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Research Methods / Critiquing an Article

The object of your critique is to describe how the study followed or failed to follow the criteria for good research. Speculate on which of the writer's conclusions were warranted and which were not. Please include the following topics in your critique of the selected research article:

-Study design
-Problem or objective
-Literature review
-Population sampling for study
-Measurement
-Data collection methods and analysis
-Analysis
-Limited and justifiable conclusions

Format

The research article should not be more than two years old. .

Solution Preview

Try using this article From Forbes Magazine. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rahimkanani/2011/09/07/an-in-depth-interview-with-vinny-dotoli-of-the-harlem-academy/ (pasted in part here) The largest part of this critical review is in the analysis and limited/justifiable conclusions sections, as I suspect that this is what your instructor wants you to focus on.

"Recently, I interviewed Vinny Dotoli, founder and Head of School at Harlem Academy, an independent school for children whose aptitude for success in higher education might otherwise go unrealized. Vinny previously taught at the Pennfield School (RI); taught at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School (MA); and spent seventeen summers at Camp Timanous (ME), directing the wilderness trips and counselor-training programs. He holds an MA in educational administration from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BS in psychology from Union College.

Rahim Kanani: How did Harlem Academy come about?

Vinny Dotoli: We started Harlem Academy with a singular goal: to overturn the status quo for high-potential children in Harlem. Our mission was to create a school where success would be based on ability and drive, not on a zip code, a lottery, or a family's wealth. We planted our roots in Harlem-an area with overwhelmingly low performing public schools-and modeled the atmosphere and rigor of the City's highest performing private schools.

As with any new venture, starting Harlem Academy required unremitting optimism and a healthy dose of realism. I look back at our earliest days with tremendous respect for our founding families, teachers, volunteers, and donors. Together we started Harlem Academy with a small first grade class and expanded by one grade each year. We grew slowly and intentionally, positioning ourselves to learn at every step and then build based on our experience. While much has changed in the intervening years as we've moved, expanded, and matured, one thing has remained constant - the importance of this ever-expanding community in ensuring our success.

Rahim Kanani: As head of the school since inception, what are some of the leadership challenges you have faced in nurturing and guiding this organization, and how have you overcome them?

Vinny Dotoli: When we started out, we had an inspiring school on paper but a long journey to make it a reality. We had the mission-critical work of building a rigorous academic curriculum, a program for students' healthy holistic development, and an approach to family partnership. At the same time, we were also wading through the intricacies of how to manage human resources, finances, and the countless other details of building an organization. During that time, I gained a whole new understanding of the concept of inertia, and the challenge of getting an object at rest into motion. That first push took a monumental effort.

Like with any organization, our challenges have changed over time. These days, I am often thinking about how to encourage innovation and experimentation while making sure we don't get derailed from our mission. While there's no formula for how to get this right, I think it boils down to two main things. First, everyone involved - parents, teachers, students, administrators, and volunteers - has to be working toward a shared mission. Second, you need to get the right people on the team - we look for people who are not just smart, but also entrepreneurial, intellectually curious, and reflective. Once your mission and team are in place, you have the flexibility to explore different pathways to the same endpoint.

Rahim Kanani: Founded in 2004, paint a portrait of the Academy's success over the last 7 years.

Vinny Dotoli: Harlem Academy students average a 16-percentile-point gain on nationally standardized tests during their first year at the school. They then maintain these high scores through the later elementary and middle school years, when disadvantaged students typically see a drop in performance. Ninety-six percent of our students score above the national ...

Solution Summary

Critiques an article from Forbes Magazine to ascertain whether or not good research methods were used.

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