A Case Study of the Strategic Staffing Initiative Used In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
1 online resource (136 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Accountability standards challenge schools to provide quality education for all students and to ensure that all students are on grade level by the end of the school year. If schools fall short of this challenge failing to make at least one year of progress, schools are at risk of being identified as low performing. In this age of accountability, schools across the country are seeking effective reform strategies to turn around low performing schools. The Strategic Staffing Initiative (SSI) is a reform model that was instituted in 2008-2009 school year in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. The initiative was implemented to improve student achievement in six low performing elementary schools and one low performing middle school This mixed methods study examined the effects of the SSI at six elementary schools in cohort 1 of the initiative over three school years (2008 - 2009 to 2011-2012). The middle school was not included in this study. The six participating schools were paired with six non-participating schools with similar demographics. The schools were compared using the North Carolina End of Grade school composite data and adequate yearly progress data. Stakeholder satisfaction survey data were also examined to determine if satisfaction improved over three years. The SSI focuses on the effective use of time, personnel and resources with the principal serving as the major impetus for change. Data revealed that SSI schools outperformed the comparison schools in the areas of student achievement, growth measures and adequate yearly progress. The student achievement data varies from year to year as did adequate yearly progress. The SSI is a unique reform model in that the focus is on leadership as opposed to curriculum programs. Selected leaders are given freedom and flexibility to make decisions related to time, personnel and resources based on the needs of students. Implications for practitioners include assigning hiring high performance leaders for low performing schools. This study reveals that if leaders are carefully selected and given the freedom and flexibility to make decisions regarding time, personnel and resources, there is an opportunity to raise student achievement and turn around a low performing school. This study also provides implications for other industries looking to turn around low performing organizations. This initiative could be replicated in educational settings or other settings seeking reform. Further research exploring this model in other educational settings including rural school districts and with middle or high schools would add to the current body of research. Further research is also needed on the SSI in other industries and organizations.
Lambert, RichardPolly, DrewHancock, Dawson
Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2013.
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