RELATIONSHIP OF SCHOOL BOUNDARY CONDITIONS, GEMEINSCHAFT CONDITIONS, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT SCORES IN READING AND MATHEMATICS IN SELECTED MILWAUKEE PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
This study focused upon the problem of distinguishing school climate (Gemeinschaft) characteristics of selected Milwaukee public elementary specialty and traditional schools that would have potential value in predicting high educational outcomes as expressed in standardized reading and mathematics achievement scores. The conceptualizations of an "Alternative Gemeinschaft Model" were tested within twelve elementary specialty and eight traditional schools by examining the relationships between School Boundary Conditions (special fragile goals, voluntary affiliation, selective admissions, teacher self-sorting) and Gemeinschaft Conditions perceived by students, teachers, and parents and by examining the relationships between Gemeinschaft Conditions and standardized reading and mathematics achievement scores within specialty and traditional schools as a group. Student, teacher, and parent perceptions of the Gemeinschaft constructs of: Commitment, Perceived School Effectiveness, Organizational Jeopardy, and Social Cohesion were surveyed, along with demographic data, using questionnaires adapted from the 1978 British Columbia Gemeinschaft Study. Respondents included 892 students, 143 teachers, and 415 parents. The dependent variable data of standardized reading and mathematics achievement scores for the sixth grade student population were obtained from class Metropolitan Achievement Test results. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the study data, employing the following statistical procedures: descriptive statistics, t-tests, Pearson Product-moment correlations, step-wise multiple regression, two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Scheffe's multiple means comparison test. There were no significant differences between specialty and traditional schools as a group on Total Gemeinschaft scores, on the four major Gemeinschaft constructs, or on the dependent variable reading and mathematics achievement scores. Total Gemeinschaft scores were significantly related to reading and mathematics achievement in traditional schools; Perceived School Effectiveness was significantly related to reading achievement in specialty schools and reading and mathematics achievement in traditional schools; and Organizational Jeopardy was significantly related to mathematics achievement in traditional schools. Analysis of the demographic data generally supported the overall conclusion to the study that: if the School Boundary Conditions posited in the Alternative Gemeinschaft Model are operative in the Milwaukee Public Schools due to desegregation policies, they do not appear to significantly favor the elementary specialty schools.
ALLAN LEE NUHLICEK,
"RELATIONSHIP OF SCHOOL BOUNDARY CONDITIONS, GEMEINSCHAFT CONDITIONS, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT SCORES IN READING AND MATHEMATICS IN SELECTED MILWAUKEE PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS"
(January 1, 1982).
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