Term of Award

Spring 2010

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

Lucindia Chance

Committee Member 1

Gregory Chamblee

Committee Member 2

J.W. Good

Abstract

Due to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind, many changes in public education and leadership have occurred. The increased accountability demands have led to an increase in practices such as data-driven decision-making and the establishment of accountability systems designed to ensure an increase in student achievement. With such high demands, it is imperative that data use be pervasive and systemic throughout a school. In an effort to gain a better understanding of the perceived implementation of specific measures of accountability systems, the following characteristics were examined: (a) high expectations for all students, (b) high-quality assessments aligned with standards, (c) alignment of resources, support, and assistance for improvement, (d) sanctions and rewards linked to results, (e) multiple measures, (f) diagnostic uses for data, and (g) readily understandable to the public. The study was conducted in an East Georgia School system and utilized an adapted survey from a series of studies performed by Dr. Kerry Englert and her fellow researchers at McRel. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the use of data in a holistic manner. One-way ANOVA analyses were performed to compare educator perceptions at the three traditional school levels and t-tests analyses were performed to compare administrator responses to those of teachers. The researcher's findings revealed a moderate level of agreement in terms of perceived data use throughout the school system. The analyses also revealed that there were no significant differences in perceptions between administrators and teachers. Significantly different perceptions between the elementary and high school educators were revealed when considering the quality of the state assessment, the expectations of learning, the resources available to use data to improve instruction, the communication of these results to stakeholders, and the use of data to improve instruction. Significant differences between middle and high school educators were also observed when considering the communication characteristic and the resource characteristic. The research also revealed that educators at the elementary and middle school levels have more positive perceptions about data use than their counterparts at the high school level.

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