The Effect of Mandated School Reform Strategies on Teacher Working Conditions and Student Learning in a Secondary School Designated "Improvement Required" By the Texas Education Agency
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Purpose: This study examined the relationship between mandatory school reform efforts and the impact these efforts have on teacher working conditions and subsequently on student learning. This study also aimed to inform educational leaders regarding the establishment teacher working conditions to maximize sustainable school improvement. Method: A case study was employed to illuminate social interactions occurring at a school under sanctions to improve due to poor academic performance. Qualitative analysis framed by critical theory was used to identify themes emerging from teacher interviews, observation, and review of survey data. Findings: Mandatory school reform impacted the school as well as the people that work there and the students whom it attempts to educate. This case study found that school reform efforts focused on improved test performance negatively impacted teacher working conditions and, as a result negatively impacted student learning. Implications: School leaders must navigate conflicting goals when embarking upon school reform efforts and must be mindful of teacher working conditions to avoid unintended negative consequences.