Title

Poverty, Performance, and Payne: Implementing the Payne School Model

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

David E. Lee

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

In this study, the research examined the implementation of the Payne School Model and the effects of the comprehensive school reform model on student achievement. Two middle schools in the southern part of the state of Mississippi were included in the study. The middle schools were selected based on their similarities in terms of student population, school organization, poverty levels and inconsistent performance with respect to scores on state achievement tests. Both schools served seventh and eighth grade students only and neither were configured using a traditional middle school concept, but rather were departmentalized. Teachers in the treatment school were trained in the Payne's Framework for Understanding Poverty during the summer prior to the study. Teachers received the first 2 days of training but did not receive training in the third module, Meeting Standards and Raising Test Scores . Teachers in the treatment school had been trained using similar strategies for aligning curriculum and instruction and progress monitoring student achievement. The Instructional Framework Observation Scale developed by aha! Process, Inc. was used to determine model fidelity in the treatment school. Observations were conducted in the treatment school by trainers certified in the Ruby Payne Framework for Understanding Poverty . Interrater reliability and a range of fidelity were reported within an acceptable range. Scores from the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT) were used in the analysis to determine if using the Payne School Model made a statistically significant difference in student achievement. No statistically significant differences were found in grade 7 for reading, language, or math. No statistically significant differences were found for eighth grade students in language. Statistically significant differences were found for eighth grade students in math and reading. Although statistically significant differences were found, there is not substantial evidence to support that the results are directly related to the implementation of the Payne School Model. These conclusions were based on the level of implementation and lack of sufficient evidence to support model fidelity. The results of this study support the need for continued research.