A Comparative Analysis Of Teacher Perceptions Of School Culture In High-Performing And Low-Performing Iowa Schools
SubjectSocial perception--Teachers--Iowa; Schools--Cultural aspects--Iowa; Schools--Performance--Iowa
The challenge of improving the performance of public schools has been given attention from a variety of advocacy groups, researchers, government agencies, education organizations and schools. Since the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2002, titled No Child Left Behind, the stakes for public schools are higher. Despite this increasing pressure, there are still relatively few examples of schools overcoming the challenges of educating all students and closing the achievement gaps that exist in student subgroups of low socioeconomic status, English language learners, special education, and racial/ethnic minority identification. State departments of education collect a vast array of data to monitor public school performance. In most states, teacher perceptions of school conditions are not among those data; however, teachers matter more to student achievement than any other school factor (Rand, 2012). This study focused on teacher perceptions of the Nine Characteristics of High-Performing Schools in an effort to determine if teacher perceptions of school culture were predictive of school performance in reading and mathematics. A sequential hierarchical regression analysis indicated that while poverty is a strong predictor of school performance, teacher perceptions of most of the Nine Characteristics of High-Performing Schools is also predictive of school performance in reading and mathematics, a conclusion that has implications for school improvement policy and practices.