Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Daryl Groves

Third Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to critically examine the graduation rate of students who enroll in high schools in Georgia, and to identif~’ the variables that may be impacting their graduation rate. The dependent variable was graduation rate and the independent variables were socioeconomic status (SES), class size, student attendance, teacher qualifications, teacher experience, school location, percent of students passing the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) mathematics test, percent of student passing GHSGT social studies test, percent of students passing GHSGT English !language arts test, percent of students passing GHSGT science test, and percent of students passing GHSGT writing test. The quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The data are presented in two parts, the statistical distribution of the variables to observe the extent of their variations, and the results and analyses of the statistical tests in response to the identified research questions. All of the statistical procedures were tested at the (0.05) significance level. The data were collected from state department of education for 30 schools. In addition, there were two schools surveyed to collect data on teacher perceptions on the following factors: principal leadership style, teacher motivation, teacher instructional quality, and school climate and teacher workload. This data were compared to the school’s SES and graduation rate to see if there were descriptive patterns in the survey data and the schools’ graduation rates. A Pearson correlation was used to test for significant relationships of the dependent and independent variables collected from the state of education department, and a descriptive frequency analysis was used to analyze the survey data. The findings of this research suggest that graduation rate in Georgia are affected by ethnicity, gender, student with disabilities (SWD), teacher qualifications, and teacher experience, leadership style, and quality of instruction.

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