Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1986

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge of United States Supreme Court decisions affecting education possessed by public school teachers, principals, superintendents, and board members; to determine if significant differences existed among these groups in their knowledge of Supreme Court decisions affecting education; and to determine if significant differences existed within each group depending on years of experience in education and level of education. Five hundred randomly selected subjects from the public school systems in Tennessee were asked to indicate their knowledge of Supreme Court decisions affecting education by completing the survey instrument, Supreme Court Decisions Impacting on Education. This instrument measured respondents' knowledge of Supreme Court decisions in five areas: (1) student rights; (2) employee rights; (3) church-state relationships; (4) race, language, and sex discrimination; and (5) school finance and organization. A total of 241 (48.2%) usable responses were returned. The data revealed that there was a general lack of knowledge of Supreme Court decisions affecting education. Significant differences were found to exist among the four groups in all areas except that of race, language, and sex discrimination. Superintendents scored significantly higher than teachers and board members in knowledge of Supreme Court decisions in the area of student rights. Superintendents and principals scored significantly higher than teachers in the area of employee rights. Superintendents scored significantly higher than all other groups in the area of church-state relationships. In the area of school finance and organization, superintendents and principals scored significantly higher than teachers. On overall knowledge of Supreme Court decisions affecting education, superintendents and principals scored significantly higher than teachers and board members. Years of experience in education was not found to be a significant factor within any of the four groups. Level of education was found to be a significant factor among superintendents. Superintendents with either a doctoral degree or a Master's degree plus additional coursework scored significantly higher than those with a Master's degree or an Education Specialist degree. Level of education was not found to be a significant factor within any other group.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

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