Matching Items (7)

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Issues of Validity in High-Stakes Testing

Description

Responsible test use requires validation \u2014 the process of collecting evidence to support the inferences drawn from test scores. In high-stakes testing contexts, the need for validation is especially great;

Responsible test use requires validation \u2014 the process of collecting evidence to support the inferences drawn from test scores. In high-stakes testing contexts, the need for validation is especially great; the far-reaching nature of high-stakes testing affects the educational, professional, and financial futures of stakeholders. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Measurement (AERA et al., 2014) offers specific guidance in developing and implementing tests. Still, concerns exist over the extent to which test developers and users of high-stakes tests are making valid inferences from test scores. This paper explores the current state of high-stakes educational testing and the validity issues surrounding it. Drawing on measurement theory literature, educational literature, and professional standards of test development and use, I assess the significance of these concerns and their potential implications for the stakeholders of high-stakes testing programs.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Communicating with Confidence: Evaluating Sexual Education Exposure’s Effect on Sexual Communication

Description

This study examined associations between reports of receiving information on sexual education topics common to different sexual education curricula (e.g. abstinence only until marriage, comprehensive) and reported confidence in sexual

This study examined associations between reports of receiving information on sexual education topics common to different sexual education curricula (e.g. abstinence only until marriage, comprehensive) and reported confidence in sexual communication of information and preferences, taking into account information received from school health classes, parents/guardians, online resources, and peers.
Data used from 293 participants aged 18-25 was used to perform descriptive analyses and linear regressions adjusted for significant covariates. Exposure to a comprehensive sexual education curriculum was found to be significantly positively associated with increased sexual communication confidence, while exposure to an abstinence only until marriage curriculum was not found to be a significant predictor. All resources were found to be positively associated with sexual communication confidence with the exception of health class, which was an insignificant predictor.
Comprehensive sexual education is an important factor in increasing young adults’ confidence in sexual communication of information and preferences. However, sexual education delivery in health classes in the United States is currently ineffective. A reevaluation of how sexual education should be delivered in the United States is needed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Equity in Action: Estimating the Association Between Funding, Expenditures, Tuition, and Affirmative Action Case Law on Enrollment and Completion Rates at Selective Colleges

Description

I conduct a series of analyses aimed at assessing equity in selective American colleges over a 20+ year time frame. My main measures of equity are enrollment and completion

I conduct a series of analyses aimed at assessing equity in selective American colleges over a 20+ year time frame. My main measures of equity are enrollment and completion in selective colleges, which I disaggregate by race/ethnicity. After creating an institutional-level panel data set with variables on college revenues and expenses, tuition, institutional control, and affirmative action case law decisions, I estimate a Generalized Least Squares (GLS) model with institutional level random fixed effects to identify factors associated with enrollment and degree completion for white and non-white students at selective United States colleges. My results suggest that affirmative action case law is associated with changes in enrollment and degree completion rates of white and non-white student alike. Increasing equity for non-white students does not compromise equity for white students. There was a statistically significant relationship between federal spending, enrollment, and degree completion for non-white students. When selective colleges increased tuition, instructional costs, academic support services expenditures, and student support services, Asian American/Pacific Islander students were likely to see enrollment and degree completion declines. Degree completion and enrollment differences were observed for Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white students at public, private and for-profit colleges. In the years after the Adams and Hopwood court decisions, equity for non-white students declined at selective colleges. Enrollment and degree completion for non-white students increased following Grutter, Gratz, Coalition, and Fisher decisions. Enrollment of white students increased following Fordice and Hopwood. Degree completion for white students increased post Coalition and decreased post Fisher.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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A study of school finance in Arizona: equity, English language learners, and the allocation of funding

Description

ABSTRACT

Closing the achievement gap between low-income, marginalized, racially, and linguistically diverse students has proven difficult. Research has outlined the effects of funding on student achievement in a manner that focuses

ABSTRACT

Closing the achievement gap between low-income, marginalized, racially, and linguistically diverse students has proven difficult. Research has outlined the effects of funding on student achievement in a manner that focuses the attention on dollars expended, in order overcome barriers to learning. Arizona has long been recognized for its education funding disparity, and its inability to balance fiscal capacity in a manner that serves to improve educational outcomes.

This dissertation examines how Arizona funds its education system. It measures horizontal inequity in a robust manner by examining those fiscal capacity resources directly related to learning and poverty. Recognizing districts with higher concentrations of special needs students will impact fiscal capacity at the district level, this dissertation applies a non-linear analysis to measure how English language learners/ limited English proficient (ELL/ LEP) student proportionality impacts federal and state revenue per pupil, ELL expenditures per pupil, and total expenditures per pupil.

Using the Gini Ratio, McCloone Index, Coefficient of Variation, and Theil inequality index, this dissertation confirms that significant education funding disparity exists across Arizona’s school districts. This dissertation also shows the proportion of English language learners is negatively related to local revenue per pupil, and ELL expenditures per ELL pupil.

Arizona has characteristically funded the public education system inequitably and positioned its students in a manner that stratifies achievement gaps based on wealth. Targeted funding toward ELLs is in no way meaningfully related to the proportion of ELLs in a district. Conceptually the way in which equity is defined, and measured, may require re-evaluation, beyond correlated inputs and outputs. This conceptual re-evaluation of equity must include the decision making process of administrative leaders which influence the quality of those resources related to student learning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Improving College Health: The Effects of Peer Influence on Perceptions and Behaviors of Greeks and Athletes

Description

This study took place at SUNY Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY during the 2018-2019 academic year, and was conducted to examine the effect of the Health Ambassador (HA) program

This study took place at SUNY Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY during the 2018-2019 academic year, and was conducted to examine the effect of the Health Ambassador (HA) program on reducing drinking, drug use, and other potential detrimental health behaviors among Greeks and athletes. Study participants included 147 participants derived from two groups of undergraduate students. Group 1 included 18 students who participated in the Health Ambassador program. Group 2 included 129 men and women who were recruited from three athletic teams and two campus sororities. Group 2 was further divided into intervention and control groups.

A five-week multi-phase health and leadership intervention, consisting of health and leadership trainings and workshops, was implemented over two semesters. Through a blended approach, which incorporated both in-person and online trainings, health ambassadors were educated in health and leadership content and developed prevention workshops to positively influence Greeks and athletes’ perceptions and behaviors toward substance use. Following the trainings, the health ambassadors delivered these substance prevention workshops to members of the intervention group. Self-Efficacy Theory and the Theory of Planned Behavior served as the theoretical frameworks for this study in order to determine health ambassador opinions around serving as student leaders and assess Greek and athletic student beliefs over engaging in potentially unsafe health behaviors, including alcohol and substance abuse.

The study employed a convergent parallel mixed methods approach where both quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently, analyzed separately, and compared to determine if the results substantiated each other. Taken from surveys, questionnaires, group interviews, observations, and field notes, this study shows that (1) past 30 day use of alcohol, binge drinking, and marijuana positively decreased following the health ambassador intervention, (2) intervention group participants became more effective at refusing drugs and alcohol and were more confident in making healthier choices, (3) health ambassadors overcame initial fears and biases toward working with Greeks and athletes, and achieved success presenting health material and functioning as student leaders, (4) the individual and collective efficacy of the health ambassadors positively increased. Additionally, study limitations, implications for research, implications for practice, and conclusions were discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Theoretical Underpinnings of Music Therapists’ Decisions to (Not) Pursue Doctoral Study: A Framework for a Professional Development Seminar to Promote the Pursuit of Doctoral MT Education

Description

Despite a substantial increase of Masters of Music Therapy degree recipients between 2002 (Cohen et. al, 2002) and 2017 (American Music Therapy Association, 2017), these numbers are not paralleled among

Despite a substantial increase of Masters of Music Therapy degree recipients between 2002 (Cohen et. al, 2002) and 2017 (American Music Therapy Association, 2017), these numbers are not paralleled among recipients of PhD degrees with music therapy emphases. Additionally, it is notable that the Master’s Level Entry (MLE) Subcommittee Report (2017) notes “lack of doctoral programs and/or doctoral level music therapy faculty needed to sustain graduate level music therapy education programs” (p.18) as a deterrent to the move to Master's-Level Entry within the music therapy milieu. This underscores the importance of doctorate-level music therapists to the profession. Could increasing the prevalence of doctorate-level music therapists help to promote advanced studies in music therapy, and in turn augment the status of music therapy education and training? The purpose of this project was to examine advanced-level music therapists’ perceived catalysts and barriers to pursuing a doctoral degree in music therapy. Incorporating the Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent et. al, 1994) as the underlying framework, qualitative data was garnered via semi-structured interviews with advanced-practicing music therapists located in the southwestern United States. A thematic qualitative data analysis was conducted, whereby parent codes reflected key constructs of the theoretical lens and child codes were developed inductively. Interviewees highlighted advantages of pursuing a PhD including: professional status, educational growth, and opportunities to educate others. Likewise, they identified pertinent barriers pertaining to finances, narrow job market, and dominance of research foci over clinical skills. In light of these findings, a framework for a hypothetical, Southwest-based professional development seminar was developed and embedded into the SCCT context. The hypothetical program encompassed key objectives to educate participants about the key processes, benefits and drawbacks of pursuing the music therapy doctorate, and aimed to help participants develop penchants toward the pursuit of doctorate degrees. The nine modules featured discussions and interactive learning techniques, in addition to proffering individualized mentoring from music therapy doctorate recipients as a key mainstay of the program. Modules addressed the following topics: Introductions and testimonials; PhD application and funding processes; Clinical skills; Work/life/school balance; Faculty responsibilities (research, teaching and service); Mock interview/audition; and Mentorship presentations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Approach to Teacher Retention in High Needs Schools: Understanding Why Teachers Stay

Description

Each year school districts across the United States are faced with the task of hiring the best teachers they can for the open positions in their schools. In many urban

Each year school districts across the United States are faced with the task of hiring the best teachers they can for the open positions in their schools. In many urban school districts, this task can be particularly daunting. Compared to suburban school districts, urban school districts tend to have higher teacher exit rates, which places additional strain upon the districts’ schools and their resources. Research shows that there are many factors associated with teachers’ decisions to stay at or leave a school. This study aims to determine how the common attrition and retention factors that influence a teacher’s decision to stay or leave by interviewing current and former teachers at a Title I school in an urban setting.

In this study, I interviewed a small, targeted sample of highly valued teachers while I was their school leader. The interview was designed to use questions that elicit teachers’ perspectives about the retention and attrition factors identified in the research in hopes of determining patterns I could use to strategically use to build a teacher retention plan. Analysis of the responses from the interviews included a comparison of composite teacher profiles, each representing a sub-group of teachers with common attributes. This process demonstrated that while factors commonly associated with retention were important, the degree to which specific factors shaped a teacher’s decision to stay or leave is dependent upon their experience and background and where they are in the phases of their careers and life. Additionally, this study identified how school leaders can strategically use a similar interview process to retain key teaching personnel based upon their personal and professional motivations

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020