Date of Award

Fall 12-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. Thelma Roberson

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. David E. Lee

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine if possible predictors of graduation rates in Mississippi existed. This study included 10 independent variables and one dependent variable. The independent variables consisted of average daily attendance, algebra I scores, teacher salary, socioeconomic status (as expressed in the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch within a school), eighth grade math MCT scores, eighth grade language MCT scores, the number of teachers with advanced degrees, the school's outcome of Adequate Yearly Progress, school size, and principal leadership style.

The dependent variable was graduation rate. A total of 100 schools were included in the analysis of the first nine independent variables. Eighteen schools were included in the analysis of the last independent variable—principal leadership style. Linear regression was used to test the hypothesis of this study using an alpha level of .05.

Results of this study indicated that two independent variables were significant predictors of high school graduation rates. The first variable is average daily attendance. Students are more likely to succeed in school, and graduate, if they are present at school. Attendance is an important factor that must be focused on by school administration and teachers.

The second independent variable that is significant is the amount of teachers with advanced degrees. Schools that have a higher amount of teachers with a master's degree or higher produce higher graduation rates. Administrators, school districts, and the state department of education can use this information to encourage teachers to return to school to obtain an advanced degree.

An introduction of the study is included in Chapter I. A review of past and current literature is included in Chapter II. A description on how the study was conducted in included in Chapter III. Data analysis is included in Chapter IV. A summary, conclusions, discussion, and recommendations are included in Chapter V.

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