300 Articles
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The African American Male AVID Initiative

A Study of Implementation and Impact on Student Aspirations and School Performance

Karen M. Watt

Jeffery Huerta

Jennifer Butcher

ABSTRACT: This is a study of five high schools awarded external funding to implement a project, the African American Male Initiative (AAMI). During the first year of implementation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and student academic transcripts provided sources of data. Survey data showed that AAMI students exhibited high aspirations and anticipations for college. In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the number of people students communicate with about college and financial aid requirement information and their level of college knowledge. Characteristics such as African American male mentoring and advocacy, raised expectations, and forming a “brotherhood” emerged from focus group data.

Purpose of the Study

This study examined the implementation process of the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) in five selected schools across the nation. The purpose was to identify any unique and common characteristics of AAMI implementation in each of the selected schools, as well as to explain the initiative’s impact on AAMI students’ aspirations and academic performance. The following research questions are addressed in this study:

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Key Features to Inform Student Outcomes

Learning from a High School Healthcare Education Program

Rebecca A. Thessin

Ellen Scully-Russ

Jeanine Hildreth

Daina S. Lieberman

ABSTRACT: At a time when U.S. policymakers are demonstrating their commitment to CTE established to address particular workforce shortage areas, this mixed methods evaluation study sought to understand the key features and outcomes of an existing healthcare education program (HEP) founded with this intent. Findings demonstrated that the HEP incorporates several unique features that should be considered by other programs including hands-on work using hospital equipment, workplace observations, and a strong emphasis on career decision-making efficacy. Evidence showed that students who continue in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program for more than one year may exhibit somewhat higher rates of college enrollment.

KEY WORDS: career and technical education, CTE innovation, healthcare, workforce

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Desert Bloom?

Lessons from Two Decades of Arizona Charter Schooling

Robert Maranto

Alexandra Vasile

ABSTRACT: For decades, scholars and politicians have debated the likely impacts of school choice. Yet few have studied the nation’s largest state-level charter school market, Arizona, whose 20-year-old charter sector accounts for about 17% of Arizona public school enrollment. This article summarizes the extant literature on this market, some 23 studies, supplemented with original fieldwork to derive tentative lessons for social scientists and policymakers. While the charter sector seems to have promoted innovation, teacher and parent empowerment, and modest improvement in traditional public schools, findings regarding student learning and segregation are less clear.

KEY WORDS: charter schools, school choice, school innovation, parent satisfaction


Supporters argue that the market provision of education will foster innovation, improve overall academic performance, empower parents who have been disempowered by school bureaucracies and hierarchical politics, offer a better fit between educational programs and individual student needs, push traditional public schools to improve, and increase classroom-level integration (Friedman, 1962; Greene, 2005; Chubb & Moe, 1990; Thernstrom & Thernstrom, 2003; works within Fox & Buchanan, 2014). Further, some argue that increased school choice may foster better citizenship by creating school-level communities rather than large, atomistic school settings (Campbell, 2001; Wolf, 2005, 2007; Greene & Kingsbury, 2017; Mohme, 2017). Supporters also argue that choice empowers teachers, who may start their own schools or education cooperatives (Dirkswager, 2002; Maranto & Maranto, 2006), perhaps reflecting progressive ideals (works within Rofes & Stulberg, 2004).

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A Growing School Choice Option for Meeting Special Educational Needs

Mary L. Morse

Sherry Mee Bell

ABSTRACT: The unexplained, rapid growth of homeschooling over the past two decades provides the context for this quantitative study. The relation between parental involvement in education, special educational needs, and the school choice option of homeschooling is examined via completion of an online survey. Of the 309 homeschooling families that responded to the survey, more than half (50.8%) had a child who attended public or private school before they made the decision to homeschool, and 60.6% of these families indicated they were currently homeschooling a child who had special educational needs (SEN). Results suggest that when parents perceive needs of a child with SEN are not being met in a public or private school, the child’s SEN is an important factor in their decision to homeschool. Furthermore, for all participating homeschooling parents (those with and without children with special educational needs) in this sample, the desire to be more involved in their children’s education was rated as the most important factor in the decision to homeschool.

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Development of a 50-State Typology of Education Governance

Joanna Smith

Hovanes Gasparian

ABSTRACT: To better understand the complexities of state education governance systems, this study uses Brewer and Smith’s (2008) framework to examine the structures, policies, and processes in each state’s K–12 education system. We conducted a legislative review to examine three dimensions of educational governance: (1) level of control, (2) distribution of authority, and (3) degree of participation. The resulting 7 indicators and 35 sub-indicators were weighted to create a typology that sorts states into eight possible designations. This typology enables policymakers and future researchers to understand how various policies enhance or inhibit educational goals in different state settings.

KEY WORDS: education governance, typology, education systems, education policy

Development of a 50-State Typology of Education Governance

Education policymaking often receives more limelight and more controversy than other governance decisions. It is a sphere where everyone has had some personal experience (from having been a student) and parents have a second, vicarious experience through their children. As a result, education policy decision-making at the state and local levels is rife with opinions and, often, strife, which if not led by them, in turn influences policymakers. Yet, the path of an education policy from formulation (e.g., the list of approved textbooks derived at the state level) to adoption at the district level (e.g., selection of certain textbooks from the state list), down to implementation at the classroom level (e.g., a teacher basing instruction and assessment on the selected text) is rarely straightforward. The various bumps and hurdles along the way are seldom understood by those arguing for a particular policy agenda.

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