smaller learning communities, high school reform, implementation, accountability, autonomy, identity, instructional focus, personalization
The issue of high school reform has received national attention during the first part of the 21st century. One idea brought forth in this restructuring effort has been the desire to create high schools with smaller student populations. However, in an era of tight budgets, where resources are not always available to build more schools, educators have explored the possibility of dividing existing large high schools into smaller units. This restructuring approach has many titles, but is frequently referred to as a Smaller Learning Community (SLC). Since 2000, the federal government has pledged $245 million to schools willing to create SLCs. This research has studied the schools in Florida that have received the federal implementation grant and have established SLCs. The 39 Florida high schools that were awarded the federal grant in 2000, 2001, and 2002 served as the population for this study. Twenty schools in the population completed a 45-item survey which measured implementation of five key SLC elements:(a) accountability, (b) autonomy, (c) identity, (d) instructional focus, and (e) personalization. Based on the survey results, an implementation score was determined for each participating school. Based on 5-point Likert scale (with a not applicable option) for the 35 questions that pertained to the five elements, a total score of 175 was the maximum amount possible. Individual responding school scores ranged from 104.7 - 157.1. The overall implementation score was also correlated with selected school indicators. Survey respondents also provided rationale for the implementation of SLCs and perceived benefits to students, teachers, and parents. In general, the survey respondents agreed that SLCs at their schools addressed the five key elements. The implementation scores and teacher comments, however, provided evidence that the levels of implementation of SLCs across the state varied in terms of the elements. Suggestions for future research and educational practices are provided
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Sparger, Todd James Bondurant, "An Investigation Of Implementations Of Smaller Learning Communities In Florida High Schools" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 395.