ERIC Number: ED428907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Urgency, Responsibility, Efficacy: Preliminary Findings of a Study of High-Performing Texas School Districts.
Ragland, Mary A.; Asera, Rose; Johnson, Joseph F., Jr.
An on-going study of the performance of high-poverty schools in Texas is revealing entire school districts where such schools are achieving high academic results. Instead of isolated pockets of excellence, a few large and medium-sized districts have been identified in which a cluster of high-poverty schools is achieving at the top levels of the state's accountability system. During 1997-98, 10 Texas districts were studied in which between one-third and all of the high-poverty schools achieved a "recognized" or "exemplary" rating in the accountability system, based on standardized test scores, student attendance, and school dropout rates. Five of the districts studied were in south Texas near the Mexican border and had high overall rates of poverty and limited English proficiency. Interviews and observations in the 10 districts showed that success-breeding environments were created through the careful, diligent, and passionate efforts of superintendents, school boards, and central office leaders. First, superintendents and other district leaders created in their communities a sense of urgency for the improvement of academic achievement. Secondly, district leaders created an environment in which improving academic instruction became a responsibility shared by everyone at every school. Finally, district leaders recognized that high expectations needed high quality support and changed the role of the central office to focus on creating various support structures. (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Administrator Role, Educational Administration, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Educational Planning, Elementary Secondary Education, High Achievement, Leadership, Mexican American Education, Organizational Climate, Poverty, School Districts, School Effectiveness, Superintendents
Web site: http://www.starcenter.org/services/main.htm#product
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Charles A. Dana Center.
Identifiers - Location: Texas