The overall objectives of this study were to determine if cultural relevancy, parental and community values, school's core values, administrative leadership styles, and relevant academic programs are an important and necessary combination for the successful education of urban learners. The research questions were: (1) What are the characteristics in the home, school, and community that determine success or failure of the urban learner? (2) To what extent do the school's core values and the principal's leadership style and behaviors determine administrative effectiveness in the urban school? (3) To what extent do successfully implemented programs that represent effective and relevant pedagogy contribute to the urban learner?
The participants in the study consisted of three groups of educators involved in education specifically with urban learning. One group was identified as experts in working with culture and cultural relevancy. A second group consisted of teachers from the state of Washington for whom the researcher had been their supervisor. The third group consisted of 10 pre-service and/or in-service teachers who were undergraduate education majors.
The methodology for the study was through qualitative interviews with each participant involved responding to a questionnaire created by the researcher.
This study was designed to identify and seek solutions to problems of urban learners and those responsible for their academic success. The researcher ventured to analyze and promote the premise that cultural relevance, parental home value systems, and the role and level of importance of the quality of effective school administrative leadership are a critical combination for the successful education of urban learners.
The participants' responses covered several different aspects or characteristics of the home and community determining the success or failure of the urban learner. The respondents agreed that the major characteristic in the home that promotes academic success for the urban youngster is high expectations. Other attributes favoring successful achievement were based on community cohesion and the presence of resources such as libraries, reading materials, or supportive community-based programs.
A school's core values and the leadership of the principal are cornerstones of urban learners' achievement success based on the respondents' feedback. High ethical standards, coupled with motivation and an insistence on excellence in teaching strategies that positively impact all youngsters is paramount. The respondents felt effective educators value staff contributions, have good follow through, empower teachers, and are clear and concise in their articulation of expectations for students and teachers.
The urban learner can achieve if he/she has the aggregate combination of a research-based curriculum that is culturally rich and sensitive, a committed school environment with outstanding teachers who understand and include a cultural rich environment for learning, a community that supports excellence and expects their youngsters to achieve, combined with the motivating force of an unrelenting principal who insists on success for every child.