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ERIC Number: ED556067
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 226
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-3708-0
School District of Philadelphia Student Achievement as Related to 2008-2009 K-8 Teachers' Perceptions of Major Academic Indicators
Mason-Dorman, Cheryl
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
The School District of Philadelphia (SDP), established in 1818, is the eighth largest school district in the United States, with a student enrollment of 184,560 K-12 students. Like most of the other large urban school districts in the United States, its student population consists of more minority students than non-minority students. As the white student population dwindles, due to the "white flight" of their parents from the city schools to private, parochial, and charter schools and the suburbs, the poverty level in the city's public schools has increased. An achievement gap between African American and Latino students and White students exists in nearly every school district in the United States. Low socioeconomic status (SES) is frequently cited as the reason students do not achieve academically. Because many African American and Latino students live in low SES areas, it is often assumed that their lack of success in school is primarily due to their home and neighborhood environments. Several educational researchers, school superintendents, staff, and parents have challenged this belief, however. When Dr. Arlene Ackerman became Superintendent of Schools for the School District of Philadelphia in July 2008, she espoused and promoted her Core Beliefs, which were: (1) Children come first. (2) Parents are our partners. (3) Victory is in the classroom and facilitated by a strong instructional leader. (4) Leadership and accountability are the keys to success. (5) It takes the engagement of the entire community to ensure the success of its public schools. In the spring of 2009, at the end of the first full year of Dr. Ackerman's tenure as Superintendent of the District, the SDP teachers completed an annual Teachers' Survey. This study investigated the results of that survey as it related to the relationship between the perceptions and attitudes of the 2,457 teachers in 92 of the 96 SDP K-8 public schools who voluntarily took the 2008-2009 Teacher Survey and the academic performance of their K-8 schools that year, while controlling for the socio-economic status of the schools. The results of this study point to the possibility that there are specific variables that can positively affect student achievement, when in place, and negatively affect it, when not in place. Those variables are teacher efficacy, academic press, teacher-parent trust, teachers' outside of the classroom citizenship behavior, and teachers' trust in their administrative and peer leaders. In part, this study confirmed past research, which examined the same relationships and found, more specifically, that the collective efficacy of teachers within 146 elementary schools in Ohio (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk-Hoy, 2001; Tschannen-Moran, et. al., 1998) has a positive direct effect on student reading and mathematics achievement. However, because this study was not able to strictly follow the Academic Optimism study parameters it was unable to provide outcome results that mirror previous studies. These results prompted the presentation of numerous implications for theory, practice, and future research. [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: Ohio; Pennsylvania