Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 9/Chapter FAQ

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Effective SChools

Chapter FAQ's

Susan Stone

Learning Targets[edit]

The student(s) will be able to discuss and analyze the characteristics associated with an effective school as demonstrated through the performances of students, teachers, and administrators.


As we enter the world of education in the twenty first century, schools today are faced with many challenges. These challenges are all encompassing. They include effective teaching, safe and orderly environment, classroom management, planning and instruction, and the overall professionalism and attitude of people in a school building. Today's schools are a reflection of the community that they serve. With the laboring economy that effects us all, the work that has to be accomplished to create an effective school is more difficult then ever in the history of education.

"The finest gift we can give our children is our heartfelt belief that they can succeed." -Lawrence W. Lezotte

Chapter FAQ's[edit]

Q: What are effective schools?

A: Lawrence, Lezotte, & McKee (2002) states that "Effective Schools are schools that can, in measured student achievement terms, demonstrate the joint presence of quality and equity. Effective Schools demonstrate high overall levels of achievement and no gaps in the distribution of that achievement across major subsets of the student population" (p. 15). In order to establish an effective school atmosphere there must be a collaborative working environment between school personnel, parents and the community. A safe school environment is mandatory, and all academic initiatives must ensure student participation.

For more information please refer to the following links:

Q: What is a Mentor?

A: A mentor is someone a student can look up to and role model after. A mentor is someone who is a trusted counselor or teacher and/or an influential senior and supporter (Mentoring, 2009). Teachers and students can benefit from having a mentor assigned to work with them on a regular basis. In Virginia, schools are required to have mentoring programs for new teachers to assist with classroom instruction, planning, classroom management, discipline procedures, and the overwhelming amount of paperwork required. New teachers were leaving the profession after just a few years in the classroom. Effective schools are able to maintain their professional teaching staffs. Teacher longevity in the classroom is essential for student success.

Many effective schools also provide student mentors. Teachers work with targeted at-risk students who have continually performed poorly in the classroom, have a poor attendance record, or display signs of possibly dropping out of school.

For more information please refer to the following links:

Q: What are Effective Teachers?

A: Wong & Wong (1999) state that "An effective teacher has three characteristics defined as having positive expectations for student success, is an extremely good classroom manager, and knows how to design lessons for student mastery" (pg. 64). These three characteristics associated with an effective teacher are considered extremely important and must be put into place before an effective classroom can be achieved. An effective teacher is able to establish a good working relationship with the students in his/her classroom. This sound working relationship is essential. Once this relationship is established, a teacher can expand the curriculum and provide a learning environment that allows students to grow to their fullest potential.

Q: What is a Safe and Orderly Environment?

A: The Student Wellbeing Branch (2006) states that safe schools are effective schools. Safe schools include a definition of bullying, an anti-bullying policy, and strategies for schools and parents on prevention and management. Students need to be educated in a safe haven. Without this, learning will not take place. Parents, students, teachers and administrators must work together to establish sensible and workable guidelines and daily procedures. All teachers must buy into the process and be consistent. There should be few rules, but many procedures for students to follow.

Q: What is Classroom Management?

A: Effective schools have teachers who are effective with their classroom management skills. Classroom management is the ability of a teacher to organize everyday tasks, lessons, and assignment in such a way that students are actively engaged throughout the class period. Wong, H., & Wong, R., (1999) states that "classroom management refers to all of the things that a teacher does to organize students, space, time, and materials so that instruction in content and student learning can take place"(p. 26). Teachers in an effective school understand what must take place in the classroom in order for students to learn. Classroom management defines how well a teacher is organized. This includes easy transitioning from one activity to another, a variety of teaching activities, differentiation of instruction, student involvement in the lesson, and the lesson organize that the students are the active learners in the classroom.

Q: How to have effective planning?

A: In effective schools everyone, including all professonal and classified staff members, have to develop a plan. Those who do not plan find the school will have many behavior problems, off-tasked students, and general chaos (Breaux, 2003). In order for a teacher to be plan effectively, the understanding of the student data is essential. Once teachers and administrators understand and use the student data they will be able to plan for academic strengths and weaknesses of the class. Data should be broken down into many categories to truly comprehend what is happening in a school. This means teachers and administrators should look at test scores, attendance records of specific ethnic groups and student gender. This knowledge will give school personnel the ability to effectively plan their lessons and provide quality teaching strategies in the classroom.

Q: Is attitude everything?

A: Attitude is everything!! In effective schools all building level personnel must have the attitude that all students will learn and be successful. Breauz (2003) "Students should be treated with dignity while teachers carry themselves as a professional at all times and be the most enthusiastic person in the classroom" (p. 7). No school can be effective if the teachers and administrators do not possess the attitude that all students will be successful. No program, no lesson, no learning activity will be effective without the presence of a good attitude.

For more information please refer to the following links:

Q: How the community is affected?

A: Good school and community relations are an essential need to establish an effective school environment. Teachers and students must feel the support of their community. Dunlap & Alva (1999) discuss "Why is parent involvement so highly valued? Research shows that a correlate of increased levels of parent involvement is an increase in student achievement (Epstein, 1995; Flaxman & Inger, 1992; Hickman, Greenwood, & Miller, 1995), as well as improved student attendance and reduced dropout rates (Berger, 1991; Greenwood & Hickman, 1991). These are desirable outcomes from an "educentric" perspective, however they fall short of fully addressing the National Educational Goal to "increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children" (p. 1). Community involvement is needed when talking about effective schools. It behooves school personnel to involve their community in their academic world. Schools should understand the academic needs of the community and incorporate programs that will allow students to either continue with their education or enter the world of work. When students graduate and have nothing to look towards in their immediate future, then there is a lack of communication taking place between the two entitites.

For more information please refer to the following links:

Multiple Choice Questions[edit]

1. Which of the following are not one of the three effective characteristics of effective teachers in effective schools?

A)Time Management

B)Student Success

C)Classroom Management

D)Design Lessons

2. This is the ability of a teacher to organize everyday tasks, lessons, and assignment in such a way that students are actively engaged throughout the class period.

A) Mentoring

B) Classrooom Management

C) Effective Teaching

D) Effective Planning

3. What is the result if effective school methods are not in place?

A) All students will fail

B) There would be a lack of order, classroom management, and safety

C) Parents would be highly involved in all school events

D) No child left behind sanctions would be implemented

4. In what ways do the state of Virginia measure effective schools?

A) High Graduation rates

B) High attendance rates

C) Through norm and criterion-referenced test results

D) All of the above

Answers: 1. A 2. B 3. B 4. D


Breauz, A. (2003). 101 "ANSWERS" for New Teachers and Their Mentors. New York: Eye On Education.

Lezotte, L., & McKee, K. (2002). Assembly Required: A Continuous School Improvement System. Michigan:

Effective School Products.

Wong, H.& Wong, R. (1998). The First Days of School. California: Wong Publications.

Department of Education and Training. (2006). Safe Schools are Effective Schools: A Resource for

Developing Safe and Supportive Schools Environments. Victoria: S.R. Frankland pty Ltd.

Dunlap, C. & Alva, A. (1999). Redefining School and Community Relations: Teacher's Perceptions of Parents

as Participants and Stakeholders. Retrieved June 7, 2009, from

Dictionary Online. (2009). Retrieved June 7, 2009, from


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