Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Education

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

Civil Rights legislation, now 50 years old, de facto segregation based on socioeconomic factors, such as poverty and ethnicity in urban areas translates into the surrounding schools, with a legacy of limited funding, reduced services, and teachers with limited training to successfully engage students in high poverty areas. This study is an examination of teacher perceptions of the effect of resource allocation on student academic achievement ands student self-perceptions of success. Within urban settings, districts have changed little to reduce de facto segregation in schools as a whole, and create equal opportunities for all children. What are the effects limited resource allocation has on student learning in urban elementary school districts? A review of the literature reveals that in school settings with a majority of students of color do not receive the same resources as schools with a majority of Caucasian students, thus limiting student learning in the classroom. Student self-perceptions may also be affected by resource allocation. This study follows a qualitative design using interview protocol with open-ended questions. Four teachers were purposely selected from schools with different populations and varying resource allocations. These teachers formed a purposive sample, two of whom are from a low wealth area and two are from a high wealth area. They were asked to participate in an interview, which explored their perceptions of the effect of resource allocation on student academic performance, comparing high wealth and low wealth school settings. Results indicated that there is a difference in the variety of resources students receive based on the school they attend. The main factor was the support from the parents and community. Those at a high wealth school donated much more than those at the low wealth school. The parents at a high wealth school worked to fund the salaries of additional specialty teachers for pullout classes such as art and music. While the parents at the low wealth schools may want these classes for their students, they don’t have the funds to do so.

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