Principals' attitudes toward the influence of high-stakes testing in North Carolina's public elementary schools with grades three, four, and five

Donald Thomas Cahill, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of elementary school principals of grades three, four, and five toward the influence of high-stakes testing in their schools. High-stakes tests are tests given in the public schools that are accompanied by substantial rewards as well as consequences. North Carolina schools are categorized by their performance on these high stakes tests with indicators ranging from low performing schools to schools that have attained exemplary status. ^ This study examined the demographic characteristics of principals and their schools and investigates whether there are significant differences in the way principals used the results of high-stakes tests given their demographic characteristics. ^ The survey instrument used in this study is based on a study conducted by Shepard and Dougherty in 1991. The original survey was modified to apply to principals in examining their attitudes toward the influence of high-stakes testing. To validate the survey instrument fifteen principals were asked to review the survey questions to see if they were applicable to elementary school principals. The instructions on the instrument were subsequently slightly revised to include the information ascertained from the principal's recommendations and the dissertation committee members. A sample population of 500 was randomly selected from the total of 1084 elementary school principals using SPSS Version 10. An analysis of variance was used to analyze the data collected. The findings identified the differences with regard to the demographic characteristics of the principals and the schools and how they are related to test preparation activities, use of test data, the influence of testing on instruction, the effects of testing on instruction, and the pressure for improved test scores. They identified the differences in the way principals view high-stakes testing given their demographic characteristics and identified the positive and negative implications from the principal's perspective of high-stakes testing. The recommendations for further research are included in the study. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Administration|Education, Elementary

Recommended Citation

Donald Thomas Cahill, "Principals' attitudes toward the influence of high-stakes testing in North Carolina's public elementary schools with grades three, four, and five" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. Paper AAI3345642.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI3345642

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