Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
Arizona State University
University of South Florida
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Tempe, Ariz
Tampa, Fla
Arizona State University
University of South Florida.
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Education -- Research -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
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E11-00436 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Educational policy analysis archives.
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Staking out the successful student / Christopher Brown.
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E DUCATION P OLICY A NALYSIS A RCHIVES A peer reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Sherman Dorn College of Education University of South Florida Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the Education Policy Analysis Archives EPAA is published jointly by the Colleges of Education at Arizona State University and the University of South Florida. Articles are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals ( Volume 13 Number 1 4 F ebruary 17 2005 ISSN 1068 2341 Staking Out the Successful Student Christopher Brown University of Texas Austin Citation: Brown, C. (2005, February 17). Staking out the successful student. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 1 3(14). Retrieved [date] from This article was accepted by the previous Editor, Gene V Glass (1993 2004 ) Abstract With the performance of students, teachers, and schools defining succe ss under current standards based acc ountability policies (e.g. Chicago Public Schools (Note 1); No Child Left Behind Act, ( United States Department of Education, 2002) ) school districts are implementing various forms of intervention programs as a means to improve student performance. By ex amining a pilot summer school program that is transitioning from a l ow stakes to a high stakes intervention program, this article examines the possibilities that exist for students to author themselves as learners, and it questions whether opportunitie s for students to identify themselves as successful learners are lost when an intervention program, such as summer school, becomes mandatory. The implications of this analysis highlight que stions and concerns that policy makers and school personnel need t o address when formulating high stakes standards based accountability policies and intervention programs. Under the current standards based accountability reforms (e.g. Chicago Public Schools promotion requirements; No Child Left Behind Act ), a students failure to perform at the expected grade level criterion results in a series of possible negative consequences, e.g. retention, or contributing to a school being identified as failing. Local school districts implement intervention


Brown: S taking out the successful student 2 programs, such as summer school, to improve student performance and prevent further negative consequences for the child and the school from occurring. Multiple studies examine the effectiveness of summer school in improving student performance or what some term preventing summe r loss (Cooper, Charlton, Valentine, & Muhlenbruck, 2000; Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 200 1 ). For example, Cooper et al. (2000), through a meta analytic and narrative review of 93 evaluations of summer school, found that summer school programs focused th at on lessening or removing learning deficiencies have a positive impact on the knowledge and skills of participants (p. 89). Remedial summer programs have larger positive effects when the program is run for a small number of schools or classes in a small community. Additionally, summer programs that provide small group or individual instruction produce the largest impact on student outcomes (Cooper et al. 2000, p. 92). Other studies examine the use of summer school as an intervention to avoid retention (Note 2 ). For example, Roderick, Bryk, Jacob, Easton, and Allensworth (1999), Roderick, Nagaoka, Bacon, and Eaton (2000), Allensworth (2004), and Nagaoka and Roderick (2004) explore the promotion policies within the Chicago Pu blic School Systems standa rds based accountability reforms Students in grades 3, 6, and 8 who fail to meet test score requirements on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) may attend summer school and re take the test at the end of the session to avoid retention. Roderick et al. (2000) and Nagaoka and Roderick (2004) found that student performance in grades 3, 6, and 8 on the ITBS (Note 3 ) increased since t he inception of the citys high stakes policies. However, Roderick et al. (2000) state that the improvement in 3 rd grade test scores may be due to the retention of students in the earlier grades. For example, in 1999, Chicago public schools retained 6.6% of 1 st graders, 4.1% of 2 nd graders, and 1.5% of kindergarteners; all of these are significant increases from previous school years (Roderick et al., 2000). Retained students still struggle with the promotion policy after repeating their respective grade (Roderick et al., 2000; Nagaoka & Roderick, 2004) (Note 4 ) Roderick et al. (2000) conclude that these policies are keeping students on track through demonstrating increased test scores for students prior to (e.g., 63% of 6 th graders passing) and after (e.g., 83% of 6 th graders passing) the promotion policies took effect. Yet, these authors have found that retained students ar e doing no better than those socially promoted, and students retained two years in a row are progressing at a slower pace (Roderick et al., 2000; Nagaoka & Roderick, 2004) (Note 5 ). W ithin the analysis of the effects of intervention programs little dis cussion exists as to what effects such programs have on student identity. How does being identified as a failing student by a set of state or district mandated criterion affect ones self construction as a learner. Are opportunities for students to ident ify themselves as successful learners lost when an intervention program, such as summer school, becomes mandatory? Such questions typically do not take on a role of promin ence within the standards based accountability movement. The emphasis on students w ithin accountability policies resides in the students ability to perform, demonstrating whether or not that student exemplifies the skills necessary to succeed within the system. By examining a pilot summer school program that wa s in the process of tran sitioning from a low stakes to a high stakes intervention program, I explore the possibilities that exist for students to author themselves as learners. Consequently, the implications of this analysis highlight que stions and concerns that policy makers and school personnel must address when formulating high stakes standards based accountability policies and intervention programs.


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 3 The Context This study took place in a mid size city in the Midwestern United States in the summer of 2002. The D istric t developed this summer intervention program in response to a state based statute titled No Social Promotion for grades 4 and 8 (Note 6 ). Thisstatute called for local school districts to develop a set of promotional criteria based on student performance o n the states standardized tests at grades 4 and 8, a students report card, and teacher recommendations. The District developed a policy that determines the promotion of a student to the fifth or ninth grade to be based on a set of District developed hie rarchical criteria (Note 7) The District s first criterion is for the student to attain a minimum grade in language arts, m ath, science, and social studies. Failure to do so requires the student to attain a proficiency score of basic in that subject are a on a state ba sed standardized test (Note 8 ). Failure to achieve that score(s) provides the student with the option to be retained or to attend a summer program. Thus, the student must pass the summer program in order to be promoted. Student failure of the program results in grade retention. This policy went into effect during the 2002 2003 school year. The District piloted this observed voluntary summer program in order to prepare itself for the policys implementation. Only students from the Distri ct s Title 1 schools were eligible to attend the program. The primary reason for this requirement is that Title 1 funding covered part of the cost of the program. The criteria used to recommend students for the summer program was based on a students per formance in math and lan guage arts. The criteria (Note 9 ) for identification of 4 th grade students eligible to attend the mathematics program required a student to meet two of the three following criteria, and that there is an expectation that the student s attendance during summer school will be good. Mathematics Criteria 1) The students 3 rd quarter 4 th grade report card identifies the student as either emerging or progressing in number and operations. 2) The students 3 rd quarter 4 th grade report card identi fies the student as either emerging or progressing in algebraic reasoning. 3) The student is in the bottom 25% of his/her class in mathematics procedural and conceptual knowledge. The criteria for identification of 4 th grade students eligible to attend the language arts program required a student to meet two of the three following criteria and that there is an expectation that the students attendance during summer school will be good. Language Arts Criteria 1) The students 3 rd grade state based reading test score was a minimal or basic. 2) The students current Basic Reading Inventory Level was grade 5 or less. 3) The students 3 rd quarter 4 th grade report card identifies the student as either emerging or progressing in comprehends a variety of texts. 4) The stu dents 3 rd quarter 4 th grade report card identifies the student as either emerging or progressing in applies six traits of writing. Once the teachers identified those students who met the above m athematics and/or l anguage a rts criteria, the school princi pal sent a letter home inviting the student to attend the program. (See


Brown: S taking out the successful student 4 Appendix 1 for a copy of the form letter.) The letter introduces the program to families as a voluntary opportunity for their child to improve her academic skills. The District des igned the summer program so that the students will take two course sections each day. Math and language arts were offered for the fourth grade summer school program. Site selection for this program took place at schools within the District that offered e nrichment courses. Enrichment courses last ed for three weeks for any student in the District grades three through five. (Students who were not enrolled in the summer school program had to pay a fee and have their own transportation to take these enrichment courses.) The District divided e nrichment school sites by location so that there were enrichment and summ er school programs on the North side and on the South side. The program lasted for 29 days. In order to serve more students in the enrichment program s, the District conducted enrichment and summer programs at one school for three weeks on the North or South side and then moved to another school on the North or South side for the remaining three weeks. One of the reasons the summer school program locat ed itself in the same buildings as the enrichment program was to offer students who only needed assistance in math (which was the first class of the summer school program) to take the math class first and then an enrichment class during the second section of the day. If a student needed assistance in l anguage a rts only, she would take an enrichment class first and then the language arts class second. However, almost all the students 4 th grade teachers recommended that they enroll in both classes. In ad dition, different teachers taught the m ath classes and the language art classes. Finally, by using Title 1 monies to fund the summer school program, the District offered free transportation and a free breakfast to all participants. Authoring Ones Self as a Learner Standards based accountability reforms identify the students in regards to their level of performance in relation to a stated criterion or standard. Absent from this type of identification are the families, peers, or the students own const ruction of themselves as a learners. When students enter an intervention program, how do these multiple constructions of themselves as learners affect their ability to identify themselves as students? For this article, Bakhtinian theory is used as a mean s to theorize the affects of the summer school program and the various stakeholders images of that student on her self construction. Bakhtinian theory provides a lens to tease apart the complex dialogues that exists within education and educational polic y. Such a deconstruction provides an opportunity to identify the influence of these dialogic interactions on the students self authoring process According to Mikhail Bakhtin (1984 ; 1986), constructi ng ones self in the dialogic process is exemplified t hrough the concept of authoring. A uthoring as understood through the dialogic relationship, is framed through the idea of the individual, the author, existing in constant relationship between other individuals and discourses (Bakhtin, 1986, p. 95). For Bakhtin, discourses are social phenomena that cover the entire range from the sound image to the furthest reaches of abstract meaning (Bakhtin, 1981, p. 259). For example, the summer school student operates in dialogic relationships with her teachers, he r classmates, the discourses of schooling, peer groups, pop culture, etc. In view of Bakhtins framing of the dialogic relationship, the summer school student addresses and answers herself, her teacher, and her classmates (Bakhtin, 1984; 1990; 1993) This fluid movement between multiple dialogic relationships creates a situation where the students self identification (Note 10 ) shifts depending on the individual she addresses or answers. For example, the student might ventriloquate (Bakhtin, 1981 ; Holquis t, 19 90 ; Wertsch, 1991) the schools


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 5 authoritative discourses by simply mimicking the words of her teacher or the curriculum. Additionally, the student might decide to take on the role the teacher verbally assigns her and wear it (Note 1 1 ) throughout the day in order to avoid drawing unwanted attention. The student might adopt this clothing of language as her own and decide that these clothes are what she will wear while she is in school, possibly at home, or even around her friends (Bakhtin, 1984, p. 291). These acts of ventiloquating and wearing anothers words represent the interaction of many authors and many histories on the students identity. Furthermore, for Bakhtin, a student is in a constant stat e of construction in shaping who she is A students authoring of herself and the world around her is not the creation of a completed self image. Rather, she is constantly changing her identity and the world around her through the various dialogic interactions that take place throughout the day an d her life. Additionally, the people, objects, artifacts, etc that she interacts with on a daily basis have a history of their own that were shaped through their own dialogic relationships. Thus, the students authorial process is in constant formation a nd reflect s her various dialogic interactions with individuals and discourses (Bakhtin, 1986; 1993). This article explores the generative constructs of these dialogic relationships and the density of discourses that influence the summer school students se lf authoring Through this exploration, it is argued that the administrators, the teachers, the parents, and the students framing of the summer program fostered multiple dialogic interactions that are not a part of the typical school year. These inte ractions allowed the students a n opportunity to develop their selves in a supportive environment, which in turn lead to a positive self image for many of these students. Methods This project developed out of a study that examined the effects of summer sc hool on a students identity as learner and a peer. Multiple forms of data collection were used throughout the project. Students were surveyed (Note 1 2 ) when entering (n=42) and ex iting (n=30) the program (Note 1 3 ). In addition, parents were surveyed at the end of the program (n=11). Observations took place primarily in a Language Arts program (19 two hour observations) at the South side location. Obse rvations were conducted in the m ath program (8 two hour observations) in order to identify patterns in my data and to contrast the students experiences in different classroom settings. Field notes were generated after each visit in order to use in the analysis process. Additionally, two focal students were followed throughout the program, Steven, a bi ra cial student diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in kindergarten, and Teri, a Caucasian student who missed two months of school due to illnesses related to her tonsils, which were removed during the school year. Both students participated in the lan guage art s pr ogram and the m ath program. Students were interviewed at the beginning and the end of the program. One of the two focal students' parents was interviewed. Pre and post interviews were given to the students' two l anguage a r ts teachers, Ms. Collins (a Caucasian female in early 30s who has taught elementary school for five years) and Ms. Hoff (a mid twenties Caucasian female teacher who has one year of teaching experience as a substitute) who team taught the Language Arts class for all the stu dents, and Ms. Klein (a Caucasian middle aged woman who has taught for 15+ yea rs.), a third of the students m ath teacher, including the two focal students (Note 1 4 ) Insights pertaining to the effects of this summer program on the authoring of the summe r school student are drawn from the previously listed data sources. To provide additional support for these observations, direct quotes are included from the interviews and excerpts from program artifacts (such as the form letter from principals to parents ) throughout the remainder of this article.


Brown: S taking out the successful student 6 This analysis followed traditional qualitative inquiry (W o lcott, 1994 ; Strauss, 1996 ; Graue & Walsh, 1998). Field notes and interview transcripts were read and reread in order to identify relevant themes in the data, which were then coded using both external and internal codes (Graue & Walsh, 1998). External codes are codes that come out of my theoretical and conceptual perspectives about this research project (Graue & Walsh, 1998, p. 163). Internal codes are c odes that develop through my reading of the data (Graue & Walsh, 1998, p. 163). For example, an external code was the teachers constructions of the students. An internal code was the students identifying themselves as successful learners. From these c odes, the theme of providing the students with a chance to feel successful as learners was established. These themes derive themselves from the relevant data, and they were read against the text in search for contradictory evidence (W o lcott, 1994 ; Strauss 1996 ; Graue & Walsh, 1998). From the memos developed in the analysis, narratives were written to describe the emerging themes (Graue & Walsh, 1998). Finally, these narratives were analyzed against Bakhtins theoretical constructs of authoring and dialo gic relationships in order to deconstruct the complexity of the dialogic processes that frame the students ability to construct ones self as a learner Results Opportunity From the beginning, the intentions of this summer program were to provide th e students with an opportunity to enhance their learning skills, e.g. the form letter from principals to parents. Because retaining students was not an issue, the majority of stakeholders (the administrators, teachers, parents, and students) did not expre ss concern or anxiety as to what would happen over the course of the summer. For example, the three teachers interviewed for this study saw the summer program as an opportunity for the students to gain more confidence and to maintain, if not improve, th eir academic skills. Below, Ms. Kleins statement exemplifies this relaxed attitude that the three interviewed teachers had at the beginning of the summer school program. She saw this program as a time for students to build confidence and to foster more participation in the classroom discourse. What my image of summer school is is that its a more relaxed atmosphere. The pace is a little slower. Were all feeling a little less pressured to accomplish something that I dont feel like I have to I dont have to finish this unit by this time and have an assessment because the report card is coming or something like that And I think thats real freeing for a lot of these kids, especially from these kids who my assumption, and the ones I kno w They werent big participants in their school year math class, for example. So I think they can feel more comfortable and confident about participating than they would ordinarily. So I think its a pretty good match. (Ms. Klein, initial intervi ew) Ms. Klein identifies this program as an opportunity for both the teacher and the student to build confidence and to enjoy participating in the school experience. She and the other interviewed teachers frame the students within a relaxed atmosphere ra ther than under the auspices of salvation (Popkewitz, 1998) or failure.


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 7 The recruiting letter for language arts teachers mirrors this idea of support for students. It states: [Districts name] will pilot [programs name in bold face type] for rising 5 th graders from schools eligible for Title 1 programming who need additional and intensive instruction in reading and math to meet anticipate d criteria for promotion and to be successful at the next level. (February 15, 2002) This document frames the students that the teachers would work with as needing support as they progress into the 5 th grade. The primary goal was to assist the students in becoming proficient at the next grade level. Additionally, all three teachers interviewed at this program f elt less pressure to perform or to meet curricular deadlines. Rather than state that these students had to meet specific goals by a cert ain time, as demanded by a high stakes intervention program, these teachers saw this intervention as a chance for these students to improve their academic and social skills at a pace that was not frustrating for the students. For instance, Ms. Hoffs comments reflect this concern in building the students skills. Interviewer: What is the purpose behind this program? M s. Hoff: I think to help these students increase their reading ability. Im sort of getting a sense that these are kids who would either not passing into the 5 th grade or were really struggling in 5 th grade if they didnt have this summer class. S o they really need to improve, I think, upon their skills they had coming into the reading, so they leave with perhaps more skills. Or just skills they might have had before but maybe they didnt have enough experience for kids so they become secon d nature. Just to give them a stronger base so that when they get into 5 th grade, theyre not struggling as much. Opportunity and experience underlay Ms. Hoffs and the other teachers construction of what the program provides these students. These teachers and the District artifacts define summer school as an opportunity rather than a necessity. The teachers desires to at least maintain the students academic skills in a caring and low stress environment plays a critical role in shaping the dialogi c relationships that exist between themselves, the students, and the program itself. The teachers oriented their expectations of their students in such a way that the students needs drove the curriculum rather than meeting a specific performance standard such as a cut score on a test. Student uncertainty Although the programs teachers had a vision as to what was to take place over the course of the summer, the students who entered summer school were unsure as to what they would experience. Below, Ter is comments reflect this apprehension. Interviewer: Is this your first time in summer school? Teri: Yeah. I: Were you excited about coming?


Brown: S taking out the successful student 8 T: Not really I: Why not? T: Because I didnt think it was going to be fun I: What did you think was going to happen? T: Like wed have to work really hard. I: Okay What do you think you were going to learn this summer? T: Like, stuff to help me read and do math. I: What did your mom and dad tell you about summer school? (Note 1 5 ) T: That it was going t o be fun. By initially defining the summer program as place where she would work really hard, Teri assumed that summer school would mirror her previous experiences of schooling. Whether or not high stakes are in play. Teris expectations mirror what mo st students think when they are told that they have to attend summer school. The program The participants statements and District documents authored the summer school student through the idea of improving a students reading and math skills. This emp hasis on improvement also appears in how these teachers define a successful summer program, which provides additional insight in how the authoritarian stakeholders in the program frame their expected responses from the students. For example, Ms. Collins defines a successful program similarly to Ms. Hoffs objective to improve the students reading skills. She states: If we end the summer with close to the same amount of kids that started. I think that will be a huge success. Hmm (PAUSE) If they can talk about and demonstrate some of the strategies that weve been working on. My big goal is for them to read cover to cover while constantly questioning what they read. If theyre asking lots of questions when they read If they each have a library card. (Ms. Collins, initial interview) Ms. Collin s goals for her students wer e tangible within the time span of the program. Her intentions were to provide these students with the skills that successful readers possess being an avid reader, using multiple strategies to make meaning or decode words, etc (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). Ms. Collins, her colleagues, and the programs goals created relationships with the students that deemphasize achieving a single goal or test score while encouragi ng these students to develop multiple academic and social skills. Helping students build academic skills rather than attempting to fix the students academic or social behaviors frame the teachers dialogic relationship with the student in a different li ght. The curriculum The teachers, parents, and students interacted with the programs curriculum. In many ways, the teacher implemented curriculum answered what the summer programs expectations were for the students and parents. Furthermore, the curriculum provided the students with an understanding as to what their teachers and the summer program would expect of them.


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 9 Although the curriculum played a large role with the interactions that took place in the school, the District did not design the summer program with a standardized curriculum or curricular method in mind (e.g. Direct Instruction (Engelmann & Osborn, 1999)). Additionally, the District did not provide the teachers with specific goals or targets to reach. The District subject area c oordinators made curriculum suggestions and provided support to the teachers through meetings and providing subject specific materials. For example, the math teachers were part of a grant with the local university where they worked with a District m ath co ordinator and university professors in developing instructional practices that fostered the understanding of math concepts rather than fact based knowledge -using instructional models such as cognitively guided instruction (Carpenter & Fennema, 1999) The summer school math teachers from both sites met weekly and discussed what content they thought vital to teach to their students. The literacy teachers met sporadically with a literacy resource person from the District and planned instruction at their res pective sites rather than as a team. The literacy teachers were asked to use what the District administrators defined as a balanced literacy approach and to emphasize the use of non fiction texts in their instruction. The absence of clear curricular requ irements is seen in the statements of Ms. Hoff. Interviewer: What were you told were the goals for the summer program and the kids? Ms. Hoff: I think in the summer, its done a little differently than during the school year. Its definitely more laid b ack in the sense that were not really given clear expectations of This is what you had to do in your classroom. This is what it should look like. We set it up to look like and to work with something we were comfortable with. The primary expectation that I got was the fact that these kids need to read. They need to have an opportunity to read during the day. They need to be able to strengthen their skills. (initial interview) The script by which the teachers interacted with their students depended upon their professional judgment. This emphasis of their instruction was on providing the students with opportunity to use and maintain the skills they already possessed (Ms. Klein makes similar comments when discussing the math expectations). For examp le, in the languages arts program, reading instruction and book selection focused on the students abilities as determined by a Basic Reading Inventory ( Johns, 1997). Thus, how the various students were addressed by the curriculum depended upon the teache rs professional knowledge of m ath or literacy development and how that teacher approached using this knowledge with her students. This variation provided the students with the opportunity to answer the teacher generated curriculum in a multitude of ways, and since the teachers themselves decided upon the curricular outcomes, this experience provided the students with a more individualized experience. When discussing curriculum opportunities, Ms. Klein argues that no one curriculum would work for such a program. Ms. Klein: I think more than anything we know that there is no curriculum that really does a good job for this kind of thing. No one curriculum. (Final interview) Thus, the interactions that took place in the classroom between the studen t and the teacher not only varied due to the teachers personality but also through the varied curricular experiences the children received. The authoring of the student was not only dependent upon the individuals involved with the program, but also with the classrooms instructional materials and practices. The absence of


Brown: S taking out the successful student 10 specific curricular goals or a teacher scripted curriculum provided an opportunity for the teachers to frame their interactions with students themselves rather than as the result of Dist rict or state policymakers demands. This program centered on providing individualized learning experiences that offered students the opportunity to maintain and even enhance their literacy and math skills. The summer school students interact ed with these teachers expectations, the curriculum, and their families various discourses, all of which generate d various experiences and understandings as to what it means to be a student in this summer school program. Teachers and students addressed and answered e ach other in academic relationships that centered on their personal needs rather than an outside authoritys wants or demands. The teachers framing of the students was based on personal relationships and personal interests more so than on outside construc ts of what it means to be a fifth grade student. However, the teachers did implement a curriculum that they thought was necessary for students to be successful in the fifth grade. The discussions in the next section outline whether the teachers thought t his approach was successful in preparing these students for the next grade level. The program effects At the end of this summer school program, the majority of the program participants felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. In particular, student s saw themselves as being ready for the next grade level, and the teachers stated that students were better prepared for the upcoming year. For example, Ms. Collins, a former fifth grade teacher, saw the students as prepared for the next grade level. In terviewer: How do you think these guys are ready for 5 th grade? Ms. Collins: (PAUSE) Hmm I think (PAUSE) I think theyll be fine for 5 th grade. I: Can you think of any way theyre not prepared for 5 th grade? Ms. C: No. I think theyre really eage r, all of them. I: Youre a 5 th grade teacher so Ms. C: Right, right. I think theyre really eager. I think theyll do well. Ms. Hoff discussed the childrens future in the context of the overall program and saw the students as being better prepared for next year. Ms. Hoff: I think all the kids made improvements in different areas. They read more material, built some new strategies for reading and I think will be stronger going into next year than if they had not done this program. (Ms. Hoff, post interview) Ms. Hoff believe d the students are more prepared for the next grade, and all of the teachers believe d that without the summer program th e students would not be as prepared for the 5 th grade. The quantitative data that measured student achieve ment is suspect due to the large number of absences and a failure to have pre and post data for several students. The students BRI scores exemplify this problem. For the students whom attended the program for 20 or more days (n=34), 22 students have pre and post test BRI scores. For 13 students there is not data because they attended the program for 19 or fewer days. Of the 22 students who did attend a majority of the program, 12 students increased their score by one grade level 9 students stayed at t he same grade level


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 11 1 student dropped a grade level (see Table 1 for details) Table1 Basic Reading Inventory Scores Student North or South Side # of days in attendance Pre program BRI level Post program BRI level 1 South 24 5 6 2 South 23 3 3 S outh 27 5 6 4 South 23 5 South 22 5 6 Teri South 28 4 5 7 South 27 4 4 8 South 28 2 2 9 South 27 3 4 Steven South 27 5 5 11 South 27 3 3 12 South 17 3 4 13 South 25 4 5 14 North 29 6 6 15 North 27 5 6 16 North 9 17 North 6 18 Nor th 14 19 North 18 6 20 North 2 21 North 18 6 6 22 North 21 3 4 23 North 26 3 4 24 North 13 25 North 23 5 5 26 North 12 27 North 28 4 28 North 28 4 3 29 North 29 6 6 30 North 20 31 North 21 6 32 North 15 33 North 28 4 4 34 North 8 35 North 4 36 North 27 4 37 North 27 6 38 North 29 4 5 39 North 21 3 40 North 22 41 North 10 42 North 28 3 4 43 North 27 4 4 44 North 29 5 45 North 23 4 46 North 23 3 4 47 North 23 4 According to Johns (1997), these numbers represent the grade level at which the student is reading.


Brown: S taking out the successful student 12 Turning to the comments of students who did attend the program, one finds that those who participated in the summer program found the program to be worthwhile. For example, the two focal children felt that they gained skills in reading and math that would prepare them for the fifth grade. Teri: Yeah. I know I learned some new stuff about reading Interviewer: Like T: Like to think about every paragraph. To stop and think after a paragraph. I: What about math? What did you learn in math? T: I learned some tricks for plus nines. Teri gained academic skills that made her feel more confident in math and reading, and she felt that this knowledge would make he r more successful as a student. Additionally, for Steven, he saw his time in the program as being fun and productive rather than sitting at home watching TV, which he found to be boring. Interviewer: So what was summer school like for you this year? Stev en: Fun. I: Why was it fun? S: Its boring at my house. I: Its boring at your house so youd rather be here? S: Yes. I: If you were at home, what would you be doing? S: Watching TV. I: And youd rather be in school? S: Yes. I: So what do you thi nk So you like coming to school because its fun Why is it fun? S: I like having work. In regards to all the student participants, half of those who responded to the end of the program surveys (n=30; 20 North side (N), 10 South side (S)) rated the experience as either great or good (Note 1 6 ). 6 or 20% (5 N, 1 S) thought it was great 12 or 40% (10 N, 2 S) thought it was good 9 or 30% (4 N, 5 S) thought it was fair 1 or 3% (1 S) thought it was bad 2 or 6% (1 N, 1 S) thought is was horrible. From t he parents perspective, the program was beneficial. For example, Teris mother felt that Teri was prepared for reading but not sure about math. Interviewer: Now that summer school is almost over, how do you think shes ready for 5 th grade?


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 13 Teris Mom: She seems to be, I mean, with the reading for sure. But like I said, with the math, I still dont know. Teris mother did not know where her daughters math skills were because of the lack of contact between the school and the parents. She knew abou t Teris literacy experience because she picked Teri up from school every day, which provided her with the opportunity to talk with Ms. Collins and Ms. Hoff on a regular basis. What s interesting about this is that the parents understanding of their chil drens experiences in summer school came solely from their interactions with their children. Parents did not receive notes, report cards, or updates on their students progress over the course of the summer. Yet, out of those 11 who sent back a survey, a ll 11 parents (100%) stated that if they had another child in 4th grade that was invited to participate in the program that they would let that child go. Additionally, a majority of the parents felt that their children gained skills and confidence in the academic subjects the program covered. For example, eight of the parents (73%) believed that their children became better readers. However, only 5 of the parents (45%) believed that their children became better at m ath. Thus, these families judgments ab out the program were made solely through what their children told them, and whatever information was shared was evidently enough to convince them that the overall program was worthwhile. This student support of the program is exemplified in Teris comment s. Interviewer: Okay. If you were going to describe summer school to one of your friends, what would you say? Teri: It was fun and I learned a lot I dont know. I: Was it easy? T: Sort of. I: Sort of. It wasnt too hard? T: No. I: Was the school year harder for you than summer school or was it about the same? T: About the same. For Teri, the program was similar in difficulty to the regular school year experience, and she felt that she learned quite a bit in her experiences during the summer. T hus, rather than entering the fifth grade unsure about her skills or preparedness, Teri, as well as her mother, felt she would have a successful year. Stevens comments echo this sentiment Interviewer: Do you feel like youre ready for the 5 th grade? St even: Yes. C: How are you ready? S: I dont know. Hmm Im good at math and stuff. C: Do you think youre ready for 5 th grade math? S: Yes. Rather than seeing themselves as students on the brink of failure, these students felt that they were ready for the next level of schooling. Although Steven and Teri felt prepared for the next level, this does not mean that all the students would submit themselves to this experience again. In fact, in the end of the program survey the children were asked if th ey were given the choice to go to summer


Brown: S taking out the successful student 14 school again, what would they choose. Six or 20% (2 N, 4 S) would choose to go again, and twenty two children or 73% (17 N, 5 S) would choose not to go again. In examining how these various discourses speak to ea ch other and across each other, one immediately recognizes that there is a consistent dialogue of overall success for those who participated in the program provided the students with the opportunity to develop a positive self image as a student. However, the issue of attendance causes (see Note 1 3 ) one to question whether these positive self constructions would exist if all students who were asked to attend participated in the program an issue of internal validity. Their absence might be a statement of fa ilure or simple a lack of interest in the program. For those students who did choose to participate and stay in the program, there was an underlying theme of success within their personal constructions of themselves as students. Discussion The construc tion of the summer school student is the interaction of multiple discourses, e.g. the teachers, families, etc. The students authoring of herself as a student reflects this multiplicity of others words. Thereby, examining the data above provides insight about the complexity that exists in attempting to identify the effects of a summer school program on the student s construction of ones self as a learner However, the absence of those who chose not to participate speaks just as loudly as those who were present for the program. Additionally, according to Bakhtin, Life by its very nature is dialogic, and this construction of existence points to the importance of how the participants utterance spoke to each other and across various themes (Bakhtin, 198 4, p. 293). Recognizing the influence of these interactions between the participants sheds light on the influence of such exchanges on the opportunities for students to author themselves as learners From the beginning, the purpose of this program was quite different from a high stakes standards based accountability summer school program. Teacher recommendation s and student/family participation determined student enrollment. Consequences were not a part of the equation, and a single test score or oth er criteria did not affect student entry. Prescribed curricula were not a part of the program. Promotion to the fifth grade was not an issue, and thus, the general framework in which these dialogic interactions took place ill uminates the transition from a traditional summer intervention program to a high stakes intervention program. The teachers and program administrators utterances created an authorial discourse that centered on support rather than preventing failure. Students were not preoccupied with whether or not they would enter the fifth grade, which provided them with the opportunity to focus their summer experience on improving their own skills and learning. However, to state that the programs emphasis on opportunity provided students wit h an environment in which they could develop their academic skills and gain confidence in their abilities underestimates the complexity of the dialogic interactions that exist within the authoring process. The data support the argument that the program wa s successful in providing students with the opportunity to develop in a positive manner. How positive this opportunity was depends on the students. For Teri and Steven, they felt that they were successful in the program, and they felt prepared for the ne xt grade level. For those who chose not to participate in or left the program, their level of success was not as high those who chose to continue to participate in the program. Possibly, those students who decided not to participate felt that they were a lready prepared for the 5 th grade. N onetheless, the absence of high stakes and program emphasis on support and skill building created a schooling environment that offered students the opportunity to develop


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 15 themselves as students in various dialogic relat ionships that supported their growth in terms of where they were as learners rather than in response to a particular cut score or other performance standard. Implications To begin, this program demonstrates that when the learning environment within sc hools centers on opportunity rather than the prevention of failure, all members of the community still work towards the same goals. Additionally, this summer program validates that spaces can exist for the struggling student to develop her skills in order to be more successful in schooling (Note 1 7 ) However, as this program demonstrates, such spaces typically exist o utside the confines of the high stakes accountability movement. Nonetheless, there are several lessons that can be learned from this low s takes summer program. Authoritarian discourses, anticipated responses, and dialogic positioning affect students perceptions of themselves as learners. Policymakers, schools, administrators, and teachers must consider how the policies and programs the y create alter the complex dialogic relationships of schooling. Any type of stake shapes the opportunities for the student and her/his family, classmates, and teachers. Although this study represents a small sample of students who attended a particular s ummer school program it demonstrates the power of and complexity in defining performance. Thus, h igh stake s policies must expand their definition of success and recognize that for students, parents, and teachers school success is more than meeting a spec ific performance criterion. Stevens defining a good student as one who behaves well in class exemplifies this point. Additionally, Stevens example highlights how students are cognizant of their strengths and weaknesses in schooling. The prescriptive n ature of high stakes accountability policies create a situation where success is defined by a single or limited set of criteria. This restricted definition of success creates a dialogic relationship for the student that stifles the possibility for that st udent to author his/her learning experiences as being positive. The possibility to create opportunit y for change is overridden by a catch up mentality in order to ensure promotion. The data above also highlight the importance for the various levels of public schooling to recognize their role in authoring the student. Whether stakes are high or low students and families internalize, as well as, react to the discourses that address them w hen they enter a school. High s takes policies center around succes s and failure, but even a l ow stak e environment creates a dialogic relationsh ip that affects the student How schools, administrators, and teachers interact with their student population plays a significant role in how students author themselves as lear ners and stakeholders need to remember the importance of these interactions when implementing policies that directly affect students and their families. Finally, within K 12 schooling, there will always be stakes that determine whether a student should a ttend summer school. The symbolic power (Ellwein, 1987 ; Ellwein & Glass, 1989 ) and the spectacle (Edelman, 1985; Edelman, 1988; Smith, Miller Kahn, Heinecke, & Jarvis, 2004) that such policies create ensure their position in the landscape of education ref orm (e.g. the New York City Public Schools recent implementation of a 3 rd grade promotion policy) Additionally, the recent shift in government towards a neo liberal/managerial role in education which provides supplemental education services outside of th e school (e.g. No Child Left Behind Act ) causes one to question whether intervention programs such as the one I observed can exist in the current education reform landscape (Clarke & Newman, 1994; Apple, 2001) (Note 1 8 ).


Brown: S taking out the successful student 16 Nevertheless how states, distric ts, or individual schools set those stakes plays a key factor in framing the dialogic relationships that exists between the program and the student and her family. The more prescriptive and authoritarian the system, the less likely the student will be abl e to escape the not ion of failure from her authoring of herself as a student This i dea of failure embedded in high stakes policies creates a more difficult task for school personnel and families to assist students in constructing themselves as successful learners. Therefore, systems of accountability should base their decisions on several criteria rather than a single indicator ( e.g., Heubert & Hauser, 1999; Baker, Linn, Herman, & Koretz, 2002; Linn 2003) (Note 19) Although eliminating the construct o f failure from schooling is nearly impossible, education policymakers must consider whether this is truly an issue of systemic failure (e.g. Berliner & Biddle, 1995; Bracey, 2002) and if so, they should consider placing this failure construct on multiple actors, including their own selves administrators, teachers, and the curriculum rather than on the individual student. Such a positioning frames programs such as summer school in a very different light, creating an environment where the intervention beco mes as a different type of instruction rather than a form of punishment. Notes 1 See for an example of the districts promotion policies. 2 Researchers (including the researchers at the Consortium on Chicago School Research) have consistently found that retention offers no positive effects for the retained students. In fact, retention typically results in lower achievement and higher dropout rates for retained student s in comparison to their peers (see Holmes & Matthews, 1984; Labaree, 1984; Shepard & Smith, 1986; Holmes, 1989; Meisels, 1992; Reynolds, 1992; Rumberger, 1995; Reynolds & Temple, 1997; McCoy & Reynolds, 1999; Zill, 1999; Alexander, Entwisle, & Kabbani 200 0; Graue & DiPerna, 2000). For example, using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, Rumberger (1995) found that at the individual level retention is the single most powerful predictor of student drop out. Retained students were fou r times more likely to drop out, even after Rumberger controlled for student background and school measures. 3 According to the Chicago Public Schools policy, a students score on the ITBS determines whether s/he is promoted to the next grade level in gra des 3, 6, and 8. 4 Less than 60 percent of retained third and sixth graders in 1998 and 1999 were able to raise their test scores to the promotional cutoff (Nagaoka & Roderick, 2004). For many students, this is the fourth time they have taken the grade le vel test 2 times during the school year and 2 times during the summer (Roderick et al., 2000, p. 10). 5 Agencies, such as the U. S. Department of Education (1999), researchers such as Reynolds and Temple (1997), Darling Hammond (1998), and McCoy and Rey nolds (1999) and professional organizations such as Phi Delta Kappa (McCay, 2001) recognize the dilemmas states and school districts face with this issue of social promotion. These organizations and authors recommend that states and school districts consi der such measures as strengthening learning opportunities in the classroom (e.g., tutors, well trained teachers, reduced class size), providing intervention services at early age (e.g., comprehensive early childhood programs) extending the amount of learni ng time (e.g., after school, summer school, and year round schooling), and holding schools accountable for performance (e.g., rewards and sanctions) (Reynolds & Temple, 1997; Darling Hammond, 1998; McCoy & Reynolds, 1999; U. S. Dept. of Education, 1999; Mc Cay, 2001).


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 17 6 All references used to identify individuals or institutions are pseudonyms. 7 This study specifically centered on the fourth grade program, which was a half day program that lasted for six weeks. 8 All students in grades 4, 8, and 10 in the s tate of Wisconsin are to take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE). There are four levels of performance on the WKCE: minimal, basic, proficient, and advanced. 9 These criteria were sent to the principals of the Districts Title 1 elementary s chools from the director of teaching and learning and the math and language arts coordinators. 10 Throughout my discussion of Bakhtinian theory and the students self construction in the dialogic process, I am not using Bakhtinian theory to untangle the ps ychological process of identify formulation. Rather, my emphasis is on the opportunities that are created in the dialogic process for the student to view ones self as a successful learner. Thus, if the opportunities for the student exist to identify her /his self as a successful learner, what happens? The psychological process of identity formulation is beyond the scope of my work, but there are theorists, such as Wertsch (1991), who link Bakhtinian theory to the psychological process (e.g. Wertsch conn ects Bakhtinian theory with Vygotskys (e.g., 1978) work). 11 As Bakhtin (1984) notes, words can clothe the individual: . . the clothing of language, a new mode for wearing ones one body, ones embodiment (p. 291). 12 All surveys, interviews, and st udent writing activities were voluntary, and therefore, not all student and their families participated. Additionally, only students who participated in the language arts program and their families were surveyed. See Appendix 2 for copies of the surveys 13 The attrition of students throughout the program was a major issue for the school district. For example, only forty seven of the original sixty two students who signed up for the program attended summer school. Of the forty seven students who did at tend, only thirty four students attended the program for twenty or more days. 14 All three teachers were licensed by the state of Wisconsin to teach at the elementary school level. 15 At the time that I asked this question, I knew that Teri lived in a home with a mother and father. 16 Due to the small response size, I am not making any claims for statistical significance with these responses, and because the programs retention rates were poor, I recognized that the survey data is biased. However, the data provides support to the comments and statements made by the individuals interviewed for this study. 17 My findings provide further qualitative support to the work of Cooper et al. (2000). 18 Additionally, are such intervention programs dependent upon the dire consequences these policies create in order to receive funding? 19 I want to thank Bernardo Hoes, Beth Graue, Denise Oen, Robin Fox, and Lucinda Heimer for their comments and suggestions to improve the various drafts of this article.


Brown: S taking out the successful student 18 References Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Kabbani, N. (2000). Grade retention social promotion, and 'third way' alternatives. The CEIC Review, 9 18 19. Retrieved March 23, 2004, from Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Education, Evaluation, & Policy Analysis, 23 171 191. Allensworth, E. (2004). Ending social promotion: Dropout rates in Chicago after impleme ntation of the eighth grade promotion gate. Chicago, IL : Consortium of Chicago School Research. Retrieved April 11, 2004, from http://www.consortium Apple, M. W. (2001). Educating the Right way: Markets, st andards, God, and inequity New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Baker, E. L., Linn, R. L., Herman, J. L., & Koretz, D (2002, Winter). Standards for educational accountability systems. (CRESST, Policy Brief No. 5). Retrieved November 1, 2003, from http://c Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays by M.M. Bakhtin (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Eds.), (M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press. Bakhtin, M. M. (1984). Problems of Doestoevsky's poetics (C. Emerson, Ed.), (C. Emerson, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Eds.). (V. W. McGee, Trans.). University of Texas Press Slavic Series, no. 8. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Bakhtin, M. M. (1990). Art and answerability (M. Holquist & V. Liapunov, Eds.). (V. Liapunov, Trans.). (K. Brostrom, Supplement Trans.). University of Texas Press Slavic Series, no. 9. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Bakhtin, M. M. (1993). Toward a philosophy of the act (M. Holquist & V. Liapunov, Eds). (V. Liapunov, Trans.). University of Texas Press Slavic Series, no. 10. Austin, TX: University of Texas Pre ss. Berliner, D. C., & Biddle, B. J. (1995). The manufactured crisis: Myths, fraud, and the attack on Americas public schools Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Company. Bracey, G. W. (2002). War against Americas public schools. Privatizing sc hools, commercializing education Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 19 Carpenter, T. P., & Fennema, E. (1999). Children's Mathematics : Cognitively guided instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Clarke, J, & Newman, J. (1994). The managerial state: Power, poli tics, and ideology in the remaking of social welfare Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Cooper H., Charlton K., Valentine J. C., & Muhlenbruck, L. (2000). Making the most of summer school: A meta analytic and narrative review. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 65 Darling Hammond, L. (1998). Alternatives to grade retention. The School Administrator, 55 18 21. Edelman, M. (1985). The symbolic use of politics U rbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. Ede lman, M. (1988). Constructing the political spectacle Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Ellwein, M. C. (1987). Standards of competence: A multi site case study of school reform. UMI Dissertation Services (UMI No. 8716249). Ellwein, M. C., & Glass, G. V. (1989). Ending social promotion in Waterford: Appearances and reality. In L. S. Shepard & M. L. Smith, (Eds.). Flunking grades: research and policies on retention (pp. 151 173). New York: Falmer Press. Engelmann, S., & Osborn, J. ( 1999). Language for learning Columbus, OH: SRA/McGraw Hill. Fountas, I. C., & Pinnell, G. S. (1996). Guided reading: Good first teaching for all children Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Graue, M. E., & Walsh, D. J. (1998). Studying children in conte xt: Theories, methods, and ethics Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Graue, M. E., & DiPerna, J. C. (2000). The gift of time: Who gets redshirted and retained and what are the outcomes? American Educational Research Journal, 37 509 534. Heub ert, J. P., & Hauser, R. M. (Eds.) (1999). High stakes: Testing for tracking, promotion, and graduation. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Holmes, C. T., (1989). Grade level retention effects: A meta analysis of research studies. In L. S. Shepar d & M. L. Smith (Eds.) Flunking grades: research and policies on Retention (pp. 16 33). New York: Falmer Press. Holmes, C. T., & Matthews, K. M. (1984). The effects of nonpromotion of elementary and junior high school pupils: A meta analysis. Review of Educational Research, 54 225 236.


Brown: S taking out the successful student 20 Holquist, M. (1990). Dialogism: Bakhtin and his world New York: Routledge. Johns, J. L. (1997). Basic reading inventory: pre primer through grade twelve & early literacy assessments Dubuque, Iowa : Kendall/Hu nt Publishing. Labaree, D. F. (1984). Setting the standard: Alternative policies for student promotion. Harvard Educational Review, 54 (1), 67 87. Linn, R. L. (2003). Accountability: Responsibility and reasonable expectations. McCay, E. (Ed.) (200 1). Moving beyond retention and social promotion Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa International. McCoy, A. R., & Reynolds, A. J. (1999). Grade retention and school performance: An extended investigation. Journal of School Psychology, 37 273 298. Meisels, S. J. (1992). Doing harm by doing good: Iatrogenic effects of early childhood enrollment and promotion policies. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 7, 155 74. Nagaoka, J., & Roderick, M. (2004). Ending Social Promotion: The effects of re tention. Chicago, IL: Consortium of Chicago School Research. Retrieved April 11, 2004, from http://www.consortium Popkewitz, T. S. (1998). Struggling for the soul: The poli tics of schooling and the construction of the teacher New York: Teachers College Press. Reynolds, A. J. (1992). Grade retention and school adjustment: An explanatory analysis. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 14 101 121. Reynolds, A., & Temple, J. (1997, September 17). Grade retention doesnt work. Education Week. Retrieved March 25, 2004, from Reynolds. A.J., Temple, J.A, Robertson, D.L., Mann E.A. (2001). Long term Effects of an Early Childhood Intervention on Educational Achievement and Juvenile Arrest: A 15 year Follow up of Low Income Children in Public Schools. Retrieved February 10, 2004, from htttp:// Roderick, M., Bryk, A. S., Jacob, B. A., Easton, J. Q., & Allensworth E. (1999). Ending social promotion: Results from the first two years Consortium on Chicago School Research: Chicago, IL. Roderick, M., Nagaoka, J., Bacon, J., & Easton, J. Q. (2000). Update: E nding social promotion. Passing, retention, and achievement trends among promoted and retained students, 1995 1999 Consortium on Chicago School Research: Chicago, IL. Rumberger, R. W. (1995). Dropping out of middle school: A multi level analysis of students and school. American Educational Research Journal, 32 582 625.


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 21 Shepard, L., & Smith, M. L. (1986). Synthesis of research on school readiness and kindergarten retention. Educational Leadership, 44, 78 86. Smith, M. L., Miller Kahn L., Hei necke, W., & Jarvis, P. F. (2004). Political spectacle and the fate of American schools New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Stauss, L. S. (1996). Qualitative analysis for social scientists Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press. United States Departm ent of Education (1999). Taking responsibility for ending social promotion Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of Education. United States Department of Education, (2002). No child left behind: Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Educa tion Act Department of Education: V y g otsky, L. S. (19 78). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (M. Cole, V. John Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman, Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of the mind: A sociocultural approach to mediated action Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Wolcott, H. F. (1994). T ransforming qualitative data: description, analysis, and interpretation Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Zill, N. (1999). Promoting educational equity and excellence in kindergarten. In R. C. Pianta and M. J. Cox (Eds.) The transition to kinde rgarten (pp. 67 105). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. About the Author Christopher Brown The University of Texas at Austin Department of Curriculum and Instruction 1 University Station D5700 Austin, TX 78712 0379 Office: (512) 232 2288 Emai l: Christopher Brown is a n assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at T he University of Texas at Austin. His recently conducted a study that used Bakhtinian theory to examine the formulation and implementation of Wiscon sins No Social Promotion statut es as a case study of standards based accountability. His research interests include the intersection of education policy, curricu lum, and instruction, standards based accountability and assessment, early childhood educatio n, and elementary education.


Brown: S taking out the successful student 22 Appendix 1 Dear Parent: There are still nine weeks left in the 2001 2002 school year and we are continuing to work very hard with your child to help him/her make the gains necessary for success in the 5 th grade. Ho wever, if we are not able to help your child make these gains by the end of the school year, your child will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting learning opportunity this summer. We want you to know about this opportunity now so you can mak e summer plans for your child. The District will have a six week program for students at our school who completing the 4 th grade need additional instruction in mathematics or reading to be more successful in 5 th grade. The [programs name in bold typefac e] will be June 17 July 26, 8:00 12:15 p. m. In the [programs name] your child will work with a teacher on improving either mathematics or reading or both. If your child needs instruction in only one of those classes, s/he will also be able to take one of the [programs name] enrichment summer school classes. The [programs name in bold face type] is provided at no charge. Transportation to and from the [programs name in bold face type] also will be provided at no cost to you. All you need to do is fill out the attached form to tell us that you are interested in your child participating in the [programs name in bold face type] and then, if we are able to enroll your child, make sure your child attends every day. I hope that you will arrange your su mmer plans so that your child can enroll in the [programs name in bold face type] if he or she is eligible. I think the [programs name] offers a wonderful opportunity for your child to get the extra instruction he or she needs. Your childs teacher or another staff person from (name of school) will call you soon to talk with you about the [programs name in bold face type]. If you have any other questions, please call me. Sincerely, School Principal Phone Number:


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 23 Appendix 2 Student pre [program s name] Survey Circle the word or number that best answers the question: 1. Are you a (circle one)? Boy Girl 2. How old are you? 7 8 9 10 11 12 3. At which school did you attend fourth grade? 4. Have you ever repeated a grade before? Ye s No If yes, which one?______ 5. How many brothers and sisters do you have all together? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 6 Are any of your brothers or sisters in summer school? Yes No If yes, How many?_______ 7. During the school year, w here did you go after school? (circle the one you did most) childcare came home after school program went to a friend's house stayed w/ a relative 8. During the school year, how many hours a day did you read (not including school)? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 9. During the school year, how many hours a day did you watch TV or play video games? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 10. How many hours a day did you spend doing homework in the 4th grade? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 11. O utside of school, whom do you usually play with (circle one)? Alone A friend A relative 12. What was your favorite part of 4th grade? (circle one) Reading Math Social Studies Science Music Art P.E. Lunch Computers Recess 13. What is your least favorite part of 4th grade? (circle one) Reading Math Social Studies Science Music Art P.E. Lunch Computers Recess 14. My 4th grade teacher was (circle all that apply) Helpful Caring Smart Strict Fun Bori ng Hard to understand 15. I got along with my 4th grade teacher this year. (Circle one) Yes No 16. Rate your work in the 4th grade. It was . (circle one) Horrible Poor Okay Pretty good The best 17. When I do my homework, I usua lly (circle one)


Brown: S taking out the successful student 24 do a good job do a bad job get confused forget to do it need someone to help me 18. When I take a test, I usually (circle one) do a good job do an okay job do a bad job get confused cheat on the test 19. I feel that I am ready to go to the 5th grade (circle one) Yes No Not sure 20. Who first told you that you had to go to summer school?(circle one) Parent Teacher 21. Is this your first time in summer school? Yes No 22. Do you want to be in summer school? (circle one) Yes No 23. I am going to summer school because . (circle all that apply) I want to go My parents want me to go My teacher wants me to go I want to take an enrichment course I don't know 24. I need help in these subjects (circle all that apply). Reading Math Social Studies Science Art Music 25. In summer school, I think I will (circle all that apply) Read Do Math Play games Have homework Take tests Do worksheets 26. In summer school, I do not want to (circle all that apply) Read Do Math Play games Have homework Take tests Do worksheets 27. If I were not in summer school, I would be (circle one) At home with my family At a camp At child care With a relative With a friend Please write answers to these questions as best you can. (If you need more space, you can write on the back of the page.) 1. Why are you in summer school? 2. What do you hope to learn in summer school? 3. How would you rank yourself as a student? (circle one) Horrible Poor Okay Pretty good The best Why?


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 25 Student post [programs name] Survey Circle the word or number that best answers the question: 1. Are you a (circle one)? Boy Girl 2. How old are you? 7 8 9 10 11 12 3. At which school did you attend fourth grade? 4. Have you ever repeated a grade before? Yes No If yes, which one?______ 5. How many brothers and sisters do you have all together? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 6 Are any of your brothers or sisters in summer school? Yes No If yes, How many?_______ 7. During the summer, where did you go after school? (circle the one you did most) child care came home after school prog ram went to a friend's house stayed w/ a relative 8. During summer school, how many hours a day did you read (not including school)? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 9. During the summer, how many hours a day did you watch TV or play vide o games? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 10. How many hours a day did you spend doing homework this summer? 0 less than 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 11.Outside of school, who did you usually play with (circle one)? Alone A friend A relative 12. Was this your fi rst time in summer school? yes no 13. Overall, how would you rate your summer school experience? (circle one) Great Good Fair Bad Horrible 14. What was your favorite part of summer school? Reading Math Enrichment Class Recess 15. What was your least favorite part of summer school? Reading Math Enrichment Class Recess 16. My parents helped with summer school when I needed it (circle one) Yes No 17. My summer school teacher was (circle all that apply) Helpful Ca ring Smart Strict Fun Boring Hard to understand 18. I got along with my summer school teacher? (circle one) Yes No


Brown: S taking out the successful student 26 19. Rate how you did your work in summer school. I did . (circle one) A really bad job A bad job An okay job A good job A great job 20. My reading class this summer was . (circle one) Too easy Easy Just right Hard Too hard 21. My math class this summer was . (circle one) Too easy Easy Just right Hard Too hard 22. I feel that I still need help in these subjects (circle all that apply) Reading Math Social Studies Science Art Music 23. If I had a choice to go to summer school again, I would choose (circle one): To go N ot to go 24. In summer school, I felt that I did a . (circle one) A great job A good job A fair job A bad job A really bad job Please write answers to these questions as best you can. (If you need more space, you can write on the back of the page.) 1. What did you learn this summer? 2. How would you rank yourself as a student? (circle one) Horrible Poor Okay Pretty good The best Why? 3. Make a list of all the things that you liked about the summer school and a list of all the things that you did not like about summer school? Things I liked about the Academy Things I disliked about the Academy


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 27 Please answer the questions as best you can: 1. How are you related to the child in your household who attended summer school? 2. How old are you? 3. Which school did your child attend fourth grade at last year? 4. How many children are in your family? 5 Are any of them besides the fourth grader attending summer school? Yes No How many? 6. What did your ch ild do after the summer school program each day? (circle one) child care came home day camp go to a friend's house stay with a relative 7. Circle all the activities that you child participated in over the summer. watching TV/playing video ga mes team sports reading playing outside playing an instrument 8. How often and for how long did your child participate in each activity? watching TV/playing video games ______________ team sports______________ reading __________ playing an instrument_________ playing outside___________ 9. How often did just you and your child do something together? (circle one) Everyday Couple times per week Once per week Once per month Never 10. How often do you and your child read tog ether? (circle one) Everyday Couple times per week Once per week Once per month Never 11. Does your child usually play alone, with friends, or with family? 12. Was this your child's first time in summer school? If not, after what grad e level did he or she attend it before? 13. What was your child's favorite part of summer school? (circle one) Reading Math Enrichment Class Recess 14. What was your child's least favorite part of summer school? (circle one) Reading Math E nrichment Class Recess 15. How often was your child's summer school teacher in touch with you? (circle one) Everyday Few times per week Once per week One time Two times Never 16. How often did you go to your child's class(es) over th e summer? (circle one)


Brown: S taking out the successful student 28 Everyday Few times per week Once per week One time Two times Never 17. Do you believe that you child learned to become a better reader because he/she participated in the academy? yes no 18. Do yo u believe that you child became better in math because he/she participated in the Academy? yes no 19. Do you believe that your child is ready to enter fifth grade? yes no 20. Rate your child's literacy teacher. Horrible Poo r Average Good Excellent 21. Rate your child's math teacher. Horrible Poor Average Good Excellent 22. Do you believe that the Intermediate Academy was well organized? yes no 23. If you had another child in the fourth grade and h e/she were invited to participate in the summer reading academy, would you let him/her? yes no 24. Overall, how would you rate your child's experience this summer? (circle one) poor fair somewhat worthwhile very worthwhile 25. How many weeks out of the 6 did your child attend the academy? (Circle one) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Please write answers to these questions as best you can. (Please feel free to write on the back of the sheet if necessary). 1. What did your child learn in summ er school this year? 2. What grade would you give your child's summer school experience? Circle one (A being best and F worst): A B C D F Why? 3. How do you think summer school changed your child as a student? 4. If you could change anything abou t the [ District s name] summer reading program, what would it be and why?


Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 13 No. 1 4 29 Education Policy Analysis Archives Editor: Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Production Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona St ate University General questions about appropriateness of topics or particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Sherman Dorn, epaa editor@shermando rn .com EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling Hammond Stanford University Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State Univeristy Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Gene V Glass Arizona State University Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute of Technology Patricia Fey Jarvis Seattle, Washington Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Berkeley Mich ele Moses Arizona State University Gary Orfield Harvard University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Jay Paredes Scribner University of Missouri Michael Scriven Western Michigan University Lorrie A. S hepard University of Colorado, Boulder Robert E. Stake University of Illinois UC Kevin Welner University of Colorado, Boulder Terrence G. Wiley Arizona State University John Willinsky University of British Columbia


Brown: S taking out the successful student 30 Archivos Analticos de Polticas Educativas Ass ociate Editors Gustavo E. Fischman & Pablo Gentili Arizona State University & Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Founding Associate Editor for Spanish Language (1998 2003) Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Editorial Board Hugo Aboites Universidad Autnoma Metropolitana Xochimilco Adrin Acosta Universidad de Guadalajara Mxico Claudio Almonacid Avila Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educacin, Chile Dalila Andrade de Oliveira Univers idade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil Alejandra Birgin Ministerio de Educacin, Argentina Teresa Bracho Centro de Investigacin y Docencia Econmica CIDE Alejandro Canales Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Ursula Casanova Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona Sigfredo Chiroque Instituto de Pedagoga P opular, Per Erwin Epstein Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois Mariano Fernndez Enguita Universidad de Salamanca. Espaa Gaudncio Frigotto Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Rollin Kent Universidad Autnoma de Puebla. Puebla, Mxico Walter Kohan Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Roberto Leher Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Daniel C. Levy University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York Nilma Limo Gomes Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte Pia Lindquist Wong California State University, Sacramento, California Mara Loreto Egaa Programa Interdisciplinario de Investigacin en Educacin Mariano Narodowski Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina Iolanda de Oliveira Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brasil Grover Pango Foro Latinoamericano de Polticas Educativas, Per Vanilda Paiva Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Bra sil Miguel Pereira Catedratico Universidad de Granada, Espaa Angel Ignacio Prez Gmez Universidad de Mlaga Mnica Pini Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina Romualdo Portella do Oliveira Universidade de So Paulo Diana Rhoten Social Science Research Council, New York, New York Jos Gimeno Sacristn Universidad de Valencia, Espaa Daniel Schugurensky Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Canada Susan Street Centro de Inves tigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social Occidente, Guadalajara, Mxico Nelly P. Stromquist University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California Daniel Suarez Laboratorio de Politicas Publicas Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina A ntonio Teodoro Universidade Lusfona Lisboa, Carlos A. Torres UCLA Jurjo Torres Santom Universidad de la Corua, Espaa


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