Vincent High School is a comprehensive urban public high school with a student population of working class children of color, the majority of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and nearly a third of who are classified as English language learners. The total enrollment is approximately 1,250 students. The school is located within the greater Los Angeles basin. The phenomenon that occurred at Vincent High is that its California Academic Performance Index (API) scores grew 241 point in less that eight school years (2001-2008) a, statically significant and anomalous increase, indicating immense student learning gains over the same period. The researcher was a teacher at the school concurrent with these student achievement gains.
the purpose of the current self-study was to indetify, examine and analyze the distinguishing characteristics of the high school, and of stake-holder perceptions of them. This was in order to prove the field of education with additional school attributes modeled practices and policies which have shown great promise at Vincent High School for further exploration, hypotheses-testing and possible transfer to other school settings.
The purpose was not to determine specific causality of the advances in student academic performance as measured by standardized test scores that occurred at Vincent High School.
Explicitly, this self-study catalogued and investigated six identified distinguishing characteristics of Vincent High. The researcher interviewed teachers, students, parents and administrators, gleaning their knowledge, perspectives and experiences with the school, its distinguishing characteristics, and of the impacts of these characteristics on the academic and affective outcomes product at the school. In order to achieve data triangulation, the researcher conducted classroom instruction and teacher collaboration meeting observations and performed document analysis of school and district policies…