ERIC Number: ED464919
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Limits of Sanctions in So Called Failing Schools: A Study of Maryland and Kentucky Schools on Probation.
This study investigated the effect of probation on individual performance motivation, organizational processes, and patterns of instruction in schools that were on probation for low achievement in Maryland and Kentucky. Findings are based on case studies of 11 schools on probation, 7 in Maryland and 4 in Kentucky, and all 11 schools had high proportions of students from poverty and minority backgrounds. Each case study consisted of quantitative and qualitative data: interviews, classroom observations, meeting observations, and survey questionnaires. About half the schools were elementary schools; the rest were middle schools. Studies of individual learning and organizational development show that probation in the context of the 11 schools provided unfavorable conditions for learning new and ambitious performance-based pedagogy. For many teachers, the state assessments did not provide meaningful tools for the self-evaluation of their teaching. On the organizational level, probation fostered rigidity and compliance with external obligations to the detriment of organizational learning and internal dialog. While large numbers of teachers in the 11 schools viewed themselves as highly competent professionals, 70% to 80% of the observed lessons in Maryland did not show evidence of elaborate level teaching at all. On the positive side, findings show that almost all of the 11 schools were modestly energized by the probation label, and teachers in all schools reported that they increased work effort and engagement in school improvement. When asked to select priorities for school improvement, teachers cited several factors, but not even 10% believed that a new pedagogy should be the first thing on the agenda. (Contains 55 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Maryland