Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Alsbury

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. John Bond

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. William Prenevost

Keywords

School Improvement, Student Academic Achievement, Organizational Learning, Learning Organizations, Monitoring Systems, School Improvement Plans

Abstract

Organizational Monitoring Systems and Student Academic Achievement

By Adam Swinyard

The current context of K-12 education emphasizes a strong focus on standardized test results to inform school improvement planning. Concerns about this phenomena center around the methodology used to determine actions intended to improve student achievement. Some educational experts suggest many schools rely solely on test results to develop school improvement plans (SIPs). Subsequently, solutions often address symptoms rather than foundational issues. As a result, schools fall into a cycle of selecting new initiatives that do not produce sustainable improvements. The concept of becoming a learning organization by using a monitoring system to inform systems thinking is presented as an alternative approach. Although empirical evidence exists that supports OL in schools, studies on the prevalence, composition, and impact in American K-12 education is limited. This study is intended to assess the relevance of OL in the context of high stakes accountability experienced by American schools.

The findings provide evidence that organizational learning practices related to organizational monitoring is linked to student academic achievement. Multiple aspects of organizational monitoring were investigated to determine levels of statistical significance. Practices related to the collection and use of data based on school attributes were correlated with changes in the percentage of students proficient in reading and math. Results provided evidence leading to the rejection of the null hypothesis aligned to each of the research questions. Secondary analysis indicated student demographics were not a substantial confounding variable and that the research survey demonstrated a reasonable level of validity. The study supports organizational learning theory suggesting systems thinking and organizational monitoring is linked to desired organizational outcomes. Findings provided efficacious evidence that organizational learning practices related to organizational monitoring are applicable in the context of American schools.

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