Issue: 1996 Volume 36

(6) The Impact of Middle School Reform Initiatives on Student Achievement and Retention in a Florida Magnet School

L. Carolyn Pearson
University of West Florida

Janet K. Pilcher
University of West Florida

Linda A. Weeks
University of West Florida

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a magnet middle school’s reform initiatives on retention, 8th grade writing achievement for the full implementation year, and standardized achievement scores for students who attended Brown Barge Middle School for three consecutive years. Retention rate, writing skills, and standardized test achievement scores in six areas were examined. Results indicated a high retention rate and an increase in writing achievement for students. Standardized test scores indicated a significant increase in reading, science, and social studies achievement. There was a significant decrease in math achievement.

Citation: Pearson, L. C., Pilcher, J. K., & Weeks, L. A. (1996). The impact of middle school reform initiatives on student achievement and retention in a Florida magnet school. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 33-40.

Download:  Pearson.361.pdf (1220 downloads )

(5) A Portrait of School Improvement Efforts Across Florida High Schools: A Content Analysis of 1993-94 Blueprint 2000 School Improvement Plans

Susan N. Kushner
University of Akron

Lou M. Carey
University of South Florida

Jeffrey D. Kromrey
University of South Florida

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to describe the content of the 1993-94 school improvement plans that Florida high schools submitted in response to the mandates of Blueprint 2000. The 271 high schools in the state were blocked by geographic region and a proportional random sample of plans was collected from each region. Conventional content analysis methods were used to describe the content of the plans. Kaufman’s Organizational Elements Model was used as a framework for considering the resources, processes, and anticipated results of Florida’s school improvement efforts.

Citation: Kushner, S. N., Carey, L. M., & Kromrey, J. D. (1996). A portrait of school improvement efforts across Florida high schools: a content analysis of 1993-94 blueprint 2000 school improvement plans. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 1-22.

Download:  Kushner.361.pdf (851 downloads )

(4) Education Practices Commission Responses to Excessive Force: Establishing Criteria to Define Reasonable Force

David Frisby
Chief of Police, Monticello, Florida

Abstract: This research paper attempts to ascertain what type of teacher behavior the Florida Education Practices Commission (EPC) considers to be reasonable force in Florida classrooms. The author examines the excessive force judgments that the EPC made in school year 1992-93 and identifies the teacher behavior, student behavior, and both mitigating and aggravating factors that apparently influenced the final judgment on the level of punishment by the EPC. Reasonable force has been an educational issue since the Florida Cabinet passed the emergency rule, Zero Tolerance for School Related Violent Crime, in September 1994. Along with its many other initiatives the Zero-Tolerance Rule affirmed and validated the concept of reasonable force in response to student misbehavior, including violence, in Florida education. The author concludes that the EPC is applying its standards with some admirable degree of consistency. Nonetheless, a published list of definitions, criteria and rules, analogous to those provided for law enforcement officers by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, would seem appropriate and would certainly be valuable to teachers.

Citation: Frisby, D. (1996). Education practices commission responses to excessive force: establishing criteria to define reasonable force. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 23-32.

Download:  Frisby.361.pdf (963 downloads )

(3) Developmental Approach to Student Advising: Implications for Teacher Educators

Godfrey Franklin
University of West Florida

James Parker
University of West Florida

Abstract: At a recently established Advising Center in the College of Education at the University of West Florida, a study examined a developmental advising approach. This study suggests that faculty advisors using the developmental approach were perceived as competent and effective. The data from the student survey responses specifically indicate student confidence in the professional attitudes of the trained faculty advisors who provided effective registration, follow-up on student records, and course options for alternative career decisions.

Citation: Franklin, G., & Parker, J. (1996). Developmental approach to student advising: implications for teacher educators. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 41-46.

Download:  Franklin.361.pdf (1605 downloads )

(2) Who’s Using What and How Often: An Assessment of the Use of lnstructional Technology in the Classroom

Hettie J. Buck
Florida Institute of Technology

Phillip B. Horton
Florida Institute of Technology

Abstract: Instructional technology is perceived as a vehicle for curriculum enhancement across grade levels and academic subjects. With this in mind, it is important to determine whether or not today’s teachers are effectively integrating the available technologies into the classroom. The purpose of this study was to assess current use of instructional technology in the elementary, middle and junior high public schools in an east central Florida school district. This assessment examined types of instructional technology being used in the classroom and frequency of use. Results indicate that the majority of surveyed teachers (59%) use some form of technology with their students at least once a week. In addition, variables that distinguish teachers who use technology from those not using instructional technology were identified and analyzed with the use of multiple regression.

Citation: Buck, H. J., & Horton, P. B. (1996). Who’s using what and how often: an assessment of the use of instructional technology in the classroom. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 47-61.

Download:  Buck.361.pdf (898 downloads )