Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2005

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Louise L. MacKay, James H. Lampley, Andrea D. Clements

Abstract

In 2001, the Anderson Neighborhood of Bristol, Tennessee, received official recognition as a Weed and Seed site by the United States Department of Justice. This designation is provided to a local coalition of committed community members organized to “weed” out the elements that contribute to crime and delinquency in a targeted neighborhood and “seed” in strategies to build strong neighborhoods. Anderson Elementary School is a key partner in the effort and the conduit for a variety of coalition initiatives.

Through investigation of measures and surveys administered at Anderson Elementary School, the study was designed to ascertain if there were improvements in quantitative measures related to academic success (attendance, discipline referrals, test scores, and grades) at Anderson Elementary after multiple strategies were implemented in the Anderson Neighborhood. Findings revealed that attendance improved in the first two years but then declined by end of the five-year period studied. Improvements were documented in the other three areas. In addition, this study focused upon the differences in improvements between the two populations attending school at Anderson: those residing within the Weed and Seed boundaries and those residing outside the designated area. Whereas Weed and Seed students performed below the nonWeed and Seed students each year, the differences were reduced over the five-year period. A final analysis was conducted regarding comparisons to both Central and Fairmont Elementary schools in Bristol, Tennessee, the other two Title I schools in the system. Anderson showed the greatest improvement in the area of discipline whereas Central made the largest gains in tests scores and Fairmount was consistently higher in attendance.

Because so many variables can mitigate academic performance, faculty and staff members' perceptions regarding a variety of coalition efforts initiated through the Weed and Seed effort were measured by survey and analyzed. Educational professionals reported observing positive changes in community commitment and involvement. To further qualify successful strategies and required skill sets regarding leadership to build school partnerships with community coalitions, an indepth interview was conducted with the principal at Anderson Elementary School. The leadership themes documented in the interview were consistent with postmodern leadership theory.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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