Actions taken by district leaders to raise college readiness in one high performing small school district in Texas : a case study




Westbrook, Connie M.

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The literature highlighted the gaps in educational practice that result in 80% of students in the United States lacking college or career readiness upon high school graduation (Conley, 2007a). This critical case study utilized data from a single school district to learn how it rose above its counterparts across the same state in preparing its high school graduates for postsecondary opportunities. This study identified the best practices employed by one school district with discernibly high levels of college and career readiness for minority and general education students and answered the following research questions: 1. What strategies and systems did the superintendent employ to ensure college and career readiness within their district? 2. How did central office and campus personnel implement college and career initiatives? A critical case study was used to (a) conduct one-on-one interviews, (b) evaluate the district’s operational systems, (c) explore the central administration’s and superintendent’s actions, and (d) discover the external partners’ ability to contribute to the attainment of college and career readiness among students. Interviews were conducted with 10 district personnel, including the superintendent. The critical case school district received distinction-level recognition in college and career readiness. Research determined there are administrative strategies that will possibly have a positive impact on college readiness. Superintendents faced with maintaining accountability for students beyond graduation might find this study useful. This study might be beneficial for current and upcoming superintendents desiring to promote their expertise in college and career readiness in their current districts. The single case study generated data displaying those practices used effectively to prepare high school students for college and career readiness. The findings offer information to educational leaders and policy makers. The study’s findings might enable key school district leaders to reconcile accountability with aspirational effort.


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