Date of Award

Fall 10-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Cooper

Abstract

This study was designed to explore the relationship between the presence of a school resource officer and a safe school climate, as well as, increased student achievement. Additionally, the perceptions of public school superintendents regarding the impact of school resource officers on safe school climate and academic success were investigated using the Correlates of Effective Schools as a framework. The research was divided into sections to observe two sets of data. Section I included an examination of Missouri school districts with a student population of 2,000 or less, comparing 20 schools with school resource officers to 20 schools without school resource officers. Districts were compared using data collected from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Variables considered in each district were: number of annual performance report standards met, attendance rate, dropout rate, graduation rate, cumulative ACT scores, and number of disciplinary incidents resulting in 10 or more days out-of-school suspensions. Section II consisted of a descriptive study of 260 Missouri school superintendents in districts with student populations of 2,000 or less. Based on the survey responses, there was no statistical difference between schools with resource officers and schools without resource officers, regarding academic achievement; however, 63% of school superintendents reported the presence of a school resource officer in their schools positively impacted student climate and student achievement.

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