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Update: Fox 26 ran this story:
I messaged Ashley Vann, the president of the Katy ISD school board a few days ago and shared this with her, and asked that we meet to discuss this and hopefully find a way to handle this in-house, and keep it out of the press and the public. I gave her 3 days to respond. 4 days have passed, and she has not responded back to me to discuss how we might prevent further damage to the reputation of Katy, and the reputation of University of Houston’s College of Education. I really hoped she had, as this brings me no joy.
In 2008, Keith A. Rowland’s submitted a doctoral dissertation at Liberty University titled: The Relationship of Principal Leadership and Teacher Morale. Click the link to view in full. (You can also view the dissertation from Liberty University’s website here.)
4 years later, in 2012, Lawrence A. Hindt submitted a doctoral dissertation to the University of Houston titled: The Effects of Principal Leadership on Teacher Morale and Student Achievement. Click the link to view in full. (You can also view the dissertation from University of Houston’s website here.)
I am not an expert on plagiarism, and it’s not up to me to make this call, but the similarities concern me, and I believe this is information that the public should be able to weigh in on, even if our school board won’t. U of H has been notified of this, but due to FERPA laws, they can not tell me whether or not they will do anything about it.
It’s not just the exact same lines used between papers that concerns me, it’s the systematic similarity of the format, structure, ideas, thoughts, methods, justifications, conclusions and sources.
Here is how the University of Houston defines plagiarism:
- Using or copying research data that was the result of a study done by others without citing the source.
- Quoting words or ideas from online, electronic or printed resources such as articles or books without acknowledging the author(s).
- Copying or purchasing a paper and handing it in as your own work.
- Falsely creating a citation that doesn’t exist.
- Failing to credit and cite someone else’s thoughts or ideas when paraphrasing.
- Paraphrasing in a way that relies too heavily on another’s language or syntax.
A citizen of Katy has access to TurnItIn.com, a popular plagiarism checker (Which I do not have access to), and ran Dr. Hindt’s dissertation through their system. It came back as 32% similar to other sources: Hindt’s Turnitin results
You be the judge:
I’ll show you line by line comparisons directly below, and below that you can find PDFs that represent the similarities we found in only the first few dozen pages. After that, you can see the initial tool used to identify the exact phrases used in both dissertations.
Rowland (2008) The role of the principal in American schools has been in a constant state of change since its emergence.
Hindt (2012) Since its inception, the role of the principalship in American schools has been in a constant state of change.
Rowland (2008) the principal is a manager of the building or a leader of the school.
Hindt (2012) issue of whether the principal is a building manager or a leader of the school.
Rowland (2008) there has been discrepancy in the expectations of the principal in regard to curriculum and instruction.
Hindt (2012) there have been wide variances in the roles of the principal with respect to curricular and instructional expectations.
Rowland (2008) The emergence of the school principal began in the mid-nineteenth century (Rousmaniere, 2007)
Hindt (2012) According to Rousmaniere (2007), the position of the school principal emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Rowland (2008) With the formation of graded schools in urban areas, a head teacher emerged in many districts to help guide or lead the other teachers in the school.
Hindt (2012) With the creation of graded education programs – particularly in urban areas – many systems created the position of a head teacher in order to provide leadership, guidance, and support to other teachers in the school.
Rowland (2008) As Rousmaniere points out, the lead teacher or principal teacher was the authority in the school,
Hindt (2012) The lead teacher, later called the principal teacher, came to serve as the authority figure and the disciplinarian. In addition, his/her responsibilities included
Rowland (2008) organized curriculum, was the disciplinarian, and supervised operations
Hindt (2012) the organization of curriculum and supervision of various school operations.
Rowland (2008) With the continuation of urbanization in America, the development of the principal’s position continued thorugh the end of the nineteenth century when most urban schools had a principal.
Hindt (2012) Rousmaniere pointed out that as the urbanization in America continued, so did the evolution of the position of school principal. Moreover, by the end of the nineteenth century, most urban schools had a principal at the helm, and the roles of that position were
Rowland (2008) The role was very diverse in that some systems had the principal as primarily a teacher with minor operational duties while others had the principal as simply a clerk with record keeping duties.
Hindt (2012) as diverse as the schools in which they were carried out. In some systems the principal was primarily a lead teacher with minor duties pertaining to school operations, while the principal’s role in other systems included a clerical or record keeping capacity.
Rowland (2008) Into the twentieth century, the principal continued the emergence from teacher to administrator with professional requirements and licensing becoming required for the position of principal.
Hindt (2012) By the turn of the century, however, the principal’s role had been transformed into one of the school administrators, with prerequisites of the job being professional experience and necessary licensing required for employment.
Rowland (2008) For much of the twentieth century, the role of the principal was that of manager where the principal was expected to uphold district mandates, manage personnel, manage the budget, and handle other operational issues (Usdan, McCloud & Podmostko, 2000).
Hindt (2012) According to Usdan, McCloud, and Podmostko (2000), for much of the next century. “The role of the principal was that of manager who was expected to uphold district mandates, manage personnel, manage the budget, and handle other operational issues.
Rowland (2008) As American education moved into a new era of accountability in the later part of the century, this role necessitated the inclusion of leadership.
Hindt (2012) With the movement toward increased accountability in the later part of the twentieth century, the role of the school principal necessitated a transition from manager, to leader
Rowland (2008) As Cawelti (1984) stated: “Continuing research on effective schools has verified the common sense obvservation that schools are rarely effective, in any sense of the word, unless the principal is a “good” leader”.
Hindt (2012) Cawelti’s (1984) findings support this transition: “Continuing research on effective schools has verified the common-sense observation that schools are rarely effective, in any sense of the word, unless the principal is a ‘good leader'”
Rowland (2008) Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko (2000) further develop this role of the principal by stating: “principals today must serve as leaders for student learning”
Hindt (2012) Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko further illustrated findings in support of this change in roles by emphasizing that “principals today must server as leaders for student learning”
Rowland (2008) They list the following items as the requirements for fulfilling this role
Hindt (2012) The following is a list of characteristics of principals that they suggest for successful fulfillment of this role:
- Knowledge of academic content and pedagogy.
- Working with teachers to strengthen skills.
- Collect analyze and use data.
- Rally all stakeholders to increase student performance.
- Possess the leadership skills to fulfill the role.
- Has a knowledge of academic content as well as pedagogical knowledge.
- Deliberately plans for helping teachers strengthen instructional skills.
- Analyzes and uses pertinent data;
- Recreuits all stakeholders to aid in the increase of student achievement; and
- Posssess strong leadership skills (Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko).
Here is another way to view. Match up the numbers between the two documents:
Keith Rowland (2008)
Lawrence Hindt (2012)
Here are many other examples we found in just the first few dozen pages. I recommend opening them both in new windows and reading them side by side. Again, follow the numbered sections from each version.
(Update May 3)
Here is a comparison of the methodology chapter, under ‘Subjects’.
Before manually reviewing the papers, here is what we initially found using a free tool called Copyleaks.
Even many citations are exactly the same, in the exact same order.