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ERIC Number: ED533418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 407
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-7963-5
A Socioeconomic Dilemma: A Study of a New Jersey "I" DFG District Where High Student Achievement Does Not Make the Grade
Altonjy, Thomas J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, College of Saint Elizabeth
This action research focuses on a New Jersey affluent socioeconomic school district where student performance on state mandated proficiency assessments consistently result below District Factor Group (DFG) expectations. Socioeconomic status (SES) has always been believed to be a contributing factor that influences student achievement; however, more recent studies of the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement have concluded that the positive correlation between SES and achievement is much weaker than earlier reports. Other factors besides SES are explored as to their impact on student achievement in this contextual study. Specifically, the extent of impact of "school climate," "building and district leadership," and "curriculum and instruction" were investigated. Findings were determined as a result of conducting both quantitative and qualitative research with teacher and administrator participation utilizing surveys and focus groups, along with formal and informal observations, a modified curriculum audit, and an analysis of seven years of state testing results. It was found that the overall school climate was positive, but specific issues surfaced that hindered the development of a more affirmative climate within particular aspects of school climate (namely, beliefs, supervision, impediments, support, and recognition). Building and district leadership was not perceived as optimistically by teachers as the administrators themselves, except in the case of elementary building leadership. Curriculum scope and quality were acceptable, but accurate execution and aspects of quality instruction were absent. School climate and leadership were found to have varying degrees of impact on student achievement dependent upon grade levels and curricular content areas, while the impact of curriculum and instruction on student achievement was inconclusive. In addition, parental involvement and student motivation emerged as additional potential areas of consideration and concern. Following a detailed description regarding the findings, an action plan of recommendations is suggested for implementation to address the substandard student achievement. [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: New Jersey