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USM Job Talk

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Leslie Locke

on 6 April 2014

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Transcript of USM Job Talk

Personal and academic introduction
My research lines
My most recent research and its importance to the field
Potential avenues for funding my future research
My strengths as a scholar and professor
Agenda for Presentation
Fundability &
Future Directions with Research
Why is my research “fundable”?
ECHSs are becoming a national trend (1 EC program at Hinds CC, Pathways program at GP High School, 2 ECHSs in Memphis, 1 EC program at U of AL)
As the Gates Foundation initially provided start up funds for ECHSs—research on ECHSs is likely also to be funded
Latinas continue to be an understudied demographic

$$ Sources:
Gates, Dell, Wallace, Kellogg, Latina/o funding and other national foundations
NSF, Institute for Educational Sciences
State government, state and local foundations, USM CSRW

Researchers and leaders may lack focus on authentic issues that will increase equity and support social justice
Lessons Learned:
Implications for Research

Obstacles within the school may create and/or reinforce unfreedoms for students and families

What can schools and school leaders do to create a “stop gap”. . .
what adjustments can they make to increase REAL freedoms to achieve?
Lessons Learned:
Implications for Practice
Ariel: “It’s like giving a us car, only without the wheels.”
: In terms of the Conceptual Frameworks of Freedoms to Achieve, Unfreedoms, and Deformed Choices

: In terms of one student—Ariel
Explanation of Findings

Achievement must be housed w/in students’ larger lives.
Analytic lens to view achievement.
Conceptual Frameworks
Profile of the Participants
Tambryn Early College High School
Qualitative inquiry, case study
The purpose of the study was to understand

Data Collection Methods:
Purposive sampling
Interviews, document* analysis, observation, student journals, researcher journal, field notes
Eight Latina students participated in my study

Analysis: Constant comparative method

Researcher Role: Served in a PT leadership role—interacted with students, staff, parents, community members

*Documents included the mission statement, scholar’s oath, core values, and Student/Parent/Staff Contract
Statement of the Problem(s)
& Research Questions

Latina students are the largest group of girls of color in U.S. schools, and have the highest dropout rate among girls of all other ethnicities.

There is a lack of research on policy solutions offered to attend to the above issues.

The girls in my study made an affirmative decision to attend an ECHS designed to prepare them for college, yet they were underperforming.*
“It’s like giving us a car, only with out the wheels”:
A qualitative study of the academic performance of Latina students at an early college high school

What are Early College High Schools?
Why did they start?
P16 Initiative, partnerships with institutes of higher ed
What do students “give up” in order to attend an ECHS?
My Current Research

McKenzie, K. & Locke, L. (
). Becoming a leader for equity and excellence: It starts with instruction. In S. Douglass Horsford (Ed.), New Perspectives in educational leadership: Exploring social, political, and community contexts and meaning (pp. 56-74). New York: Peter Lang.

McKenzie, K. & Locke, L. (
accepted, 2012
). Distributed leadership: A good theory, but what if leaders won’t or don’t know how to lead? Journal of School Leadership.

Maxwell, G., Locke, L., & Scheurich, J. (
accepted, 2012
). Case study of three rural Texas superintendents as equity oriented change agents. The Qualitative Report.

Venzant-Chambers, T., Huggins, K., Locke, L. & Fowler, R. (
). Racial opportunity cost of high academic achievement for students of color. Educational Studies.

Maxwell, G., Locke, L., & Scheurich, J. (
under review
). The rural social justice leader: A profile in resilience. Journal of School Leadership.

Locke, L. & McKenzie, K. (
under review
) "It's like giving us a car, only without the wheels": A qualitative study of Latina students at an early college high school. EAQ.

Locke, L., Stedrak, L., & Eadens, D. (
preparing to submit
). Latina students, an early college high school, and educational opportunity: A case study. Journal of Case Studies in Education Leadership.

11 peer-reviewed conference presentations (e.g.: UCEA, AERA) on above work
Research Line 2
(Current Research)

Venzant-Chambers, T., Locke, L., & Medina, A.
. “That fuego, that fire in their stomach” Academically successful Latina/o students and racial opportunity cost. Int'l Journal of Urban Educational Leadership

Working on “social action” manuscript from dissertation—will submit to Race, Ethnicity and Education

4 peer-reviewed conference presentations (e.g.: UCEA, AERA) on above wor
Research Line 1
(Current Research)
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UMN, Ph.D. from TAMU
Master’s work focused on issues related to Latina/o education
Community work with Latina/o organizations and communities
Doctoral work focused on Latina students and early college high schools
These experiences led me to my research agenda
This talk is an example of such work
Academic Background
“It’s like giving us a car, only without the wheels”:
“It’s like giving us a car, only without the wheels”:
A qualitative study of academic performance
of Latina students at an early college high school
Critical Scholar—
Focused on social justice and equity issues
Qualitative: 6 courses, trained with Yvonna Lincoln
Quantitative: 3 courses, trained with Bruce Thompson
Attended Summer Statistics Institute at Texas A&M 2007, 2008, 2009
Long-term experience working with Hispanic individuals and communities; speak and read Spanish
Experience on journals: Associate Editor for EAQ; Internal Review Board member for QSE
18 graduate credits in sociology—trained with Feagin, Saenz, Valdez (race scholars) and Sell (social theorist)
My Strengths
Knowing how students think about their performance and experiences in school—and understanding how they are
able to–or unable to
—maximize on policy interventions (such as the ECHS) will help to develop effective and appropriate solutions.

This study was significant as it contributed to the literature regarding the lack of Latina student success in high school, their progression to college, and the contributions of ECHSs as policy interventions.
Again, So What?
Why Does Any of This Matter?

Policymakers may not understand the authentic lives (the lived experiences) of students and families affected by policy
Lessons Learned:
Implications for Policy
Pooh: “…doing the work and stop thinking that I have extra time when I really don’t, because you always have something else to do. So that’s what I’ve got to think about, procrastination. It’s not just that you have this, it’s this, this and that.”

Jamila: “[I] can’t always make it to tutorials because [I am often] at work.”

Inability to access help
Theme III: Deformed Choices—
choices influenced and affected by unfreedoms
Pooh: “[My earlier school experiences] could have prepared me better, because I know in my eighth grade year it was like I don’t know, it was really easy. And you got here and I’m like, oh my gosh, I didn’t realize—[the teachers would say] oh you should have learned this in eighth grade. [And I’m like] I didn’t learn that.”
Lack of ability

Heavy homework/testing schedule
Lack of organizational skills
Confusion over syllabi at TECHS
Outside responsibilities
Lack of a college narrative
Theme II: Unfreedoms—constraints or restrictions which limit educational opportunity (limits on freedoms)

Knowing how students think about their performance and experiences in school—and understanding how they are able to–or unable to—maximize on policy interventions such as the ECHS will help to develop effective and appropriate solutions.

This study was significant as it contributed to the literature regarding the lack of Latina student success in high school, their progression to college, and the contributions of ECHSs as policy interventions.
Who am I?
How did I become interested in this work?
Personal experiences
Community work
Why this study for this researcher?
Personal experiences influenced my academic agenda
Personal Background

Saraih: “[TECHS] was a very good experience for me because I got to see what it is going to be like in the future once you go to college. You have to know that going into college that we have to be prepared for anything, take notes, you know even though teachers don’t ask us to.”

Ariel noted that TECHS provided a “fifty percent discount” on college.

“[TECHS] offers a rigorous program…students attending TECHS will be successful in pre-AP/AP and dual credit courses, complete the distinguished achievement high school graduation plan…enroll in a four-year college or university after high school graduation…”
Theme I: Freedoms to Achieve
Relationship Between Courses Taught and Research Interests
Context: The Study Site
Tambryn Early College High School
Accountability Scores
Recognized 2007, Exemplary 2008, Exemplary 2009
Freedoms to Achieve
Ariel makes an affirmative choice to attend TECHS. She wants to go to college. She wants to take advantage of what TECHS has to offer to help her get there (rigor, free college courses, extra help, etc.).

Inside the program, Ariel feels like she lacks ability, is overwhelmed with homework and tests. She must work to contribute to the family income.

Deformed Choices
Because Ariel must work, she “chooses” work over tutorial sessions. Because Ariel feels she lacks ability and is overwhelmed with homework and tests, she gets frustrated and “chooses” to procrastinate.
Leslie Ann Locke
January 30, 2013
A qualitative study of academic performance of Latina students at an early college high school
Policy, leadership, and equity issues for traditionally marginalized students
elements believed to increase
educational opportunity
Freedoms provided by TECHS according to institutional documents:
S/P/S Contract states:
small classes
access to teachers/extra help
tuition-free college courses
free college
access to help
college prep
alternative high school option
Freedoms perceived by Latina students:
Anderson, N. & Larson, C. (2009) “Sinking like quicksand”: Expanding educational opportunity for young men of color. EAQ, 45, 71-114.

Freedoms to Achieve (Sen, 1992)
Real opportunity to accomplish what we value
Elements that increase opportunity in schools

Unfreedoms (Sen, 1992)
Limits or constraints on freedoms or opportunities

Deformed Choices (Nussbaum, 1999)
Decisions made in the presence of an unfreedom
Jamila: “Cause when I’m here at school, I’m just like, oh I’ve got to turn in this essay and do this and do this. And then when I go to [work], I’m like oh yes, we have confirmations coming up and we need to start typing up the certificates, we need to do this, we need to do that. And it’s just like ehhhhh [sic].”
Holistic Policies and Focus on Capabilities
Communication of Needs
Research inclusive of student perceptions (like this study) must be woven into the fabric of the policy

Improving the educational pipeline
Reducing the confusion over TECHS syllabi
Creating a college-like atmosphere
Having cultural navigators
Supporting gender and cultural competency
Tapping into cultural knowledge
Working to establish equity, developing an equity conscious staff
Understanding family support
Talking about race and racism
this is where the rubber meets the road

Researchers and leaders must work to construct interpretations of school improvements appropriate for the advancement of students and staff development.
Researchers and leaders must also understand student lives inside and outside of school.
Research Line 1: Equity Issues Directly Related to Latinas/os:

Following Latina students who have graduated from an ECHS and are now in college. Could be a mixed methods (collaborative) approach.
I will seek funding through Gates, Wallace, Dell, USM

(chat w/ Syd Conner and Sarah Hutto),
Latina/o-focused funding sources: MS Hispanic Association
Research Line 2: Policy, Leadership, & Equity Issues for Traditionally Marginalized Students:

Conducting a similar study as the current, only with African American girls
I will seek funding through Gates, Dell, Wallace, USM, SPLC

Conducting a study of teacher and leader perspectives regarding working in the ECHS environment
I will seek funding through MS Dept. of Ed., Gates, USM, SPLC
Emphasis on transformational and instructional leadership
Worked in administrative leadership roles at an ECHS for 4 years; Berlitz 4 years
Able to teach in areas of theory, leadership, policy, social foundations of education, qualitative methods, social justice, diversity, multiculturalism
USM courses: Qualitative Methods; Literature Review; Leading Diverse Student Pops; Educational Leadership; Socio-Political Issues Related to Ed Leadership; Intro to Instructional Leadership; Foundations of School Leadership; Boot camp
For copies of the slides, or clarification of my
research agenda, please contact:
Leslie Ann Locke
So What?

What are the perceptions of Latina students, who are underperforming, regarding their school performance and experiences at an ECHS designed to prepare them for college? And what does this mean for the ECHS as a policy intervention?
Research Questions:
Equity issues directly related to Latinas/os
*underperformance was defined as failing 3 or more classes at 6-weeks into the semester
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