In this age of educational accountability, public schools are presumed to have the innate organizational capability to meet academic achievement benchmarks. Fair or not, this presumption also extends to schools serving students who are deaf, a population whose academic achievement continues to be unsatisfactory. This dissertation investigated how schools for the deaf have organized to achieve academic growth, which is generally defined as the measure of a student's progress between two or more points in time. Three schools for the deaf that demonstrated the most evident academic growth were selected through a purposive sampling of a computer-based adaptive assessment that represented 28 schools for the deaf. Interview data were collected from the three schools using semi-structured protocols that were then analyzed using the constant comparative method. The following organizational actions were taken by these schools: (1) owning the national problem of unsatisfactory academic achievement of students who are deaf, (2) responding to the problem with an academic growth model, (3) striving for academic growth through data-driven engagement among teachers and students and (4) shifting internal resources to support academic growth. Emergent patterns of goals, data and growth each reinforced and then expanded the guiding framework of this dissertation, routinized action theory. This dissertation may provide a template for schools for the deaf and any other schools operating in a turbulent policy environment to organize toward a more satisfactory student academic achievement.
University of Minnesota Ph.D dissertation. December 2013. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Karen Seashore. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 88 pages, appendices A-F.
Virnig, Sean M..
A case study of academic growth in schools for the deaf: the convergence of educational policy and organizational theory.
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