A Political Decision Making Process on Curriculum Reform in Mathematics in Secondary Schools That Have Not Achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Status
This research was conducted using a multi-case study analysis of four school districts in Western Pennsylvania. All four of the school districts were placed under the guidelines of the Educational Empowerment Act (Act 16) due to a history of low tests scores and poor student achievement. These school districts were also place on the States Warning List due to the fact that they did not meet the measurable objectives of Adequate Yearly Placement (AYP) on the PSSA. This research focused on strategies used in the four schools in order to improve student performance on the mathematics section of the eleventh grade PSSA.
This research utilized a variety of strategies in the process of data collection; interviews, a review of the school district report card as listed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, a review of newspaper articles, and discussions with my research advisor used in the triangulization process of the data in order to provide case studies that contained depth and would provide a more accurate account of the phenomena that occurred within the districts. In the interview process in all four districts, a member of the central office administration, a member of the building level administration, and a secondary mathematics teacher were interviewed in order to provide accounts of improvement efforts for student achievement from a variety of personnel responsible for decision-making. In order to limit the amount of error within the interview process a documenter was used to provide assistance, as well as all of the interviews were taped. This proved a great deal of assistance in the interpretation of data collected during the interview.
Through the research and the analysis of data this researcher was able to provide several conclusion; funds provided from Act 16 that were used to improve student achievement were most useful when the districts involved worked collaboratively with all educational stakeholders in the development of a long range plan to improve student achievement in mathematics; often districts are unable to maintain consistency in teaching and administrative staff and this has a negative effect on student achievement; and there are a variety of pre-packaged programs that are available for district purchase, each district must review these programs with all members of the staff and then decide which programs meet their needs.
Advisor:Dr. Maureen McClure; Dr. Charles Gorman; Dr. Charles Kent; Dr. Martin Cohen
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:administrative and policy studies
Date of Publication:04/28/2005