The Renovation Process Related To Leadership Education Essay

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Literature focused on the renovation process as it relates to leadership and student achievement is limited in the field of educational research. In order to provide a foundational context for this study the broader topic of the renovation process was reviewed. A description of the renovation process provided the outline of events that are used in taking a school from inadequate building conditions to standard conditions that focus on students and their learning. In addition, variables that were examined throughout the literature included demographic factors such as socio-economics status of students, ethnicity of students, teacher quality, and building level leadership. Facets of the renovation process as described in the literature are acknowledged and a synopsis of findings is presented. A synthesis of the literature established that research methodologies used in previous studies reveal the need for further research into the narrower topic of the renovation process as it relates to leadership and student achievement.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Background

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Literature Review

Significance

Research Questions

Definitions of Key Terms

REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE

Literature Search and Review Process

Research Evaluating the Renovation Process Found in the Literature

Reconstructing School Renovation

Research Examining the Renovation Process as it Relates to Student Achievement

The Renovation Process and Student Achievement Measured by Performance on the Virginia Standards of Learning

School Building Condition, School Attendance, and Academic Achievement in New York City Public Schools

School Building Renovation and Student Performance

Research Considering the Renovation Process as it Relates to Leadership

A Study of Teacher Experiences During a Renovation Project

SYNTHESIS AND CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

INTRODUCTION

Background

"The space within becomes the reality of the building." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Educational space has long been a concern for teachers, students, parents and administrators. Not only a concern for the learning that takes place in a school building, but the building itself. As famed American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright pointed out - the making of a building is more than just constructing the walls, it is what happens within those walls that make it worthwhile (Secrest, 1992). Today educators are struggling with the critical issue of school construction. According to the 2012 Annual Construction Report $12.2 billion was spent on 2011 school construction projects compared to $20 billion annually from 2000 through 2008 (Abramson, 2012). The state of the economy has forced local school divisions to rethink their planning for capital outlay projects with many determining that school renovation will meet students' needs and the school boards budget.

In 2011 over $5 billion of the previously reported $12 billion was spent on school renovation. It is projected for the 2013 report that more than half of the estimated $10 billion will be used for renovation projects. In his report Abramson stated, "It appears that the larger new school projects, many funded four or five years before completion, are not being started as often and that districts are opting for smaller and quicker projects - fixing up deteriorating buildings or small additions to existing ones" (Abramson, 2012, p.CR3). But how does this new focus on school renovation relate to leadership and student achievement? The importance of understanding the impact school leadership has on the renovation process aligns not only with an understanding that an effective construction project needs an effective leader, but the fact that in having strong leadership during a renovation project the impact on student achievement may be different if that leadership was ineffective. The need for additional research that will be the foundation for the process leaders should use to ensure student achievement during the renovation process is now at hand.

Statement of the Problem

In compiling research on the renovation process and how it relates to leadership and student achievement a one-sided focus on student achievement was revealed as the most common research angle. In today's climate of educational accountability achievement is an easy road map for researchers when studying the renovation process. School boards, central staff, principals, and teachers are all focused on student achievement and in doing so have neglected one key element when studying the renovation process; leadership. Research has been conducted on building conditions and student achievement, building conditions and school leadership, as well as teacher attitudes during a renovation project; but few studies have focused on the renovation process and how it relates to leadership and student achievement. Researchers need to delve deeper into the decision making elements of leadership and its impact on the renovation process as it relates to student achievement.

The problem of a one-sided focus on student achievement has impeded research efforts in understanding how leadership impacts school construction and the renovation process. Therefore, any additional knowledge that is obtained will provide insights and recommendations that can be given to leaders who embark on a school renovation project.

Purpose for Literature Review

The purpose of this literature review is to investigate variables associated with the renovation process as it relates to leadership and student achievement. Variables identified within the literature will be analyzed to determine their level of significance in the renovation process in order to provide a foundation of understanding. All factors will be examined in order to determine if further research is needed.

Significance

Scholarly significance. The empirical research associated with the renovation process and how it relates to leadership and student achievement is limited. Even with current studies completed by, Maxwell (1999), Tuttle (2002), Duran-Narucki (2008), Earthman and Lemasters (2009), and Uline (2010) the focus has not been narrowed to show the impact or relationship dealing specifically with leadership. The focus of school renovation and its relationship to student achievement is unbalanced. Studies that examine the decision making elements of leadership and its impact on the renovation process is needed.

Practical significance. The research of leadership and the renovation process will serve as a stepping stone for others in the field when analyzing the impact of a facility upgrade while maintaining successful student achievement. The significance of this research study is to identify variables associated with the renovation process as it relates to leadership and student achievement. A case study of one school will be analyzed and aligned with current literature.

Research Questions

Research studies and commentary literature will be explored for confirmation that the following research questions need additional study.

What variables are addressed by school administrators prior to, during, and after the school renovation process?

What difference, if any, is there in student scaled scores as measured by the Standards of Learning assessment at the 11th grade level in reading prior to, during, and after the renovation process?

Does leadership impact the school renovation process in a positive or negative way?

Definitions of Key Terms

The following key terms will be used throughout the study and are defined here to clarify their usage:

Renovation The process of restoring to a better condition. In reference to school renovation, components would consist of heating, air, and ventilation (HVAC) upgrades, lighting, electrical, structural, and cosmetic improvements.

[Placeholder for term] [Placeholder for definition]

REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE

Literature Search and Review Process

The review of literature on the renovation process established a basic understanding regarding the key factors associated with leadership and student achievement when school divisions are in the process of facility renovations. According to the 21st Century School Fund Report on State Capital Spending on PK-12 School Facilities (Filardo, 2010), more and more school divisions are renovating buildings, rather than building new schools. The literature shows that a minimal but steady increase of research has been conducted on the impact of public school facilities on educational achievement, and little to none on the aspect of leadership and the renovation process. Variables from each review of literature will be linked in order to determine patterns and/or themes. The literature review concludes with a synthesis of five specific studies that formulate the core understandings of the renovation process as it relates to leadership and student achievement.

Search Process

Online research databases were the primary source for achieving a comprehensive literature search. The various databases were accessed through the Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University libraries. The majority of searches were completed using Educational Research Complete (EBSCOhost) and Summons to include only scholarly and peer-reviewed journals. Several books and government websites were also reviewed to gain a basic understanding of the critical issues concerning educational facilities and the renovation process. Table 1 is a listing of all online searches conducted for this review.

Table 1: Components of Searches and the Results

Key Words

Database

Hits

Useable Hits

school and renovation and achievement and leadership

Summons

1, 123

3

renovation and leadership and achievement

Education Research Complete

(all 50 databases)

235

1

renovation and student and achievement

Education Research Complete

(all 50 databases)

321

6

facilities and renovation and leadership

Education Research Complete

(all 50 databases)

16

0

school construction and renovations

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

132

3

Background reading specific to school construction, school renovation, and capital outlay provided a general context for the current research and justified the need for additional research in the area of school renovation related to leadership and student achievement. Three main sources were read to gain an overall synopsis of current educational facilities issues. Planning Educational Facilities (Earthman, 2009) which outlined the entire process of school construction from its inception of need to its conclusion in orienting staff to the facilities helped establish the framework for why and when renovation is completed. The 2012 Annual School Construction Report by the School Planning and Management Journal provided a detailed analysis of school construction and needed funding. The report was arranged so that the data were disaggregated by new school construction, additions to current buildings, and school renovations. The final source used to gain a better understanding of the renovation process was an article by Chan and Petrie (1998) entitled, The Brain Learns Better in Well-Designed School Environments. The revealing points of the article were that "brain-based research is not a separate movement in education, but an approach from which all education will ultimately benefit" (Chan & Petrie, 1998, p.1) including school facilities specific to light, room temperatures, activity areas, and esthetics.

Research Evaluating the Renovation Process Found in the Literature

Reconstructing School Renovation

[Placeholder for analysis of study by Tuttle]

Research Examining the Renovation Process as it Relates to Student Achievement

The Renovation Process and Student Achievement as Measured by Performance on the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments in Mathematics and Reading at the Eighth Grade Level.

Intent of the study. During the years of 2004 - 2010 a research study was conducted by Mayo (2012) to examine the relationship between the renovation process and student achievement. The goal of the study was to answer the question, "Does the renovation process of a school building influence student achievement?" (p. ii). The Mayo dissertation is a descriptive study that posed two sub-questions specific to performance of eighth grade students on the Virginia Standards of Learning math and reading assessments. These two sub-questions examined the differences in student scores prior to, during, and after the renovation process.

Mayo (2012) presented a thorough analysis of previous research associated with school renovation. Revealing data on the overall financial needs in order to rehabilitate public schools in America, Mayo (2012) confirmed that local governments have continued to postpone building maintenance in an effort to stay within their budgets. This led to the understanding that with more school divisions opting to renovate rather than build, a deeper awareness into the renovation process and the relationship with student achievement needed to be addressed (p. 2). Mayo admitted, "Data from this study will serve as a valuable resource for school divisions in determining the impact of the renovation process…lead[ing] the school division to consider ways to minimize the effect of the stages of the renovation process on student achievement" (p.3-4).

Mayo (2012) acknowledged several limitations to the study noting the most prominent being that data from only "completely renovated" middle schools located in Virginia were collected. Also admitting that the study did not look at cohorts of students nor alternate assessments, Mayo (2012) only reviewed data for students participating in the eighth grade Standards of Learning assessments for mathematics and reading.

Population of the study. As the limitations of the study showed, the population was considerably defined. After extensive review of the Virginia Department of Education Energy and Facilities Cost Construction Data, Mayo (2012) determined 514 school projects were logged with the state from 2004-2010. Seventy-five were characterized as middle school level. Of the 75, only 10 middle schools were identified as a "complete" renovation site. The 10 identified middle schools were used for the study. All students enrolled in one of the 10 identified schools and participated in the Virginia Standards of Learning assessments for mathematics and reading at the eighth grade level were utilized as the population sample for the study (p.34).

Instrument used in the study. Mayo (2012) used data from the Virginia Standards of Learning Mathematics 8 and Virginia Standards of Learning Reading 8 were the instruments used in the Mayo (2012) study to determine if school renovation influenced student achievement. The mean scaled scores of each assessment prior to, during, and after a complete renovation were used to make comparisons. The collection of data was from 2004 - 2010 due to the constraints of the instrument. In 2001 the Virginia Standards of Learning for mathematics were changed to a more rigorous standard, the same for reading standards in the year 2002. Due to the change in standards, the assessment for both mathematics and reading also changed. To remain consistent, the data used in this study were the assessments that continually aligned to the same set of standards in both mathematics and reading at the eighth grade level (p. 35).

Methodology used in the study. A descriptive research methodology was used by the researcher in order to ascertain whether or not the renovation process influenced student achievement. Mayo (2012) determined that by using a quantitative method the research would prove if a relationship existed between the independent variable (renovation) and the dependent variable (achievement) within the population. By opening the research up to a descriptive method, Mayo (2012) was able to describe the events of the renovation process in greater depth, then organize and focus on different quantitative statistical techniques of the data to present information in a meaningful way. The data retrieved focused on one year prior to the renovation process, during the renovation process, and one year after the renovation process for each of the 10 middle schools within the population of the study (p. 32).

Using assessments of the same curriculum framework in both mathematics and reading was necessary to control for uniformity of student's scaled scores. The researcher collected data from 2004 and ended with data from the 2010 school year. This required for all schools to meet the criteria that the renovation process for their school had been completed before the summer of 2010. Additional data used were as follows; percentages of minority students, socioeconomic status, and teachers that were considered highly qualified based on criteria from the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the Mayo (2012) study only two kinds of data were collected; demographic variables and student scaled scores (p.36)

The collection of the data was completed using the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website and email responses from each of the 10 school division's Director of Facilities. The correspondence, via email, was a request to complete a survey answering two questions regarding the renovation project. Responses were received from all 10 school divisions. Data gathered from the VDOE website included only eighth graders taking the Mathematics 8 or Reading 8 SOL assessment (May, 2012 p.38).

Demographic variables (minority, socioeconomic status, and highly qualified teacher percentages) were compiled in order to identify any changes in student composition during the study. Changes were not expected for any of the demographic variables during the time of the study. To determine if the expectations were correct an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to compare any possible differences in the demographics during the three specific times of the renovation process; pre, during, and post. An ANOVA of mean scaled scores for each school was also conducted to test the "differences in means for statistical significance for each stage of the renovation process" (Mayo, 2012 p. 40).

In order to define the variance Mayo (2012) pointed out, "the total variance due to error and the variance due to the differences between the means were analyzed. The means of the renovation years were compared to both the pre-renovation and post-renovation years to see if there was a significant difference" (Mayo, 2012 p. 40). Additional testing for the mathematics and reading mean scaled scores was completed using a t-test. The end result to accept or reject the null hypothesis for student achievement during the time of the study showed no statistical difference. To ensure that building conditions actually did play a role in student achievement the renovation stages were not used in the t-test. The t-test was only used to show if a statistical significant relationship existed between the stages of renovation and student achievement (p. 40).

Findings of the study. The study revealed no statistical significance in the relationship between the means of student scores when compared during three specific phases of the renovation process (before, during, and after). The means scores are representative from the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments in mathematics and reading for students in grade eight at the 10 middle schools participating in the study. The hypothesis designed by the researcher indicated the demographic variables would only vary slightly during the renovation process (Mayo, 2012, 0.46) The demographic variables chosen by the researcher to investigate were students of minority and socio-economic status, as well as highly qualified teachers. The researcher explained in his findings that the 10 middle schools participating in the study allowed for a diverse group of students around the regions from the state of Virginia. To investigate the differences between means scores of mathematics and readings and the three demographic variables the researcher chose to conduct a 1 x 3 ANOVA (p.47). Demographic variables were used to determine if there were any differences in student composition and achievement throughout the period of the study.

The 1 x 3 ANOVA revealed the percentage of minorities was not statistically significant over the renovation stages, the percentage of socio-economic status was not statistically significant over the renovation stages and the percentage of highly qualified teachers was not statistically significant over the renovation stages. Since the data did not show any differences among the demographic variables between the specific stages of the renovation process, Mayo (2012) concluded that the variables did not have any influence upon the means of the scaled scores in mathematics and reading on the Virginia Standards of Learning Grade 8 Assessments (p. 51).

After conducting the 1 x 3 ANOVA, Mayo (2012) conducted a t-test conducted on the mathematics mean scaled scores to show whether or not there was an impact on mathematics and reading mean scaled scores comparing pre-renovation to post-renovation scores. The t-test did not reveal a statistically significant impact on student achievement when comparing pre-renovation to post-renovation. However, the t-test conducted on the reading mean scaled scores revealed a statistically significant impact on student achievement when comparing pre-renovation to post-renovation stages of the process when p >.05. Stages of Renovation vs. Reading Scaled Scores Table 4.10 in the study indicated t(18)=2.4093, p=0.027(Mayo, 2012 p. 56). Go back to study and explain this table per Dr. Earthman

In the study Mayo (2012) conveyed the specific data collected from each of the 10 participating middle schools and provided a complete analysis for each school showing a comparison of the school to that of the state data. Table 4.12 (p. 62) and Table 4.13 (p. 64) reveal the specific mean and standard deviation scores for pre-renovation, renovation, and post-renovation phases for Schools A - J. The findings provided foundational evidence that in the area of reading, when comparing pre-renovation to post-renovation means scaled scores to the three demographic variables of minority, socio-economic status, and highly-qualified teachers there was a significant relationship. No other significant relationship was found. (Mayo, 2012, p.66).

Synthesis… ???Not sure if this goes all together at the end or do I put this at the end of each study that has been analyzed - but here are some thoughts to expand on later…

In using the Mayo (2012) study as a foundational piece of evidence showing that the renovation process does not impact student achievement in the areas of mathematics or reading, the renovation of a school building should be a viable option for school leaders to use during the fluctuating economics times.

Knowing, based on the Mayo (2012) study, that the stages of the renovation process (before, during, and after) show no statistical differences in the impact on minorities and socio-economic student SOL scores in mathematics and reading - school leaders should not move total student populations to another facility during the renovation process fearing that the process would impact scores. School leaders should allow for the renovation process to be conducted in a manner that is safe for students, being mindful that students will adapt to the demands of the construction.

To continue…..

School Building Condition, School attendance, and Academic Achievement in New York City Public Schools.

[Placeholder for analysis of study by Duran-Nurucki]

School Building Renovation and Student Performance

[Placeholder for analysis of study by Maxwell]

Research Considering the Renovation Process as it Relates to Leadership

A Study of Teacher Experiences During a Renovation Project

[Placeholder for analysis of study by Shifflett]

Synthesis and Conclusions

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[Placeholder for synthesis writing]

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