurban schools in the mid-Atlantic region. When items with correlations below .50 were eliminated the items across the nine scales were reduced to 177. In interpreting the average mean score for each scale, lower scores reflect areas of higher need. Computed means for the nine scales ranged from 2.6 for Parent Involvement to 3.5 for Classroom Management. Overall staff perceived relatively more need in four areas, Parent Involvement, School Climate, Student Involvement in Learning, and Staff Development. Comparisons of individual school profiles indicate high consistency across the four schools except that elementary school teachers identified Principal Leadership as a top priority. The document concludes that this staff survey is a reliable instrument for prioritizing perceived staff needs for support in addressing the population of nonurban students at risk for poor academic achievement or failure. (DHP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).