Fall 2014


Perceptions of School Climate and Culture 

By: Brian Barkley, David Lee, and Daniel Eadens 

The purpose of this study was to determine relationship between Leader in Me schools teachers’ perceptions of culture, climate, and discipline referrals during the 2010-11 school year.  Primary data were obtained from 172 teacher-reported surveys, from nine schools in three districts in Florida and Mississippi.  A MANOVA analysis was used to determine whether a relationship existed between the dependent variable, discipline referrals, and the independent variables using The School Culture Survey and The Revised School Level Environment Questionnaire.  Results indicated Leader in Me schools had teachers that perceived culture as high in a number of factors including professional development, unity of purpose, and collegial support.  In Leader in Me schools there was a statistically significant difference in school climate: F (5,166) =2.655, p =.024 and with discipline referrals F (11, 88) =6.825, p < .001, R2 =.460. 

Public–PrivateHybridity in School Governance: A Solid Foundation or Developmental Process? Lessons from a Historical Analysis of Charter-TypeSchools in Israel 

 By: Gadi Bialik

Scholarly writing in the field of education policy analysis often considers two conflicting governance agendas: the social-democratic “public” agenda and the relatively young “neoliberal” governance agenda. These agendas are frequently described as being part of a process of transformation from public or state to private education, with an intermediate “hybrid” phase of public–private mixture. Considering this dichotomous framework, this paper wishes to demonstrate and reinforce an alternative, non-dichotomous way of understanding education governance in which public–private “hybridity” is, and historically was, a longstanding, solid foundation, rather than merely a developmental stage of school governance. This alternative narrative is illustrated based on a historical analysis of Israeli “Charter-Type” schools as a representative case.

(In)tolerableZero Tolerance Policy 

By: Sean L. Dickerson 

The spread of zero tolerance policies for school-based scenarios flourished under President William J. Clinton who wanted to close a loophole in the Guns-Free School Zones Act of 1990. Expansion in the coverage of zero tolerance policy to offenses outside the initial scope of weapon and drug offenses has led to a disproportional ratio of African American students and students with disabilities being excluded from schools through punitive measures including suspensions, expulsions, and in many cases, referral to law enforcement agencies. The buck must stop with school administrators; they are in the unique position of determining how discipline matters escalate at the point of interaction with the student. Alternatives to the zero tolerance policy are suggested based on a review of relevant literature.

In-State-Tuition for Unauthorized Residents: Teaching aPerson to Fish 

By: Joe Dryden and Cristina Martinez


Illegal immigration has become one of the most important issues we face as a nation, and as greater attention is focused on the sociological and economic impact of illegal immigration, policies related to in-state-tuition for unauthorized residents are in a state of flux. Since 2005, the number of states offering in-state-tuition for unauthorized residents has more than doubled. Using the rational from Plyler v. Doe and economic data from the Heritage Foundation and the Pew Research Institute, the authors argue for increased access to in-state-tuition for unauthorized residents. Increased access will improve economic productivity, reduce crime and reduce dependence on governmental services. If it is true that giving a person a fish means they will eat for today, but teaching a person to fish means they will eat for a lifetime, then why choose the former especially when their catch can feed others as well?  

Analysis of Superintendent Survey Responses Regarding Teacher Tenure  

By: James V. Shuls

This paper presents the results of a survey of 192 public school superintendents in Missouri on the topic of teacher tenure. Overall, superintendents indicated the current teacher tenure laws are somewhat onerous, with 73 percent indicating it was “somewhat” or “very difficult” to remove a tenured teacher for their performance in the classroom. Superintendents noted time and paperwork are the biggest obstacles to removing a tenured teacher. Approximately, 92 percent of superintendents indicated they would be supportive of some type of teacher tenure reform.