EDUCATIONAL LEADERS AND MIGRANT POPULATIONS: POLICIES AND ISSUES IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA By CARRIE TESTON GEIGER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Carrie Teston Geiger
3 To my family
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research and writing process involved in completing this dissert ation has been a long and arduous one. W ithout the encouragemen t of many, completion would have been unattainable. As I bask in the success of finally reaching this aim, I am continually reminded that the achievement is not mine alone. It is with overwhelming gratitude th at I recognize those who supplied ongoing help and support. Thanks to the members of my doctoral committee, Dr. Phillip Clark, Dr. Maria Coady, Dr. James Doud, Dr. Cynthia Garvan, and Dr. Zhihui Fang. Each one provided specialized expertise needed in order for the entire process to come togeth er in a coherent form. Having pursued several advanced degrees in the College of Education at the University of Florida, I have been fortunate to work with many gifted prof essors and support staff, each of whom has contributed to my pursuit of know ledge and professional development. I am appreciative of their contributions to my professional development. I am grateful to the leadership of many in the School District of Alachua County. Kathy Shewey, Dr. Suzanne Colvin, Dr. John Fielding, and many others have continually provided opportunities for me to grow as a pr ofessional and as a leader. I am gr ateful for their faith in me. Friends and colleagues, Catherine Todd Rose, Julie Thompson, and Dr. Katrina Hall have provided insight and listening ea rs. My Church Family has supported me with prayer and patience. I am particularly thankful for Diana Stinson, volunteer and substitute teacher extraordinaire, who helped me keep all the plat es spinning effectively. The many students I have had the pleasure of teaching throughout my career have provided a continual source of joy and inspiration. I am indebted to the many Florida school distri cts and principals who chose to participate in my research. Their commitment to meeting the needs of a divers e student population is
5 admirable. I am especially beholden to Caro lyn Radtke and Judy West who allowed special access to a community of students and families -thei r stories, trials, and successes. I am grateful to Deepak Gajre for invaluable assistance in procuring data on Florida migrant students. Finally, and most importantly, I am gratef ul to my family. Matt, Megan, & Connor are my greatest treasures, and I have often mourned the loss of time spent with them to pursue my educational goals. Thanks to my mother, Shar on Teston Papciak, without whose help on the home front this would have been impossible. I appreciate my sister, Tammie Godwin, and my other parents, Frankie and Wayne Geiger, for their encouragement throughout this process. Lastly, to God be the glory for the things He has done.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9 LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................10 DEFINITION OF TERMS............................................................................................................11 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................12 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................14 Statement of the Problem....................................................................................................... .20 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....21 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study............................................................................ 21 Assumptions.................................................................................................................... .......22 Significance of the Study........................................................................................................22 Organization of the Remainder of the Study.......................................................................... 22 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.................................................................................................24 Characteristics of Migrant Populations..................................................................................24 Demographic Information Rela ted to Migrant Students .................................................25 Impact of High Mobility on Migrant Students................................................................ 26 Effect of Poverty on Migrant Students............................................................................27 Language and Cultural Challenges of Migrant Students................................................. 28 Factors Impacting Migran t Student Achievem ent........................................................... 29 Policies Relating to Migrant Populations............................................................................... 29 Migrant Education Program............................................................................................ 30 Laws Impacting Migrant Education................................................................................31 Requirements of the Florida Consent Decree Related to Migrant Students .................... 33 ESOL Training for Administrators.................................................................................. 37 Principals Role in Meeting th e Needs of Migrant Students ..................................................39 Historical Overview of Role of Principal........................................................................ 39 Principals Role as Advocate........................................................................................... 43 3 METHODS.............................................................................................................................46 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........46 Research Method....................................................................................................................46 Description of the Subjects and Sample.......................................................................... 47 Demographics of the Principals.......................................................................................48
7 Instrument..................................................................................................................... ..........49 Obtaining Permission......................................................................................................49 Expert Panel.....................................................................................................................49 Pilot Study.................................................................................................................... ...51 Informed Consent............................................................................................................ 51 Confidentiality Protection...............................................................................................52 Follow-up Interviews.......................................................................................................52 Data Collection Procedure......................................................................................................53 Variables..........................................................................................................................54 Statistical Analysis.......................................................................................................... 54 Survey Items as They Relate to Research Questions...................................................... 55 4 RESULTS AND ANALYS IS OF DATA .............................................................................. 57 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........57 Analyses and Quantitative Results......................................................................................... 57 Question 1........................................................................................................................58 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....58 Question 2........................................................................................................................62 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....62 Question 3........................................................................................................................67 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....67 Analyses and Data from Interviews, Site Visit, and Additional Comments.......................... 69 Follow-Up Interviews & Site Visit..................................................................................69 Question 1........................................................................................................................69 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....70 Question 2........................................................................................................................75 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....75 Question 3........................................................................................................................76 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....76 Additional Comments from Survey Instrument..................................................................... 77 Question 1........................................................................................................................77 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....77 Question 2........................................................................................................................79 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....80 Question 3........................................................................................................................80 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ....81 5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLU SIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................ 96 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........96 Summary and Discussion of Results...................................................................................... 97 Principal Awareness, Training, Advocacy...................................................................... 97 The Focus on Language.................................................................................................101 Cross-Cultural Understandings..................................................................................... 107 Conclusions...........................................................................................................................116
8 Implications................................................................................................................... .......119 Recommendations for Future Research................................................................................121 APPENDIX A UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IRB PERMISSION............................................................. 122 B LETTER TO DISTRICTS....................................................................................................123 C INVITATION LETTER.......................................................................................................124 D FOLLOW-UP PROTOCOL................................................................................................. 125 E PRINCIPAL SURVEY OF MIGR ANT EDUCATIONAL ISSUES ................................... 126 F MISSING DATA..................................................................................................................138 G ADDITIONAL COMMENTS.............................................................................................. 142 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................150
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Demographic information for survey respondents............................................................ 82 4-2 Survey items related to principals perceptions and be liefs about m igrant students........ 83 4-4 Bivariate relationships on survey items related to princ ipals perceptions and beliefs about migrant students....................................................................................................... 86 4-5 Survey items related to principals perceptions and belie fs about their knowledge of m igrant student issues an d principal training concerning migrant students and migrant ELL students......................................................................................................... 87 4-6 Bivariate relationships on survey items related to princ ipals perceptions and beliefs about migrant student issues and principa l training concerning migrant students and migrant ELL students......................................................................................................... 90 4-7 Descriptive categorical data of demographics infor mation.............................................. 92 4-8 Descriptive numerical data of dem ographics information................................................ 93 4-9 Bilingual teachers per school............................................................................................ 94 4-10 Principal responses to survey item #39 listing ESOL courses taken................................ 95
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Variables.................................................................................................................. ..........56
11 DEFINITION OF TERMS ELL Abbreviation for English Language Learner; a term used to describe students whose first language is not English. ESE Abbreviation for Exceptional Stud ent Education; a term used for instruction and/or services provided to students with various exceptional learning needs, includ ing, but not limited to, specific learning disabilities and gifted education. ESOL Abbreviation for English for Speakers of Other Languages; a term used to describe students whose first language is not English. ESOL Teachers Teachers who have specialized training in the use of strategies and approaches that support non-nati ve speakers in classrooms. ESOL Courses Courses designed to teach st rategies and approaches that meet the needs of non-native speakers. Florida Consent Decree Legal agreement se ttled in 1990 between the State of Florida Board of Education and a coalition of eight groups represented by Multicultural Education Traini ng and Advocacy (META), Inc. LEP Refers to Limited English Proficiency or Limited English Proficient students who are una ble to independently perform academic tasks successfully in English. MEP Refers to the Migrant Education Program enacted by Congress in 1966 which provided an allocation for migrant students included in Title I funding. Migrant Student A child under the age of 21 years whose family has relocated across school district bou ndaries at least once within the academic school year in order to secure wo rk in the agricultural, dairy, or fishing industries.
12 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education EDUCATIONAL LEADERS AND MIGRANT POPULATIONS: POLICIES AND ISSUES IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA By Carrie Teston Geiger August 2009 Chair: Phillip Clark Cochair: Maria Coady Major: Educational Leadership To be effective instructional leaders, school administrators need an understanding of the specific educational and social issues of their students (Matthews & Crow, 2003). Migrant students are no exception. Without an understanding of migrant stud ents and their unique needs, they may overlook critical accommodations or n ecessary practices that determine the difference between academic success and failure (Lpez, 2001). The purpose of this study was to determine if the specific needs of migrant students are being addressed through the courses principals mu st take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL training. Using an on-line survey and additional interview, this study specifically addressed th e following research questions: 1. What are principals perceptions and beliefs regarding the educatio nal needs of migrant students? 2. How does the training under the Consent Decree add to principals awareness of migrant student issues? 3. What are the factors (characteristics of student population, principal ch aracteristics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with pr incipals perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students?
13 While the principals surveyed in this study seemed to have a general awareness that the needs of migrant students vary from those of their non-migrant peers, they lacked specific knowledge about the circumstances of this sub-population. Since Florida is one of three states that serve over half of the na tions migrant population, it is impera tive that instru ctional leaders in the Sunshine State are adequately prepared to ensure that the unique needs of migrant students are met.
14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Instructional leaders face numerous challeng es in order to overs ee quality educational experiences for an increasingly di verse student population. In the state of Florida, the growing number of English Language Learners (ELL) de mands that school administrators and teachers expand their knowledge and expertise in the areas of cultural diversity and pedagogical skills that meet the needs of ELL students (Flori da Department of Education, 2007). A growing number of migran t students add to the diversity of public school populations. These are students under the age of 21 who have, within the past 36 months, moved with their families across school district lines following work in the agricultural, dairy, or fishing industries (Pappamihiel, 2004). The Migrant Education Prog ram (MEP), funded by the U.S. Government since 1966, provides educational funding for these students through Title 1. The 1994 Improving Americas Schools Act mandated implementation of the MEP by school districts with migrant students. Since the majority of migrant students are Hispanic (Kindler, 19 95), and Spanish is the language spoken primarily in their homes, many are eligible for ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) services. The National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), conducted every 10 years, provides limited but valuable information about migrant wo rkers and their families. School populations in California, Texas, and Florida account for 52% of all migrant students served by the MEP (Kindler, 1995). As reported by Salinas and Reyes (2004) and the United States Department of Education website, 80% of the migrant student s served are Latino, mostly immigrating from rural areas of Mexico where th ere is little educa tional opportunity beyond gr ade school (National Agricultural Workers Survey retrieved Febr uary 29, 2007, from http://www.doleta.gov). The Title I Migrant Education Program Trends Su mmary Report of 1998-2001 indicated that 89% of
15 the students served by the MEP are of Limited English Proficiency (LEP), the term used in government documents to describe non-native English speakers. A lawsuit settled between the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) et al. and the Florida Board of Education et al. (No. 90-1913 S.D. FL 1990) established legal guidelines to ensure that Florida schools meet the academic needs of ESOL students. This document, commonly referred to as the Florid a Consent Decree, was modified in 2003. The updated version stipulated mandatory ESOL traini ng for school leaders, in cluding principals and guidance counselors. Since the majority of migrant students are from Latino families (Salinas & Reyes, 2004), many of them are eligible for ESOL services, and therefor e the training required for school leaders is pertinent to principals ability to meet the unique needs of these students. In addition to the difficulties associated with second-language learning, migrant students face many other complex issues that hinde r their academic success. The 2001-2002 NAWS reports that at least one-third of migrant worker families live below the poverty level, struggling to secure food, shelter, clothi ng, and transportation. Currently, an individual making less than $10,400 or a family of four earning less than $21,200 annually is in poverty as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services pove rty guidelines (Department of Health & Human Services, 2008). Additionally, migrant workers have little access to healthcare. Only 23% of those responding to the 2001-2002 NAWS indicated that they had health insurance coverage. Working in the agricultural industr y is particularly dangerous, sinc e it poses such health risks as contact dermatitis, tuberculosis, and birth defects associated with poor living conditions in work camps and exposure to pesticid es (Larson, 2001; Huang, 1993). Perhaps the most debilitating factor imped ing the success of migrant students is the characteristic that most clearly defines them as a groupmobility. Mobility exacerbates all of
16 the challenges facing migrant students; the fact th at they are in one pla ce for only a short period of time prevents them from creating or mainta ining a support network or connecting with the limited resources that are availa ble to them (Lpez, 1999). In tr ying to address this problem, federal and state governments have establis hed programs to assist migrant students. The national Migrant Education Program grew out of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed by the United States Congress in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society ini tiative. The Act was intended to provide assistance in education for im poverished children. In 1966 an amendment to ESEA was passed, creating the Migrant Edu cation Program. Funds for the Progra m were not appropriated, however, until 1967, and implementation was not officially orchestrated until a meeting of 38 state delegates in 1968. These delegates included a rock-solid core of committed advocat es for migrant children and families. They formed the leadership cadre that transformed the 1966 amendment into an array of services to migrant students and they built a basic framework for coordina tion of services throughout the states (BranzSpall & Wright, 2004, p. 5). This meeting became the first annual nationa l conference focused on migrant education. The Migrant Education Pr ogram still receives funding from the federal government, though the program has undergone many changes since its inception. The Migrant Education Program functions through state education agency programs. The law granted states unusual flexibility in designing and administerin g programs for migrant students, which ultimately promoted trem endous innovation and creativity among migrant education programs (Branz-Spall & Wright, 2004, p. 6). Since states ultimately determine the manner in which they will spend their MEP funding, there is a great deal of variety among the program offerings and levels of support from state to state.
17 Under the leadership of Vic Rivera, the Mi grant Education Program grew and flourished from annual federal allocations of $9 million to $256 million over his 16 years tenure. In addition to the expansion of funding, Rivera designed effective programs and services for migrant children, develop[ed] processes for identi fying children, and [built] interstate structures to address the issues of mob ility (Branz-Spall & Wright, 2004, p. 7). Under his leadership, the number of migrant children serv ed by the Program grew exponentia lly. However, he left office during the downsizing of Reaganomics in 1984. The National Commission on Migrant Educat ion was established in 1988 to study and report its findings about the migrant education initi atives to the U.S. Department of Education and Congress. Rivera was recruited to head th is Commission in 1990. The first report generated by the Commission dealt with the now-defunct Migrant Student Record Transfer System (MSRTS). The transfer of records between schools was paramount in Riveras work. He tried to coordinate services for migrant students. Despite Riveras efforts and the work of many other migrant advocates, the U.S. Department of Edu cation put an end to the MSRTS in 1994. While states are still responsible for somehow transfer ring information about migrant students from one school to the next, there is no agreed-upon method in place; often the re cords transfer does not happen in a timely manner (Branz-Spall & Wright, 2004). The MEP purports to serve approximately 86 % of all eligible migrant students during either the regular school term (73%) or summer term (44%). However, 50% of all migrant students drop out of school prior to graduation. When students are re tained due to lack of credit accrual or general lack of demonstrated academic achievement, the drop-out rate increases to 70% when students are retained once and 90% when students are retained twice (Leon, 1996).
18 With federal Title 1 funding, individual states develop their own plans to meet the needs of migrant students. In July of 1966, a coalition of educators me t at the University of South Florida to develop a state migrant education plan for Florida. It should be noted that a decade earlier there had been an atte mpt to address the needs of mi grant students on a state-wide, systematic basis. At the governors dire ction, the Interagency Committee on Migratory Agricultural Labor met in 1957 to outline plans to improve the school enrollment and attendance of migrant students as well as discuss goals for r ecords transfer systems, coordination of services between public, service, religious, and private or ganizations, and to develop ideas for curriculum modifications and teacher education. The initia tives formulated by this committee failed to materialize due to lack of funding (Florida Department of Education, 1966). A report generated from the 1966 meeting r eads that while education in Florida was decentralized, with individual counties being generally autonomous, the mobile nature of migrant families made it necessary to develop a c ohesive plan to meet migrant students needs. The cohort consisted of the following stakeholders: principals; teache rs; district supervisors from districts with large migrant populations; a private daycare worker who cared for migrant children; state education depart ment consultants in the areas of early childhood education, guidance, and general instruction; officials from the federal department of education and federal migrant education program; and professors from the University of Florida and Florida State University (Florida Department of Education, 1966). The report, citing documentation from two sourcesthe 1966 Florida State Migrant Health Project and the 1966 Univer sity of Floridas Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Dare Report states that in 1965 there were 7,937 migrant la borers in Florida. Of these, the majority (58%) were classified as Negro, while 17% were Anglo, 15% were listed as
19 Texas-Mexican, and 10% were Puerto Rican (Florida Department of Education, 1966). Anticipating a growing need for workers and therefore a probable in flux of more migrant workers, the coalition wrote: Recent efforts of growers to improve worki ng and living conditions and to recruit farm workers, coupled with the current intensific ation of activity designed to unionize farm laborers, make it imperative that an educa tional program be developed to adequately provide for the unique needs of migrants a nd their children. (Florida Department of Education, 1966) The plan developed in 1966 had three emphases. These included: 1. Increasing school personnels understanding of and favorable attitudes toward migrants; 2. Helping children develop f unctional self concepts; 3. Involving parents in the edu cation of their children. (Florida Department of Education, 1966, p. 26) The plan also called for pre-school provisions, guidance counseling, home-school liaisons, and in-service training for teachers. The report is striking in that many of the same issues facing educators 43 years ago are still relevant and challenging today. A major di fference, however, is in the demographics of migrant workers. While in 1966 most migrant workers were English speakers, presently the majority are Latino, and for many English is a second language. This fact adds further complexity to the challenge of providing an adequate educational experience for migrant children. The Florida Migrant Educati on Program continues to operate by means of federal Title I funding. It is defined as an educational pr ogram designed to address the unique needs of migratory children ages 3-21 (Florida Departme nt of Education, 2005, p. 1). Services provided by the Florida MEP are said to include assistan ce with enrollment in MEP programs and public schools, family support, coordinatio n within Florida and with othe r states, and advocacy (Florida Department of Education, 2005). A quote from the Florida MEP website states that,
20 Migrant students have various risk factors in common with other di sadvantaged students (e.g., poverty, poor health, and learning disabiliti es), however they also face additional challenges exclusive to their situations (e.g., disruption of education, poor record-keeping between schools, cultural and language difficulties, and social isolation. (Florida Department of Education, 2005, p. 1) In the 1966 report documenting the birth of Floridas MEP, one ch aracteristic attributed to migrant workers was that they want something better for their children (Florida Department of Education, 1966, p. 10). This aspiration continues to reverberate almost a half-century later (Lpez, 2001). Statement of the Problem While the number of migrant students is in creasing, the information provided to school leaders about the unique needs of this particular group of students seems to be lacking from the professional literature. In order to be effective instructional l eaders, administrators need an understanding of the specific educat ional and social issues of their students (Matthews and Crow, 2003). Migrant students are no exception. School ad ministrators play critical roles in setting school policies and guiding peda gogical practices. Wit hout an understanding of the migrant students situations, they may overlook critical accommodations or necessary practice, which can determine the difference between these student s academic success and failure (Lpez, 2001). In 1990, the Florida Consent Decree established guidelines for adequate educational provisions for ESOL students. Se ction IV of this legal agreement set the qualifications and training for ESOL personnel. In 2003, there was a modification to the Consent Decree that, in addition to other requirements, stipulated that all school administrators and guidance counselors obtain 60 hours of in-service training or c oursework in ESOL by August 2006. Because many migrant students quality for ESOL services, the C onsent Decree specifically mentions them as a population with special needs. If the ESOL training addresses th e specific needs of migrant students, this requirement shoul d increase instructiona l leaders awarenes s of the needs of
21 migrant students. However, no evaluative resear ch has yet been reported in the educational literature; therefore, the impact is unknown. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine if the specific needs of migrant students are being addressed through the courses school principa ls must take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL traini ng. Specifically, this study addressed the following research questions: 1. What are principals perceptions and beliefs regarding the educatio nal needs of migrant students? 2. How does training under the Consent Decree a dd to principals aw areness of migrant student issues? 3. What are the factors (characteristics of student population, principal ch aracteristics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with pr incipals' perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? Limitations and Delimitations of the Study The following are lim itations of this study: 1. The principals of only 13 school districts in which migrant students are served by the Migrant Education Program and local schools participated in this study. 2. Of the 352 principals invite d to participate, 112 comple ted the on-line survey, a participation rate of 32%. 3. The implementation of the Florida Consent Decree is relatively recent. The training modules used while the data for this st udy were collected are undergoing continuous adaptation; thus the findings in this study refl ect only the time period when data collection took place. 4. Survey data measured principals self-per ceptions rather than actual performance. The following are delimitations of this study: 1. This study was conducted in 13 school districts in Florida. Results cannot be generalized to other areas of the United States. 2. The surveys were completed by public, elementa ry school principals. The results cannot be generalized to other ed ucational leaders.
22 3. This study is limited to data gathered w ithin the 2008-2009 school year and therefore cannot be generalized to other time periods. 4. This was a non-experimental, correlation-base d study requiring self-re porting of attitudes and beliefs by school principals. Assumptions The researcher assumes that principals par ticipating in this study responded honestly and truthfully to the survey it ems and interview questions. Significance of the Study The roles that school administrators fu lfill impact school cultures, climates, and instructional practices. To ensure that instruct ional leaders can adequately meet the needs of diverse student populations, they must be informed about their unique needs. Migrant students are a subset of the growing ESOL population in the state of Florida. They have specific academic and social needs that differ from other minority groups attending school. Issues such as poverty, Limited English Prof iciency, poor healthcare, racism and mobility make them a particularly vulnerable subpopulatio n. Principals are in the best position to ensure that their instructional needs are being met. The Florida Consent Decree requirements may provide an opportunity to inform instructional leaders about the specific needs of migrant students. If training modules on the needs of migrant students are included in the 60 -hour ESOL training, there should be an increase in awareness and understanding of migrant student needs. Organization of the Remainder of the Study This chapter provided an introduction to the study, a statement of the problem, the purpose of the study and research questions, limita tions and delimitations of the study, and the significance of the study. Chapter 2 contains a review of the literature pertaining to the characteristics of migrant students and their e ducational needs, policie s relating to migrant
23 education and ELL students, as well as the changing roles of principals. Chapter 3 presents an overview of the methodological design. Chapter 4 contains the results of the data analyses. Finally, Chapter 5 provides a discussion of the results and conclusions of the research study, policy implications, and suggestions for future research.
24 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Chapter 1 provided an introduction to the st udy, a statem ent of the problem, the purpose of the study and research questi ons, limitations and delimitations of the study, and significance of the study. The purpose of this study was to determine if the sp ecific needs of migrant students are being addressed through the cour ses school principals must take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL training. Chapter 2 contai ns a review of the literature pertaining to the characteristics of migrant students and their educ ational needs, policies relating to migrant education and ELL students, and the changing roles of principals. Migrant students comprise a particular subpopulation of students w ith unique needs and challenges. Policies relating to migrant stud ents education are complex, requiring a thorough understanding for effective implementation. Principa ls knowledge of the n eeds and policies that influence migrant students affects their ability to provide instructional leadership and advocacy. The purpose of this chapter is to present a review and discussion of literature relating to (a) the characteristics of and research conducted on migr ant student populations, (b) policies relating to migrant student populations, and (c) the principals role in meeting the needs of migrant student populations. Characteristics of Migrant Populations The purpose of this section is to examine (a ) demographic information related to migrant students, (b) the impact of high mobility on migr ant students, (c) the eff ect of poverty on migrant students, (d) the language and cultural cha llenges of migrant stude nts, and (e) how the convergence of these factors imp acts migrant stud ent achievement.
25 Demographic Information Re lated to Migrant Students The U.S. Department of Labor periodically conducts a National Agricultural Workers Survey. The most recent report provides findings from the 2001-2002 random survey conducted through face-to-face interviews w ith 6,472 crop farm workers. While the statistical information is valuable in portraying the characteristics of agricultural workers, there remains a dearth of information specifically about migrant student s (Salinas & Reyes, 2004). The report provides common trends, however, which apply to the ove rall migrant population, including the children of migrant workers who may be enrolled in public schools. The majority of farm workers surveyed in 2001-2002 were not native to the United States. In fact, 75% were from Mexico, and less than half held the required documentation to work in the United States. Of the workers, 42% were defined as migrant, meaning that they traveled at least 75 miles during the year to obtain work in th e agricultural industry. Over onethird of the workers not only migr ated within the United States but also traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico during a given year (NAWS, 2006). The NAWS (2006) further shows that in 2001-2002 the average farm worker was 33 years old, and 79% were male. While 58% were married, one-third were unaccompanied by their spouses. Fifty-one percent (51%) reported having children, yet 34% of th em did not have their children with them. Of these workers described in the survey as unaccompanied, 87% reported having family members (either a child and/or sp ouse) in Mexico. Of the workers interviewed, 81% reported that Spanish is their primary language, while 44% said they could speak no English, and 53% said they could not read Engl ish. On average, seventh grade was the highest grade completed. The average individual income of a farm worker reported by the 2001-2002 NAWS ranged from $10,000 to $12,499. Total family income averaged between $15,000 and $17,499.
26 Approximately one-third of the families surveyed had a total family income that placed them below the poverty line. Impact of High Mobility on Migrant Students Sols (2004) delineates the challenges that migrant students face due to their highly mobile lifestyles. Because their work is depe ndent on the natural seasons, migrant students cannot predict when they will need to move to the next harvest location. Often they enroll in school after the term has begun and must leave befo re it is completed. While their parents are en route to the next job, migrant stude nts lose valuable instructional ti me. A lack of predictability in their schedules often deters mi grant students from enrolling in the more challenging academic courses; they worry that they will not be able to make up missed work or maintain the academic pace of their more stab le peers (Sols, 2004). Transfer of educational r ecords is another challenge for migrant students. Since the discontinuation of the national Migrant Student Records Transfer System (MSRTS) in 1995, there has been little consistency in the manner in which migrant students records are transferred from one school district to another. While some states like Texas have systems in place (e.g., New Generations System) for making sure record s are transferred in a timely manner, many do not (Salinas & Reyes, 2004). The lag in records transfer can prevent a student from placement in appropriate classes once they enroll in their new schools. Pappamihiel (20 04) states that, the elimination of this record system has result ed in incomplete records and contributed to inconsistent treatment of migrant students, multiple immunizations, and tracking problems as students move from state to state ( p. 17). Because there are differences among course cr edit accrual systems from state to state as well as varied graduation requirements, migrant students are often at a disadvantage.
27 Sols (2004) states, Moving between schools, migrant students freq uently encounter course dissimilarities and/or unavailable courses, dispar ities in course credits or gr ade equivalents, and different class schedules. Some receiving schools may not offer a particular class required by a migrant students home-base district. (p. 115) Often students lose course cr edit due to these discrepancies among school districts. In a recent study, Engec (2006) investigated the relationship between mobility, behavior, and academic performance. Findings indicate that performance on criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests fell as the number of move s increased. In addition to academic challenges, she found that these students of ten had more discipline problems. While this study did not focus on the children of migrant farm workers specif ically, it is assumed that high mobility has a similar effect on all children. Effect of Poverty on Migrant Students The National Agricultural Workers Survey (200 1-2002) reports that at least one-third of migrant families live in poverty. Kindler (1995) notes that not only is the cost of migrating expensive, but the children often have ill health due to their impoverished circumstances. Lack of basic health care leads to poor nutrition, chronic illness, and pa rasite-borne maladies which impede students quality of life and their academic performance. Lack of health care is particularly troublesome for migrant families. Because of the dangers of working in the agricu ltural industry, they ar e susceptible to many serious diseases and health conditions. In a monograph produced fo r the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health by the National Center for Farmworker Health, Larson (2001) states that, Those employed in this occupation [agriculture] are at mu ch greater risk of death than workers in every industry except construction (p.8) Leon (1996) discusses the high incidence of dental diseases, contact dermatitis, and tuberculosis. La rson (2001) describe ergonomic conditions,
28 musculoskeletal injuries, traumatic injuries, respiratory problems, dermatitis, infectious diseases, cancer, eye problems, and pesticide exposure as the many health concerns with which migrant farmworkers contend. Thus, migrant workers and their children may be at an increased health risk due to their work and high poverty. Language and Cultural Challenges of Migrant Students California, Texas, and Florida account for 52% -53% of all migrant st udents served by the Migrant Education Program, and around 80% of mi grant students served are Latino, mostly emigrating from rural areas of Mexico where th ere is little educationa l opportunity beyond grade school (Kindler, 1995). Of the students served by the MEP, 40% are English Language Learners (ELLs), and this number is increasing (Flo rida Department of Education, 2007). Gibson and Bejnez (2002) assert that children of Mexican origin are the least likely to graduate from high school and are the least likely to enroll in or comple te a four-year college degree. Most of these students come from homes where their parents have little education; the level of education of ones mother correlates highly with a childs academic success (Stevenson & Baker, 1987). Less visible challenges to migrant students ar e those that take the form of what Shannon and Escamilla (1999) term symbolic violence p. 348). In the current social and political climate, researchers argue that it is best to be anything but Mexican, ( p. 349) because there is an underlying disdain for and mistrust of child ren from Mexican cultures. In their research, Shannon and Escamilla have documented inciden ces of ridicule, false accusations, and a continual pattern of oppression. While other cultural groups have been oppressed and maligned throughout American history, they suggest that Mexicans are pr esently at the bottom of the social pecking order.
29 Commins & Miramontes (2006) assert that edu cators lack of expert ise in dealing with cultural and linguistic diversit y contributes to migrant stude nts problems. Rather than welcoming those of different languages and cultural backgrounds, schools build barriers that relegate students of diverse cultures to the realm of outsiders. Gibson and Bejnez (2002) state that this social stratification system [serves to ] constrain persons of color especially those with limited economic and educational means (p. 156). This lack of soci al capital (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977) causes many students to even tually give up and drop out of school. Factors Impacting Migrant Student Achievement Migrant students face several academic challe nges. First, and foremost, is their abject poverty. These students struggle to have basic ne eds met such as food, shelter, and clothing (Maslow, 1987). While migrant homes are rich in oral tradition and re ligious iconography, from a mainstream perspective the environments are not literacy-rich accord ing to Durkins (1966) definition. This lack of congrue ncy between home and school expe ctations is disadvantageous to migrant students who are measured by conventional standards (Coady, 2008, in press). Additionally, they do not have acce ss to adequate health care. These factors are debilitating. Considering the characteristics of mobility, li mited English proficienc y, and cultural diversity, migrant students are perhaps the most disadva ntaged students in public schools. Mobility exacerbates all of the challenges facing migrant students; continual relocation prevents them from creating or maintaining the necessary supp ort networks they need to flourish (Kindler, 1995; True, 1991). Policies Relating to Migrant Populations The purpose of this section is to review (a) the Migrant Educa tion Program, (b) laws impacting migrant education, and (c) the requirements of the Fl orida Consent D ecree as related to migrant students.
30 Migrant Education Program The Migrant Education Program grew out of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed by the United States Congress in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnsons Great Society initiative. The Act was designed to provide educational assistance for impoverished children. In 1966, an amendment to ESEA was passed, creating the Migrant Education Program. Actual implementation of the MEP ensued in 1968. The Migrant Education Program still receives funding from the federa l government, though the program has undergone many changes since its inception. The Migrant Education Program currently functions through state and local education agency programs. This leads to various implementation models from state to state since each state determines the manner in which allocated ME P funding will be spent. Over the course of its existence, funding for the MEP has grown exponen tially. However, change s in leadership and federal government focus have impacted the pr ogram in several ways. One example is the changes in identification and tracking of migr ant students. While the Migrant Student Record Transfer System (MSRTS) was not infallible, it pr ovided some means of helping to ensure that migrant students schooling was as seamless as possible under their difficult circumstances (Branz-Spall & Wright, 2004). The MEP purports to serve approximately 86 % of all eligible migrant students during either the regular school term (73%) or summer term (44%). However, 50% of all migrant students drop out of school prior to graduation. When students are re tained due to lack of credit accrual or general lack of demonstrated academic achievement, the drop-out rate increases to 70% for one retention and 90% fo r two retentions (Leon, 1996).
31 Laws Impacting Migrant Education There are several major legal cases and federa l laws that relate to migrant education. The 1964 Civil Rights Act states that, No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits [of], or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. (Alexander & Alexander, 2005, p. 360) Since the Migrant Education Plan receives fundi ng through the federal Title 1 program, this Act applies to those eligible to participate in MEP programs. The 1982 Plyler v. Doe case determined that all children, regardless of their residency or immigration status, are entitled to a free, public education. When Te xas school districts balked at funding educational opportunities for children of undocumented non-residents, the Supreme Court of the United States overtur ned the state statute, guaranteeing that all students, regardless of status, were eligible to receive a free, public education. Based on this Supreme Court decision, it is inappropriate for school personnel to ask whether students are documented or undocumented residents of the United States. Children are guaranteed enrollment despite their legal status (Alexander & Alexander, 2005). Howe ver, in Florida recent changes to the Home Language Survey used to determine whether students are eligible for ESOL services seem to subtly inquire into residency informati on. A 2006 Alachua County Public Schools Home Language Survey (Form No. CUR 045.020) asked the following questions: 1. Is a language other than English used in the home? If yes, what language? 2. Did the student have a first language othe r than English? If yes, what language? 3. Does the student most frequently sp eak a language other than English? 4. Was your child born in a country other than the United States (U.S.) or U.S. territory?
32 5. If yes, when did your child first enter the U.S.? 6. If your child was born in another country, wh at was the date your ch ild first enrolled in U.S. schools? (Alachua County P ublic Schools Form No. CUR 045.020) The purpose of the changes to the survey and the potential impact of these changes is unclear. This research did not investigate whether similar changes have been made to the Home Language Survey instruments administered throughout the entire state of Florida. The 1984 Zavala v. Contreras case resolved that if migrant students indeed have special educational needs, then school districts must ta ke these needs into account when, for instance, determining deadlines for partic ipation in certain programs. In this case, because a student missed an enrollment deadline, he was ineligible for inclusion in an after-school program which would have allowed him to make up work misse d due to his migratory lifestyle. The lawsuit brought by the students parents alle ged that their child had special needs that the school district should accommodate. The Texas courts agreed. This case highlighted the unique circumstances of migrant students and the need for flexibility in helping them achieve academic success (Pappamihiel, 2004). The 1994 Improving Americas School Act (Title VII) led to revamping the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through wh ich the Migrant Education Program receives funding. Under the new law, spouses of migrants were included, and the definition of migrancy changed to mean a move within the past 36 months in order to follow work in the agricultural, dairy, or the fisheries industries. Additionally, for students to be c onsidered migrant, they must have crossed school district lines. The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (Title III) also impacts migrant students because of their high level of risk for academic failure. In the spirit of increased accountability, the Act states that it intends to, ens ure that migratory children receiv e full and appropria te opportunities
33 to meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards that all children ar e expected to meet (U.S. Depa rtment of Education, 2002, sect. 1301). However, migrant students unique situ ations prevent them from receiving equal educational opportunities, creating incongruence between NCLB expectations and actual possibilities. Due to mobility, poverty, and second -language challenges, the majority of migrant students struggle in sc hool (Kindler, 1995). Requirements of the Florida Consen t Decree Related to Migrant Students In 1990, the Florida Consent Decree resulted from a United States District Court Case between the League of United Latin American Citizens (LUL AC) and Floridas Board of Education and Department of Education (L ULAC v. Florida Board of Education, 1990). According to the court order (Case No. 90-1913) filed in the Miami Divi sion of the Southern District of Florida, these parties r eached the formal settlement agreement to resolve a dispute as to the issue of co mpliance by the defendants with their legal obligations under federal and state law and regulations in cluding the federal Equal Educational Opportunity Act [20 U.S.C. 170 3(f )], Title VI of the fe deral Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Florida Educational Equity Act, and related federal and state provisions regarding compensatory, migrant and special education. (p. 3) The Decree stipulates the framework for meetin g the educational needs of students for whom English is a second language. The settlement includes six sections app licable to limited English proficient (LEP) students. These sections include (a) Identif ication and Assessment, (b) Equal Access to Appropriate Programming, (c) E qual Access to Appropriate Cate gorical and Other Programs for LEP Students, (d) Personnel, (e) Monitoring Issues, and (f) Outcome Measures. Because 80% of migrant students are native Spanish speakers and eligible for ESOL serv ices (Kindler, 1995), several components of the Decree re late to their learning needs.
34 In section 1, the Identific ation and Assessment section of the Florida Consent Decree, students with limited English proficiency are defined as, (a) individuals who were not born in the Un ited States and whose native language is language other than English; or (b) individua ls who come from home environments where a language other than English is spoken in th e home; or (c) individuals who are American Indian or Alaskan natives and who come from environments where a language other than English has had a significant im pact on their level of English language proficiency; and (d) individuals who, by reason thereo f, have sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or listening to the English language to deny su ch individuals the opportunity to learn successfully in classroo ms where the language of instruc tion is English. (Section I.A.1, pp. 5-6) All students attending schools are surveyed and asked the following questions, based on the Initial Identification stipulat ions of the Consent Decree: a. Is a language other than English used in the home? b. Did the student have a first language other than English? c. Does the student most frequently sp eak a language other than English? (Section I.B.2. p. 7). Any student who answers affirmatively to any of these questions, must undergo a more formal assessment to determine English proficiency. Students in the fourth grade or beyond may also be designated LEP if they answered yes to any of the initial survey que stions and scored at or below the 32nd percentile on the reading and writing sections of a norm-referenced test. Parents, teachers or a member of the LEP committee may refer students for LEP consideration based on test results, prior educational and social experiences, student interview, recommenda tions by current or former instructors, mastery of basic competencies, standardized test scores, or grades from the current or previous years (Section I.C.2.). Assessments are completed within four week s of a students enrollment. If there is a delay in the assessment for any reason, notificationw ritten in the primary home languageis mailed to the parents no later than eight weeks after a student initially enrolls in school.
35 The Consent Decree outlines instructiona l methods, guidelines for programming, and other general guidelines for all LEP students. Information specific to migrant students is found in Section III, Equal Access to Appropriate Categor ical and Other Programs for LEP Students. In Section III.B., Compensatory E ducation, the Decree states: No district federal Chapter 1 basic and/or mi grant education plan or state compensatory education plan shall be approved by the Florid a Department of Education unless it shows evidence of providing equal access for el igible LEP students and incorporates programming and services for eligible student s which is appropriate given their level of English language proficiency. (Section III.B.1, p. 17) Section III.B.7 sets forth that The Florida Department of Education shall, in addition to the overall Chapter 1 program monitoring tasks described herei n, specifically monitor local districts on a regular basis to assure equal access and appropriate program ming and services to limited English proficient students eligible under the fede ral Chapter 1 migrant education program. (Section III.B.7, p. 18) The document then lists tw o forms of monitoring: 1. use of a statewide and localized Migr ant Student Record Transfer System (MSRTS) specifically addresses the need for an appropriate use of data as to limited English proficient migrant students 2. utilization of bilingual personnel who can co mmunicate with the stud ents and identify LEP students eligible for Chapter 1migran t programs and services. (Section III.B.7, pp. 18-19) Section III.G., Equal Access for Immigrant Student s, applies directly to migrant students. Paragraph 1 of Section G states: The Florida Department of Education shall i ssue and monitor guidelines and standards to insure that refugee and other immigrant LEP, racial and national origin minority students are provided free, equal and unhindered acc ess to appropriate schooling throughout the state of Florida in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Courts mandate in Plyler vs. Doe, the federal Emergency Immigrant Education Act, Transition Program for Refugee Children, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable federal and state law. The st andards shall provide that: a. no district shall classify undocumented or ot her immigrant students on the basis of their federal immigration status as non-reside nts under state school attendance law;
36 b. no district shall inquire into an individual students or his pa rents immigration status as such, for any educational purpose excep t in the following circumstances: The circumstances under which school districts ar e granted permission to inquire into a students immigration status are delineated as follows: 1. Inquiry into whether or not a student satisfi es eligibility require ments of the federal Emergency Immigration Act (e.g. whether a stud ent if foreign born arrives in the U.S. within the last three years, and is in his or he r first district of U.S. school attendance); or Transition Program for Refugee Children (e.g. wh ether a student has status as a refugee under federal immigration law); 2. 2. No district shall in any case elicit, compile or maintain lists of students with alien registration numbers and those without. 3. No personally identifiable data of any kind shal l be elicited, compiled or maintained as to any individual students immigrati on status except as described above. 4. 4. No prospective students, nor student, shall be referred or reported to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) for any reason prior or subsequent to admission. A parent or guardian of a child on an I-20 visa or applying for such a visa may sign a release of data au thorizing such referral on reporting. 5. No student shall be required to have or obtain a federal social security number as a precondition or condition subsequent to admissi on, or as a prerequisi te for service under any federally-funded program unless that progr ams statute and regulations specifically require such an exclusion. 6. No student shall be denied any federally funded educational services unless that programs statutes and regulations specifically require such exclusion. No eligible student shall be denied services under any state or locally-funded program. (Section III.G.1-6, pp. 21-22) Finally, Section IV describes how qualified personnel must work with LEP students. Additional requirements were enacted in a modifi cation of the Consent Decree that went into effect in August of 2003. Now teachers, principals and guidance counselors are required to have 60 hours of in-service or contin uing-education training in ESOL-approved courses. The training components requirements specified by the Florid a Department of Education include several features relating to migrant students. For example, administrators must be able to:
37 [Demonstrate] knowledge and sensitivity to multicultural and divers e student populations; create a positive and supportive environm ent to accommodate the diverse cultural backgrounds of students recognize major di fferences in and similarities among various cultural groups in the U.S., in Florida, and in the local community; counsel students, parents, school personnel and community me mbers on these differences and similarities; [and] develop cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the major cultural groups represented in the local school di strict, and at the i ndividual schools, in order to meet the needs of LEP students within the cont ext of a multicultural student population. Furthermore, administrators who have ta ken this 60-hour course are expected to demonstrate cultural sensitivity to multicultural/d iversity issues affecting school programs and curriculum; become familiar with differing interpersonal and communication strategies to encourage positive relationships with LEP students and their families; demonstrate knowledge of the demographics of Florida s LEP population and demonstrate ability to improve the districts capacity to meet th e educational needs of LEP students; and demonstrate knowledge on implementing progra m delivery models appropriate for the LEP population in their school. (Alac hua County Public Schools, 2007) In summary, the Florida Consent Decree demands that schools welcome diverse LEP students, provide quality instruction for LEP students, and have leaders who are knowledgeable about the issues concerning the academic requirements and learning needs of LEP students in their care. ESOL Training for Administrators Because each district in the state of Flor id a autonomously creates its own Master Inservice Plan, it is difficult to determine whether the content of the traini ng principals receive is identical. However, because the leadership standa rds which guide the crea tion of district plans are standardized throughout the St ate, it stands to reason that th e required training for principals is similar throughout all the districts. While th e delivery method may vary (e.g. on-line courses, college coursework, seminars, etc.), the content of the courses is assumed to be comparable (K. Shewey, personal communication, January 5, 2009). To provide an understa nding of the content of the training, the Master Inserv ice Plan components of one dist rict are provided here. In this particular district, the required 60-hour training for administrators c onsists of three courses. Each of these courses includes several objectives that apply to migran t students. While it is understood
38 that not all migrant st udents qualify for ESOL services, ma ny of them clearly do fall under the umbrella of eligibility. The first course, E SOL for Administrators: Accountability has 13 specific learning objectives. Of these, the most pertinen t to migrant students are: 1. Upon completion of the training, the particip ant will demonstrate outreach efforts to connect LEP students and their families to school personnel and community members that will facilitate accessibility to resources and services available to them within the school and community. 2. Upon completion of the training, the partic ipant will demonstrate knowledge of the background of the Consent Decree in the League of United Latin American Citizens et al. v. The State Board of Education, 1990, includi ng knowledge of related legislation (e.g., No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Lau v. Nichols, Plyler v. Doe, etc.). (Alachua County Public Schools, 2007, pp. 81-82) 3. The second course, ESOL for Administrators: Culture & Communication has eight (8) specific learning objectives. Those most pertinent to migrant students education are:1. Upon completion of the training, the partic ipant will demonstrate sensitivity to multicultural and diverse student populations; recognize major differences and similarities among various cultural groups in the U.S, the stat e of Florida, the local school district, and the individual school. 4. Upon completion of the training, the partic ipant will demonstrate knowledge of crosscultural issues facing LEP stude nts and their families and im plement a plan to create a positive and supportive environment that accommondates [sic] diverse cultural backgrounds and promotes the enrichment of a multicultura l student population. 5. Upon completion of the training, the particip ant will demonstrate outreach efforts to connect LEP students and their families to school personnel and community members that will facilitate accessibility to resources and services available to them within the school and community. 6. Upon completion of the training, the partic ipant will demonstrate the ability to communicate with LEP students, their families, and the community to assess the relevance of the curriculum and adequacy of student progress toward standa rds established by the Department of Education and the local school board. 7. Upon completion of the training, the part icipant will demonstrate knowledge of appropriate teaching strategies and methodologies to deliver co mprehensible instruction to students whose first language is not English, that are from diverse cultural backgrounds and that have significantly varied levels of education in their own languages. (Alachua County Public Schools, 2007, p. 83)
39 The third course, ESOL for Admi nistrators: Instructional Leadership has 11 specific learning objectives. Those most pertinen t to migrant students are: 1. Upon completion of the training, the participan t will demonstrate knowledge of available, necessary, and appropriate instructional mate rials and resources that will facilitate comprehensible instruction for all LEP students. 2. Upon completion of the training, the participan t will demonstrate the ability to evaluate school site staff to ensure that they are us ing the appropriate strategies and methodologies to deliver comprehensible instruction to LEP students. 3. Upon completion of the training, the participant will demonstrate [the] ability to evaluate school site staff to ensure the use of appropriate native languages (home language) instructional strategies in th e instruction of LEP students (A lachua County Public Schools, 2007, p. 85). Because 40% of migrant students are ELLs, info rmation about the culture, economic situation, and educational background of this unique group of students is pert inent to a principals ability to best meet their instructional needs (F lorida Department of Education, 2007). Principals Role in Meeting th e Needs of Migrant Students The purpose of this section is to briefly review the history of principals in public education, examine the evolving role of the school principal, and explore the principals role in advocating for students. Historical Overview of Role of Principal When Horace Mann and Henry Barnard birt hed the common school m ovement, it had ambitious goals and revolutionary implications for American society (Matthews & Crow, 2003). In the past, only the elite enjoyed the benefits of education, and most educational institutions were private or religious in na ture. Believing that an educated citizenry was paramount to a democratic society, Mann and Barnard sought to expand educational opport unities to the entire populace, and they were extraordinarily successful considering the context of their times. Tyack and Hansot (as cited in Matth ews & Crow, 2003, p. 18) write:
40 It is easy to forget that mid-nineteenth century America was fou r-fifths rural, had a miniscule government, possessed only a rudime ntary industrial system composed mostly of small firms, and had only begun the bureaucr atization that would later make a mature corporate society Yet this social moveme nt [the common school movement] produced by the end of the century more schooling for more people than in any other nation and resulted in patterns of educa tion that were remarkably unifo rm in purpose, structure, and curriculum, despite the reality of local c ontrol in hundreds of t housands of separate communities. (p.17) The role of principal grew out of the role of te acher, or principal te acher. In the one-room schoolhouses that dotted the countryside, teach ers were responsible for instructional, maintenance, and administrative tasks. As early as 1839 there were delineated duties specified for principal teachers, and the role seemed to focus more on administrative duties as opposed to pedagogical ones. Scholars attri bute the hierarchical model of principal-led schools to the European academies of the 1500s and the Englis h headmaster role still in existence today. Accordingly, The early American school principal had res ponsibilities very sim ilar to those of the headmaster of English academies. He (the principal was invariably male) had a small number of teachers to supervise, and only simp le administrative duties to perform. A large share of his time was spent teach ing. (Matthews & Crow, 2003, p. 19) Changing Role of Principal Over time, the principals role evolved, and Matthews and Crow (2003) cite four interacting elements that fueled the change The first factor was the changing societal demographics from primarily rural to larger urba n areas. The increase in size and diversity of student populations placed greate r administrative demands on principals because schools became larger and more complex institutions. Compulsory education laws spurred enrollment as well, leading principal teachers to set aside th eir teaching duties for managerial ones. Secondly, Matthews and Crow (2003) mention the change in professional training and certification requirements as a causa l factor in the evolution of th e principals role. They state that neither teachers nor princi pals received much formal training prior to the end of the
41 nineteenth century. Rather, those who occupied school principal posts relied on their common sense, innate abilities, and t eaching experience to perform largely management-related tasks (p.25). In the early 1900s, however, the infusion of business management techniques became the trend for schools. Greater emphasis was placed on business know-how and administrative skills. During the 1920s, school administrators were encouraged to become certified in an effort to professionalize the role of principals. By the 1950s all of the states had implemented some type of certification requiremen ts for school administrators. A third factor impacting the role of pr incipal was the emergence of professional organizations related to school administrati on. The National Education Association (NEA) created The Department of Secondary School Pr incipals and the Department of Elementary School Principals in 1916 and 1921 respectiv ely. Matthews and Crow (2003) suggest, By establishing these departments, more scientific research was conducted in the work, problems, and role of the principal. The departments stim ulated the professional interests not only of individual principals but also of principals associ ations throughout the country (p. 26). The work of these organizations provided a founda tion for continuous reflection and improvement among principals. Finally, Matthews and Crow (2003) credit the devel oping practices of school administrators as having a role in the evolution of the principa lship. As school populations grew, many of the management and supervisory re sponsibilities formerly conducted by the superintendent of schools fell to individual school principals. Management became more localized and less centralized, once again expand ing the principals dut ies. Managerial and supervisory duties overlapped for principals, but a common understanding was that, a principal manages things and supervises people (p. 27). Matthews and Crow (2003) write that it is
42 important to note that supervision may have related more to the early principals management role of inspector than to the role of mentor as is more commonly used today (p. 27). Cogan, Anderson, and Krajewski (1993) lis t several supervisory approach es noted in the professional literature from 1850 to 1990. These span the gamut from scientific management to cooperative supervision to clinical superv ision and coaching. Blas & Blas (2004) cite the work of Glanz and Neville (1997), stating th at their work presents dramatic evidence showing that although the field of supervision is in a state of flux, most scholars agree that (1) sc hools should be learning enviro nments for all students and educators, and (2) the facilitation of learni ng and [intellectual] growth should be the number one responsibility of an educational leader (p.15). Interestingly, most early principals had training in theology, were associated with the ministry, or were heavily influenced by the Ch ristian (mostly Protestant) ideal (Matthews & Crow, 2003, p. 28). Because of this, principals were held to high moral and ethical standards. This concern with morality and ethics continues to pervade the professional literature concerning principals today. Sergiovanni ( 1992), Greenleaf (1977), and Burns (1978) have all addressed the relationship between moralit y, ethics, and leadership. The principals role has seemingly come full circle in recent decades. While early principal teachers were primarily concerned with teaching and secondarily concerned with administrative duties, principals today are encour aged to be instructi onal leaders, overseeing and insuring quality instruction and best educa tional practices. DeBevoise (as cited in Matthews & Crow, 2003) exemplifies instructional leadership as those actions that a principal takes, or delegates to others, to promote growth in student learning (p. 33). Instru ctional leadership is fluid in nature, with principals initiating recommendations and changes based on individual school needs.
43 It is readily apparent that the role of the principal has grow n increasingly complex (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004). In the current context of in creasingly diverse student populations, increased accountability from st ate and federal governments, and economic uncertainty, principals are under great pressu re and must balance multitudinous roles and responsibilities. They suggest, Two independent views of principals suggest the principal occupies a role with contradictory demands. They are expected to work to transform, reform, and restructure schools while they hold positions historically committed to controlling change and maintaining stability (p. 365). Principals Role as Advocate One role in which principals find themselves is that of student advocate. Matthews and Crow (2003) devote a chapter of their book to principal advocacy. They write that recently principals have become more concerned with educational achievement for all children, regardless of socio-economic status or academic ability. In their view, in the last 20 years, principals have helped to create the belief that every person deserves a quality education based on respect for individual needs and differences They define advocacy as the process of supporting, maintaining, and defending moral, lega l, and thoughtful educa tional principles and practices for children and youth (p. 228). Sirotnik (1990) suggests that educators have five moral responsibi lities, which include inquiry, knowledge, competence, caring, and social -justice. As part of the social justice responsibility, principals must meet the legal guarantee that a ll students receive equitable access. This is critical for migrant students. Matthews and Crow (2003) delineate several advocacy functions that principals should perform. These include understandi ng differences related to racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity, language diversity, poverty and social class, gender and sexual orientatio n, students with special
44 needs, gifted and talented students, and students at risk. This myriad of differences presents challenges in which principals must take a stan ce of fairness and equity. Pai and Adler (1997) suggest that often the dominant culture views the differe nces of minority cultures as deficits to correct. Moll, et al (1992), on the other hand, argu es that these differences should be embraced and honored. The leadership status granted to principals and the influence they hold among faculties present an opportunity to model an appreciation for student diversity. In addition to being advocates, Matthews and Crow (2003) argue that principals should promote advocacy among their faculties and staffs. Collaborative efforts to help children succeed promote a sense of shared ownership and co mmunity. These authors suggest that advocacy requires understanding, creating, maintaining, and changing culture, and transforming tacit and unconscious assumptions, values, beliefs, and behavi ors. One basic role that the principal can play is to examine existing inequities and work to transform the school culture into a community of fairness. One of the Six Standards for What Princi pals Should Know and Be Able to Do as described by the National Associ ation of Elementary School Principals (2002) requires that principals actively engage the community to cr eate shared responsibilit y for student and school success (p. 7). One strategy to meet this standa rd is making sure that families have access to appropriate health and human se rvices required to stay focused on learning (p. 7). Thus, principals are encouraged to move beyond the b oundaries of schooling and ensure that families and childrens human needs are being met. Peterson and Deal (2003) stre ss the incalculable impact of pr incipals on school culture or ethos. Principals everyday behaviors and in teractions communicate their values and expectations. Lemley (as cited in Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004) provide s a compilation of the
45 attributes of effective principals gathered from research studies from 1980 to 1998. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, strong instructional leadership in the areas of high expectations for student achievement, maximized learning time, parent-c ommunity involvement, and positive school climate. All of these f actors support the needs of a diverse student population, migrant students in particular. In this chapter, the researcher has reviewed information relating to the characteristics of migrant student populations, polic ies relating to migrant studen t populations, and principals training requirements, which may increase awareness of migrant student populations. Additionally, the researcher has reviewed literature pertaining to the historical and evolving role of principals. The next chapter will provide a de scription of the research method, the instrument, data collection procedures, and data anal ysis relative to the research questions.
46 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Introduction The purpose of this study was to determ ine if the specific needs of migrant students are being addressed through the courses school principa ls must take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL training. Specifically, the researcher investigated how principal characteristics, school characteristics, and training aff ect these beliefs. This chapter provides a description of (a) the research me thod, (b) the instrument (c) data collection procedures, and (d) data analysis. Research Method Descriptive studies of ten use a form of quantitative research to provide accurate descriptions of educational phenomena and to pa ve the way for future quantitative studies. Attitude scales are a type of descriptive re search measure (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996), and surveys are a type of attitude scale that is of ten used to make comparisons among groups. For this descriptive study, the research er used survey research methods Data gathered from surveys can (a) be used as a means of needs assessment, (b) provide a description of the current beliefs and attitudes that exist within a certain context, (c) provide answers to questions, and (d) provide baseline data for future investigations. Because survey research is quantifiable, precise, impartial, and representative, reliability is confirmable (Isaac & Michael, 1995). Employed sampling techniques provide a reflection of the p opulation. Data collected systematically and objectively and expressed in numerical terms generates clear information. Surveys are also beneficial in that they can cover a vast geographica l area at a relatively low cost. Because the researcher surveyed school districts across the state of Florida -extending from the northern Florida-Georgia border, to the southern third of the state, into the Panhandle
47 and including school districts from both the east and Gulf coasts -the use of an on-line survey further reduced the cost of gath ering a substantial amount of da ta from principals across the State. Survey designs also have disadvantages. Survey data rely on finding cooperative and accessible participants. Additionally, survey responses may demonstrate bias due to the nature of varied human interpretation of survey items (Isaac & Michael, 1995). B ecause the researcher used an original survey desi gned solely for this study, other researchers had not tested the instrument. Using an expert pane l to generate survey items and piloting the instrument with a group of similar principals before implementing the actual use of the survey were attempts to minimize these limitations. The survey instrument used a five-point Li kert scale to measure principals perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students and tr aining they have received. An ordinal response scale measured these attitudes and dispositions To provide added depth and breadth to the survey data, the researcher conduc ted five follow-up interviews with principals who have knowledge of migrant educational issues. Description of the Subjects and Sample The researcher conducted this research in 13 school districts across th e state of Florida. After determ ining the migrant student population of all 67 school districts in the state of Florida, the districts were divided into four categories. Eight (8) dist ricts have no identified migrant students. Thirty-five (35) districts have small populations of migr ant students (less than 1%). Eighteen (18) districts serve medi um-sized populations of migrant students (1-10%). Finally, six (6) districts serve migrant student populations greater than 10% of their total student population, with Washington County ranking highest at 32.29 % (Florida Department of Education, 2007).
48 In order to avoid extremes in differences in migrant student popul ation, the researcher chose to survey principals in the 18 districts with medium-sized migrant student populations. One of the districts was engaged in piloting the instrument. The researcher invited elementary school principals in the remaini ng 17 districts to participate in the actual survey. Of these 17 districts, the researcher secure d permission from district supe rintendents to send the on-line survey to elementary school principals in 13 Flor ida school districts. One district was unable to participate due to an FCAT black-out period, du ring which no research may be conducted in an effort to avoid disruption as students prepare for the statewid e, standardized assessment. Two districts refused to participat e, and two others did not respond to repeated attempts for information about gaining permission to survey principals. Therefor e, 12 school districts participated in the study. Three hundred fifty-one (351) principals received invitations to take the on-line survey. In addition to purposefully selecting school di stricts, the researcher limited participation in the survey to elementary school principals The reasons for this were threefold. First, elementary schools generally have relatively sm aller student populations than middle and high schools, allowing for more prin cipal-student interaction and the development of closer relationships. Secondly, since 61% of MEP students are between the ages of 2-12, elementary school seems the most probable level to find larg er numbers of enrolled migrant students who attend school regularly (Kindler, 1995). Finally, the researcher, ha ving taught at the elementary school level for 18 years, felt most comforta ble and knowledgeable of elementary school settings. Demographics of the Principals In a separate section of the survey instrum ent, principals were asked questions regarding gender, race, years of experience, educationa l level (last degree earned), and number of
49 courses/hours of training in ESOL education. After the surveys were piloted in one district, they were sent to all principals of regular elementary schools (N=3 51) within the participating 12 school districts. The surveys were not sent to pr incipals of charter schoo ls or special centers. Instrument Obtaining Permission The researcher obtained permission to c onduct this study from both the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florid a (IRB) (Appendix A) a nd each school district, including the district in which the pilot study took place. The researcher sent a letter explaining the purpose of the study, a feedback request fo rm, and a paper copy of the survey to each elementary principal within the piloting district. After the survey was revised based on feedback from the principals involved in the piloting of the instrument, the researcher sent e-mails and letters to the targeted districts requesting in formation about gaining permission to conduct research (Appendix B). As permission was granted, the researcher sent an e-mail explaining the purpose of the study and soliciting participation to each elementary principal within the 12 targeted districts (Appendix C). Expert Panel Because a survey instrument measuring th e perceptions and beliefs of principals regarding the needs of migrant students did not exist, the rese archer needed to develop an original survey. To ensure that the survey it ems provided adequate c overage of the issues relating to the educational needs of migrant students and principa l training related to migrant students, the researcher convened a meeting with an expert panel to help formulate survey items. The researcher selected participants based on their expertise in the field of migrant education, migrant issues, educational lead ership, staff development, educational research, and ESOL training.
50 Nine (9) individuals attended the meeting. Th ese included: a district director of ESOL education; a district director of social studies and diversity education; a college professor/statistician; a Title-I supervisor and former elementary school principal; a Title I supervisor and teacher mentor; a graduate student working toward a degree in library sciences and currently working on a bibli ography of childrens li terature relating to migrant workers; a member of the district staff development te am; and two district Mi grant Education staff members. After the meeting, the researcher met with the director of a foundation for migrant farmworkers to get his additional input on the su rvey since he was unable to attend the meeting. The meeting began with an overview of th e study and the sharing of the research questions and the researcher-cre ated graphic, Factors Impac ting Principals Perceptions and Beliefs of Migrant Student Needs (Figure 3-1). Participants were then asked to engage in a brainstorming activity. First, they generated ideas for school charac teristics that in fluence leader perceptions and beliefs about mi grant students educational need s. After making a list of these characteristics, they were asked to operationalize the items into survey questions, which would address each of their generate d ideas. Participants recorded their responses on individual recording forms. This process was repeated for three more domains: (a) principal characteristics that influence their perceptions and beliefs abou t migrant students educational needs; (b) the influence of training on leader perceptions and beliefs about migrant students educational needs; and (c) educational leaders pe rceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students. Next, the researcher shared a draft of a su rvey she had created, asking for feedback on each of the survey items. Participants were aske d to analyze the questions for bias, clarity, and
51 whether or not the questions were likely to generate honest and useable information. The participants were also asked to designate which domain of the re search each question addressed. Finally, there was an open discussion of the survey. One member of the panel served as a recorder, listing ideas and sugge stions generated by the group. A ll of the recording forms were collected and the information compiled by the researcher. Advice from the panel of experts was taken into account as the survey underwent multiple revisions. Copies of the final revision were sent to members of the expert panel, along with a token of thanks and an invitation to make further comment if so desired. Pilot Study In order to refine the survey instrument and te st it using subjects akin to those who would participa te in the actual on-line survey, the rese archer piloted the instrument with elementary school principals in one school di strict that falls within the same migrant student population range as those targeted for the final survey. Thes e principals participated in the pilot study only and were not a part of the act ual research study. The purpose of the pilot study was to determine if the items were clear and unders tood by participants and if they provided adequate coverage of the topics. The researcher asked principals to co mment on the clarity of the survey items, and she modified the instrument based on their feedb ack. Tuckman (1999) sugge sts that piloting an instrument helps to establish survey quality. Informed Consent The researcher sent an e-m ail letter expl aining the purpose of th e study and soliciting participation to each elementary principal within the targeted districts after she obtained permission from the individual school districts. Pa rticipation in the survey constituted proof of informed consent. Two districts chose not to provide individual principal e-mail addresses. In these two cases, the researcher se nt the survey to a district o ffice contact who then forwarded it
52 to elementary school principals. The researcher invited five (5) principa ls to participate in follow-up interviews. Participation in the interviews constituted proof of informed consent. Confidentiality Protection To ensure c onfidentiality, the researcher used an on-line su rvey. All data was coded and entered into an SAS data file, which is passwor d protected. Five principals participated in follow-up interviews. These principals were chosen because they expressed a willingness to provide more information if needed. The resear cher used a follow-up protocol during these interviews (Appendix D). In an effort to protect th eir identities, the resear cher assigned labels to each principal who chose to partic ipate in the interview portion of the research (i.e., P,1 P2, P3, etc.). Follow-up Interviews In order to add depth and bread th to the survey d ata, the re searcher conducted personal and/or telephone follow-up interviews with fi ve principals and one Guidance Counselor/ESOL Coordinator who have experien ce working with migrant students. These educational leaders were from four different school districts. Interviews consisted of open-ended questions designed to gain an understanding of the principals views related to migr ant educational issues and what has informed their knowledge of these issues. The researcher used a researcher-created questioning protocol during the interview proces s. Because these interviews were dependent upon voluntary participation, the res earcher was unable to predict th e number of principals who would choose to participate in the interview portion of the res earch. The researcher conducted five telephone interviews and one site visit/interview. One of the principals interviewed is a high school principal. The purpose of interviewing a principal outside the re alm of the originally intended target group was to gather insight into the issues of high school attendance, graduation,
53 and post-high school opportunities, topics with wh ich elementary school principals may not be as familiar. Data Collection Procedure The researcher sent an introductory e-m ail to principals in 12 school districts informing them of the purpose of the research study and requesting their particip ation. The cover letter contained a link to the on-line survey. Using Qu altrics software, the researcher developed and sent an electronic survey to each of the elementary school principals in the 12 targeted school districts. The survey itself consisted of 43 questions with varying fi ve-point Likert scale response choices and some short answer questions (Appendix E). Prin cipals selected or completed their answers to the survey questions and then completed a demographics portion at the end. It was estimated that the survey would take approximately 15 mi nutes to complete. The researcher sent reminder e-mails one week after the initial survey was sent and then again two weeks after the initial survey. At the onset of the study, the re searcher believed that Qualtr ics software would monitor the responses of principals so that they would not receive reminder e-mails once they had completed the survey. However, there were some difficulti es with the software which made it impossible for the researcher to know exactly which principa ls had completed the survey and which had not. For example, in some cases, computer IP addresse s appeared on the list of respondents in lieu of respondents names. The researcher had no way of identifying individu al respondents based on these IP addresses. When principals received reminder e-mails after having already completed the on-line survey, they would often send a reply e-mail to the researcher indicating that they had already completed the survey. At this point, the resear cher unsubscribed these principals from the distribution list and apologized for their recei pt of the reminders. Since the researcher was unable to accurately track which principals had and had not responded to the survey with
54 complete certainty, she was advised not to send follow-up paper surveys, as this would have been an additional use of resources that may perhaps be deemed offensive if respondents received yet another invitation to participate in the survey. Furthermore, this could have led to multiple responses from individual principals. Si nce Qualtrics prohibits more than one survey response per computer IP address, the researcher was assured that the re sponses received through the software program were authentic and secure. Variables The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between principal characteristics, school characteristics, and principal training (indepe ndent variables) and principal perceptions and beliefs regarding m igrant student issues (dependent variable). See figure 3-1. Statistical Analysis The researcher analyzed data using several statistical m ethods. First, chi-square tests were used to test for associati ons in categorical data. Secondl y, ANOVA and t-tests were used to test for associations between numerical data and cat egorical data. Correlati ons were used to test for associations between two variables that were both numerical. For example, in survey item #2, To what extent do migrant students have e ducational needs that differ from those of nonmigrant students? participants were asked to respond to one of five categorical responses: 1) No Extent, 2) Little Extent 3) Some Extent 4) Good Extent, 5) Great Extent. Categories were combined for the purpose of analysis. For example, if there were only one or two Little Extent or Some Extent responses, these categories we re combined and termed Little/Some Extent. This combining of categories was used only in cases when there were very few responses in a particular category, and the researcher attempte d to apply this process consistently. Each participants responses were tested for associat ions between variables such as gender (binary),
55 years of experience (numerical), educational level (categorical), race/ethnicity (categorical), and number of hours of ESOL training (numerical). A finding was considered statistically significant when the p-value was less than .05. Findings wi th p-values between .05 and .10 were also included because of the trend possibilities. Survey Items as They Relate to Research Questions To address each of the following research questions, specific survey item s were used. Research Question 1, What are principals per ceptions and beliefs regarding the educational needs of migrant students? corre sponded to survey items 2-14. Research Question 2, How does training under the Consent Decree add to principals awareness of migrant student issues? corresponded to survey items 15-33. Research Ques tion 3, What are the fact ors (characteristics of student population, principal characteristics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with principals' perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? corresponded to the first survey question and demographics information requested at the conclu sion of the survey. This chapter provided an overview of the re search method, a descri ption of the subjects and sample, and the development of the instrument being used to measure principals perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migr ant students. Additionally, the chapter explained the process of obtaining necessary permission, informed consent, and confidentiality protection. Data collection procedures and analys is methods concluded the chapter.
56 Figure 3-1. Variables
57 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF DATA Introduction The purpose of this study was to determ ine if the specific needs of migrant students are being addressed through the courses school principa ls must take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL traini ng. The study also sought to examine the relationships between principal characteristics, school character istics, principals training and principals perceptions and beliefs about the educ ational needs of migran t students. Principal characteristics included gender, ye ars of experience as a principal, educational level, ethnicity, and the number of hours of ESOL training a principal had received. School characteristics included the number of migrant students, the number of migrant ELL students, the number of bilingual teachers, and the numbe r of bilingual non-in structional staff members. Principal training was limited to ESOL training that pr incipals have received. The study examined relationships between principal ch aracteristics, school characteris tics, and training (independent variables) and principals perceptions and belief s about migrant students (dependent variable). Specifically, this study addressed the following research questions: 1. What are principals perceptions and beliefs regarding the educatio nal needs of migrant students? 2. How does training under the Consent Decree a dd to principals aw areness of migrant student issues? 3. What are the factors (characteristics of st udent population, principal characteristics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with principals pe rceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? Analyses and Quantitative Results Both univariate and bivariate statistical anal yses were performed to gather the maximum amount of information from the data collected. One hundred twelve (112) principals chose to
58 participate in the on-line survey. This represen ted 32% of those invited to participate. The nonparametric version of ANOVA (Kruskal-Wallis) was used to analyze numerical data of nonnormal distribution. Table 4-1 provides an overvie w of categorical demogr aphics information for the survey respondents; Table 48 provides numerical information related to the demographics questions on the survey. The numbe r of principals answer ing each item is reported in the results for each survey question. Two survey items had notably high numbers of missing responses. Items #38 and #39 asked principals to report the number of hours of ESOL training they have received throughout their careers as well as a list of the courses taken, respectively. Forty-seven percent (47%) responded to It em #38, while only 35% answered question #39. This is noteworthy in that one of the re search questions relates to the effect of training on principal perceptions and beliefs. See Appendix F for a complete accounting of missing data. Statistical tests were conducted at alpha = .05, while results between alpha = .05 and alpha = .10 were also noted. The findings from this research are subse quently stated in terms of research questions. Question 1 What are principals perception s and beliefs rega rding the educational need s of migrant students? Analysis Survey items #2-14 measured principals pe rceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students. Table 4-2 lists the surv ey items that addressed this research question as well as possible responses, the total number of responses for the question, and the actual responses of survey participants. The researcher omitted item #11 from the table, as it requires further discussion and will be addressed individually. Survey Item #11 asked principals to supply a listing of the supplemental instruction/services provided to migrant students at their schools. Table 4-3 provides the number of principal responses for each service identi fied by the researcher as well as other
59 supplemental instruction/services the principals submitted on the survey. Totals equal more than the number of respondents since principals were asked to mark all responses that apply to the supplemental instruction and/or servi ces they provide at their schools. Bivariate statistical methods were used to determine relationships between principals responses and principal characte ristics, including gender, num ber of years of experience, educational level, race, and th e amount of ESOL training comp leted. In addition, relationships between principal responses and school characteris tics, such as numbers of migrant students and migrant ELL students and the number of bilingual teachers and non-instruc tional staff members, were determined. Table 4-4 lists significant findings found within those survey items related to principals perceptions and beliefs about th e educational needs of migrant students. The most significant findings (less than al pha = .05) are as follows: Of the 10 Hispanic principals who participated in the survey, 70% be lieved that the needs of migrant students differ to a great extent from those of non-migrant stud ents; 75% of the nine (9) African American principals polled were of the same opinion. Fort y-six percent (46%) of 89 White/Asian principals indicated that the needs of migrant students differ to a good extent from those of non-migrant students. None (0%) of the 10 Hispanic principals believed that the n eeds of migrant students differed to no/some extent. Those respondents who most often indicated that English proficiency affected migrant students academic performance to a great degree had significantly larger numbers of migrant students and migrant ELL student s. Those respondents indica ting that migrant parents are involved in their childrens educ ation at home to a good extent had significantly more hours of ESOL training on average. However, it is importa nt to note that 59 principals did not provide a
60 number of hours of ESOL training. Therefore, this result applies to only 47% of the total survey respondents. There was a statistically significant diffe rence between the educational levels of principals and their beliefs about how often mi grant families attend school functions. Seventeen percent (17%) of those w ith Masters Degrees indicated that th ey believe migrant families attend school functions quite often/very often, whereas 0% of those with Specialist Degrees or Doctorates indicated this. Those respondents indicating that migran t parents attend school functions quite often/very of ten had significantly more hours of ESOL training on average. However, it should be noted that only 47% of th e principals who completed the survey provided the number of hours of ESOL training they have received th roughout their careers. There was a statistically si gnificant relationship between th e average number of bilingual non-instructional staff members employed at princi pals school and the principals perceptions and beliefs about the likelihood th at migrant students will dr op out of high school before graduation. Additionally, those respondents w ho indicated that most migrant students are unlikely to drop out before high school grad uation have higher numbers of migrant students and migrant ELL students on average. Several survey items garnered trend (alpha = .05 .10), relationships. For instance, none of those principals holding Special ist Degrees indicated that the n eeds of migrant students differ to no/some extent. Eighty-two percent (82%) of these feel that thei r needs differ to a good extent. Respondents who most often indicate d that migrant students are negatively impacted to a good extent or to a great extent by lack of educational continuity had a higher average number of bilingual teachers. Table 4-9 provides a frequency ta ble of bilingual teachers at the schools of principals surveyed.
61 Ninety percent (90%) of Hispanic principals believed that English proficiency affects migrant students academic performance to a c onsiderable degree, or to a great degree. Eighty percent (80%) of African American principals believed Englis h proficiency affects migrant students academic performance to a cons iderable degree or to a great degree. None of the African American principals surveyed in dicated that English prof iciency affects migrant students to small/some degree, whereas 10% of Hispanic principals and 30% of White/Asian principals indicated that this is the case. There was a statistically significant relationshi p between principals ra ce and their beliefs about the educational level most parents of migran t students expect their child(ren) to achieve. Forty-nine percent (49%) of White /Asian principals indicated that they believe migrant students parents expect them to achieve to the level of h igh school graduation or to earn a GED. This same group had the smallest percentage of re sponses indicating that they believed parents expected their children to attend college or g raduate from college. Forty percent (40%) of Hispanic principals indicated that they believe parents of migrant students expect high school attendance, while only 10% of Hispanic principals believe that parents of migrant students expect their child(ren) to gra duate from high school or earn a diploma through a non-traditional means (GED course). Sixty-one percent (61%) of those holding Masters degrees and 61% of those holding Doctorate Degrees indicated that they believe it is somewhat likel y that migrant students will drop out of school before they graduate from high school. Forty-five percent (45%) of those with Specialist Degrees chose the same response. Thirty-one percent (31%) of those holding Doctorate Degrees believed it likely that migrant students will drop out of high school before
62 graduation. None (0%) of those holding Doctorat e Degrees believed it h ighly likely that a migrant student will drop out of school before graduation. There was a statistically significant relati onship between principals perceptions and beliefs about the extent to which migrant student s require supplemental instruction to succeed academically and the average number of migran t students at the principals schools. Those respondents who indicated that migrant students require suppleme ntal instruction to a great degree in order to succeed academically had la rger numbers of migrant students on average. Finally, those respondents who indicated that the curricula should be chan ged to a good/great degree to accommodate the needs of migrant students had a si gnificantly higher number of hours of ESOL training on average. Fifty-three per cent (53%) of the survey respondents did not provide a number of hours of ESOL training, however. Question 2 How does training under the Consent Decree add to principals awarenes s of migrant student issues? Analysis Survey items #15-30 measured principals pe rceptions and beliefs about their knowledge of migrant student issues a nd principal training concerning migrant students and migrant ELL students. Table 4-5 lists the survey items that addressed this res earch question as well as possible responses, the total number of responses for the question, and the actual responses of survey participants. With items #31-33 the researcher sought to gauge principals knowledge of some basic facts about migrant students. For these items, principals were able to insert a percentage from 0% to 100%. Responses to these questions indicate whether principals chose to insert a percentage or mark not sure as their responses.
63 Bivariate statistical methods were used to determine relationships between principals responses and principal characte ristics, including gender, num ber of years of experience, educational level, race, and the amount of ESOL training comple ted. In addition, relationships between principal responses and school characteris tics, such as numbers of migrant students and migrant ELL students and the number of bilingual teachers and non-instruc tional staff members, were determined. Table 4-6 lists statistically significant findings found within those survey items related to principals perceptions and beliefs about migrant student issues and principal training concerning migrant students and migrant ELL students. The most significant findings (less than alpha = .05) follow: Th ere was a significant relationship between principals perceptions and beliefs about their leve l of knowledge about the specific and unique issues that migrant students f ace and the number of migrant students at their schools. Those respondents who indicated th at they felt highly knowledgeable about the specific and unique issues migrant students f ace had larger numbers of migrant students on average. Those indicating that they feel highly unknowledgeab le or unknowledgeable have fewer migrant students on average. There was also a significant relationship between principals perceptions and beliefs about the sufficiency of training about migr ant students health needs and the number of migrant students attending their schools. Those respondents who indicated that their training is very insufficient have the largest numbers of migrant students on average. There was a significant relationship between principals educational levels and their perceptions and beliefs about the extent to which ESOL training fo r principals provides adequate information about migrant students. Ninetyone percent (91%) of those respondents holding Specialist Degrees believed that the training prov ided adequate information to some extent. There was also a significant relationship betw een the number of bilingual teachers at a school
64 and the principals perceptions/bel iefs about the extent to whic h ESOL training for principals provided adequate information about migrant students. Those respondents who most often indicated that the training provide d adequate training to no extent or little extent have larger numbers of bilingual teachers on average. A dditionally, there is a si gnificant relationship between the numbers of migrant ELL students and principals perceptions and beliefs about the extent to which ESOL training for principals provided adequate information about migrant students. Those respondents who most often indicated that the training provided adequate training to no extent or to little extent have la rger enrollments of migrant ELL students on average. There was a significant relationship between pr incipals race and their opinions about the extent to which principal trai ning in the Revised Florida Cons ent Decree has improved education for migrant students. Fifty-one percent (51%) of White/Asian principals and 67% of Hispanic principals indicated that the training has improved education for migrant students to some extent. Seventy-five percent ( 75%) of African American principa ls indicated that they believe the training has improved education for migrant students to a good/great extent. There was also a significant relationship between the num ber of migrant ELL students and principals opinions about the extent to wh ich principal training in the Re vised Florida Consent Decree has improved education for migrant students. Res pondents who indicated that the training has improved education for migrant students to no exte nt or to a little extent have significantly larger enrollments of migrant ELL students. There was a significant relationship between pr incipals race and their beliefs about the degree to which they need more training about th e unique needs of migrant students. Forty-four percent (44%) of White/Asian princi pals and 44% of Hispanic princi pals indicated that they felt
65 they need more training to some degree, while 56% of African American principals indicated that they felt they need more training to a considerable degree or great degree. There was a significant relationship between the number of bilingu al teachers employed at schools and the princi pals level of comfort in enrolling migrant students regardless of their immigration status. Those respondents indicati ng that they were somewhat uncomfortable enrolling migrant students regardless of immigr ation status have a hi gher average number of bilingual teachers. Those who indicated th ey are comfortable enrolling migrant students regardless of their immigration status have a significantly smaller number of bilingual teachers on average. There was also a significant relationship between th e number of bilingual noninstructional staff and principals level of comfort in enrolling migrant students regardless of their immigration status. Those re spondents indicating that they ar e very comfortable enrolling migrant students regardless of immigration st atus have a higher average of bilingual noninstructional staff members. Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between the number of migrant students and principals level of comfort in enrolling mi grant students regardless of their immigration status. Those respondents indicating that they are very comfortable enrolling migrant students regardless of immigration status have larger enrollment of migrant students on average. There was a significant relationship between the number of bilingu al non-instructional staff members and principals agreement with th e statement, Schools should be informed of a students documentation/citizenship status. Principals who indicated that they disagree with the statement have more bilingual staff members on average. There was a significant relationship between migrant populations and principals attempts to provide a percentage for the number of migrant students living be low the federal poverty line.
66 There was also a significant relationship be tween migrant ELL populations and principals attempts to provide a percentage for the numbe r of migrant students living below the federal poverty line. Principals who atte mpted to provide an actual per centage have larger migrant populations and larger numbers of migrant ELL students on average. Those choosing not sure as their response had fewer migrant and migrant ELL students. Several survey items garnered trend (al pha = .05 .10), relationships. There was a significant relationship between th e number of migrant students at a principals school and his/her perceptions and beliefs about his/her preparedness in wo rking with non-school agencies to assist migrant families. Additionally, there wa s a significant relationship between principals years of experience and their perceptions of preparedness to help migrant students access community resources. There was also a significan t relationship between principals educational level and their beliefs about th eir clarity of understanding of th e cultural issues that affect migrant students educational success. Seventythree percent (73%) of those with Specialist Degrees and 54% of those with Doctorates indica ted they have a clear understanding of the cultural issues migrant students face, while only 31% of those with Mast ers Degrees indicated this same level of confidence. There was a significant relationship between pr incipals perceptions and beliefs about the sufficiency of training about migrant students health need s and the number of migrant ELL students attending their schools. Those respondent s who indicated that th eir training is very insufficient have the largest numbers of migrant ELL students on average. There was a significant relationship between principals educational levels and their beliefs about the degree to which they feel th ey need more training on the unique needs of migrant students. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those with Specialist Degrees indicated that
67 they need more training to some degree whil e only 40% of those with Masters Degrees and 31% of those with Doctorates agreed. There was a significant relationship between pr incipals race and their agreement with the statement, Schools should be informed of a students documentation/citi zenship status. Fiftyseven percent (57%) of African American and 40% of Hispanic Principals indicated that they agree or strongly agree with the statement. Forty-eight percent (48%) of White/Asian principals indicated that they neither agree nor disagree with the statement. There was a significant relationship betw een the size of migrant and migrant ELL populations and principals attempts to provide an exact percenta ge for the numbers of migrant students who suffer from a lack of dental care and the rate at wh ich migrant students drop out of high school. Principals who provi ded actual percentages of migrant students who suffer from a lack of dental care have larger populations of migrant ELL students on average. Those who provided an actual percentage for the high sc hool dropout rate among migrant students had smaller numbers of migrant students on average. Question 3 What are the factors (i.e., characteristics of stude nt population, principal char acteristics, nature of Consent Decree training ) associated with principals perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? Analysis Survey items #34-39 requested demographic in formation regarding years of experience as a principal, educational level (highest degree completed) gender, race, hours of ESOL training, and ESOL courses completed. Survey item #1 provided the legal definition of a migrant student as defined by Title 1 Part C and th en asked principals to provide the number of migrant students and migrant ELL students at their schools. Survey items #40 and #41 asked for
68 numbers of bilingual teachers and bilingual staff members at the pr incipals schools. The last two survey items (#42 and #43) solicited information about principals interest in more information about migrant students and their pr eferred training methods. The re searcher used data gathered from this last set of survey items to determine associations between the variables. Table 4-7 lists descriptive information of categorical data collected from the demographics questions. Table 4-8 lists descriptive information of numerical data collection from the demographics questions. The researcher omitted item #39 from the table, as it required further discussion and will be addressed later in the chapter. Principals on the survey reported numbers of bilingual teachers rangi ng from zero (0) to 12 with the largest number of schools (31) having two (2) bilingual teachers on the faculty. Table 4-9 provides information about the frequency of bilingual teachers per school. Numbers of bilingual staff members ranged fr om zero (0) to 16, with most sc hools having one (1) or two (2) bilingual persons on staff. Migran t student population was the characte ristic that yielded the most significant results from the research. Altogether nine (9) survey items provided associations related to migrant student population and principals perceptions and belief s. Of these, six (6) had significance values less than alpha=.05. Thos e principals choosing to participate in the survey had migrant enrollments ranging from ze ro (0) to 130 students. Migrant ELL populations ranged from zero (0) to 125 students. The sample taken did not contain sizable numbers of African American, Asian, or Hispanic principals. Since participation in th e survey was voluntary, these may not accurately represent the racial make-up of the true populat ion of principals with in the targeted school districts. Second, it is important to note that 53% of the principals who participated in the survey
69 did not provide a number of hours of ESOL training received throughout their careers. This is an important factor in that principa l training was one of the independe nt variables being scrutinized. Survey item #43 requested information about favored training deliver y models. Five (5) respondents chose Other (please sp ecify) as their response. Four of them wrote, None or a similar response as their specified method; one principal listed sta te requirements. Survey Item #39 asked principals to list the ES OL courses they have taken. Table 4-10 provides a list of the courses principals listed as well as other comments regarding their training and the number of responses for each. The totals equa l more than the number of respondents, since principals were asked to list all of the courses taken. This survey item had the greatest number of missing responses; only 39 principals listed specific training received. Analyses and Data from Interviews, Si te Visit, and Additional Comments In addition to the quantitative data collect ed by means of the survey instrument, the researcher gathered additional pr incipal comments and conducted follow-up interviews and a site visit in order to enrich the study. This secti on describes the findings from these additional sources of information. Follow-Up Interviews & Site Visit To add depth and breadth to the study, the re searcher interviewed fi ve principals and one guidance counselor/ESOL coordinator using a Follo w-Up Interview Protocol (see Appendix D). Pertinent information from this portion of the data is subsequently stated in terms of research questions. To preserve confidentia lity, interviewees are cited as P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, and P6 based on the order in which the interviews were c onducted. The date for each interview is also provided in the citation. Question 1 What are principals perception s and beliefs rega rding the educational need s of migrant students?
70 Analysis Questions, #1, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8 of the Follo w-Up Interview Protocol (see Appendix D) relate to Research Question 1. Several recurring themes relate d to principals perceptions and beliefs regarding the educational needs of mi grant students presented themselves during the course of the interviews. One obvious belief expr essed by all the in terviewees was the idea that migrant students should receive an adequate ed ucation commensurate to that received by their non-migrant peers. Statements such as, [Migr ant students] should have every opportunity to learn and be educated like ever y other student without any parameters (P2, 2/19/09) and They should receive the same education as non-migrant studentsthe same opportunities (P5, 3/18/09) were reiterated often. Principals expressed mutual awareness a nd concern about the impact of mobility on migrant students academic success. One principal re marked, I think its very important that we pay attention to their needs because they do move in and out of schools so much. A continuum of services is difficult to deliver. There may be ga ps in their learning that arent caught because theyre moving from place to place (P4, 3/11/09). Another principal agreed that migrant students biggest problem or disadvantage is that they have no consistent school setting; they are constantly moving which causes a l ack of continuity (P1, 2/3/09). However, two principals explained that their migrant populations are becoming le ss mobile than they were in the past, depending on the industries by which th eir parents are employed. For instance, one principal explained that the migrant students at her school whose parents work in fisheries are not as transient as those who work in agricultura l crops. During the site visit, the researcher learned that in this particular community the migrant students families might move short distances across school district lines for the sole purpose of retaining their migrant status while continuing to work for the same employer. Some are choosing to move less often, if at all, as
71 they become better established in their commun ities. One principal mentioned that while his students are relatively stable me mbers of the community, they do often return to Mexico for extended visits, missing two or th ree weeks of school at a time. Second language issues figured prominently in the conversations w ith interviewees. All agreed that many, if not all, of the migrant st udents at their schools are ESOL students, and as such, have needs related to s econd language acquisition. Most me ntioned the initial language screening when a student enrolls as well as other assessments to determine a students skill level and educational needs specific, quick diagnostic tests that they would do on any student to get a feel for where they are academically (P1, 2/3/09). One principal stated that the first question is: How much of a language barrier is there? (P5, 3/18/09) One strategy repeatedly mentioned by the principals was the placement of migr ant students with ESOL-endorsed classroom teachers. Others mentioned the use of bilingual staff members, interpreters, and bilingual peers used to assist students and families. At the high school, the Spanish te acher and her Colombian husband interpret and help other teachers unders tand the cultures of migrant and migrant ELL students. Since the school of the site visit has such a large population of Hispanic students, one strategy is to use the buddy system, making sure that new students have Spanish-speaking peers to interpret for them until they learn English (P2, 2/19/09). During the site visit, the researcher noticed brochures and information printed in both English and Spanish. A weekly newsletter printe d in both languages has helped improve schoolhome communication, and the weekly communi qu has been so su ccessful with the elementary school families that the middle school principal has adopted the same practice (P6, 3/31/09). The newsletters contain announcements about Parent-Teacher Organization meetings, student achievements, and school events. At this particular elementary school, half of the
72 population is ESOL, and the majority of these st udents speak Spanish at home. The interviewee explained that they encourage th e students to maintain use of their first language; however, she expressed the wish for more English practice as well. She stated that the students lack vocabulary (P6, 3/31/09). The researcher was s hown a list of third-grad e vocabulary words for the week. The list included the following words: eagerly, collaborate, ridiculous, inherit, transferred, fondness, disgraceful, contented, emotion, decent. One pr incipal said she explains to the students that they are fort unate to be bilingual, and she wants them to be fluent in both Spanish and English (P2, 2/19/09). One principal expressed interest in an id ea which would provide extra language support in the form of an intense language class fo r the first nine weeks of the school year. He explained that students would be self-contained in this class to study language, culture, and communication before being acclimated into thei r regular content-area classes. He explained that helping them to have more of an opportuni ty to learn the language would help them be successful from the beginning rather than stru ggling to learn content and a second language at the same time (P5, 3/18/09). Another principal expl ained that when she tried to have an allSpanish class, the parents protested. She said, Parents want students submerged with English speakers; they want them to learn English (P2, 2/19/09). At the school visited, ESOL students are invited to 7:30 AM tutoring se ssions in the computer lab in an effort to assist them with learning English. While ESOL students take multiple assessments to see if they are eligible for exit from ESOL services, the ESOL coordinato r indicated that most of the migrant ESOL students in the community of the site visit do not exit the program until middle school. In order to do so, they have to demonstrate mastery of English through listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
73 Most of the principals expressed awaren ess and concern for mi grant students socioeconomic issues. The impact of poverty was mentioned frequently during th e interviews. All of the principals were at Title 1 schools with relatively large percen tages of the population receiving free or reduced-price meals. One of th e first acts upon register ing a migrant student at the site school is the completion of the free/reduced breakfast/lunch forms. Helping students and their families access school and community resources to meet their basic needs was mentioned by several of the interviewees. A ll the principals mentioned their reliance on district or county migrant educational service coordinators, ESOL sp ecialists, or guidance couns elors to help assist with meeting migrant students and their fam ilies basic needs such as clothing, housing, and school supplies. One principal stated that ma ny of the migrant students drop out of school to help increase the family income either by working themselves or taking care of young siblings so that the parents can take on more work (P2, 2/19/09). In addition to basic physical needs, princi pals expressed awaren ess and concern about migrant students emotional needs. One princi pal stated that migrant students must be acclimated fairly quickly and that they need a positive start because they have very little opportunity for building caring rela tionships at school. He continued by saying that they must be welcomed school-wide, not just by an indi vidual teacher. He argues that [we] need to make them feel that the school wants them there. He said he wonders if they sometimes have the idea that theyre not wanted (P1, 2/3/09). All the principals asserted that they we re uninvolved in the socio-political issues involving migrant students. The prin cipals repeatedly stated that their jobs entail making sure that the needs of all their student s are met, without regard to politics. Most of the principals stated that the migrant students and families are received fairly well in the community because
74 they are hard workers not troublemakers. They do what theyre told (P2, 2/19/09). This same principal explained that socio-political issues do affect her students when parents are deported because of their lack of citizenship documen tation. Sometimes the parents are returned to Mexico while the children are left behind with a family member or friend. This principal uses her guidance counselor to assist in these traumatic incidences. The principals asserted that racial issues are not prevalent, at least at the elementary school level. Two interviewees men tioned that these issues usually ar ise as the students get older. In the small, rural community of the school the res earcher visited, two Latin gangs, the Latin Kings and the MP13s, have made their presence known. One principal stated, As people grow older, racism becomes more prominent. At this age level, [elementary Pre-K through 3rd Grade], cultural diversity is acceptable. In older sett ings there is more racism [and] discrimination against them, and this hinders [their] su ccess (P2, 2/19/09). The high school principal mentioned that in his four years as an administra tor, he has only dealt with one racial incident involving a racial slur targeted at a migrant student. Overall, he f eels that the migrant families are accepted in the community. Finally, principals repeatedly expressed aw areness and concern about migrant students academic needs. The principals mentioned the need to constantly monitor the progress of these students (P1, 2/3/09) and work with teachers to make sure that the students needs are being met. One principal stated, We try to stay in clos e contact with the classroom teacher to find [academic] areas that are weak a nd then put them with resources available in the school to meet their needs (P4, 3/11/09). The high school pr incipal expressed concern about the post-high school options for his graduating migrant students. He indicated that issues of citizenship act as roadblocks to college. He mentioned that among his last graduating class were some great
75 migrant kids who all would be great college st udents. He continued by saying, We grow our own teachers here. There are not a lot of pe ople moving into the community. I want those [Hispanic] kids to go to college and come back a nd teach for us. Furthermore, he asserted, Our migrant students have a great wo rk ethic, great manners, [and] de finitely could be successful on a college campus (P5, 3/18/09). He expressed fru stration at the hindrances to their continuing education. Question 2 How does training under the Consent Decree add to principals awarenes s of migrant student issues? Analysis Questions #2 and #3 of the Follow-Up In terview Protocol (Appe ndix D) relate to Research Question 2. While only one principal sp ecifically mentioned ESOL training, there were references to training and other means by which principals gain knowledge of migrant student issues during the interviews and site visit. The one principal who specifically mentione d ESOL training for principals, said that ESOL training for principals is a fallacy, and further explai ned that the training does not provide much useful information for dealing with ESOL students. He said there was no mention of migrant students in the traini ng he received (P1, 2/3/09). All of the other principals listed sources other than formal training as the best means through which they gain knowledge about migran t and migrant ELL students. Two principals mentioned professional journals /literature, and another menti oned on-line resources. The remainder referred to migrant education coordinators as their most valuable resources in meeting the needs of migrant students. One principal discussed his informal relationship with the migrant education office, saying he could call as needed and that he apprec iates their real-world,
76 hands-on approach (P1, 2/3/09). An other principal considers it conv enient to have the migrant support services office located adjacent to her campus. She works closely with this office to coordinate programs and secure services for her students and their families. This office offers English classes three nights per week, and seve ral faculty and staff me mbers are involved in providing instruction or childca re and/or homework help dur ing these classes. Another respondent relies on a district liaison who oversees programs fo r migrant and homeless students in the district. He said, Anytime I have an issu e, I turn to her. She knows the families, gives insight into the situations, cultures, etc. (P5, 3/ 18/09). She is his first contact after a migrant student enrolls in the school. In addition to helping the students and families, this contact person provides staff development to the schools faculty members. The principal said that she keep[s] the staff and faculty abreast and explains how she can provide support, etc. Teachers know who [her] kids are. She makes sure kids have what they need (i.e., science project materials, cleats for soccer, etc.) (P5, 3/18/09). Question 3 What are the factors (characteristics of student population, princi pal characteristics, nature of Consent Decree training ) associated with principals perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? Analysis The follow-up interview protocol was not intende d to directly relate to the demographics factors (characteristics of student population, principal characteris tics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with princi pals perceptions and be liefs related to migrant students as this information was covered on the survey. Demogra phics about school char acteristics (i.e., number of bilingual teachers/staff members, size of student population, per centage of free/reduced meal students, and number of migrant students) were mentioned in passing if relevant to the
77 conversation. Principals from four different school districts were interviewed. The districts varied in regard to overall stude nt population, and the schools varied in regard to size of migrant student and migrant ELL student po pulations. The researcher interviewed two male and three female principals; the guidance counselor/ESOL coordinator who hosted the site visit was female. The number of years of experience as a pr incipal ranged from two years to over 30 years. Information about the highest educational degr ee attained or the num ber of hours of ESOL training was not gathered during the interviews. Additional Comments fr om Survey Instrument At the end of the survey, there was an opportunity for responde nts to add additional comments relating to their per ceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students, training they have rece ived regarding migrant students, or any of the survey items. Twenty-five (25) principals offered comments. Verbatim responses are provided in Appendix G. To preserve confidentiality, the research er has identified respondents by commenter identification number (i.e., Respondent #1). Pertin ent information from this portion of the data in terms of research questions follows. Question 1 What are principals perception s and beliefs rega rding the educational need s of migrant students? Analysis Several principals addressed their percepti ons and beliefs about migrant students in the additional comments section at the end of the on line survey. While there is not an abundance of comments, the comments provided share some co mmon themes with those noted in the followup interviews. One respondent stated, I firmly believe that every stude nt is entitled to an education regardless of their immigration st atus or background. It is our professional responsibility to make sure we are trained to meet their needs and provide them with
78 comprehensible academic instruction (Respondent #14). Another argued, The economic, social and academic needs of migrant children are as va ried as the needs of all other sub groups in schools. Categorizing students and isolating programs and strate gies to use with a sub group undermines the concept of individuali zed instruction (Respondent #21). Respondents mentioned mobility as a hindran ce to migrant student academic success in the additional comments. One principal stated, The greatest challenge I face with migrant children is mobility. Sometimes it seems that as soon as services and support are provided, the families move again. It creates a cycle of n ever getting ahead (Respondent #4). Another argued, You need to cover how di fficult it is to identify ESE st udents who are in this population because they move before testing can be comple ted. Half the time when their records catch up to them, theyve moved again (Respondent #11). On e principal stated, The majority of our migrant students (just 6) do not move around that much so they do not fit in the normal definition of migrant students (Respondent #19). Principals referred to second language (E SOL/ELL) issues in their comments. One principal wrote, The ESOL programs in place fo r migrate [sic]/ESOL students are needed and have helped these students significantly. In mo st cases, after two years of ESOL support, students perform on grade level (Respondent #5). Another principal remarked that her school has over 260 ESOL students, the majority of whom speak Spanish. She went on to say, Most of my teachers have completed the ESOL endorsement it is definitely recommended when I hire new teachers (Respondent #7). A third principal wrote, I do believe the new regulations stating passing scores on the LA B tests are going to make it harder for our ESOL students to qualify for help. The principal goes on to say th at the passing score had been 60 but is now 32. In order for a students to get additional help through ESOL resources, it will require an
79 inordinate amount of time to have many staff members tied up in meetings and filling out paperwork to place struggling students into the much needed ESOL program which helps them succeed in school (Respondent #25). Principals mentioned social, economic, and em otional issues in the additional comments as well. One a principal referred to migrant st udents as this very n eedy population (Respondent #20). The type of neediness is unclear from the re sponse. One respondent wrote that as an AP he dealt with many migrant students in a highly migr ant agricultural area. He stated, I learned about everything from students who were in gangs to parents not attending meetings because they were in the fields working and would lose their jobs if they took off (Respondent #9). Another wrote, I have very few migrant students and our [migrant ] parents are very comfortable in coming to the school when needs arise (Respondent #16). Anothe r principal said, My schools enrollment is 605% Spanish.94% [r eceive] free/reduced [price meals]. We are an FCAT A school. It can be done! (Respondent #8). In regard to academic success, one principa l stated, The success of migrant students depends greatly on the context of their educationa l experiences. I spent the last 2 years at a school that had been an A for 3 years in a row and migrant students outperformed the nonmigrant students. The principal continued by writing that the school chess club, comprised almost solely of migrant students, won the state championship. The principal argues, That school and others like it should be the focus of st udies to determine what factors have positively impacted the educational resilience of migrant students (Respondent #18). Question 2 How does training under the Consent Decree add to principals awarenes s of migrant student issues?
80 Analysis While none of the respondents mentioned the Consent Decree specifically, some did address the issue of traini ng. One principal wrote, Teachers take the required ESOL courses 300 hours and Ive yet to hear that it helps their teaching. This training would be mu ch better if it matched with the reading endorsement requirement for middle and high school teachers. Reading is the key to success for these students. I got more out of ta king the reading course s that blend in ESOL and migrant reading issues. A good teacher is able to make accommodations for any student regardless of his [s ic] background (Respondent #12). Another principal stated, Four years ago, as an assistant principal, I worked at a middle/high school with a large migrant student population. I also worked at a migrant summer camp, teaching students who needed academic support in core subjec t areas. These experiences enriched my background knowledge concerning th e educational needs of migrant students and issues faced by them and their families. My B.A. in ESOL and district ESOL training provided me with a solid foundation and confidence to apply the theo ry and strategies learned (Respondent #14). Two principals mentioned district level suppor t systems in place to help educators meet the needs of migrant students. One wrote, We have available in our distri ct a team who helps us with our migrant students and attend to them very well (Respondent #17). Another said, In [this] county our migrant department has done a fabulous job in teaching principals and others what needs to be done, and they have also done a fabulous job traini ng teachers (Respondent #20). In contrast, one principal lamented, As principals our plates are al ready full. We have to wear many hats and be experts in too many areas. We need support staff to assist with this task. In asking us if we want more materials, you are just giving us one more area to develop. We get information and expectations from many areas. As you can tell, it gets ove rwhelming (Respondent #6). Question 3 What are the factors (characteristics of student population, princi pal characteristics, nature of Consent Decree training ) associated with principals perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students?
81 Analysis Several principals made comments about the lack of migrant students or small number of migrant students at their schools which relates to the characteristic of student population. Many suggested that their lack of e xperience with migrant students caused them to struggle with answering the survey questions. One wrote, I wa s a principal at a school for 5 years that had no migrant students. At my present school (5 mont hs) I have 3 students. That is the reason I struggled with so many answers (Respondent #1). Likewise, others stated I could not answer many of the questions since we dont have any students from migrant families, (Respondent #13) and I did not answer many of the quest ions as we dont have any migrant children attending our school, and I dont feel that I ha ve had enough experience working with migrant families to honestly answer what their needs are (Respondent #22). Another said, My school is a high SES school and I do not perceive that I will ever have migrant students at this school (Respondent #2). This chapter provided an overview of the re sults and analyses of data, including the analyses and quantitative results and the analyses and data from follow-up interviews, the site visit, and additional principal survey comments. The final chapter will include a discussion of the results, policy implications, recommendations fo r future research, and a concluding summary.
82 Table 4-1. Demographic information for survey respondents N= Educational Level Masters 86 Specialist 11 Doctorate 13 Gender Male 29 Female 82 Race/Ethnicity Afri can American 9 Asian 1 Hispanic 10 White 88
83 Table 4-2. Survey items related to principals perceptions and beliefs about migrant students Question Response choices N= Response numbers Q2 To what extent do you believe migrant students have educational needs that differ from those of nonmigrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 112 1 0 17 49 45 Q3 To what extent do you believe migrant students are negatively impacted by lack of educational continuity? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 109 0 2 22 31 54 Q4 In your experience, to what degree does English proficiency affect migrant students academic performance? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree 111 0 0 28 49 34 Q5 To what extent do you believe migrant parents are involved in their childrens education at home? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 110 1 49 46 14 0 Q6 In your experience, to what extent are migrant parents involved in their childrens education at school? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 110 4 56 38 11 1 Q7 In your experience, how often do migrant families attend school functions? Never Rarely Occasionally Quite often Very often 110 3 39 54 13 1 Q8 What educational level do you believe most parents of migrant students expect their children to attain? Complete 8th grade High school attendance High school graduation Complete G.E.D. College attendance College graduation 111 27 28 1 45 1 9
84 Table 4-2. Continued Q9 In your opinion, what is the likelihood that most migrant students will drop out before they graduate from high school? Highly unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely Highly likely 110 0 6 68 23 13 Q10 To what extent do you believe migrant students require supplemental instruction to succeed academically? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 112 0 1 19 54 38 Q12 To what extent do you believe curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 109 11 30 48 17 3 Q13 To what degree do you believe staff development in ESOL methods improves instruction for migrants students? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree 109 2 26 38 31 12 Q14 Given the circumstances of most migrant students, how would you expect them to perform academically in relation to non-migrant students? Much worse Worse About the same Better Much better 109 1 71 35 2 0 Survey items #2-14 related to principals percep tions and beliefs about migrant students. This table provides survey items, possible responses, th e total number of responses to the item, and the number of responses for each answer choice. Note: Q11 is omitted here; see Table 4-2 for Q11 results.
85 Table 4-3. Supplemental instruction/services provided to migrant students Type of supplemental instruction/services N= ESOL services After-school tutoring Coordination with migrant education plan coordinator Native language parent notices/documents Translation services Other (please specify) Academic assistance based on needs Accommodations, dictionary Co-teach classrooms Computer software ESE and/or ESE services English orientation class Home-school liaison In-school tutoring Migrant parent education Parent conferences Provide family nights using speakers of their native language Remediation group Rosetta Stone program Small group instruction Summer camp/Saturday school Supplemental education services/SES 89 77 47 68 68 28 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 This table lists the supplemental instruction/services provided to migrant students as indicated by the survey responses to Q11. While 28 responde nts indicated that they provide other supplemental instruction/services, only 19 provide d specific information about the nature of these other supplemental in struction/services provided.
86 Table 4-4. Bivariate rela tionships on survey items related to principals perceptions and beliefs about migrant students Question Variable(s) P-Value Q2 To what extent do you believe migrant students have educati onal needs that differ from those of non-migrant students? Race Educational level .0482 .0822 Q3 To what extent do you believe migrant students are negatively impacted by lack of educational continuity? Number of bilingual teachers .0571 Q4 In your experience, to what degree does English proficiency affect migrant students academic performance? Race Number of migrant students Number of migrant ELL students .0933 .0149 .0068 Q5 To what extent do you believe migrant parents are involved in their childrens education at home? Hours of ESOL Training .0491 Q7 In your experience, how often do migrant families attend school functions? Educational level Hours of ESOL training .0381 .0232 Q8 What educational level do you believe most parents of migrant students expect their children to attain? Race .0619 Q9 In your opinion, what is the likelihood that most migrant students will drop out before they graduate from high school? Educational level Number of bilingual staff Number of migrant students Number of migrant ELL students .0971 .0426 .0122 .0408 Q10 To what extent do you believe migrant students require supplemental instruction to succeed academically? Number of migrant students .0993 Q12 To what extent do you believe curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students? Hours of ESOL training .0547 This table shows relationships that garnered alpha levels <.05 and those between .05 and .10. For example, results from item 12 suggest that there is a significant relationship (.0547) between the number of hours of ESOL training principals have received and th eir beliefs about the extent to which curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students.
87 Table 4-5. Survey items related to principals perceptions and be liefs about their knowledge of migrant student issues and pr incipal training concerning mi grant students and migrant ELL students Question Response choices N= Response numbers Q15 How knowledgeable do you believe you are about the specific and uni que issues that migrant students face? Highly unknowledgeable Unknowledgeable Somewhat knowledgeable Knowledgeable Highly knowledgeable 111 1 9 52 43 6 Q16 As the instructional leader, how prepared are you to help your teachers ensure the academic success of migrant students? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared 109 0 4 43 46 16 Q17 How adequately prepared are you to help migrant students succeed socially in your school (i.e. making friends, gaining acceptance, etc.)? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared 109 0 2 38 50 19 Q18 How prepared are you to work with non-school agencies to assist migrant families? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared 108 1 13 45 36 13 Q19 How prepared do you feel you are to help migrant students access community resources? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared 106 0 15 47 32 12
88 Table 4-5. Continued Q20 How clear is your unders tanding of the cultural issues (i.e. native language other than English) that impact migrant students educational success? Very unclear Unclear Somewhat clear Clear Very clear 109 0 9 36 42 22 Q21 How sufficient is your training about migrant students health needs? Very insufficient Insufficient Somewhat sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient 109 8 32 39 29 1 Q22 How sufficient is your training about migrant students legal issues? Very insufficient Insufficient Somewhat sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient 109 7 45 37 16 4 Q23 How sufficient is your training about migrant students emotional health? Very insufficient Insufficient Somewhat sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient 109 6 24 43 31 5 Q24 How sufficient is yo ur training about how current political issues impact migrant students? Very insufficient Insufficient Somewhat sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient 109 6 37 39 25 2 Q25 How sufficient is your training about migrant students educational needs? Very insufficient Insufficient Somewhat sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient 109 2 12 29 45 21 Q26 In your opinion, to wh at extent does ESOL training for principals provide adequate information about migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 110 2 21 48 36 3
89 Table 4-5. Continued Q27 In your opinion, to what extent has principal training in the Revised Florida Consent Decree improved education for ELL migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent 105 3 22 51 27 2 Q28 To what degree do you feel you need more training about the unique educational needs of migrant students? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree 109 14 29 46 17 3 Q29 How comfortable are you in allowing enrollment for migrant students regardless of their immigration status? Very uncomfortable Uncomfortable Somewhat uncomfortable Comfortable Very comfortable 110 4 5 12 46 43 Q30 To what extent do you agree with this statement: Schools should be informed of a students documentation/citizenship status? Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree 110 15 14 44 9 8 Q31 What percentage of mi grant students live below the federal poverty line? _____ Percent Not Sure 112 60 52 Q32 What percentage of mi grant students suffer from lack of dental care? _____ Percent Not Sure 111 56 55 Q33 What percentage of mi grant students drop out of high school? _____ Percent Not Sure 112 47 65 Survey items #15-33 related to principals perceptions and beliefs a bout their knowledge of migrant student issues and pr incipal training concerning migr ant students and migrant ELL students. This table provides survey items, possible responses, the total number of responses to the item, and the number of responses for each answer choice.
90 Table 4-6. Bivariate rela tionships on survey items related to principals perceptions and beliefs about migrant student issues and principa l training concerning migrant students and migrant ELL students Question Variable P-value Q15 How knowledgeable do you believe you are about the specific and unique issues that migrant students face? Number of migrant students .0065 Q18 How prepared are you to work with nonschool agencies to assist migrant families? Number of migrant students .0639 Q19 How prepared do you feel you are to help migrant students access community resources? Years of experience .0716 Q20 How clear is your understanding of the cultural issues (i.e. native language other than English) that impact migrant students educational success? Educational level .0725 Q21 How sufficient is your training about migrant students health needs? Number of migrant students Number of Migrant ELL students .0246 .0673 Q26 In your opinion, to wh at extent does ESOL training for principals provide adequate information about migrant students? Educational level Number of bilingual teachers Number of Migrant ELL students .0316 .0055 .0326 Q27 In your opinion, to what extent has principal training in the Revised Florida Consent Decree improved education for ELL migrant students? Race Number of Migrant ELL students .0267 .0060 Q28 To what degree do you feel you need more training about the unique educational needs of migrant students? Educational level Race .0927 .0485 Q29 How comfortable are you in allowing enrollment for migrant students regardless of their immigration status? Number of bilingual teachers Number of bilingual staff Number of migrant students .0174 .0012 .0245
91 Table 4-6. Continued Q30 To what extent do you agree with this statement: Schools should be informed of a students documentation/ citizenship status? Race Number of bilingual staff .0798 .0486 Q31 What percentage of migrant students live below the federal poverty line? Number of migrant students Number of Migrant ELL students .0039 .0149 Q32 What percentage of migrant students suffer from lack of dental care? Number of Migrant ELL students .0999 Q33 What percentage of migrant students drop out of high school? Number of migrant students .0800 This table shows relationships that garnered alpha levels <.05 and those between .05 and .10. For example, results from item 30 suggest that there is a significant relationship (.0486) between the number of bilingual staff members at principals schools and their level of agreement with the statement Schools should be informed of a students documentation/ci tizenship status.
92 Table 4-7. Descriptive categorical data of de mographics information Question N= Responses Q35 What is the highest degree you have completed? Q36 What is your gender? Q37 What is your race? Q42 Would you be interested in more information about migrant students? Q43 Of the following training methods, which would be most appealing to you? 110 111 108 112 107 Masters (n=86) Specialist (n=11) Doctorate (n=13) Male (n=29) Female (n=82) African American (n=9) Asian (n=1) Hispanic (n=10) White (n=88) Yes (n=67) No (n=45) In-service training (n=34) Printed materials (n=30) On-line course (n=18) Book discussion group (n=8) Webinar (n=11) College course (n=1) Other (please specify) (n=5) This table provides demographics survey ite ms, possible responses, the total number of responses to the item, and the number of responses for each answer choice.
93 Table 4-8. Descriptive numerical data of demographics information Question Mean Median Q1 A. About how many migrant students attend your school? B. Of your migrant student s, approximately how many of these are ELL/ESOL students? Q34 How many years of experience do you have as a principal? Q38 Approximately how many hours of ESOL training have you received during your career? Q40 Approximately how many teacher s at your school are bilingual? Q41 Approximately how many non-in structional staff members at your school are bilingual? 14.60 11.40 8.21 138.66 3.32 4.05 4.0 3.0 6.0 79.0 3.0 3.0 This table provides numerical demographic survey items, possible responses, and the mean and median for the responses to the survey items.
94 Table 4-9. Bilingual teachers per school Number of bilingual teachers Frequency 0 1 1.5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 10 8 1 31 19 14 13 6 2 1 5 1 This table provides the frequency for the number of bilingual teachers at the schools of survey participants. For example, 14 principals report ed having 4 bilingual teachers at his/her school.
95 Table 4-10. Principal responses to surv ey item #39 listing ESOL courses taken Course Number of principals ESOL overview/general overvie w/ESOL orientation/ESOL 5 All ESOL required courses/ESOL cer tification/took 300 hours that led to endorsement 4 Empowering ESOL1/empowering teaching/empowering for ESOL 5 Empowering ESOL 2 1 Teach 1 1 Teach 2 1 Methods/methods of teaching ESOL/t eaching ESOL/general methods of ESOL 11 ESOL strategies/strategies/ESOL instructional strategies 4 Cultural sensitivity/culture/cro ss-cultural understanding/cultural awareness/cultural diversity 14 Cross-cultural communication 4 Linguistics/applied linguistics 5 Assessment/testing/testing & evaluation 9 60 hours of ESOL/60 hour survey course 2 ESOL training for principals/ESOL inservice for principals/ESOL for administrators/18 hours for ADM 10 Curriculum/curriculum & instructio n/ESOL curriculum development 8 Reading for LEP/reading with ESOL learners 2 All but one reading endorsement requirement 1 District endorsement program 1 Courses in both masters and doctorate programs 1 Leadership for special populations 1 Updates on ESOL paperwork 1 Second language acquisition 1 ESOL reading and language arts lessons 1 ESOL category 1 1 Series of tapes 1 18 hours for education 1 Community resources 1 Other comments: cant remember name of course/don t remember specific names/15 years ago? 5 Total 102
96 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction The purpose of this study was to determ ine principals perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students and whethe r or not the specific n eeds of migrant student are being addressed in the courses principals must take to meet the Florida Consent Decree requirement of 60 hours of ESOL training. Spec ifically, the research er investigated how principal characteristics, school characteristics, and training aff ect principal beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students. The resear cher examined associat ions between principal characteristics, school characteristics, principal training (independent vari ables), and principals perceptions and beliefs about th e educational needs of migrant students (dependent variable). Principal characteristics included years of experi ence as a principal, edu cational level (highest degree held), gender, and race/e thnicity. School characteristics included the number of migrant students, the number of migrant ELL students, the number of bilingual teachers, and the number of bilingual non-instructional staff members at each school. Principal training focused only on the number of hours of ESOL training principals ha d received, the ESOL courses they had taken, their interest in more information about migr ant students, and their preferred methods of receiving training. The researcher conducted both univariate and biva riate analyses of the data in order to examine patterns in responses and determine relationships between variables. In addition to the information gathered from survey items, the re searcher invited additional comments from the survey respondents and conducted five telephone in terviews and one site visit in order to add breadth and depth to the study. Specifically, the researcher addressed the following questions:
97 1. What are principals perceptions and beliefs regarding the educatio nal needs of migrant students? 2. How does training under the Consent Decree a dd to principals aw areness of migrant student issues? 3. What are the factors (characteristics of student population, principal ch aracteristics, nature of Consent Decree training) associated with pr incipals perceptions and beliefs related to migrant students? Thirteen (13) school districts with mid-si zed migrant student p opulations allowed the researcher to survey elementary school principa ls through use of a researcher-developed on-line survey instrument, which was first piloted in a comparable district. The survey, developed with the input of an expert panel, consisted of 33 items rela ted to principals pe rceptions and beliefs about migrant students and 10 demographics qu estions. Of the 351 prin cipals invited to participate, 112 completed the on-line su rvey, a participation rate of 32%. A summary and discussion of the results as well as conclusions and policy implications follow. Recommendations for future research ar e delineated at the conclusion of the chapter. Summary and Discussion of Results Principal Awareness, Training, Advocacy Migrant students have needs that are akin to m any sub-groups within the total school population. Like many other student s, most migrant students live in poverty, struggling to meet their daily basic needs (NAWS, 2006). Many migran t students lack the proper health and dental care necessary to thrive physica lly (Kindler, 1995). Since 40% of migrant students speak a first language other than English (Florida Department of Education, 2007), they are similar to other ELL students receiving ESOL services in Florid a schools, and the struggle to learn English presents additional academic and social challenges unknown to their native English-speaking peers. One primary attribute sets migrant studen ts apart, however. Mobility, their most defining characteristic, exacerbates the aforementioned disadvantages, making it extremely difficult to
98 form support networks, locate availa ble resources, or establish a se nse of educational and social continuity (Sols, 2004). The convergence of th ese factors poverty, lack of health care, language barriers, and mobility relegate migrant students to a positi on of vulnerability and neediness far worse than that of most, if not all, other at-risk student sub-groups (Kindler, 1995; True, 1991). Principals, as instructional leaders, are ulti mately responsible for ensuring that the needs of students are met and that they are able to achie ve to their greatest potential (Glanz & Neville, 1997). The role principals fulfill has evolved from a managerial stance to one of student advocacy and leadership-by-example (DeBevoise, 2003). In order for them to be effective at meeting the needs of their students, principals must possess awareness and knowledge of their students specific needs, and they must be able to provide avenues to ava ilable resources that can offer assistance and support to meet these ne eds (Matthews & Crow, 2003). As the diversity within the student populati on continues to increase, the responsi bility to ensure that all students are well-served becomes more challenging (Nieto, 2002). To date, there has been no research or evaluation on principal preparedness and/or effectiveness in responding to the unique educational needs of migrant students. Despite the extraordinary and debilitating factors that impact migrant students so greatly, training about the unique needs of migrant students seems limited at best. It is clear from this research that the principals who have the greatest awareness of migrant students needs are those who have had the most experience working with this demographic group; their knowledge was gained primarily through on-the-job training as opposed to purposeful staff development. In Florida, a state that shares the distinction of being one of the top th ree in migrant student populations (Kindler, 1995), this seems a haphazard approach to principal preparation. It would
99 seem more appropriate to take a proactive, rather than a reactive, stance in readying principals to meet the needs of migrant students, since it is unp redictable when and where these students will enroll at any given time. As migrant workers f ill a more diverse spectrum of occupational roles (Coady, 2009), migrant students will not be pocketed in primarily rural, agri cultural areas as they have been in the past. All princi pals in the State of Florida must be equipped to serve migrant students. The Revised Florida Consent Decree (2003) requ ires that principals receive 60 hours of ESOL training, and migrant students are addre ssed specifically in Sect ion III of the Decree. While not all migrant students are ELL students, many are, and it seems practical to include specific information about migrant students in a required training module for Florida principals. While the principals surveyed seem to have a general awareness of migrant student issues, they lack important information that would better prep are them to meet the needs of this unique group. Specific, detailed information about gene ral demographics, the debilitating impact of mobility (Sols, 2004), the rampant poverty am ong migrant families (Kindler, 1995), and the prevalent health issues that impair migran t students and their families (Larson, 2001; Leon, 1996) would aid principals in thei r role as child-advocat es and in connecting migrant students to available resources to help meet their fundamental needs. As these basic needs are met, students can then focus on learning, and principals can fulf ill their role as instructional leaders, guiding appropriate instruction to ensure that all students meet the cha llenge of academic excellence and rigorous standards. When student s are hungry, ill, or improperly clothed, it is difficult for them to focus on academics (Maslow, 1987), and when they are inappropriately placed in classes and given tasks that do not fit their educational n eeds due to lack of co mmunication between schools and educational discontinuity, they are at risk for frustration and failure (Engec, 2006). One of
100 the strategies delineated in the Six Standards fo r What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do (NAESP, 2002) charges principals with the re sponsibility of making sure that families have access to the appropriate health and human servic es necessary to stay focused on learning (p. 7). Realizing the limitations of se lf-report measures, and assumi ng that respondents surveyed provided accurate statements of their perceptions and beliefs, 84% of principals surveyed for this study seemed to have a general awareness of the exceptional needs of migrant students. The combination of mobility, second language issu es, and poverty provide daunting challenges to migrant students educational su ccess (Kindler, 1995), and 65% of the principals surveyed seemed to be generally aware of the impact of these factors. The interviews, additional survey comments, and site visit substantiated the beli ef that despite the uni que needs of migrant students, participating principals believe that they deserve an education commensurate with that of their non-migrant peers. Siro tnik (1990) argues that one of the moral responsibilities of educators is guaranteeing social justice through equitable access to quality education. In their role as advocates, it is crucial that principals concern themselves with ensuring educational achievement for all childre n (Matthews & Crow, 2003). The responsibility borne by principals is enor mous in that they are ultimately responsible for the educational success of every student under their supe rvision (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004). Because migrant students have such a profound set of potentially debilitating circumstances, it is critical that they advocat e for these children, providing the equitable access that Sirotnik (1990) deems their moral responsibilit y. If principals in the state of Florida were better informed about migrant students through e xplicit training, they would undoubtedly be more able to guide instructional practice from an empathetic and holistic posture. Information is
101 power, and as principals gain information about migrant students and their unique needs, migrant students will be better served, and their acad emic achievement will be enhanced (DeBevoise, 2003). The Focus on Language While the federal government expects migran t students to meet the same standards as their peers (U.S. Department of Education, 2002), the principals surveyed believe that migrant students require supplemental instruction to su cceed in meeting these standards, and 90% of them feel that curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students. This seems a reasonable expectation as migrant students may have instructional gaps due to travel from place to place, illness from insufficient health care, or because of differences in curriculum and pacing between school districts (So ls, 2004; Engec, 2006; Larson, 2001) The types of supplemental instruction and services offered vary; however, there are some not able trends in the types of additional help migrant students receive. Survey respondents listed a plethora of suppl emental instruction or services provided to migrant students. Of these, over half relate to English acquisition. These included ESOL services, the use of translators, native-language documents and parent notices, use of the Rosetta Stone language acquisition program, provision of a native language dictionary, an English Orientation Class, and family nights with gue st speakers who spoke the students native language. Clearly, assisting migrant students with English language development is viewed as paramount to their overall academic success. The best approach to ELL instruction is a hotly debated and complex topic. As reported in a 1999 Southern Legi slative Conferen ce report entitled Language Diversity and Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge (Hull, 1999)
102 There is a vigorous debate over which strategi es and assumptions for language acquisition will most effectively provide LEP [Limited English Proficient] students the best opportunity for advancement and assimilation. St ates and schools take varied approaches to teaching LEP students, reflecting both th e multiple approaches available to teach English language learners and the tremendous variations in stude nt populations, school sophistication and availa ble resources. (p. 10) The article goes on to describe a continuum which includes models ranging from bilingual education, (considered the most controversia l and contested approach) to submersion, described as a method which places LEP stude nts in the general school population with no special support. The latter si nk or swim technique is generally not considered a valid program model under court rulings mandating LEP student support (p. 10) (see also Lau v. Nichols, 1974). In Florida, the Consent Decree would prohibit such an approach. Ovando (2003) provides an historical perspe ctive on bilingual education in the United States and why it may be viewed as controvers ial. Shifting ideological viewpoints about the value of bilingualism have created a pendulum of sorts, swinging back and forth between positive and negative consideration of bilingualism and bilingual education. Ovando describes four periods that demarcate various attitudina l shifts toward non-native speakers and bilingual education beginning in the 1700s with the Permissive Period and concluding in the present day with the Dismissive Period. Over the course of the Countrys existence, attitudes have varied from tolerance or benign neglect to a curr ent return to the melting pot ideology. A quote by President Ronald Reagan illustrates the thinking of the Dismissive Period: It is absolutely wrong and against American concepts to have a bilingual education program that is now openly, admittedly dedicated to preserving their native language and never getting them adequate in English so they can go out in the j ob market and participate ( p. 12). There is compelling evidence that bilingua l programs are effective, however. Ovando writes,
103 Given the evidence in favor of bilingual education, why does there continue to be increased resistance and hostility? Such antipat hy, especially toward strong forms of bilingual education, is rooted in nativistic and melting pot ideologies that tend to demonize the other. Because bilingual education is much more than a pedagogical tool, it has become a societal irritant involving complex i ssues of cultural identity, social class status, and language politics. Is language diversity a problem? Is it a re source? It is a right? On the surface, these issues seem quite remote fr om the day-to-day realities of bilingual classrooms across the United States, yet they ar e the basis on which bilingual education is either loved or hated. (pp. 14-15) The push for dominant-culture assimilation unde rmines the positive academic impact bilingual education could provide for ELL migrant stude nts. Ovando and Collier (in Ovando, 2003) cite research that promotes first-language deve lopment as a platform for second-language acquisition. If the true mission of Florida educators is academic achievement for all students, one must ask why bilingual education has not been us ed more often as a means to this end. Ovando (2003) points out that one of the most successful bilingual model program s took place after the influx of Cuban refugees to Flor ida in the early 1960s. Coral Way Elementary School in Dade County provided both Spanish and English inst ruction, achieving wonderful results. Ovando states that one factor in the success of the program was a lack of racism due to fact that these were light-skinned Cubans (p. 7). One of the principal interviewees expressed interest in an intensive English-acquisition class for students before placing them in mainstream classes. This would be most akin to a sheltered or structured immersi on approach, which usually involve s English-language instruction by a bilingual teacher who can answer students questions in their native languages. As with bilingual education, the shortage of certified bilingual teacher s poses a roadblock to this approach and other methods which require nativ e-language speakers to facilitate ELL students learning. August and Hakuta (1997) lament that the underrepresentation of bilingual teachers stems from the general lack of minority educator s. While diversity within the student population is rapidly increasing, there are few teachers who have the language learning or training necessary
104 to adequately meet their langua ge-acquisition needs. This Ca ucasian-dominant teaching force further extends the gulf in unders tandings of culture and language. While programs to expand teacher preparation and education regarding se cond language acquisition have evolved over the past 20 years, the growth in demand for qualifie d instructors is outpacing the supply of bilingual teachers and support staff. Furthermore, the re latively small number of bilingual teachers employed in the schools often experience frus tration. Nieto (2002) quotes a bilingual teacher with whom she worked. The teach er wrote in her journal, The main problem that we bilingual teachers face every day is the misconception that mainstream teachers, principals, and even entire school systems have about bilingual education. Many mainstream teachers and ad ministrators see bilingual education as a remediation program and do not validate wh at bilingual teachers do in their classrooms even when what they are teaching is part of the same curriculum. (p.16) While these are the views of only one bilingual teacher, the researcher is curious about the pervasiveness of this sentiment am ong bilingual teachers. It could be that the lack of diversity among educators lends itself to a lack of understanding and value of bilingual education and, by extension, a perceived lack of regard for bilingua l educators and the students with whom they work. More training and better program implementation are needed in orde r to provide the level of quality instruction all ELL student s, and migrant ELL students in particular, need in order to reach their academic potential. The fiscal real ity is that in a time of budget crunches and cutbacks, implementation of expensive programs is unlikely. For migrant students, who need support to an even greater degree than other at-risk students due to their lack of educational continuity, such lack of investment in intellectual capital can prove devastating. Ovando (2003) writes that, Contrary to the popular image of the United States as a monolingual culture dominated by the Englis h language and White Anglo-Saxon traditions, numerous indigenous peoples dreams and reali ties have long been filtered through a polyglot
105 prism (p. 1). The English-only movement and single-minded focus on repairing the perceived language deficits of ELL students reveals a culturally embedded ethnocentricity that must be abandoned if non-native speakers are to thrive academically and emotionally. Tutoring, both during and af ter school, individually and in small groups, is another favored approach to providing supplemental help to migrant students. A few of the schools who participated in this study men tioned using Title 1 funding and/or school improvement monies as well as volunteers to help fill the need for tutori ng. Interestingly, only a few of the supplemental methods principals employ to assist migrant students relate to home-school partnerships. Things like parent conferences, parent education classes, and the prov ision of a home-school liaison seem less popular than those services more acad emic in nature. Since many migrant students struggle with the basic necessities of securing food, shelter, and clothing, and Maslows (1987) theory suggests that they would be unable to focus on academics without first meeting these needs, it is interesting that schools pl ace the most emphasis on language acquisition and academics. In fact, based on the survey data, principa ls seem to lack confiden ce in their ability to work with outside agencies and community organi zations to assist migr ant students. This is significant because of the fact that migrant st udents needs extend well beyond those related to academics. The NAESP Standards (2002) require that principals actively engage the community to create shared responsibility for student and school success (p. 7). Those principals who indicated that they work with MEP coordinators undoubtedly do focus on needs beyond the classroom, as the missi on of the MEP includes assistance to migrant families in a full-service capacity. The coordina tion of services approach has been proven effective in helping migrant students succeed in school (Canales & Harr is, 2004). Six practices seemed to set apart models that met or exceeded MEP standards. These included team
106 collaboration, assessment of mi grant family needs, networki ng with community and service organizations, training of stakeholders, teaching migrant students and families to advocate for themselves, and continuous reflection toward improvement. A holistic approach seems the only practical approach when dealing with the mu ltitudinous needs of migrant students. Lopez, Scribner, and Mahitivanichchas ( as cited in Salinas & Re yes, 2004) suggest that an understanding through empathy of th e sociocultural contex t and needs of migrant families [is] conducive to fostering an organizational school c limate that is focused on student success (p. 56). As instructional leaders and student advocates, principals bear the bu rden of ensuring that migrant students needs are addressed from a holis tic perspective. Full-ser vice schools would be ideal; yet again, fiscal shor tages pose daunting challe nges to this approach. While almost half of the principals survey ed believe that curric ula should be changed somewhat to accommodate the needs of migrant st udents, the accountability movement seems to dominate and supersede the need for child-centered, individualized instruction. During the site visit, the researcher was shown a copy of the third-grade vocabulary words for the week. It was explained that the ESOL students were working on these words along with the native English speakers. The word list included words such as collaborate, disgraceful, decent, and transferred. None of these words are high-fr equency words used during typical third-grade conversation or writing. In fact, they seem irre levant to the lives of most children. Providing vocabulary instruction that is germane to the stud ents lives seems an appropriate place to start with curricular accommodations. Peregoy and Boyle (as cited in Fang, 2005) argue that knowledge of individual English-language learners is essential to planni ng effective literacy instruction (p. 24). They continue by sugges ting that having an informed awareness of a students level of English proficiency, nativ e-language literacy experiences and background
107 knowledge makes it possible to validate students for what they do know and build from there (p. 24). Rather than viewing st udents as having language deficits the funds of knowledge they possess (Moll et al., 1992) must first be ac knowledged, even honored, and then utilized as a foundation for future linguistic and academ ic development. Cummins (2000 writes: There are few areas in the social sciences th at entail such far-reaching consequences as the conceptualization of language proficiency. The vast majority of native speakers of any language come to school at age five or so fl uent in the language of their homes. Schools rarely assess dimensions of students nativ e language such as conversational fluency or pronunciation that most children have already ma stered by the time they arrive in school. (p. 53) Rather than look for deficiencies in migrant students experiences and literacy, perhaps a better approach would be to recognize that they posse ss knowledge and experiences that can form the basis for continued development of their nativ e languages while simultaneously acquiring the use of English necessary to thri ve in the United States. Cross-Cultural Understandings Salinas & Reyes (2004) suggest that effective advocate-educ ators know how to alter detrimental schooling practices by acting as agen ts of change, developing alternative schooling experiences, and valuing the human resources fo und within the migrant educational community (p. 54). To be effective in helping migrant students overcome the obstacles pitted against their academic success, principals must have an understanding of these obstacles and must creatively assist migrant students in surmounting them. Foundati onal to their efforts is a belief that migrant students have the propensity for academic success. In fact, one of the at tributes of effective principals, according to Lemley (as cited in Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004), is high expectations for student achievement. Based on the results of the survey, many princi pals seem to have low expectations for migrant students. While the Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968) is well-known for
108 teachers impact on student achievement based on their expectations, there is no research which measures the effect of principals low exp ectations on the academic outcomes of migrant students. Engec (2006) confirms that mobility do es have a devastating effect on the academic performance of migrant students; as the numbe r of moves increases, performance on criterionreferenced and norm-references te sts falls. It may be that the pr incipals surveyed realize the impact of transience and are providing a realistic rather than cynical, po int of view. However, there are migrant students who beat the odds a nd achieve academic success (Salinas & Reyes, 2004). One survey respondent added the following comment: My schools enrollment is 605 95% Spanish 94% free/reduced [meals]. We ar e an FCAT A school. It can be done! (Respondent #8). Another wrote, The success of migrant students depends greatly on the context of their educational experiences. I spent the last two (2) years at a school that had been an A for three (3) years in a row and migrant students outperf ormed the non-migrant students (Respondent # 18). Success stories like this supp ort the need for high expectations for migrant students. Similar to their own expecta tions for migrant student achie vement, those principals who participated in the survey generally seem to be lieve that migrant parents have low expectations for their children as well. In contrast, while the NAWS Survey (2006) indicated that seventh grade was the highest grade completed on averag e for most migrant workers, migrant parents seemingly want more for their children (Florida Department of Education, 1966). This is evident by the great risks they take in coming to the Un ited States and the backbreaking labor they are willing to perform once they arrive. To be fair a large percentage of migrant students are Mexican, and Gibson and Bejnez (2 002) have noted that Mexican children are highly unlikely to graduate from high school or attend college; most of their parents are uneducated, and there is a
109 correlation between a mothers educational le vel and her childs e ducational attainment (Stevenson & Baker, 1987). Therefor e, it is difficult to determine whether principals form their perceptions about parents expe ctations based on real outcomes they have experienced or on glum assumptions. Legal and political barriers to academic success may impact principals beliefs about the degree to which migrant students will succeed academically. The only high school principal interviewed expressed disappointmen t with the lack of options for undocumented migrants who gradua te from high school. He explained that the expectations of migrant parent s are changing in the same way that middle class Americans educational expectations have changed over the generations. Whereas at one time it was respectable to graduate from high school and move into the work force, middle class Americans began to expect their children to attend college. Now, middle class American children are expected to not only attend college, but also pursue advanced degree s. In short, the bar continues to be raised. This particular pr incipal communicated that he exp ects the same progression to take place within the migrant community. Parents who ha ve very little education themselves desire more for their children, and when these children ma ture, they will expect even more of their own offspring. He expressed frustrat ion at the economic and legal roadblocks that prevent these hardworking students from furthe ring their educations (P4, 3/11/09). The disconnect between principals beliefs about the investment of migrant families in their childrens education begs pause for consider ation. Eight-six percent ( 86%) of the principals surveyed indicated that they believe parents of migrant students are invol ved in their childrens education at home to no, l ittle or some extent, while on ly 13% believe that migrant families are involved to a good extent, and 0% believe migrant families are involved to a great extent. While it is often difficult for migr ant families to leave the fields to visit schools
110 during the school day, the assumption that this implies a lack of i nvolvement seems to contradict assertions by Lopez (2001) that parents of migrant students, who may not seem to be involved in the socially sanctioned ways, ar e nevertheless highly invested in their childrens education (p. 417). Migrant parents work schedules often prevent them from participating in events such as volunteering in the classroom, participating in fundraisers, or serving on the school advisory council. However, Lopez argues that migrant parents are hig hly involved in shaping their childrens work ethic and positive orientation to ward school (p. 433). The possible discrepancy between the expected norms of the predominate school culture a nd the typical migrant familys concept of what it means to support a childs e ducation may cause principals to underestimate migrant families ownership of their childrens schooling. Lopez emphasizes, In this rapidly changing social context, schools need to make a greater effort to understand how marginalized parents are negotiating the concept of involvement for themselves so they can effectively partner with parents on the parents own terms. In other words, instead of trying to get marginalized pare nts involved in specific ways, schools should begin to identify the unique ways that margin alized parents are alr eady involved in their childrens education, and sear ch for creative ways to capitalize on thes e and other subjugated forms of involvement (p. 434). Coady (2009) suggests that incongruity exists be tween home and school expectations, resulting in unfair judgment of migrant students families as somehow lacking in their commitment to their childrens academic achievement. Cummins (as cited in Weis & Fine, 1993) states, Although lip service is paid to community involvement through Parent Advisory Committees (PAC) in many education programs, these committees are frequently manipulated through misinformation and intimidation. The result is that parents from dominated groups retain their powerless status and their internali zed inferiority is reinforced. Childrens school failure can then be attributed to the combined effects of parental illiteracy and lack of interest in their childrens education. In reality, most parents of minority students have high as pirations for their children and want to be involved in promoting their academic progress. However, they often do not know how to help their children academically, and they are excluded from participati on by the school. In fact, even their interaction through [their fi rst language] with their children in the home is frequently regarded by educators as contributin g to academic difficulties. (p. 109)
111 Clearly, more work needs to be done in the area of cross-cultural understanding. Ovando (2003) writes that in the past Most educators and policy makers felt that it was up to the language-minority students, not the schools, to make the linguistic, cultural, a nd cognitive adjustments necessary to achieve assimilation into American society. When many of these students did not prosper academically, their home cultures and languages were frequently singled out as the culprit. Blaming language-minority students for thei r academic failure became fashionable among social scientists. Hence, school administra tors and teachers generally did not assume responsibility for developing culturally and li nguistically compatible classroom practices. (p.6) As instructional leaders, principals must a dvocate for, rather than place blame on, migrant students and their families. This includes making sure that the instructional practices being used in the classroom are appropriate to the needs of the students. Neville (1997) describes the facilitation of learning a nd [intellectual] growth as princi pals number one responsibility (p. 15). As instructional leaders, principals are chal lenged to promote growth in student learning (Matthews & Crow, 2003) by making sure that stude nts are provided qualit y instruction. Placing migrant ELL students with ESOL-endorsed teachers s eems to be one way that principals seek to ensure that migrant students needs are being me t. It is unclear whethe r this placement has a significant impact on migrant students success, however, as gathering data on effective instructional practices with migrant students is difficult to obtain due to their mobility and the many other factors which influence their success or lack thereof. In addition, the present survey data relate d to ESOL training is somewhat limited in scope because a large proportion of respondents c hose not to answer tw o of the questions by which associations were being measured. Thes e questions asked princi pals to provide the number of hours of ESOL training they have rece ived throughout their car eers as well as list the courses taken. Less than half of the respondent s chose to provide a number of hours for the ESOL courses taken, and a little more than one third provided at le ast a partial listing of some of
112 the specific courses taken. Despite these limitatio ns, there are some potential implications based on the survey results. One can surmise from the findings that ESOL training seems to enhance principals positive regard toward migrant student s families and their e fforts to assist their children educationally. With more training princi pals also seem more aware of the degree of misfit between the standard curriculum and the needs of migrant students. Since many of the ESOL courses listed by principals relate to cross-cultural understandings, curriculum development and specific strategies for teachi ng ESOL students, it seems reasonable that those with more ESOL training hours would have a he ightened sense of awareness and respect for student diversity. In addition to instructional oversight, principa ls oversee the organiza tional culture of their schools and can have a significant impact on the in teractions between me mbers of the culture (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004). Provi ding a welcoming environment for migrant students and their families is essential to building important bridges in communicati on and supporting migrant students learning. One interview ee stated that migrant students have very little opportunity for building caring relationships and therefore need to be acclim ated fairly quickly (P1, 2/3/09). Leon (1996) agrees. He writes that, Friends and teachers have to be left behind just when [migrant students] are starting to develop conf idence and security (p. 15). Nurturing teachers and classrooms emphasizing friendship and coop eration characterize elementary schools, and this is vital for migrant students. Peer gr oup acceptance seems to become more complex and troublesome as students move into middle and hi gh school, however. Making a special effort to help migrant students assimilate and build c onnections with other students throughout their educational careers is essential to their success (Salinas & Reyes, 2004).
113 As the diversity among student populations has increased, Commins & Miramontes (2006) argue that it is the respons ibility of educators to ensure that non-native children are not ostracized or their differences viewed as defici ts (Pai & Adler, 1997). Rather, those of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds should be we lcomed and their funds of knowledge honored (Moll et al., 1992). Matthews and Cr ow (2003) stress that principals in their role as advocates, should lead the way in understanding and respec ting student diversity. Th e National Association of Elementary School Principals Vision 2021 st atement suggests that with the increasing diversity, Schools will have to reconcile a wider range in parents academic values and expectations, prior education le vels, and dominant language(s) s poken at home. Principals and teachers must be more culturally attuned to this emergent multicultural school environment (p. 1). Shannon and Escamilla (1999) have documented cases in which Mexican children were treated unfairly in American schools. Since a large percentage of mi grant students are of Mexican descent, fair treatment is important to keep in mind when working with migrant students (Vocke, 2007). It is impera tive that instructional leaders be aware of potential biases and discriminatory treatment in order to protect the emotional health of migrant students. Leon (1996) recommends a focus on building the migrant students self-esteem while at the same time helping them excel academically. He writes, We must praise all the positive accomplishments and provide them with additional steps and educational tools (p. 16). He continues, Teachers should identify their students ca pabilities, skills, potentials, hobbies and other activitiesand focus on these accomplishments (p. 16). Finally, he says, Before we start placing labels on our migrant students, lets try to id entify their strengths and make them feel at home (p.16). Leon (1996) asserts that there is a danger of migrant students becoming sociall y invisible and that
114 often because migrant students are viewed as cult urally different they become the targets of harassment (p. 12). Principals must ensure that migrant students are well -received, protected, and nurtured while in their care. Because of political debates about illega l immigration, the loss of job opportunities to low-wage, undocumented workers, and the perc eived tax burden illegal immigrants place on U.S. citizens, some migrant families face resentme nt (Arp-Babbitt, 2004). All of the principals who participated in the intervie ws unanimously asserted that th ey take an apolitical stance on issues of undocumented migrant education. They continually reit erated that they are in the business of educating all the child ren who walk in the doors of th eir schools without regard to politics. The principals stated that migrant families are accepted in their communities for the most part and maintained that the migrant child ren at their schools are ac cepted within the school community. Two interviewees mentioned that the c onflicts between students of different cultures often begin later, in middle or hi gh school. It is important that di versity education begins in the earliest grades and continues until graduation in order to help st udents appreciate the value of all humankind. While participating principals spoke of their apolitical stance, there was somewhat of a contradiction in their responses about knowledge of their studen ts documentation status. While most said they felt comfortable enrolling students regardless of their status, many felt it important that they be informed of the students status. Federal law ( Plyler v. Doe, 1982) prohibits school personnel from questioning a childs legal status However, recent changes to the Home Language Survey used upon school enrollm ent seem to cut very close to the edge of Plyler v. Doe stipulations. While the HLS does not bol dly ask whether or not a child is a documented resident or is undocum ented, it does ask about the count ry of birth, when the child
115 first entered the United States, and the date a child was first enrolled in a U.S. school. The legality of the changes to the HLS has not been questioned thus far. Again, this type of action gives the appearance of demonizing the other rather than celebrating diversity and welcoming all children (Ovando, 2003, p. 14). Though quite limited in number, the 19 minority principals who participated in the survey more often indicated their awareness of the degree to which migrant students educational needs differ from those of non-migrant students. Because of their own educational experiences, it is likely that they are more aware of the lack of re gard for diversity in school settings. Nieto (2002) discusses the monochromatic nature of schools as follows: It is by now a truism that our countrys public schools are undergoing a dramatic shift that reflects the growing diversity of our populati on. Yet many educators and the schools in which they work seem no better prepared th an [they were] a decade and a half ago. Most educators nationwide arewhite, middle-cla ss, monolingual English-speaking women and men who have had little direct experience with cultural, ethnic, linguistic or other kinds of diversity, but they are teaching students who are phenomenally diverse in every way. (p. 278) Minority principals also seem mo re attuned to the difficulties posed by a lack of proficiency in English. This may suggest that the minority re spondents own schooli ng experiences provided challenges that differed from their non-minority peers. Matthews and Crow (2003) argue that in orde r to be effective leaders, administrators need an understanding of the specific educational and social issues of their students. It is problematic for the majority of educational lead ers, as cultural outsiders, to fully grasp the challenges facing migrant students. August & Hakuta (1997) emphasize the need to recruit and train more minority teachers to work with ELL st udents because, A widely held assumption is that minority individuals may be especially e ffective as teachers fo r these students given similarities in linguistic and cultural background (p. 252). Since educational leaders often begin their careers as classroom teachers (Matthew s & Crow, 2003), it is no surprise that the
116 homogeneity in classrooms across the United States results in a lack of di versity in educational leadership as well. In 1999, only 21% of principa ls and 29% of assistant principals were from racial/ethnic minority groups (Lunenburg & Orns tein, 2004). While the recruitment of more minority and bilingual educators and leaders is a long-term goal, present school administrators are still held accountab le for meeting the needs of their student s. It is impossible for a member of one culture to fully grasp the paradigms of another. Still, principals must increase their efforts to gain awareness, understanding, and knowledge ab out the cultures and families of the students they serve. While this is important for all students, it is crucial for migrant students. The transient nature of the migrant lifestyle and the lack of accepta nce of Latino culture within the schools disrupt cultur al continuity and validation a nd lead to the stigma of a label. Social class and frequent moves from lo cation to location also affect the continuity of education. Migrant children typically do not stay in any given school long enough to make lasting friendships. They tend to be ostracized because of their cultural and linguistic differences. Parents want to support the effo rts of their children, but often lack the linguistic and cultural knowledge to interact within the sc hool culture. (Vocke, 2007, p. 7) This research suggests that th e training principals are receivi ng in regard to the needs of migrant students is limited at best. While princi pals expressed a general sense of awareness and sympathy for the plight of migrant students, most lack specific knowledge e ssential to their roles as instructional leaders and advo cates for migrant learners. Despite competing and dire needs in many areas, an emphasis on English acquisition s eems to dominate attempts to assimilate migrant students into school cu lture, whereas their needs may be better served through a holistic, multi-faceted approach based on a coordination of services model. Finally, the sociopolitical and cultural barriers that migrant st udents face reiterate the growing need for diversity education and targeted staff development in cross-cultural awareness and appreciation. Conclusions With the converging challenges of mobilit y, poverty, and limited English proficiency, migrant students are perhaps th e most at-risk population in our nations schools (Kindler, 1995;
117 True, 1991). Since Florida is one of three states that serve over half of the nations migrant population, it is imperative that instructional l eaders in the Sunshine State are adequately prepared to ensure that the unique needs of migrant students can be met in classrooms throughout the State (Kindler, 1995). Ho wever, there is a dearth of research about strategies and approaches that are most effective in helpi ng migrant students succeed. The Florida Consent Decree challenges educational leaders to possess a level of awareness and knowledge that will provide a foundation for helping ELL students achieve to a leve l commensurate with their English-speaking peers. This study found that wh ile the training principals receive seems to promote a general awareness about the comparative uniqueness of migrant students needs, principals are still lacking in specific knowledge about this population. A sub-group of the ESOL population, migrant ELL students have needs th at differ from those of other ELL students, in that they experience a severe degree of discont inuity in their educati onal experiences. Thus it is critical that the training principals receiv e include information specifically targeted at informing them about the needs of this particular group of students. It se ems logical that such information about migrant students be included in training required under the Consent Decree. This study contributed to the field of educati onal leadership in seve ral ways. First, while the Florida Migrant Education Pl an was implemented in 1966 (Florida Department of Education, 1966), little has improved for migr ant students. Migrant students drop out at a rate of 50% and most fail to achieve to the academic level of their non-migrant classmates (Leon, 1996). This study documents general awareness of the unique needs of migrant stude nts and the need for principal preparation that better addresses these ne eds. While most principals surveyed seem to have a general awareness that migrant students needs are somewhat different knowledge of specific programs and practices to effectivel y meet those needs was found to be lacking by
118 principals. Principals with larger migrant stude nt populations seem most aware of their needs, and this seems reasonable as experience lends its elf to expertise. However, migrant students should not be at the mercy of a principals lack of experience if, in fact, they enroll at a school with a small migrant student popul ation. All principals should be adequately aware of the unique needs of migrant students, and this st udy raises that level of awareness. This study also serves as foundational, as the researcher was unable to find any other work cited in the literature related to principa ls perceptions and beliefs about migrant students or their preparedness to work with migrant students. This study al so reveals a need for evaluation of the effectiveness and relevance of training prin cipals currently receive. as It is important to note that the school districts targeted to participat e in this study have mid-sized migrant populations. These results suggest that principals working in districts with small migrant populations are likely to have an even more limited awareness of migrant students needs. Yet there is no way to predict when a migrant chil d will arrive at one of these schools and need assistance. The State of Florida must take a proact ive, rather than reactiv e approach in preparing principals to work with migran t students. Principals need targeted training about the issues migrant students face prior to their enrollment. Since migrant students whereabouts are highly unpredictable, it is important that this information is dissem inated throughout the State of Florida. While migrant students are mentioned in the Revised Florida Consent Decree as a subpopulation of ESOL students and principals are required to ha ve at least 60 hours of ESOL training, there is no guarantee that specific information about migrant students is included in the training they receive. It is imperative that all Florida principals are prepared to meet the needs of migrant students since it is the legal obligati on of educators to provi de a free, appropriate education to all students.
119 Implications The results of this study call for changes in policy related to principal preparation to work with migrant students. Since Florida is one of the three states serving over half of the total migrant student population, it seems critical that Florida principa ls are knowledgeable about the unique needs of this group of students and are prepared to address their specific needs. Training required by the Revised Florida Consent Decree s hould include information about the impacts of mobility, poverty, lack of health care, language/cultural issues, lega l issues, political issues, and the convergence of these factors in the lives of migrant students. Several principals surveyed for this study e xpressed frustration at the implication that another training requirement for pr incipals be mandated and, with their present workload, this is understandable. A practical and realistic approach would be to include information about migrant students needs in other required training. For instance, includ ing literature about migrant students in coursework for reading endorsement or ESOL training would assist principals in gaining information about migrant students w ithout further burdening them with another required course of study. A webinar or on-line co urse accessible from the Florida Department of Education website could provide information a bout migrant students to principals on an asneeded basis. School districts with large populatio ns of migrant students could engage principals in book study groups and professional lear ning communities in which experiences and information about working with migrant stude nts and their families could be shared among educational leaders. An efficient system for transferring records from school district to school district is important in reducing the negative consequences of mobility. With the technology available, it seems that the transfer of migrant students in formation should be easily communicated, and in a speedy manner, so that migrant students are be tter able to experience a greater degree of
120 educational continuity as they move from school to school. The implementation of new database programs such as Infinite Campus makes inform ation instantly accessible to any teacher working with a particular student. Adopting such a progr am state-wide would provide seamless records transfer throughout the State. School districts need to actively recruit mi nority and bilingual educators and educational leaders that could better relate to the partic ular cultural values and differences of migrant students. Recognizing the invaluab le service of such employees and honoring their efforts would increase interest in this type of service and further validate th e role these educators play in helping migrant and migrant ELL students succeed. Finally, it is vital that educational leaders continue to stretch themselves beyond the walls of their schools in order to help migrant students and their families access resources to meet their basic needs. Those schools which appear to be most successful in meeting migrant students needs are those that work closely with federa lly-funded migrant educational coordinators and other experts to combine resources. Expanding th is practice would benef it larger numbers of migrant students and enable them to better focu s on their schooli ng. Principals must advocate for migrant students, as their needs are some of the most severe among those of at-risk populations. In addition to ensuring that migrant students ac ademic and language needs are met, principals should also focus on the students socio-emotional need to acclimate to new school environments and develop friendships with peers. In addition, principals must ma ke certain that students basic needs for food, clothing, medical and dental care, and shelter ar e met. A holistic approach and implementing a coordination-of-services model would provide migrant students and their families with a network of support vital to their survival (Cannales & Harris, 2004).
121 Recommendations for Future Research Further study in the following areas may continue to provide insight into principals perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant stude nts as well as determine their training requirements in order to meet the unique needs of this particular group of students. 1. A replication of this study with a larger sample may yield findings that are more significant. Including more follow-up interviews and site visits could also enrich the study. 2. Research that measures princi pals knowledge of facts and issues that migrant students face could provide definitive areas to address in principal training. 3. An evaluation of training methods used to in form principals about migrant student issues could include analysis of content coverage as well as the effectiveness of increasing principal knowledge and awareness of the unique needs of migrant students. An analysis into the depth of coverage on topics includi ng the educational, soci al, political, physical, and legal issues that impact migrant students would provide comprehens ive insight into the value of particular traini ng methods and content. 4. Research into the types of supplemental in struction and services provided to migrant students could yield information about those that are most ef fective in increasing migrant student academic achievement. 5. A study of the schools that are successfully meeting the needs of migrant students and realizing academic achievement among this student population could serve to provide models for others throughout the state. 6. Finally, a qualitative study in which researchers analyze principals stated beliefs in relation to their daily practices would yi eld interesting comparisons and insights.
122 APPENDIX A UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IRB PERMISSION
123 APPENDIX B LETTER TO DISTRICTS Dear Colleague, I am an Alachua County classroom teacher of 17 years and am currently working toward a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at the Un iversity of Florida. For my research, I am planning to survey principals throughout the state using an on-line survey. The survey will measure principals perceptions and beliefs abou t the educational needs of migrant students. Because of the growing number of migrant students in our state, this study is both timely and important in providing resources and information principals may need to meet the unique and challenging needs of this population of students. I am writing to find out the necessary steps in obtaining permission to survey principals in your district. Participation in the survey will be vo luntary, and the responses of those choosing to participate will remain confidential. The survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete online. Please accept my sincere thanks for your help an d consideration. It is only with the help of educational leaders like those of your district that the educational experiences of a ll children will continue to improve. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (352) 376-6053 or (352) 222-3162. Sincerely, Carrie T. Geiger, Ed.S. Alachua County Schools Doctoral Student Department of Educational Leadership and Administration University of Florida firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
124 APPENDIX C INVITATION LETTER Dear Colleague, I am writing to invite you to participate in a survey about principal perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students. As a 17-year classroom teacher and future educational leader, it is my hope that information gathered in this study w ill impact policy in a way that will provide additional resources and support in helping educational leaders meet the challenging needs of this unique and growing group of students. Your pa rticipation is very important because you deal with the issues of meeting diverse student needs on a daily basis. I am contacting you because you are a principal in the State of Florida. Our state is one of the top three in migrant student populations, and that number is grow ing. This survey will provide base-line data about principal perceptions and beliefs based on training, resources, and day-to-day interactions with migrant students. If you choose to participate, your answers will be completely confidential and will only be reported as part of group summaries. To participate in this survey, please click on the link provided at the end of this e-mail message. This survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete. There are no perceived risks for participating in this study. Your participation is completely voluntary. You may withdraw your consent to participate at anytime without penalty. For questions about your ri ghts as a research participant, please contact the University of Florida IRB office at 352-392-0433. While no compensation is provided for your contribu tion, please accept my sincere thanks for your contribution to the study. It is only with the help of educational leaders like you that the educational experiences of all children will continue to improve. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (352) 376-6053 or (352) 222-3162. LINK: http://coeufl.qualtrics.com/SE?SI D=SV_54uVkZQedO0PgZC&SVID=Prod Sincerely Carrie T. Geiger, Ed.S. Alachua County Schools Doctoral Student Department of Educational L eadership and Administration University of Florida firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
125 APPENDIX D FOLLOW-UP PROTOCOL 1. What are your beliefs regarding migrant students education? 2. In addition to ESOL training, what are other sources through which you gain information and knowledge about issues which impact migrant students? 3. Of the sources mentioned, which ones do you find most valuable and why? 4. How do you identify and negotiate educat ional services for migrant students? 5. From your experience, what are the most critical needs of a typical migrant student entering your school for the first time? 6. What is your strategy for en suring that the unique needs of migrant students are met? 7. How do you negotiate the socio-political contex t of migrant student education (i.e. the push for English-only schooling, political de bates about illegal immigration, etc 8. In your opinion, what (if any) are the soci o-political impediments to migrant students academic success?
126 APPENDIX E PRINCIPAL SURVEY OF MIGRANT EDUCATIONAL ISSUES Q1 Title 1 Part C defines a migrant student as a child under the age of 21 years whose family has relocated across school district boun daries at least once within the last three years in order to secure work in the agricultural, dairy, or fishing industries. Using this definition, about how many migrant students attend your school? Q2 Of your migrant students, approximately how many of these are ELL/ESOL students? Q3 INSTRUCTIONS THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT YOUR BELIEFS AND EXPERIENCES REGARDING MIGRANT STUDENTS. PLEASE RESPOND TO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS BY SELECTING THE RESPONSE THAT BEST REFLECTS YOUR BELIEFS, BASED ON CURRENT AND PAST EXPERIENCES. Q4 To what extent do you believe migrant students have educational needs that differ from those of non-migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent
127 Q5 To what extent do you believe migrant students ar e negatively impacted by lack of educational continuity? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent Q6 In your experience, to what degree does English proficiency affect migrant students academic performance? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree Q7 To what extent do you believe migrant parents ar e involved in their childrens education at home? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent
128 Q8 In your experience, to what extent are migrant parents involved in their childrens education at school? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent Q9 In your experience, how often do migr ant families attend school functions? Never Rarely Occasionally Quite Often Very Often Q10 What educational level do you believe most parent s of migrant students exp ect their child(ren) to attain? Complete 8th Grade Q11 In your opinion, what is the likeli hood that most migrant students will drop out before they graduate from high school? Highly unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely Highly likely
129 Q12 To what extent do you believe migrant students require supplemental instruction to succeed academically? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent Q13 What kinds of supplemental inst ruction/services do you provide to migrant students? (Check all that apply.) ESOL Services After-School Tutoring Coordination with Migrant E ducation Plan Coordinator Native Language Parent Notices/Documents Translator Services OTHER (please specify) Q14 To what extent do you believe the curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent
130 Q15 To what degree do you believe staff developmen t in ESOL methods improves instruction for migrant students? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree Q16 Given the circumstances of most migrant stude nts, how would you expect them to perform academically in relation to non-migrant students? Much worse Worse About the same Better Much better Q17 THE NEXT SECTION OF QUESTIONS MEAS URES YOUR PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS ABOUT THE ADEQUACY OF TRAINING Y OU HAVE RECEIVED REGARDING THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF MIGRANT STUDENTS. Q18 How knowledgeable do you believe you are about the specific and unique issues that migrant students face? Highly unknowledegable Unknowledgeable Somewhat knowledgeable Knowledgeable Highly knowledgeable
131 Q19 As the instructional leader, how prepared are yo u to help your teachers ensure the academic success of migrant students? HIghly Unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared Q20 How adequately prepared are you to help migrant students succeed socially in your school (i.e. making friends, gaining acceptance, etc.)? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared Q21 How prepared are you to work with non-school agencies to assist migrant families? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared
132 Q22 How prepared do you feel you are to help mi grant students access community resources? Highly unprepared Unprepared Somewhat prepared Prepared Well-prepared Q23 How clear is your understanding of the cultural issues (i.e. native language other than English) that impact migrant students educational success? Very unclear Unclear Somewhat clear Clear Very clear Q24 PLEASE INDICATE YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE ADEQUACY OF THE TRAINING YOU HAVE RECEIVED ON THE FOLLOWING TOPICS: How sufficient is your training about... Very Insufficient Insufficient Somewhat Sufficient Sufficient Very Sufficient ...migrant students' health needs? ...migrant students' legal issues? ...migrant students' emotional health? ...how current political issues impact migrant students? ...migrant students' educational needs?
133 Q25 In your opinion, to what extent does ESOL traini ng for principals provide adequate information about migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent Q26 In your opinion, to what extent has principal tr aining in the Revised Fl orida Consent Decree improved education for ELL migrant students? To no extent To a little extent To some extent To a good extent To a great extent Q27 To what degree do you feel you need more trai ning about the unique educational needs of migrant students? To no degree To a small degree To some degree To a considerable degree To a great degree
134 Q28 How comfortable are you in allowing enrollme nt for migrant students regardless of their immigration status? Very uncomfortable Uncomfortable Somewhat Uncomfortable Comfortable Very comfortable Q29 To what extent do you agree with this statemen t: Schools should be informed of a students documentation/citizenship status? Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree Q30 THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS RELATE TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MIGRANT STUDENTS. Q31 What percentage of migrant students live below the federal poverty line? Please enter the percentage below: Not sure Q32 What percentage of migrant students suffer from lack of dental care? Please enter the percentage below: Not sure
135 Q33 What percentage of migrant st udents drop out of high school? Please enter the percentage below: Not sure Q34 PRINCIPAL INFORMATION Q35 How many years of experience do you have as a principal? Q36 What is the highest degree you have completed? Q37 What is your gender? Male Q38 What is your race/ethnicity? African American Q39 Approximately how many hours of ESOL training have you received during your career?
136 Q40 Please indicate the courses that you have completed: Click to write Choice1 Click to write Choice 2 Click to write Choice 3 Click to write Choice 4 Click to write Choice 5 Click to write Choice 6 Click to write Choice 7 Click to write Choice 8 Q41 Approximately how many teachers at your school are bilingual? Q42 Approximately how many non-instructional st aff members at your school are bilingual? Q43 Would you be interested in more information about migrant students? Yes No
137 Q44 Of the following training methods, whic h would be most appealing to you? In-Service Training Printed Materials On-Line Course Book Discussion Group Webinar College Course Other (Please specify) Q45 Thank you for taking time to complete this questionnaire. Your assistance in providing information is deeply appreciat ed. If you wish to include a dditional information about your perceptions and beliefs about the educational needs of migrant students, training you have received regarding migrant students, or any it em on this survey, pleas e do so in the space provided below.
138 APPENDIX F MISSING DATA SURVEY I TEM 1A.) Title 1 Part C defines a migrant student as a child under the age of 21 years whose family has relocated across school distri ct boundaries at least once within the last three year s in order to secure work in the agricultural, dairy, or fishing industries. Using this definition, about how many migrant students attend your school? 1B). Of these, approximately how many are ELL/ESOL students? 2) To what extent do you believe migrant students have educational needs that differ from those of non-migrant students? 3) To what extent do you believe migrant students are negatively impacted by lack of educational continuity? 4) In your experience, to what de gree does English proficiency affect migrant students academic performance? 5) To what extent do you believe mi grant parents are i nvolved in their childrens education at home? 6) In your experience, to what exte nt are migrant parents involved in their childrens education at school? 7) In your experience, how often do migrant families attend school functions? 8) What educational level do you believe most parents of migrant students expect their child(ren) to attain? 9) In your opinion, what is the lik elihood that most migrant students will drop out before they graduate from high school? 10) To what extent do you belie ve migrant students require supplemental instruction to succeed academically? NUMBER OF MISSING RESPONSES N= 7 10 0 3 1 2 2 2 1 2 0
139 11) What kinds of supplemental inst ruction/services do you provide to migrant students? (Ch eck all that apply)  ESOL Services  After-School Tutoring  Coordination with Migrant Education Plan Coordinator  Native Language Parent Notices/Documents  Translator Services  OTHER (please specify) 12) To what extent do you believe the curricula should be changed to accommodate migrant students? 13) To what degree do you believe st aff development in ESOL methods improves instruction for migrant students? 14) Given the circumstances of mo st migrant students, how would you expect them to perform academi cally in relation to non-migrant students? 15) How knowledgeable do you believe you are about the specific and unique issues that migrant students face? 16) As the instructional leader, how prepared are you to help your teachers ensure the academic success of migrant students? 17) How adequately prepared are you to help migrant students succeed socially in your school (i.e. making friends, gaining acceptance, etc.)? 18) How prepared are you to work w ith non-school agencies to assist migrant families? 19) How prepared do you feel to help migrant students access community resources? 20) How clear is your understanding of the cultural issues (i.e. native language other than English) that im pact migrant students educational success? 21) How sufficient is your traini ng about migrant students health needs? 22) How sufficient is your tr aining about migrant students legal issues? 1 3 3 3 1 3 3 4 6 3 3 3
140 23) How sufficient is your tr aining about migrant students emotional health? 24) How sufficient is your training about how current political issues impact migrant students? 25) How sufficient is your tr aining about migrant students educational needs? 26) In your opinion, to wh at extent does ESOL tr aining for principals provide adequate information about migrant students? 27) In your opinion, to what exte nt has principal training in the Revised Florida Consent Decree im proved education for ELL migrant students? 28) To what degree do you feel you need more training about the unique educational needs of migrant students? 29) How comfortable are you in allowing enrollment for migrant students regardless of th eir immigration status? 30) To what extent do you agree with this statement: Schools should be informed of a students documentation/citizenship status? 31) What percentage of migrant stud ents live below the federal poverty line? 32) What percentage of migrant students suffer from lack of dental care? 33) What percentage of migrant students drop out of high school? 34. How many years of experience do you have as a principal? 35. What is the highest degree you have completed? 36. What is your gender? 37. What is your race/ethnicity? 38. Approximately how many hours of ESOL training have you received during your career? 3 3 3 2 7 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 1 4 59
141 39. Please list the course s you have completed: 40. Approximately how many teachers at your school are bilingual? 41. Approximately how many non-instru ctional staff members at your school are bilingual? 42. Would you be interested in more information about migrant students? 43. Of the following training methods, which would be most appealing to you? (Check all that apply.) ____ In-Service ____ On-Line Course ____Webinar ____ Printed Materials ____ Book Discussion Group ____ College Course ____ OTHER (please specify) 73 1 1 0 4
142 APPENDIX G ADDITIONAL COMMENTS 1. I was a principal at a school for 5 years th at had no migrant students. At my present school 5 months I have 3 students. Th at is the reason I st ruggled with so many answers. 2. My school is a high SES school and I do not perceive that I will ever have migrant students at this school. 3. While my school does not currently have migr ant students attending it, I have taught high school reading to migrant students in [omitte d for confidentiality] and feel qualified to complete this survey based on those experiences. 4. The greatest challenge that I face with mi grant children is the mobility-sometimes it seems that as soon as services and support are provided the families move again. It creates a cycle of "n ever getting ahead". 5. I think we should also look at and research ways to improve performance of / AfricanAmerican students. There weren't any progr ams created to bridge the gap / between white and black students after integration a nd African Americans continue to / struggle academically because many of them come from homes were their parents and / grandparents can't help with homework. The ESOL programs in place for migrate/ESOL students / are needed, and have helped these st udents significantly. In most cases, after two years / of ESOL support, st udents perform on grade level. 6. As principals, our plates are al ready full. We have to wear many hats and be experts in too many areas. We need support staff to assist with this task. In asking us if we want more materials you are just giving us one mo re area to develop. We get information and expectations from many areas. As you can tell, it gets overwhelming. 7. At this site we have over 260 ESOL students with Spanish being the dominant language. We have had many more Migrant students but over time they have settled in this area and no longer qualify for the Migrant Program. The Migrant Program for the county is housed on my campus. Most of my teachers have completed the ESOL endorsement.....it is definitely recommended when I hire new teachers. Good Luck in your studies! 8. MY SCHOOL'S ENROLLMENT IS 605...95% SPANISH...94 % FREE/REDUCED...WE ARE AN F CAT A SCHOOL...IT CAN BE DONE! 9. While I haven't dealt with many migrant student s as principal, I dealt with them when I was AP in a highly migrant area (Plant City ). I learned about ev erything from students who were in gangs to parents not attending m eetings because they were in the fields working and would lose their jobs if they took off. 10. I am currently at a school with no migrant st udents. However, I spent five years at a school where 85% were Hispanic and ma ny of those students, migrant. 11. Having a survey where I am expected to give you course numbers and titles for inservice is too difficult. The official acronym is ELL (English Language Learners). You need to cover how difficult it is to identify ESE st udents who are in this population because they
143 move before testing can be completed. Half the time when their records catch up to them, they've moved again. 12. I have not been in a school with very many ESOL and very few migrant students. Teachers take the required ESOL courses300 ho urs and I've yet to hear that it helps their teaching. This training would be better if it matched with the reading endorsement requirement for middle and high school teachers Reading is the key to success for these students. I got more out of taking the read ing courses that blend in ESOL and migrant reading issues. A good teacher is able to make accommodations for any student regardless of their background. 13. I could not answer many of the questions si nce we don't have any students from migrant families 14. Four years ago, as an assistant principal, I worked at a middle/high school with a large migrant student population. I also worked at a migrant summer camp teaching students who needed academic support in core subjec t areas. These experiences enriched my background knowledge concerning th e educational needs of migrant students and issues faced by them and their families. My B.A. in ESOL and district ESOL training provided me with a solid foundation and c onfidence to apply the theory a nd strategies learned. / I firmly believe that every student is enti tled to an education regardless of their immigration status or background. It is our pr ofessional responsibility to make sure we are trained to meet their needs and provi de them with comprehensible academic instruction. 15. Request for information about course choice 1-8 could not be answered because of the ambiguity of what was wanted. 16. I have very few migrant students and our parents are very comfortable in coming to the school when needs arise. 17. We have available in our di strict a team who helps us with our migrant students and attend to them very well. Thank you 18. The success of migrant students depends great ly on the context of their educational experiences. I spent the last 2 years at a schoo l that had been an A for 3 years in a row and migrant students outperformed the non-migrant students. My chess club there, composed of mostly migrant students, were state champions. That sc hool and others like it should be the focus of studies to determin e what factors have positively impacted the educational resilience of migrant students. 19. The majority of our migrant students (just 6) do not move around that much so they do not fit in the normal definition of migrant students. 20. After being a principal for 18 years I real ly understand the place where most of our migrant children are in our schools. In [omitted for confidentiality] our migrant department has done a fabulous job in teaching principals and others what needs to be done and they also do a fabulous job training our teachers. I am presently a Principal on Assignment in the District In tervention Department, which includes Migrant Education, I am honored to see the work that goes on be hind the scenes. Tha nk you for all you can do
144 for this very needy population. Information on numbers etc, was from my last years students. 21. The economic, social and academic needs of mi grant children are as varied as the needs of all other sub groups in schools. Categorizing students and isolating programs and strategies to use with a sub group undermines the concept of individualized instruction. 22. I did not answer many of the questions as we don't have any migrant children attending our school, and I don't feel that I have ha d enough experience wo rking with migrant families to honestly answer what their needs are. 23. At my current I have very few migrant stude nts. My experience comes from 10 years as principal at another school. 24. Our district has a Title I o ffice that assist with support for schools with children of migrant workers. If I acquire that population, I realize that ou r Title I office will be able to offer support and help increase my knowledge. Until that time, I have not actively pursued information pertinent to "migrant" students. I have conversed and learned about ESOL students. My ESOL population just doesn't happen to have parents who work in the agricultural area, yet my increasing numb er of ESOL students still have important needs to be met. 25. I do believe the new regulations stating pa ssing scores on the LAB tests are going to make it harder for our ESOL students to qualify for help. The passing score was 60 and it is now 32. This will require an inordinate amount of time to have many staff members tied up in meetings and filling out much pa perwork to place struggling students into the much needed ESOL program which helps them succeed in school.
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150 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Carrie Te ston Geiger is a Gainesville native, a nd has been a Florida educator for the past 18 years. After receiving a bachelors degree in political science from the University of Florida, she decided that education, rather than politics, was the most viable avenue for positive change in America. She received a masters degree in el ementary education before beginning classroom teaching. Over the course of her teaching career, she has taught first through fifth grades while continuing to work on advanced degrees and su pplemental certifications. She completed a Specialist Degree in instruction and curriculum and was certified in gifted education. She also achieved National Board Certification in 2003. Ov er the past 10 years, Carrie has been an adjunct instructor for the University of Floridas College of E ducation, teaching graduate courses in curriculum, reading, and language arts. Sh e has provided staff development training for Alachua County Schools, other Florida school distri cts, adult education programs, and in South Carolina. She is an instructor for gifted certi fication classes, teaching other educators how to adapt curriculum for gifted learners. She has imp acted the teaching of many pre-service teachers and provided ongoing mentoring fo r beginning teachers in Alachua County and throughout the state of Florida. Carrie received a Doctor of Education from the University of Florida in the summer of 2009. She is married to Matthew Ge iger and has two children, Megan and Connor. She currently teaches reading and language arts to fourth grade gifted students at Talbot Elementary.