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Volume 116, Number 4, 2014

Featured Articles
by Dan Berebitsky, Roger Goddard & Joanne Carlisle
This study examines the empirical link between teachers’ perceptions of principal support for change and teachers’ reports of the degree of collaboration and communication with one another around literacy in Reading First schools. Multilevel analyses showed a significant and positive association between principal support for change and the degree of collaboration and communication.

by Matthew Bundick, Russell Quaglia, Michael Corso & Dawn Haywood
This article reviews the contemporary literature on the structure and correlates of student engagement, and proposes a robust yet practitioner-friendly conceptual framework for better understanding how student engagement in the classroom can be fostered. Numerous research-based practical suggestions are provided for applying this framework in classroom settings.

by Vonzell Agosto
This article provides an analysis of movies at the intersection of race, gender, and dis/ability with particular attention to how Black, dis/abled males are represented through master narratives about Black males that interpenetrate with dis/ability tropes. At the focus of this analysis are movies such as Unbreakable, Source Code, Avatar, and Hancock. The framework of critical race studies in education (CRSE), critical race theory in particular (CRT), with critical dis/ability studies (CDS) helps to flesh out how commonly recycled tropes are used to construct intersectional narrative threats about black males around the themes of dysfunction, marginalization, and miscegenation. These narratives are discussed through the added metaphors of space and race, and presence in absence. Implications for the education of Black males and special education are discussed and recommendations for educators and educational researchers are provided.

by Meredith Honig & Lydia Rainey
This paper explores to what extent central office administrators lead meetings of principal professional learning communities in ways that promise to strengthen principals’ development as instructional leaders and the conditions that help or hinder administrators in the process.

by Clara Muschkin, Elizabeth Glennie & Audrey Beck
This study analyzes the association between the presence of old for grade and retained peers and the propensity for seventh-graders to engage in deviant behaviors in school. We also examine the propensity of students to receive an out-of-school suspension, one of the more severe consequences for disciplinary infractions. Consistent with peer influence theories of adolescent behavior, we find that students who attend school with many old for grade or retained students are more likely to commit offenses in school and to be suspended. Furthermore, we find that the vulnerability of students to these peer influences on behavior tends to vary by age, gender, race, and retention status.

by Anna Saavedra
This study examines whether students’ enrollment in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program improves their ACT composite scores, probability of high school graduation, and probability of college enrollment. Using data on the IB enrollment status of 20,422 students attending thirteen 13 CPS high schools from 2002-2008, I estimate that IB enrollment increases students’ ACT scores by as much as 0.5 standard deviations and their probability of high school graduation and college enrollment by as much as 17 and 22 percentage points, respectively. Though selection bias may contribute to overstating the estimates, the conclusion from the sensitivity analyses is that it is unlikely that this internal-validity challenge negates the principal finding.

by Joanna Geller, Bernadette Doykos, Krista Craven, Kimberly Bess & Maury Nation
Nearly 60 communities nationwide have been awarded Promise Neighborhoods grants from the U.S. Department of Education. This article uses a case example approach to illustrate how variations in trust between and among parents, school staff, and community institutions in one Promise Neighborhood may hinder or facilitate the success of the initiative.

by Tim McCormack, Emily Schnee & Jason VanOra
This article explores how educational researchers can use meta-analysis to “power-up” the findings of their existing, small-scale qualitative research studies. By triangulating data from three independently conducted studies of academically at-risk college students, this research contests “time-to-degree” as a valid criterion for measuring academic success in college.

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