The Effectiveness or Ineffectiveness of Alternative School Placement
In most cases, students with behavioral disorders and other disabilities are at risk of leaving school. This happens because conventional schools are failing to meet multiple needs of students with such disabilities (Lehr, 2004). For this reason, alternative programs and schools have appeared as a way out for such students who cannot succeed in conventional schools. According to the Disabilities Education Act, the individuals with behavioral disabilities from age 3 to age 18 or 21 can receive special alternative education services within a variety of placement options (Mathur & Jolivette, 2012). The range of placement options includes alternative classrooms, alternative education schools, residential school, and juvenile detention centers. The purpose of this research is to examine the effectiveness of Alternative School Placement for students with behavior problems. In the related research, it is important to determine how alternative schooling meets the needs of students with behavioral disorders, how it offers equal access to the educational opportunities, and the most important question is what kind of alternative schooling must be served for such children (Smink & Schargel, 2004).
The research will engage some members of the teaching staff in Corleon Junior High School, which is located in the Northeastern part of Mississippi. I will approach the gatekeeper for permission to access the learning institution in order to conduct a survey on the effectiveness of alternative school placement to the student. A brief but clear introduction will be provided to the gatekeeper in order to clarify the matter and its importance. I will thereafter proceed to the administration block to seek permission from the school’s principal regarding the survey. I will also provide detailed information on the research and the reason why Corleon Junior High School teaching staff is best suited for the research. The head teacher will provide us with a letter that will indicate her approval for the survey that will be conducted within the school with the help of the teaching staff. I will later proceed to the staffroom with the guidance from the deputy principal and select part of the teaching staff that will help me to conduct the survey. Out of the entire population size of Corleon Junior High, the research will include only the employees who are willing to participate in the study. This means that the teachers will provide information on a voluntary basis. Not every teacher in the school will participate in the study; this will be due to time limitations, and reduction of extra costs that may incur if the research incorporates all members of Corleon’s teaching staff. The sample size of the entire teaching population is expected to give their full cooperation toward this research so that the research can generate the most accurate findings. Having familiarized myself with the teaching staff and the sample for the research, I leave Corleon Junior High School with permission from the Head teacher, the sample, and the gatekeeper who is important for security reasons. The names of the sample will be concealed during and after the study for confidentiality reasons (Smink & Schargel, 2004).
Participants: Demographics of the School
The High School in Northeastern Mississippi, which will provide the data for the study on effectiveness or ineffectiveness of alternative school placement, is relatively large with our streams on every grade. The school is centrally placed in terms of transport network and amenities, and this makes it suitable for most parents and guardians to bring their children here. Various socio-economic factors have contributed to different demographic groups of students in this school and these external factors have directly or indirectly affected the school. Numerous students come from middle class homes while a certain proportion hail from rich families. The rest of the student-population comprises of the lower class with parents who are engaged in small businesses. The school has a diverse racial constitution with about 38% of the students being of African-American race. The rest of the population belongs to the white race and other races like Asians. The students have learnt to co-exist and make the school environment conducive through embracing all racial differences. Reports from the administrations, however, reveal that there are few cases arising from racial backgrounds though the administration has been working hard to eliminate any racial segregation within the student body.
The presence of different manufacturing companies in the area has contributed to the high number of students in this school with their parents/guardians opting to take their children to school here due to convenience since after school hours they can all travel home together. Indiscipline is a vice that is strongly fought against in this institution though there have been several cases concerning discipline in the past. The students who are found guilty are punished accordingly and in some extreme cases, they are asked to bring their parents. Few students have been suspended or permanently sent away from the school. Some students with disciplinary disorders have been referred to other schools that can accommodate their disorders and shape them while providing them with the same education. Alternative programs and schools have appeared as a way out for such students who have been unable to succeed in a similar school to this one.
There will be different instruments and materials that will be used in this research, and they include writing material, which will have the questionnaire forms that will be filled by our sample teachers during the study. Pens and other important stationery like rulers and marker pens will be mandatory in this study. There will be use of computers and the internet will be useful in gathering online data about the effectiveness of the school placement programs.
The sampling of data will be conducted to select 30% of the school’s teaching staff. The individuals who will constitute the primary source of data will fill in the questionnaires and give verbal information that will be recorded for the final tabulation in percentages and charts. The internet, is another source of data that will be classified in the secondary source, will be very useful in this process and through the help of the internet, I will be able to search for more details on the topic of study online. This will help in the discovery of more facts and details on alternative school placement and its impacts to students. I will, as a result, gather all information needed in the research regarding its negative and positive impacts. The mode in which I will carry out the research will be aimed at incorporating all the views and information of the sample population from the teachers in the school and incorporate data from secondary sources. It is a fact that most members of the teaching staff get into contact with children with such disorders in their day-to-day teaching responsibilities. The teachers have first-hand experience with the students with disorders that call for alternative placement and they are, therefore, best suited for this role of providing data. Bearing in mind the pressure on cost and time to be taken in the research, the sample will only include data from the teachers who will offer to give information on the same and whose percentage will be estimated to be 30% of the teaching staff.
The actual execution of the survey will kick off early in the morning on the conclusive study with the research assistants preparing the materials and equipment to be used. They will ensure that the sample is present and that they are composed to provide adequate and accurate information on the topic of study. The verbal interview will be conducted on the area of choice of the teacher and this will ensure that they are at ease to answer all the questions that arise. The questionnaires will be distributed evenly to all the teachers providing the study with information. The actual interviews are set to kick off at exactly nine o’clock and it will begin by verbal investigation with the help of the research assistants. After all the teachers have provided their views and observations on alternative school placement, they will be provided with a questionnaire that will touch on the statistics pertaining to alternative school placement. The teachers will give a probability of the number of students enrolled in alternative placement institutions from the pre-kindergarten level through to the secondary education level. The questionnaire will also require the teachers to give their ratio of girls to boys who are enrolled in the special schools. Being that they spend most of the time with the students than any other person, the teachers have a provision to give their general views and suggestions concerning this matter. The team will ensure that the teachers exhaust themselves in providing information by providing them to add any point that they deem necessary for the research.
After a thorough interaction with the sample, I will contact the internet to gather information on the school and how it relates to alternative placement program to some of the students who have been noted to possess similar disorders. The information gathered on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the alternative schools for students with special cases and behavioral disorders. The data collected from the internet and the sample will be represented in different forms to enable analysis of the results.
Once the sample population has provided the data that will be on a non-probability basis, the data will then be processed and it will be described by tabulation percentage and graphs, too. The tabulation percentages and the graphs will help in reading and interpreting the data collected. In order to select the ideal population group to be used in the study, it will be chosen on the basis of the teacher’s experience and this will help in eliminating inaccurate data if a different method is to be used. This method of selection will be appropriate in providing total freedom in achieving relevant and conclusive data.
From the survey conducted in the high school in Mississippi, the findings indicate that the number of cases of behavioral disorders and special cases is steadily rising as compared to five years back. The number of black special cases enrolled in the special institutions is very high as compared to white students and other races. The number of male students placed under alternative school programs is slightly higher than that of female students. The survey, however, discovered that the rate of such behavioral disorders is almost nil at the kindergarten stage, and these characters emerge as they begin their first grade. This pattern can be blamed on the fact that the children in their kindergarten years are still developing both psychologically and physically and any disorders or special conditions cannot be detected at this early stage. The 75% enrollment for black students into the alternative placement schools raises questions on the upbringing of the African-American students though the research reveals that these students do not get enough exposure to physical and mental challenges while they are toddlers. Parents and guardians, however, are suspected to be lenient on their emphasis on discipline; thus, there are a high number of disorderly black students. From the deductions made from the research, the alternative school placement is a good remedy to students with behavioral disorders and special conditions. Amendments should, however, be made to these institutions to introduce more counseling and physiological lessons to ensure that the students attain the right moral and physical foundation for their future lives.