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Recipient of the 2004 NRMERA Distinguished Paper Award

A Factious Analogous Analysis of No Child Left Behind Through the Lens of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Authors: Anne Gregory, Mary Ann Rawley, Lawrence R. Rogien, Jennifer Snow-Geron, Debra L. Yates
Institution: Boise State University
Abstract: This reflective work may be perceived as irreverent, given the nature of our times and the mandates of No Child Left Behind (2002), yet its intention is to be merely reflective and not irreverent. Our intentions were to use the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling, 2003) as an analogy with which to analyze the current state of education in the U.S.A. and the implementation and implications of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). What we discovered was a tantalizing conversation that revealed, irreverently but intriguingly, the magic ofHany Potter’s Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, and the mysteries ofNCLB. We used the contexts of Hogwarts and current trends in public education to analyze curriculum and instruction as it is por­trayed in schools working to meet accountability structures, structures necessary to work with at-risk (and resil­ient) youth, and how the culture of supervision is enacted in situations that are not connected to authentic in­struction for student understanding (Newmann, Secada, & Wehlage, 1995).
Reference: Gregory, A., Rawley, M. A., Rogien, L. R., Snow-Gerono, J., & Yates, D. L. (2005). A factious analogous analysis of No Child Left Behind through the lens of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The Researcher, 19, 42-52.



Effect of Item Reversal and Anchor INTAS-Based Teacher Education Portfolios as Viewed Through the Lens of John Dewey’s Experience and Education
Authors: Margaret Zidon and Shirley Greves
Institution: University of North Dakota
Abstract: This paper examines (I) portfolio research and its convergence with Dewey’s education principles as explained in Experience and Education and (2) whether an INTASC-based portfolio process adheres to Dewey’s principles of education. Portfolio research regarding habits of critical thinking and growth clearly corresponds to Dewey’s principle of continuity of experience. Recommendations regarding the objective aspects of scaffold­ing and recursive experience support Dewey’s second principle of interaction. An INT ASC-based portfolio pro­motes a balance of structure and freedom when scaffolding and mentoring take place in a climate that nurtures professional and personal growth through the portfolio experience, all aspects that find congruence with Dewey’s philosophy of education.

Reference: Zidon, M., & Greves, S., (2005). Effect of item reversal and anchor INTASC-based teacher education portfolios as viewed through the lens of John Dewey’s experience and education. The Researcher, 19, 6-18.


Multivariate Calculus Student Perceptions: Homework, Quizzes, and Motivation
Author: Jon Hasenbank, Montana State University
Abstract: In this study, six former Multivariate Calculus students were interviewed about their perceptions of the role that an instructor’s homework and quiz policies have in motivating them to come to class prepared. Findings indicate that students appreciate the flexibility to select study habits that fit their own learning styles and goals, but that most feel it is important for their instructor to provide some incentive to help them keep on track. Regu­lar careful grading of homework is discouraged, as it places heavy time demands on both students and instruc­tors. Weekly or twice-weekly homework quizzes provide sufficient incentive motivation for Multivariate Calcu­lus students by encouraging timely homework completion without eliciting student perceptions of inefficiency.
Reference: Hasenbank, J., (2005). Multivariate calculus student perceptions: Homework, quizzes, and motivation. The Researcher, 19, 19-26.


I’m Fighting a Lion with a Toothpick: The No Child Left Behind Act from the Perspective of K-12 Principals
Authors: Ronald A. Styron, Thelma Roberson, William Schweinle, & David E. Lee
Abstract: To explore the degree to which No Child Left Behind legislation has become a major issue for princi­pals, the authors conducted two studies using a sample survey technique developed by Gay. Approximately 150 K-12 principals responded to the surveys which asked them to provide their responses in rank order using an ordinal response format. Respondents were also asked to write a paragraph rationale pertaining to their most critical issue and in the second survey, their greatest impediment(s) to implementation of accountability programming. Due to the variety of verbatim responses, the authors used a selective coding technique to create topi­cal categories for each response set. Survey data for the two studies was then quantified by recording the relative frequency with which each response category appeared. Results of the surveys indicated that accountability was the most critical issue confronting school principals and staff development/curricular alignment were the greatest impediments to the implementation of accountability programming. This work concluded with a discussion of implications and recommendations for P-12 principals to assist them in the fulfillment of No Child Left Behind mandates.
Reference: Styron, R. A., Roberson, T., Schweinle, W, Lee, D. E. (2005). I’m fighting a lion with a toothpick: The No Child Left Behind Act from the perspective of K-12 principals. The Researcher, 19, 27-31.


Developing a Local Assessment System for State Accountability: A District’s Reflections
Authors: Toby Boss, Daniel P. Endorf, & Chad W. Buckendahl
Institutions: Educational Service Unit #6; York Public Schools; University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Abstract: Although most states use a statewide strategy for student assessment, Nebraska school districts are responsible for determining the strategies for measuring and reporting students’ performance in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. This article briefly describes the state’s requirements for local assessment systems and explores language arts teachers’ experiences during the development of reading assessments in one suburban school district. The authors used a structured open-ended questionnaire to gather data on teachers’ perspectives from this common shared experience. Themes that emerged from the data are reported and recommendations for developing assessments and building capacity at a district level are also provided.
Reference: Boss, T., Endorf, D. P., & Buckendahl, C. W. (2005). Developing a local assessment system for state accountability: A district’s reflections. The Researcher, 19, 32-41.


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