447 Methods Project Foundation I am interested in understanding how education

447 methods project foundation i am interested in

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447
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Methods Project Foundation: I am interested in understanding how education policy is interpreted and implemented in schools across the United States. I have taken education courses over my time at Bates that explore the motivations behind education reform and policy and also analyze and critique the effect of these reforms. My seminar project will allow me to continue to study the relationship between intention and implementation at James B. Longley Elementary School in Lewiston. Over the course of the semester, I will conduct interviews with members of the Lewiston Public School community, teachers and administrators at Longley Elementary School and at the Maine Department of Education. Research Question: How do different stakeholders view the impact and reform changes made at Longley Elementary School with its School Improvement Grant? Background/Contextual Information: Longley Elementary School serves a unique population of students in the downtown area of Lewiston, which influences the learning environment of the school. The school serves many English language learners. During the 2012-2013 school year, sixty-two percent of students were considered ELL (Maine Department of Education). In addition to this, almost all students at Longley qualify for free or reduced lunch. During the 2013-2014 school year about ninety-three percent of students receive free or reduced lunch within the school which indicates a large number of students are living at or below the poverty line (Maine Department of Education). 448
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These statistics in particular demonstrate the complex and challenging learning environment that students and teachers face on a daily basis. Longley was not making adequate yearly progress on Maine standardized tests between the years of 2006 and 2009 and was considered one of the lowest performing schools within the state. The Maine Department of Education implemented a School Improvement Grant Program in Longley Elementary School received a School Improvement Grant in 2009 as a part of the first set of schools in Maine to receive funding. The school adopted a turnaround reform model and over the past four years has replaced the principal, replaced fifty percent of the staff, developed curriculum reform, extended the school day and made changes to improve the socio- emotional environment of the school. The school will finish their funding this year and is in a transition period. Participatory Research Methods and Timeline: I will focus on participatory research methods during this project, and use interviews as my main method of data collection. Interviews “have the potential for drawing out useful, relevant knowledge and because they invited the involvement of all parties or stakeholders, in identifying, defining and struggling to solve the problem” (Strand, Cutforth, Stoeker & Donohue 2003 p. 12). Interviews serve as an effective way to gather information because they “discern the voice and perspective of participants… [through] informal interviews and open ended questions” (Strand, Cutforth, Stoeker & Donohue 2003 p. 12) I will also through these
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  • Spring '14
  • CharlesT.Dickel
  • Bates

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