Posted by Phillip Anthony Pusateri, Herman Eric Clark and Ann Godowin
on 30 July 2021
We have here another dissertation/doctoral project studying the movement in the USA of small private middle schools addressing the urgent, and too often unmet, educational needs of youngsters from low-income families in urban settings. This study concerns NativityMiguel model schools (NM), a loose network of "small independent middle schools serving students from low income backgrounds" that has grown from 21 schools in 2000 to 62 schools in 2016. The schools emerged out of a perception that USA public schools in urban areas are failing the economically poor and, therefore, "urban students from lower-income backgrounds . . . comprise the bulk of students attending NM model schools" since the model was "founded in order to provide a quality education that allows empowered students to break the cycle of poverty in the United States" The schools' funding model primarily philanthropic has encouraged the active engagement of significant numbers of volunteer teachers.
The problem statement of this study, as articulated by the doctoral project team, is that there "is an insufficient body of knowledge regarding the challenges encountered by volunteer teachers in NativityMiguel model schools, as perceived by principals, as well as an insufficient body of knowledge regarding strategies employed and recommendations made by principals to address these challenges" . The authors, therefore, surveyed NM school leaders to gather data about these matters.