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ERIC Number: EJ832903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
School Mission Statements and School Performance: A Mixed Research Investigation
Slate, John R.; Jones, Craig H.; Wiesman, Karen; Alexander, Jeanie; Saenz, Tracy
New Horizons in Education, v56 n2 p17-27 Oct 2008
Background: Schools in K-12 have generated mission statements as ways of focusing their efforts and energies in specific areas. These mission statements vary by institutional setting as a function of the stakeholders and constituent groups who facilitate their development. To date, no studies were located in which the mission statements of elementary schools were examined. Aims: To determine the themes that were present in the mission statements of 100 elementary schools in the State of Texas. Following the identification of themes, a second aim was to ascertain the extent to which the mission statements of high performing elementary schools differed from the mission statements of low performing elementary schools. Sample: The mission statements of 100 elementary schools in the State of Texas were downloaded from their websites. Of these 100 schools, 50 schools were designated as high performing and 50 schools were designed as low performing. Though not the only criteria, high and low performing schools primarily differed in their students' academic achievement scores. Method: A mixed research analysis was conducted in which themes were generated from these 100 schools' mission statements (qualitative) and then converted into numbers (quantitative) for statistical analysis. As such, this method is properly termed a sequential qualitative-quantitative equal status mixed research study. Results: Qualitative data analysis yielded 15 themes: Academic Success, Caring Environment, Challenge, Citizenship, Collaborative, Commitment, Empower, Life-Long Learning, Opportunity, Partnership, Physical Development, Productive, Responsible, Safe Environment, and Social Development. Following transformation of qualitative themes into quantitative data, statistical analyses yielded statistically significant differences between high and low performing elementary schools. The mission statements of high performing schools were more likely to include the themes of Academic Success, Challenge, Citizenship, Empower, Partnership, and Social Development than were the mission statements of low performing schools. Conclusion: The most important difference, however, was that the mission statements of high performing schools had missions that focused on providing a challenging environment that focused on academic success. Indeed, academic success was included in the mission statements of only 18% of the low performing schools and only 4% included having a challenging environment. Readers are presented with an example of a multi-stage mixed analysis investigation. Implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas