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Why Is Graduation Rates Higher in Suburban Areas Proposal

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Updated: Jul 20th, 2021

Graduation rates are an important criterion for assessing the quality of the education system. At the same time, these results differ in various factors, and one of them is territorial division. Based on the analysis of academic sources and available information, it has been determined that the considered indicators in suburban areas are higher than those in urban regions. The topic of this paper is the assessment of factors influencing the high graduation rates in suburban places. The problem statement implies that there are specific reasons explaining the significant educational success of students in those establishments that are not located in cities.

As research questions, the following ones can be asked as a basis for the study:

  1. What factors affect high graduation rates in suburban areas?
  2. Why are the indicators of urban educational institutions lower?
  3. What problems do education employees face when analyzing graduation results in different regions?

Based on the topic, this study includes two main variables – independent and dependent. Independent one is the learning process and those techniques that are used in working with students. The dependent variable is the graduate rates of suburban educational institutions. It is assumed that there is a positive correlation between them, which will confirm the hypothesis that special teaching techniques and approaches promoted in suburban institutions allow achieving high learning outcomes. The significance of this study lies in the fact that by analyzing current practices and evaluating the topic under consideration, it is possible to find special educational methods. The use of these techniques in rural and urban educational institutions may contribute to improving the outcomes of teaching and strengthening the system as a whole.

Literature Review

Relevant academic sources can help to find evidence for the proposed hypothesis and prove the existence of the problem under consideration. According to Price and Tovar (2014)1, engagement is one of those educational practices that is promoted in suburban schools and influences student performance. Vasquez Urias and Wood (2014)2 assess the graduation rates of rural, suburban, and urban educational institutions as a percentage. The authors note that “suburban colleges facilitate better performance rates for midlevel achieving students than do urban colleges,” which is valuable observation (Vasquez Urias & Wood, 2014, p. 1115).

Zaff et al. (2017)3 consider those factors that affect graduation results and remark that such criteria are significant as family involvement, promoting students’ individual strengths and capabilities, and establishing positive contact with the teaching staff. According to Freeman and Simonsen (2015)4, improving productivity outcomes is possible if educational institutions do not pursue the ideas of achieving recognition but concentrate on the internal policy of student engagement in the educational process.

Newton and Sandoval (2015)5 review the gender and educational expectations of African American students, attending suburban schools. The authors argue there is no any significant deviation; however, they note that the environment of these establishments is more positive and stimulates productive work (Newton & Sandoval (2015). The study conducted by Cooper (2018)6 is also aimed at identifying those issues that the graduates of minority populations in suburban schools face – poor health, unemployment, and other problems. Nevertheless, no information is given regarding the negative effect of the curriculum, which does not allow challenging the hypothesis. Wood, Kiperman, Esch, Leroux, and Truscott (2017)7 consider various school-level factors that may affect students’ performance and, as a consequence, their graduation results.

According to the authors, in suburban educational facilities, there is less pressure from the senior management on the teaching staff compared to urban institutions (Wood et al., 2017). This, in turn, allows achieving more successful interaction with students and increasing their motivation. Silverman (2014)8 confirms these ideas and remarks that those educational reforms that have been conducted “give minorities and the poor greater access to suburban schools,” thereby stimulating performance (p. 7).

According to Sichling and Roth (2017)9, suburban neighborhoods are often characterized with specific social organization, which is one of the main reasons why graduation rates in local educational institutions are higher than in urban facilities. Robison, Jaggers, Rhodes, Blackmon, and Church (2017)10 do not focus on suburban areas in their study; nevertheless, they note that graduation rates depend on teaching approaches significantly.

This, in turn, proves that in educational establishments located on the outskirts of cities, there is a special working atmosphere contributing to engaging students and making them work hard. Hollis (2015)11 remarks that in suburban areas, there has always been the need for specialists, and the management of institutions in these places allows for the use of innovative teaching methods to attract employees. This approach helps students to learn according to current educational methods, thereby memorizing materials better and achieving greater graduation rates.

Finally, Ma, Shen, and Krenn (2014)12 research such a significant factor as family involvement and argue that in suburban schools, people know one another better than in cities. This advantage allows the teaching staff to attract parents more actively, thereby increasing student performance and their graduation rates. In general, the reviewed studies prove that the proposed hypothesis regarding specific approaches and techniques is logical and justified.

Methodology

To conduct the comprehensive analysis of the topic under consideration and to prove the positive relationship between the proposed variables, a correlational study is required. This design will allow observing the specific learning atmosphere in a particular suburban school and identifying those factors that affect the educational process. Also, a research approach will involve conversations with both students and the teaching staff to determine what difficulties the employees of a certain educational institution face.

Sampling methods will be based on engaging individual participants for observation. As a target audience, the students of all categories will be involved, including representatives from families with both low and high incomes, to exclude potential bias. A sampling frame will consist of such criteria as age, gender, current average score, the degree of satisfaction with the learning process, and feedback on the quality of learning. These components will make it possible to compile different statistical reports and receive the comprehensive picture of the current situation. A sampling strategy based on various criteria is more reliable, which is important when studying the topic under consideration.

As a method of data collection, interviews and surveys with individual students and the members of the teaching team will be conducted. This approach will provide information from both parties, thereby increasing the quality of the study. To minimize measurement errors and enhance the reliability and validity of the data collection instrument, several researchers will be involved, and surveys will take place at different times so that the information could be relevant. The proposed course of work may help to prove the hypothesis that graduation rates in suburban areas are higher than that in rural regions and cities.

References

Cooper, K. S. (2018). Using affective data in urban high schools: Can we equalize the graduation rate? International Journal of Leadership in Education, 21(1), 104-121. Web.

Freeman, J., & Simonsen, B. (2015). Examining the impact of policy and practice interventions on high school dropout and school completion rates: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 85(2), 205-248. Web.

Hollis, L. (2015). The significance of declining full-time faculty status for community college student retention and graduation: A correlational study with a Keynesian perspective. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 5(3), 1-7.

Ma, X., Shen, J., & Krenn, H. Y. (2014). The relationship between parental involvement and adequate yearly progress among urban, suburban, and rural schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 25(4), 629-650. Web.

Newton, V. A., & Sandoval, J. O. (2015). Educational expectations among African American suburban low to moderate income public high school students. Journal of African American Studies, 19(2), 135-156. Web.

Price, D. V., & Tovar, E. (2014). Student engagement and institutional graduation rates: Identifying high-impact educational practices for community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(9), 766-782. Web.

Robison, S., Jaggers, J., Rhodes, J., Blackmon, B. J., & Church, W. (2017). Correlates of educational success: Predictors of school dropout and graduation for urban students in the Deep South. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 37-46. Web.

Sichling, F., & Roth, B. J. (2017). Perceived advantages: The influence of urban and suburban neighbourhood context on the socialization and adaptation of Mexican immigrant young men. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(6), 891-911. Web.

Silverman, R. M. (2014). Urban, suburban, and rural contexts of school districts and neighborhood revitalization strategies: Rediscovering equity in education policy and urban planning. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 13(1), 3-27. Web.

Vasquez Urias, M., & Wood, J. L. (2014). Black male graduation rates in community colleges: Do institutional characteristics make a difference. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(12), 1112-1124. Web.

Wood, L., Kiperman, S., Esch, R. C., Leroux, A. J., & Truscott, S. D. (2017). Predicting dropout using student-and school-level factors: An ecological perspective. School Psychology Quarterly, 32(1), 35-49. Web.

Zaff, J. F., Donlan, A., Gunning, A., Anderson, S. E., McDermott, E., & Sedaca, M. (2017). Factors that promote high school graduation: A review of the literature. Educational Psychology Review, 29(3), 447-476. Web.

Footnotes

  1. Price, D. V., & Tovar, E. (2014). Student engagement and institutional graduation rates: Identifying high-impact educational practices for community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(9), 766-782. Web.
  2. Vasquez Urias, M., & Wood, J. L. (2014). Black male graduation rates in community colleges: Do institutional characteristics make a difference. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(12), 1112-1124. Web.
  3. Zaff, J. F., Donlan, A., Gunning, A., Anderson, S. E., McDermott, E., & Sedaca, M. (2017). Factors that promote high school graduation: A review of the literature. Educational Psychology Review, 29(3), 447-476. Web.
  4. Freeman, J., & Simonsen, B. (2015). Examining the impact of policy and practice interventions on high school dropout and school completion rates: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 85(2), 205-248. Web.
  5. Newton, V. A., & Sandoval, J. O. (2015). Educational expectations among African American suburban low to moderate income public high school students. Journal of African American Studies, 19(2), 135-156. Web.
  6. Cooper, K. S. (2018). Using affective data in urban high schools: Can we equalize the graduation rate? International Journal of Leadership in Education, 21(1), 104-121. Web.
  7. Wood, L., Kiperman, S., Esch, R. C., Leroux, A. J., & Truscott, S. D. (2017). Predicting dropout using student-and school-level factors: An ecological perspective. School Psychology Quarterly, 32(1), 35-49. Web.
  8. Silverman, R. M. (2014). Urban, suburban, and rural contexts of school districts and neighborhood revitalization strategies: Rediscovering equity in education policy and urban planning. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 13(1), 3-27. Web.
  9. Sichling, F., & Roth, B. J. (2017). Perceived advantages: The influence of urban and suburban neighbourhood context on the socialization and adaptation of Mexican immigrant young men. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(6), 891-911. Web.
  10. Robison, S., Jaggers, J., Rhodes, J., Blackmon, B. J., & Church, W. (2017). Correlates of educational success: Predictors of school dropout and graduation for urban students in the Deep South. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 37-46. Web.
  11. Hollis, L. (2015). The significance of declining full-time faculty status for community college student retention and graduation: A correlational study with a Keynesian perspective. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 5(3), 1-7.
  12. Ma, X., Shen, J., & Krenn, H. Y. (2014). The relationship between parental involvement and adequate yearly progress among urban, suburban, and rural schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 25(4), 629-650. Web.
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