Term of Award

Spring 1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Harbison Pool

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Douzenis

Committee Member 2

Mary Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the perceptions of administrators and teachers at alternative schools in Georgia of the importance of identified key program features of these schools by comparison with the existence of these features at their own schools. All administrators and teachers at all 117 alternative schools in Georgia that serve disruptive students were mailed surveys for this study. Fifty-six percent of the schools returned completed surveys. Teachers and administrators were asked to rate the importance of 40 features of alternative schools and the existence of these features in their respective alternative schools. Each feature belonged to one of six categories: (1) Leadership, (2) Student Attitudes, (3) School Climate, (4) Student Needs, (5) General Perceptions About Alternative Schools, and (6) Student Services. Biographic data on each administrator and teacher and demographic data on each school were also collected.

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used for all statistical analysis. Frequencies and percentages were determined for biographic and demographic data. Means and standard deviations were calculated for the importance and existence of each item for teachers and administrators. A comparison of teachers' and principals' responses for each item was determined using independent t-tests. A mean difference was calculated using dependent t-tests to compare teachers' responses on the importance and existence of each item and administrators' responses on the importance and existence of each item.

Results from this study indicated that administrators and teachers perceived 34 of the 40 features identified from the literature were important to alternative schools. The same features were identified as important by both teachers and administrators. The administrators and teachers differed significantly, however, in their perceptions of the importance of 5 of the 40 features of alternative schools. They also differed significantly in their perceptions of the existence of 20 of the 40 features. Administrators at alternative schools in Georgia perceived that 23 of 40 specific features of alternative schools existed to a large or very large extent within their schools, while teachers at alternative schools in Georgia perceived that 15 of 40 specific features of alternative schools existed to at least a large extent within their schools.

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