EVALUATION OF ACTION PLAN
a. Measuring Techniques and Instruments
The software program used in the analysis of correlations between the independent (climatological) and dependent (behavioral) variables was the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences X (SPSSx), a widely used computer program for statistical analysis in the social sciences.
b. Criteria of Success -- Terminal Objectives
1. An analysis comparing the frequency and severity of behavioral problems of SELC students recorded during the 1984-85 school year, with barometric pressure and the lunar synodic cycle, will show that there is a positive correlation between behavior and these conditions, at a .05 level of competence. This hypothesis was not supported.
2. An analysis comparing the frequency and severity of behavioral problems
of SELC students recorded during the 1984?85 school year, with welfare
check receipt, will show that there is a correlation between behavior and
the receipt of welfare checks, at a .05 level of competence. This hypothesis
was not supported.
An analysis of the 36 correlations generated by the comparison of the twelve predictor variables and three behavioral variables, plus an analysis of multivariate correlations between pairs of predictor variables and each behavioral variable, showed no statistically significant correlation in 34 cases. In one instance a statistically significant correlation was found, but the size of the relationship was too small to have practical value, and it probably resulted from a high experiment?wise error rate. In the other, the relationship shown did not have educational significance.
c. Side Effects
Several positive side effects took place as a result of this practicum. This writer, after studying the findings of the correlation analyses, felt like the tradition?bound scientist to the Court of Queen Isabella when Columbus returned from his voyage with proof that the world was round. The writer has long held the belief that days with significant behavioral problems can be traced to certain pervading conditions. If, in fact, the studied factors do not influence school behavior, are there factors which do? Are "bad" days at school the result of the casual sum of individual factors and acts; are they the result of a cascade effect as one behavioral problem sets off another; are they the result of the studied factors in a more complex relationship; or are there other causes which have yet to be addressed?
Since the existence of a causal relationship between the studied climatological factors/check distribution cycle and behavioral problems were assumed in the past, and since that relationship is now cast into serious doubt, the first significant positive side effect is the re-opening of this subject in search of other causal relationships.
The second positive side effect took place during the statistical analysis
portion of this practicum, when an analysis of attendance was done. The
results were unexpected.
1984-85 School Year
A visual representation of these findings is more impressive:
While it is commonly known that Mondays and Fridays are poorer school attendance days, these statistics show Tuesday to be an almost perfect attendance day, followed by a fall?off through Friday. Further, it shows Fridays to be a more serious attendance problem than Mondays. This will be the base for further school programming to improve attendance. It also indicates that Tuesdays might be the best school days for important activities that require full school participation (maybe Friday Quizzes should be moved to Tuesday).
d. Evaluating management Effectiveness
Since this practicum was one of statistical analysis, effective collection
and recording of data was paramount. Valid practicum results relied on
valid collection and recording of data. Because the recording of the time-out
data was a tedious and time consuming task, it was important that the writer
exhibit appropriate leadership skills throughout the recording process.
Staff charged with the recording of the time-out data had to understand
the importance and the overall significance of their task. By so doing,
the writer found a very small error rate when he checked the data entry
of the time-out information. Evidence of good management effectiveness
was the correct and complete entry of data.