Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Aaron Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

The national focus of graduating America's students ready for college and a career has heightened the importance of and the need for school board members to rethink their purpose on what and how they spend their time. Improving the college and career readiness of K-12 students will need school boards that are willing to receive the training to ensure that district leadership and schools are using the appropriate strategies that will impact college and career readiness.

School boards have always recognized student achievement as central to their role in governing public schools; however, the impact they actually have on promoting and improving student achievement has often been debated.

This study highlights the emerging framework of student achievement as college and career ready and provides critical evidence on local school boards' role in supporting student success through the lens of college and career readiness.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of school board members concerning their role in improving college and career readiness for their district's students, the extent to which they view college and career readiness as a priority, and their level of engagement in enhancing college and career readiness.

The following five research questions guided this study:

1. Is college and career readiness a priority of school boards?

2. What is the perception of school board members concerning their roles in improving the college and career readiness of students?

3. Are school boards engaged in improving the college and career readiness of students? If yes, how?

4. What gaps exist between board member's reports of the importance of indicators of career and college readiness and how much time they allocate toward these indicators?

5. What is the relationship between school board members training and the perceived importance of and allocation of time towards college and career readiness?

In addition to answering the aforementioned research questions, a single hypothesis is being tested. The more training a school board member has, the more likely he/she will believe that time should be spent focusing on college and career readiness.

Evidence from this study shows that improving college and career readiness is a priority for school board members. The findings from this study indicated that almost all of the school board members that responded to the survey offered or promoted specific strategies to improve college and career readiness in their district. Regardless of how important board members believed that curriculum and instruction and student support services strategies were to improving college and career readiness of the students in their districts, findings indicated that most of the board members responded that they discuss strategies that will improve college and career readiness of their students only two to four times a year.

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