Urban Charter Schools Versus Traditional Urban Public Schools: A Multivariate Analysis of Leadership, Discipline, and Student Conduct
AuthorRaisch, Mary Meghan
AdvisorDavis, James Earl, 1960-
Committee memberThurman, S. Kenneth
DuCette, Joseph P.
Jordan, Will J.
Partlow, Michelle Chaplin, 1941-
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/3440
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AbstractTo 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.
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The effects of school uniforms on school climate in elementary schoolIkpa, Vivian W.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; DuCette, Joseph P.; Sanford-DeShields, Jayminn (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)This research sought to explore the link between mandatory school uniforms and a positive school climate. Beginning in the late 1980's public schools implemented mandatory school uniforms policies in urban school districts. The trend gained momentum when President Clinton included school uniforms in his 1996 State of the Union Address. Directly following the speech was a publication by the United States Department of Education on school uniforms that was distributed to all school districts in the country. Often the primary reason for implementing school uniforms was gang violence. Other reason included increased school safety and decreases in violence. Further, proponents believed uniforms would increase academic achievement and improve school climate. Research on the effects of school uniforms is limited and conflicting. Most studies available to date were conducted in urban settings. However, school uniforms have infiltrated rural and suburban schools districts as well. Two school districts in suburban Eastern Pennsylvania participated in this study. One school district had a mandatory school uniform policy. The other did not. Using a school climate survey and school uniform questionnaire, students in grades 4-6 and elementary school teachers rated the school climate in their respective schools. School climate was rated on seven subscales on the student school climate survey and 10 subscales on the faculty school climate survey. A t-test was performed on the data set to determine the difference between sample means and a factor analysis was conducted on the student school climate survey. Further, three themes emerged from the short answer questions on the student uniform questionnaire. The results of the research found that there was not a statistically significant relationship between a mandatory school uniform policy and elementary school students' perceptions of school climate. Of the seven subscales, students who wore school uniforms rated their peer relationships higher than students without school uniforms. Additionally, they rated the required rigor higher. Students that did not wear school uniforms rated the teacher-student relationship higher. When responding to the open ended questions, three themes emerged. They were expression, atmosphere and family. In essence, students were not in favor of wearing uniforms and believed uniforms suppressed their freedom of expression. Teachers responded similarly. The results showed no statistically significant relationship between a mandatory school uniform policy and teacher perceptions of school climate. Only two subscales showed any significant difference between the two groups of teachers. They were teacher-administrator relationship and student achievement. In both respects, teachers in the district without uniforms responded more positively. The results of this study should be used when reviewing current policy or considering new policy on school uniforms.
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