A case study of the annexation of schools into an urban / suburban school district: a description of organizational culture
This qualitative study examined the perceptions of stakeholders who lived through the annexation of Western Independence and Sugar Creek form the Kansas City Missouri School District into the Independence School District. Data collection methods included: semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, blogs, and document review of legal proceedings. Interviews were completed with key members in the community who played a large role in the annexation occurring. Focus group interviews were completed with students, teachers, and parents who had interactions with the Kansas City School District prior to the annexation and then with the Independence School District after the annexation was completed. Data was analyzed using multiple techniques. This included content analysis, major and sub-theme coding, and historical context analysis. Three findings emerged from my study on the organizational culture of the annexed schools: (1) Community involvement in the annexation proceedings and subsequent desire to stay actively involved in the continued growth of the affected schools; (2) School staff and students developing a culture intended to meet higher expectations required by the Independence School District; and (3) The Independence School District having a systems approach that made it possible to absorb 2600+ students and see dramatic growth in performance and stakeholder satisfaction. The findings from this study suggest that further research may be important. The annexation that occurred may be used as a blueprint to offer alternative ways to improve historically low-performing school districts.
Dissertation (Ed.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership