Comparing the Student Evaluation of 60 Rural and Urban Type High Schools in Southern California

Article excerpt

One hundred twenty JROTC students attending a summer leadership workshop were asked to evaluate their high schools using the Senior Student High School Rating Scale (SHRS) (Cassel, & Chow, 2002). The both groups came form JROTC units of California from San Diego to San Francisco.. Team-work and democracy were emphasized in the workshops with the notion that in a democracy individuals are expected to participate in the evaluation of programs they are involved in, and that such participation is a democratic birthright.

General Orientation

Emphasis was placed on the notion that "freedom" in the world today is in an evolutionary process of maturing, and that generally the schools of America have not as yet achieved that status. They were assured that sometime in the future, student evaluation of high school programs will be as common place as women or Indians becoming citizens and being allowed to vote in the United States.

They were told that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence which served as the basis for the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Jefferson died in 1826, but never freed own slaves, or ever lived to see a White Man who didn't own property become a citizen and vote in America. The White man who did not own property had to wait to become citizens until Andrew Jackson became President in 1830. The Black man had to wait until Lincoln became president in 1865. Women were not citizens in the United States until 1919, when they became eligible to vote. Indians, of course, had to wait until 1939. The freedom spelled out clearly in our Constitution is still in process of evolution, and high school students being asked to evaluate the program they have been involved in for four years, has rarely been allowed as yet. Typically, students are told that education is a very technical thing, and they do not understand enough to evaluate their high school.

Comparison of Urban and Rural High School Ratings

The data in Table 1 below shows a comparison of the ratings of 60 students from Urban High School with that of 60 students from Rural High Schools in California. A t-statistic was used to compare means on the HSES by Cassel and Chow (2002). First, it should be noted from the data that there were no statistically significant difference in the age of students for the two groups; or the ratio of male and female students involved.

1. Rural High School Students showed their high schools superior at the 05 level of statistical competence or better for four of the 10 part scores--STCOURT, SCSONG, PTEVAL, and SCTOWK.

2. The Rural High School Students showed their high schools to be better than the Urban High Schools by Total Score on the HSES that was significant at the 0.000 level of confidence.

3. For 6 of the 10 part scores on the HSES there was no statistical difference between the Urban and Rural High School evaluations.

HSES Profiles for Urban and Rural Schools

Figures 1 and 2 below display the HSES Evaluation Profiles for the Urban and Rural High Schools, respectively. …