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ERIC Number: EJ1150252
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Using Spatial Analyses to Examine Student Proficiency: Guiding District Consolidation and Reform Policy Decisions
Haddad, Monica A.; Alsbury, Thomas
Planning and Changing, v39 n1-2 p98-126 2008
State policies to equalize educational spending, cap bond and levy rates, require common teacher salary schedules, and consolidate school districts are geared toward improving quality and attempting to resolve problems of inefficiency. However, despite the use of state policy to equalize educational quality, educational gaps persist. Yu and Lau (2006) noted that no matter how well a systematic reform policy is conceptualized and planned, particular school district and school building constraints, resources, culture, leadership, and personnel particulars eventually determine whether the reform implementation will or will not be successful. The findings in this study support their conclusions that local contextual variables dramatically influence application of reform policy and thus student outcomes. While case study analyses have supported the importance of unique local variables on successful reform implementation, few quantitative or large-scale study methods have been explored to detect the presence or effects of these variations. Methods used in geospatial studies to detect such variation examine the concepts of spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity. The study reported in this article used these methods to analyze the relative student proficiency in school districts across two contiguous Midwestern states, Illinois and Iowa. The results support the use of more differentiated and district-level reform policy development rather than the centralized state and federal approaches that are dominant today.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Iowa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A