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Title:Interpretation and implementation of the accelerated placement act by Illinois school district leaders
Author(s):Kristoff, Tara
Director of Research:Welton, Anjalé
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Welton, Anjalé
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alexander, Kern; Pak, Yoon; Herrmann, Mary
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ed.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Accelerated Placement Act
acceleration
Abstract:Understanding how Illinois school district leaders craft acceleration policy and procedures in compliance with the Accelerated Placement Act has not been studied yet. The Accelerated Placement Act was adopted into law by former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on August 25, 2017. The Accelerated Placement Act had a mandatory implementation date for all Illinois public schools on July 1, 2018. The goal of this phenomenological study is to contribute to the literature on acceleration by providing research on how Illinois central office administrators make sense and give a sense on the Accelerated Placement Act. The focus of this study is on how the attitudes of Illinois school administrators regarding acceleration and the Accelerated Placement Act affects the policy and procedures they are crafting for their school districts. In other words, this study examines if Illinois school administrators’ beliefs and perceptions about acceleration influence their interpretation and implementation of the new law as they write acceleration policy as well as procedures to meet the legal mandates. There are three critical areas to explore when examining the policy and the procedures written by Illinois school administrators in compliance with the Accelerated Placement Act. First, there is an examination of the policy agenda, setting, and adoption of the Accelerated Placement Act at the state legislative level. Second, there is a critical analysis of how Illinois school district leaders make sense of acceleration and the Accelerated Placement Act. Of importance in making sense of the Accelerated Placement Act is the discussion and comparison of the varying acceleration procedures written by school district leaders in this study based on their interpretation, beliefs, and attitudes of the requirements in the new educational law. Third, there is an investigation into how the school district leaders in this study give sense to internal and external stakeholders in their school district on acceleration and the Accelerated Placement Act. Data was gathered from qualitative interviews with Illinois central office administrators who currently work in public school districts located in three regions of Cook County, Illinois: South, West, and North. The data gathered from the qualitative interviews provide findings and themes that show how Illinois school leaders have approached acceleration since the adoption of the Accelerated Placement Act. The findings from this phenomenological study reveal the following: 1. The school district administrators do not share a common definition for acceleration. 2. The school district administrators do not have a collective understanding of the purpose of acceleration. 3. Most school administrators are not in favor of acceleration due to bias, negative past experiences, and misconceptions. 4. There is no additional state funding as well as no additional rules and regulations from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to help support and provide guidance to school administrators. 5. District acceleration procedures are not aligned or correlated to the legal requirements in the Accelerated Placement Act as well as district policies on acceleration. Five recommendations are suggested based upon the study’s findings to help current central office school administrators make sense and give sense on acceleration and the Accelerated Placement Act to aid in the policy implementation process of the new law. The recommendations are the following: 1. Current central office school administrators need to be part of the educational policy-making process at the legislative level. 2. More detailed rules and regulations are needed from ISBE on how to implement the Accelerated Placement Act with fidelity to help guide Illinois school district leaders. 3. Professional development in acceleration and Accelerated Placement Act are needed to counteract bias and misconceptions on behalf of the Illinois school district leaders. 4 Oversight from ISBE is needed to ensure compliance with the law at the local level. 5. Central office school administrators need to be more transparent with all stakeholders about acceleration and the Accelerated Placement Act.
Issue Date:2021-04-08
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/110440
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Tara Kristoff
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05


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