Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Western Kentucky University
Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education
Gifted education; Rural; Underachievement; Kentucky Education Reform Act
Kentucky. Education Reform Act (1990); Gifted children--Education--Kentucky; Academic achievement--Kentucky; School improvement programs--Kentucky
This phenomenological study investigated perceptions regarding the impact of the tenets of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) on the self-reported achievement and underachievement among adults who had been identified and served as gifted students in a rural Kentucky school district between 1994 and 2004. Through a series of interviews of 30 young adults selected through purposive sampling, the study addressed three research questions relating to (a) the perceptions of the former students regarding each of six KERA initiatives--Portfolios [writing and mathematics], Ungraded Primary, KIRIS/CATS assessment, Proficiency as a performance goal, School Based Decision Making [SBDM] council policies--in fostering or impeding self-reported student and adult achievement, (b) the perceptions of the former students regarding related educational experiences and structures perceived as fostering or impeding self-reported student and adult achievement, and (c) the similarities and differences in perceptions between those adults who self-reported sustained achievement and those who reported underachievement. The only KERA initiative credited with positive impact on student and adult achievement was the writing portfolio. The Primary Program, SBDM councils, and Proficiency as a performance goal were identified as initiatives that fostered underachievement and the state assessment and math portfolios had no impact on student achievement. Significant attributes of gifted education and regular education experiences and the impacts on achievement and underachievement were identified. Sustained or pervasive underachievement was reported by 27 of the 30 participants during their middle school experience. Perceptions regarding the KERA initiatives and their rural experiences were the same for those who self-reported achievement and those who reported underachievement. Specific themes and implications are discussed.
Lanham, Jan Kathryn Weaver 1954-, "Adult perceptions of the impact of Kentucky Education Reform Act initiatives on achievement : insights of rural gifted students." (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 792.