Looking at the three flexible design strategies, and here are my thoughts as they relate to my topic:
Case study – this would involve using research from many other locations, as well as incorporating test scores and more from a variety of locations. Comparing socioeconomic information to said test standardized test scores, etc.
Ethnographic study – It seems this would be a lot more narrow in scope, and could be very time consuming, but rewarding. In light of my preferred topic, I would ideally choose two school districts with similar socioeconomic standing with wide ranging test scores (preferably one failing, one not), to compare what they’re doing differently. Throw in questionnaires for students and teachers regarding what’s being taught/learned and how they feel they could improve.
That being said – a quantitative aspect could be required for this proposal. Getting those numbers and comparing them to socioeconomic demographics would be primarily data mining. Also, getting a general idea of how many students, regardless of socioeconomic status, are struggling from low literacy would potentially involve qualitative methods – pulling large amounts of data from a large variety of sources.
I could be wrong…