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An Examination of Readability of Codes of Student Conduct in Pennsylvania k-12 Public Schools

Myford, Levato (2017) An Examination of Readability of Codes of Student Conduct in Pennsylvania k-12 Public Schools. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Public school districts distribute Code of Student Conduct materials as an efficient method of informing parents and students about their rights and responsibilities under relevant laws. The right to attend public school is guaranteed by state and federal law. Prior notice must be given and due process followed when the right to an education is at risk of being removed. The last national study of adult literacy was conducted in 2003, and indicated that 43% of Americans cannot read a lengthy document and derive meaning from in (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). This study examined the Code of Conduct from 30 randomly selected Pennsylvania school districts and the contrasting educational attainment levels of the local community. The Coleman Liau Readability Formula and Degrees of Reading Power readability formulas were used for Code of Conduct materials downloaded from public websites. The level of educational attainment was located through the U. S. Census Bureau public website. Three of the 30 school districts had Code of Conduct materials written below the 12th grade level. All communities had 79% or more adults with high school diplomas, but only four communities had 50% or more adults with college diplomas. The contrast between readability levels and educational attainment levels implies that parents are not informed of educational rights. Best practice would include checking materials for readability, using alternative methods for communicating with stakeholders, understanding the intended audience, and offering continual training for professionals on this topic.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Myford, Levatolvm6@pitt.edulvm6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary
Committee MemberTrovato,
Committee MemberWeiss, Ira
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 July 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 3 September 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 55
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Code of conduct, readability, due process, prior notice
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 20:10
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 20:10


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