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ERIC Number: ED532458
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 237
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-3471-9
Pendulum Swings in Educational Policymaking: The Effects of Organizational, School, Financial and Social Characteristics on Student Performance Outcomes in Michigan School Districts
Dyson, Dana D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Wayne State University
Reforms in American public education have not resolved the wide academic performance gap between students attending schools in poor, large, urban centers versus schools in wealthier areas. Aggregate performance outcomes on state achievement tests reveal that some school districts consistently outperform others, a few fluctuate over time but are around acceptable levels and others struggle miserably to meet state standards. Officials respond by developing and implementing reforms to reduce the performance gap. One such policy is the Federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. NCLB requires schools and school districts to close the student achievement gap by the year 2014. All students must achieve proficiency on state standardized exams. Arguably, some districts may not have the capacity to meet these standards. This study investigates whether organizational, school, financial and social resources affect successful student academic performance at the school district level. Given the current condition of some school districts, it seems that they will fail to meet the NCLB accountability standards target date of 2014. My approach to investigating performance outcomes is to examine the variation in resource distribution in 517 Michigan Public School Districts. I suggest that these resources provide districts with a given amount of accumulated resources, wealth and interest that can be drawn on later. Intuitively, districts with fewer resources will face greater constraints in their capacity to meet NCLB and improve performance outcomes. Equally, those districts rich in resources are equipped effectively to invest in their students. The study of school effects is important because understanding how contextual factors influence school district performance provides a model for improving student performance outcomes in underperforming districts. Using factor and regression analyses, this study measures the relationship between organizational, school, financial and social characteristics and student performance outcomes. The dependent variable measures student performance at the district level (e.g., graduation rates, standardized assessment scores in reading and mathematics). Independent variables include organizational, school, financial and social constructs. My units of analysis are school districts in the State of Michigan. The year under study is 2004-2005. My major research question is; what external and contextual factors account for the variation in school district performance in Michigan school districts? How do resources vary among districts? [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001