School effectiveness characteristics in moderate and low performing elementary schools

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to assess whether there were differences between moderate achieving schools and low achieving schools in the United States Virgin Islands on five effective school criteria: (1) Community support and parental involvement, (2) teacher expectation of students achievement, (3) participatory decision making, (4) articulation of school goals, and (5) academic emphasis.Four schools were chosen from a population of 14 elementary schools. The four schools were comparable in size with similar ethnic and economic student populations. Two schools ranked moderate and two ranked low in student achievement based on the Math 6 Basic Skills Test results.Forty-five teachers were surveyed, 23 from the low and 22 from the moderate achieving schools. The school was the unit of measure. Responses were analyzed to measure their school's effectiveness.It was hypothesized that moderate achieving schools would exemplify more of the five characteristics of effective schools than the low achieving schools. The hypotheses were tested using Discriminant Analyses and the differences between distributions were tested using t tests of the means. Crosstabulation of the five effectiveness variables with teacher's demographic variables, and intercorrelations among the variables themselves were also conducted.Results indicated that moderate achieving schools were characterized by academic emphasis, participatory decision making, and articulated goals and mission. There were no significant differences between moderate achieving and low achieving schools on the school effectiveness variables of community support and involvement and teacher expectation for students.


Education, Administration; Education, Elementary; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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