A case study of the perceptions of current and former school board members of a recently annexed, rural, impoverished, South Texas, Latino school district in a high stakes accountability system
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This research study was a qualitative study involving eight current or former school board members of a recently annexed, rural, impoverished, Latino school district in South Texas. The purpose of this intrinsic case study was to highlight the plight of rural education, specifically the plight of a poor school district by examining the perceptions of the school board members. This study was organized around the following sensitizing concerns (Blumer, 1969; Patton, 2002; Schwandt, 2001): What were the school board members’ perceptions about the school district prior to the annexation? What were the school board members’ perceptions of the factors that contributed to the annexation? What were the school board members’ perceptions of the effect of the annexation on the community? The method of inquiry was conversational information interviews (Patton, 2002), two unstructured interviews with each school board member, going where the interviews took me (Fontana & Frey, 2005). The themes revealed in the research included (1) power dynamics, with three sub-themes, (a) trusting those in power, (b) deferring to those in power, and (c) becoming those in power; (2) denial of the obvious, and (3) unspoken paternalism—the Anglo patron system. This study offers implications for policy, practice, and additional research in the areas of rural communities and rural school districts, but most importantly, it provides evidence that rural colonias located along the U.S.-Mexico border have unique educational needs. Rural school districts located along this border need strong school leaders with “a critical leadership of place that support community as a context for learning, understand that schools and their local communities are inextricably linked and that the ability of each to thrive is dependent upon the other” (Budge, 2006, p.8).
Rodriguez, Claudia G. (2007). A case study of the perceptions of current and former school board members of a recently annexed, rural, impoverished, South Texas, Latino school district in a high stakes accountability system. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from