Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

T. C. Chan

Committee Member 2

Abebayehu Tekleselassie

Committee Member 3

Linda M. Arthur

Abstract

The study explored the perceptions of the Georgia elementary principals as high-stakes testing is utilized in the theme of accountability. The study examined 335 principals' personal and professional demographics and perceptions of the implementation of high-stakes testing. The study employed a descriptive, survey approach to address the research questions. A self-designed survey questionnaire was developed to explore principals' perception of high-stakes testing, and included both a qualitative and quantitative orientation. Findings indicated that the majority of the 335 Georgia elementary principals who responded to the survey were 46-55 year old females who worked in suburban areas of the state. They typically held the Education Specialist degree, have an average of two years of experience as principal, and made AYP for the 2005-06 school year. Respondents believed that they could use high-stakes testing results to improve student achievement. At the same time, the principals expressed concern that factors beyond the control of the principal influenced student achievement yet were not considered with the findings from the test results. 2 Principals supported the purpose of high-stakes testing as the improvement of student achievement and indicated that although the results were consistently used for that purpose high-stakes testing did not improve education for all students. A majority of principals indicated that high-stakes testing appropriately held them accountable for student achievement as measured by the tests, but did not evaluate their school leadership abilities.

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