• Urban Charter Schools Versus Traditional Urban Public Schools: A Multivariate Analysis of Leadership, Discipline, and Student Conduct

      Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Thurman, S. Kenneth; DuCette, Joseph P.; Jordan, Will J.; Partlow, Michelle Chaplin, 1941- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      To move the field closer to untangling the charter versus public school debate, this study compared leadership practices surrounding discipline and the frequency of student misconduct between public and charter schools that reside in urban neighborhoods and serve predominantly students of color. School leadership's approaches to discipline were investigated by comparing punitive authoritarian practices such as suspensions and transfers to therapeutic and educational strategies such as positive behavior management and teacher training. Student conduct was comprised of problematic peer-directed behaviors (e.g., bullying, sexual harassment, harassment of sexual orientation, and gang activity) and authority-directed misconduct (e.g., verbal abuse of teacher, acts of disrespect towards teacher, and classroom disorder). The sample used in this analysis was garnered from a larger nationally representative pool of public school principals (n = 610) from elementary, middle, high school, and combination schools across the United States who completed The School Survey of Crime and Safety (SSOCS) during the 2009-2010 academic school year. To uncover which leadership variables could account for significant differences in student conduct across school type (public or charter) several multivariate analyses were conducted using factorial analysis, MANCOVAs, and partial correlations. The results revealed that charter schools used more Educational Discipline while public schools used more Authoritarian Discipline and Therapeutic Discipline. In addition, public school principals reported a greater frequency of Peer-directed and Authority-directed student conduct compared to charter school principals. The relationships between certain discipline practices and student conduct types were found to be statistically significantly different between school type. Several points of policy are suggested for leadership and policy makers to consider with regard to urban school reform initiatives surrounding the establishment of a supportive school climate that positively affects student conduct.