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Understanding the Challenges of Studying School Decline

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Abstract:

For a variety of reasons, educators, policymakers, and researchers know far less about school decline than school improvement (Duke, 2006). This gap in understanding and the educational literature has resulted from numerous challenges that hinder the study of declining schools (Duke & Hochbein, 2008). Foremost among these difficulties is the definition and identification of the phenomenon of school decline (Duke, 2008). Although increasing academic performance is widely accepted as representative of school improvement, claims of mitigating factors and circumstances cloud definition of school decline. Insufficient funding, large at-risk populations, hard-to-staff schools, and other such factors are often invoked, without research support, to account for diminished school performance. Without clear understanding of what constitutes school decline, identifying and studying declining schools is virtually impossible. Even with an explicit definition of school decline, methodological issues still impede the study of declining schools. Limited school access, a lack of valid measures, and multivariate longitudinal analysis represent only a few of the challenges confronting researchers interested in school decline. In addition, identification of and research on declining schools presents logistical and ethical obstacles to a rigorous school decline research agenda. The first presenter will address the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues related to the identification and research of school decline, as well as discuss how school decline research can inform school improvement, turnaround, and even the prevention of chronically low-performing schools.
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Name: UCEA Annual Convention
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http://www.ucea.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378256_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Duke, Daniel. "Understanding the Challenges of Studying School Decline" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378256_index.html>

APA Citation:

Duke, D. L. "Understanding the Challenges of Studying School Decline" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378256_index.html

Publication Type: Symposium Paper
Abstract: For a variety of reasons, educators, policymakers, and researchers know far less about school decline than school improvement (Duke, 2006). This gap in understanding and the educational literature has resulted from numerous challenges that hinder the study of declining schools (Duke & Hochbein, 2008). Foremost among these difficulties is the definition and identification of the phenomenon of school decline (Duke, 2008). Although increasing academic performance is widely accepted as representative of school improvement, claims of mitigating factors and circumstances cloud definition of school decline. Insufficient funding, large at-risk populations, hard-to-staff schools, and other such factors are often invoked, without research support, to account for diminished school performance. Without clear understanding of what constitutes school decline, identifying and studying declining schools is virtually impossible. Even with an explicit definition of school decline, methodological issues still impede the study of declining schools. Limited school access, a lack of valid measures, and multivariate longitudinal analysis represent only a few of the challenges confronting researchers interested in school decline. In addition, identification of and research on declining schools presents logistical and ethical obstacles to a rigorous school decline research agenda. The first presenter will address the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues related to the identification and research of school decline, as well as discuss how school decline research can inform school improvement, turnaround, and even the prevention of chronically low-performing schools.


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