Fostering success in reading: a survey of teaching methods and collaboration practices of high performing elementary schools in Texas
Evans Jr., Richard Austin
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This study examined reading programs in 68 Texas elementary schools that were identified as successful by their scores on TAAS assessment results in the 1999-2000 school year. These schools?? student populations had a high proportion of culturally diverse and low-SES students. The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine if and how teaching methods and collaboration (intervention/support teams) were used by effective schools to foster reading success in all students; (2) to identify cohesive patterns (clusters) or models in schools?? use of collaboration and teaching methods; (3) to examine these clusters of similar schools and see if the patterns differed based on the school/community demography (urban, suburban, or rural). The study was conducted in 68 schools in 33 school districts that represented various demographic settings from 12 different Education Service Centers across Texas. From these original 332 variables, 26 variables were selected that were of medium frequency and strongly correlated with high TAAS scores over a 4- year period. These 26 variables were used to examine the 68 high-performing Texas elementary schools for clusters. K-means analysis and HCA were both applied to the 26 response variables, using them as complementary techniques to arrive at a five cluster solution. Results from correlations of individual characteristics and from identifying school clusters suggested that school community type could possibly be moderately predictive of student performance on the TAAS/TAKS over time.