Improving the Educational Outcomes for Minorities: A Study of the Interactive Effects of Personnel Stability and Representative Bureacracy
Morton, Tabitha Susan Marie
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The goal of this dissertation is to determine how to create more equal public policy outcomes within the realm of public education. It is a well known fact that despite the passage of legal decisions such as Brown (1954) and federal policies like No Child Left Behind (2001), Latino and African American students still perform at lower rates than Anglo students. This poor academic performance results in lower graduation rates, lower college attendance, and a lower socioeconomic status than Anglos. This dissertation therefore sought to determine if two common bureaucratic theories, representative bureaucracy and personnel stability, could be used in combination with one another in order to improve the educational policy outcomes for African American and Latino students. Using data from Texas school districts from 1994-2010 and a cross-sectional longitudinal research design, I find that while each theory on its own improved the outcomes for these groups, the two did not have a significant combined effect on every indicator. Instead I find evidence of a substitution effect which allows one strategy to be used in place of the other in order to improve the academic performance of minority students. This creates a unique situation as this analysis suggests that there are other bureaucratic factors working to prevent an interactive effect from occurring on a consistent basis. Thus the next steps are to apply the same theories to other public organizations in order to determine if my findings are unique to public education and to determine if other public administration theories can be used to improve the outcomes for African American and Latino students.