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ERIC Number: ED554167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 239
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-5065-4
A Study of Wyoming School Resource Use and Instructional Improvement Strategies at Eight Wyoming Schools
Parady, Elizabeth Skiles
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Wyoming
The intersection of the accountability measures found in NCLB with the legislative response to the Campbell decisions in Wyoming has resulted in an unprecedented focus on accountability for student achievement and resource use. Funding provided to schools has increased with a concomitant drive for accountability and transparency, the publication of scores for schools, and legislative focus on the results generated from increased appropriations. The present study was designed to assess how the funding was actually implemented and was combined with studies from other researchers into an overall report from Lawrence O. Picus and Associates into a report for the Wyoming Legislature. The study provides a meaningful snapshot of school resource use in the first decade of the new century in Wyoming with a new school funding formula. Eight elementary schools were studied, with four classified as small schools with less than fifty students each and four prototypical schools with up to 220 students. The study compared the resource allocation basis used in the Wyoming Funding Model to school level resource use and assessed the use of school resources as applied to instructional improvement and student learning, using both baseline and follow up surveys along with site visits for data gathering. An initial survey and site visit was completed along with a follow up survey five years later. Generally the schools adopted a range of instructional strategies that were supported by current research and were grouped into ten elements. Nine of the ten groups of instructional strategies were considered common in that they were adopted by more than half the schools in the study, while only one (shared instructional leadership) was adopted by less than half of the schools in the study. The reported use of school resources by the prototypically sized schools were generally aligned with the resource allocations generated under the Wyoming Funding Model, although for small schools this alignment was less clear. As a result of this study, one recommendation is to broaden the specific use of the change in the structure of school time that was identified during the follow-up survey. A second recommendation is to recognize that technology is the next issue of equity. Careful allocation of funds and adherence to implementation of technologic advances is likely to improve equity for all students across Wyoming. A third recommendation is to note that the Wyoming Funding Model is a complex system and therefore open to improvement. Essentially, the Wyoming Funding Model is limited as a block grant vehicle for local decision-making. Thus, the continued refinement of the model and the ongoing allowance for local decision making likely provide the best balance between state centralized decision-making and local control. A fourth recommendation is to carefully consider further research into small school funding and the issues unique to these schools. Small schools work with a much smaller resource base, such that routine services available in larger schools are unavailable in smaller ones. Such small schools reported constant pressure from recruitment of their teachers from larger, higher paying schools and districts. Respondents were unanimous in their agreement that the use of data strengthens their school's focus on sustained student success and timely, targeted intervention. Finally, there was consensus that funding received under the Wyoming Funding Model is sufficient in both small and prototypical schools. [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 Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wyoming