2165 Slices
Medium 9781475823844

Changing Ties: Charter Schools Redefine the School-Community Connection

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ANN ALLEN

ABSTRACT:Until recently, charter schools have served a small percentage of public school students in any given community, but that is changing. Recent data indicate that the market share of public school students enrolled in charter schools is climbing. The growth of the charter school movement behooves us to consider how such a change in the educational landscape of our communities will affect the way schools and communities interact. This article presents findings from a qualitative study of the relationship between the public and a public charter school in one urban community in Michigan. Policy implications are discussed.

The school–community relationship has taken some dramatic turns over the past 100 years. These turns have often been driven by changes in school governance policy that have attempted to depoliticize public schooling. For example, the consolidation of school committees into district school boards reduced the number of citizen representatives on school governance bodies (Tyack, 1974), and the creation of special school elections in the 1920s effectively reduced the number of citizens who vote on school issues by more than half and created an election system that was quiet, untimely, and controllable (Lutz & Iannacone, 1978). Although some scholars have argued that the efforts to depoliticize public schooling over the years have weakened the representative nature of the school–community relationship, Lutz and Merz (1992) suggest that the democratic nature of school governance is still strong enough to protect community interests. That might not be the case in public charter schools, where policies provide more autonomy from the community, relieving public charter schools from direct obligations to the electorate and, in some cases, any public authority.1 The question that this article addresses is how such a shift to autonomous schools affects the democratic nature of the school–community relationship and, more broadly, the role of public schools in communities.2

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Medium 9781475824513

An Application of the Taped Spelling Intervention to Improve Spelling Skills

Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Elizabeth McCallum
Ara J. Schmitt
Sarah N. Evans
Kristen F. Schaffner
Krista H. Long

ABSTRACT: The taped spelling intervention (TSI) is a procedure that was developed to improve the performance of students with spelling difficulties. The intervention requires students to listen to a collection of audio files that contain the pronunciation of a word, followed by a pause, and then the correct spelling of the word. Students are instructed to “beat the recording” by writing the correct spelling of each word before it is provided. Components of TSI include numerous opportunities to respond to spelling prompts, immediate feedback on the accuracy of responses, and error correction procedures. This study evaluated the effects of TSI with four middle school students recognized as having reading or writing difficulties. Results indicated immediately increased and sustained spelling performance in response to TSI. Discussion focuses on implications for practitioners and future academic intervention research.

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Medium 9781475823912

Try, Try, Again: A Two-Step Strategy for Passing School Levies

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

PAUL A. JOHNSON

ABSTRACT: Passing property tax issues is an increasing challenge for many school districts. This article examines 21 school levy strategies identified through a literature review associated with successful school levy campaigns. These strategies were then used as a framework to evaluate one district’s attempts to pass a school bond levy. Whereas the study confirms the importance of these strategies, it also presents evidence regarding a two-step approach to planning levy campaigns that might help districts pass levies. Suggestions for further research are discussed.

The newspaper headline said it all: “Try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again” (King, 2007, p. 1). An Ohio school district had just failed to pass a local property tax levy for the seventh time—this time, by only one vote. Whereas eight tries to pass the same levy may seem extreme, by Ohio standards it is not. According to a study conducted by Funai (1993), only 13% of Ohio school property tax levies pass on the first attempt. This low initial passage rate may be in part due to the fact that Ohio school districts are reliant on local property tax levies for the operation of their schools. In fact, according to Fleeter (2007), of the Ohio Tax Policy Institute, “Ohio relies on voter approval of tax levies to support public education to a greater extent than any other state in the nation” (p. 1). That from 1994 to 2006 there were 3,433 local school tax issues on ballots in Ohio certainly lends credence to this claim.

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Medium 9781475817102

Collaboration Is Not Meeting with the Enemy: An Analysis of a Successful University–School Districts’ Relationships

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

WILLIAM C. BOZEMAN1

ROBERT A. ROTHBERG1

ABSTRACT: Working with the enemy in war time is labeled “collaboration.” Too often, College of Education and school district relationships resemble a battlefield between “town and gown.” The purpose of this paper is to identify the relationships developed and the significant programs that have resulted from a positive joint venture with one university and its surrounding school districts.

As schools seek programs and systems of continuing change and improvement, the importance of linking organizations that can contribute to these efforts becomes critical. Indeed, such partnerships between schools and other public organizations—including, but not limited to—the university can contribute to the overall success or failure of school improvement activities. The concern of this paper is the important linkage between the school or school district and the local university. As Lipham (1977) wrote over a decade ago, “there is no doubt but that the most powerful relationships for improving education is that which exists between colleges and universities and local schools” (p. 36). Goodlad (1985) supports this belief when he stated, “It is becoming increasingly clear that if we are going to have good schools, we are going to have collaboration” (p. 6). Although much has been written about school district and university cooperative efforts since that time, few notable demonstration projects exist. Whereas the literature is replete with exhortations regarding the need for university–community school relations, little is offered regarding analysis of an operational partnership project or an examination of factors that may facilitate or impede successful school–university linkages and collaboration.

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Medium 9781475817119

Stress Be Not Proud: The Myth of Burnout

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

DONALD F. DEMOULIN1

ABSTRACT: Virtually every form of media has reports concerning teacher burnout in education. Many of these reports have been directed towards a relationship between teacher burnout and a declining educational status in this country. However, the question of concern should be, “Is the term burnout being appropriately used or being systematically abused when describing teacher productivity?”

The following study is a culmination of a seven-year investigation concerning the impact of stress on self efficacy and personal productivity. From information received from the Career Awareness Index and the Instrument Summary Assessment Program, analysis indicates that the term burnout may be an inappropriate descriptor of low to moderate levels of self efficacy and personal productivity. Hence, professional development activities may be incorrectly designed having little or no affect in enhancing self efficacy manners. Therefore, it is imperative that professional development activities be specifically designed to match individual needs and interests in order for positive effects to occur.

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