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ERIC Number: ED554299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 208
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7710-1
Personnel Allocation in Middle Schools in the State of New Jersey: An Examination of School Context, Accountability Pressure, and Teacher Assignments
Kirk, Kelly L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
The key focus of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was to improve public education for all students in the United States, with an emphasis on closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students (Kantor & Lowe, 2006; Linn, Baker & Betebenner, 2002). The notion behind NCLB, to close the achievement gap, was praised, even by the Act's opponents (Kantor & Lowe, 2006; Hursh, 2007). However, the methods and systems mandated by the Act to meet this goal were met with controversy, as were the studies and data that supported the system of high-stakes testing for driving gains in student achievement (Ellis, 2007; Hursh, 2007; Jones, 2007; Karen, 2005; Linn, Baker & Betebenner, 2002; Nelson et al., 2007; Nichols, 2007; Roach & Frank, 2007; Vasquez-Heilig & Darling-Hammond, 2008). Many unforeseen consequences have occurred that are likely a result of the individual states adopting and enforcing high-stakes testing programs as mandated by NCLB. The narrowing of the curriculum (Dillon, 2006; Ellis, 2007; Hursh, 2007; Jones, Jones, & Hargrove, 2003; Kohn, 2000; Kozol, 2005; McNeil, 2000), an increased focus on basic-skills only education (Booher-Jennings, 2005; Ellis, 2007; Kohn, 2000), the reduction of attention and time devoted to non-tested subject areas (Dillon, 2006; Kantor & Lowe, 2006; Marx & Harris, 2006; Parsad & Spiegelman, 2012; Winstead, 2011), and the elimination of low-performing students from school (Kohn, 2000; Nichols & Berliner, 2008; Vasquez-Heilig & Darling-Hammond, 2008) have all been observed and documented. Some researchers have reported the extreme; that NCLB has led to a widening of the achievement gap between white and non-white students (Hursh, 2007) and has decreased the quality and availability of education to minority students, low-income students, and students in schools which struggle to meet federal NCLB benchmark scores (Kohn, 2000; Vasquez-Heilig & Darling-Hammond, 2008). The results and implications of these findings are a cause for concern. This dissertation addresses the need for additional research into this area by adding to the knowledge base that currently exists relating to the study of personnel resource allocations of school districts in different "contexts", or demographic situations (Brent, Roellke, and Monk 1997; Monk and Hussain, 2000; Baker, 2003; Sipple & Killeen, 2004; Killeen & Sipple, 2005; Baker, 2012). The goal of this research was to uncover data trends in staff resource allocation patterns in the three hundred and two middle schools in the state of New Jersey. Descriptive statistics relating to staff resource allocation in sixteen different curricular areas in four socioeconomic status context groups and four accountability pressure context groups were examined. The data gathered for this study supports the above-stated claims that NCLB has negative unintended side effects which may actually decrease the quality and robustness of the public education offered to all students. [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: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001