Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Looking through Different Lenses: Teachers' and Administrators' Views of Accountability: Teachers and Principals Don't Always Agree about the Effects on Education of Accountability Systems Based on High-Stakes Testing. Mr. Jones and Mr. Egley Look at the Implications of These Differing Perceptions and Suggest Some Strategies for Creating a Climate in Which Teachers and Administrators Can Move Forward on Improving Student Learning

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Looking through Different Lenses: Teachers' and Administrators' Views of Accountability: Teachers and Principals Don't Always Agree about the Effects on Education of Accountability Systems Based on High-Stakes Testing. Mr. Jones and Mr. Egley Look at the Implications of These Differing Perceptions and Suggest Some Strategies for Creating a Climate in Which Teachers and Administrators Can Move Forward on Improving Student Learning

Article excerpt

SEVERAL Kappan articles have appeared over the past few years about how teachers perceive the effects of test-based accountability programs on public education. (1) These studies have shown that teachers have many concerns about high-stakes testing, including that it narrows the curriculum, causes teachers to teach to the test, dampens student and teacher motivation, and has an overall negative effect on public education. Because there is some evidence that principals have a more positive view of testing, (2) we were interested in comparing the perceptions of principals with those of teachers in a large state with a high-stakes accountability program. We believe that examining the perceptions of both teachers and administrators provides more insight into the effects of testing programs on public education. Thus we surveyed elementary teachers and principals from across Florida, a state that has implemented a high-stakes testing program and has received an A rating for its "Standards and Accountability" in Quality Counts from 2003 to 2006. (3)

Although we have described the results of the teacher and administrator surveys in several other papers, (4) we have not previously compared them. In many respects, the two groups' views of Florida's testing program are similar, yet important differences exist. In this article, we will provide a brief summary of these differences and then discuss some of their possible implications.

SURVEY PARTICIPANTS AND PROCEDURES

Teacher participants included 708 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade Florida teachers from 235 schools in 30 school districts (45% of all districts in Florida). Administrator participants included 325 Florida elementary principals and assistant principals who represented 264 schools in 32 districts (48% of all districts). Both teachers and administrators completed questionnaires that asked them about their demographic information, their current practices, and their beliefs about Florida's test-based accountability program. Some of the items in the teacher and administrator questionnaires were similar, but many were different. The 25-item teacher questionnaire and the 16-item administrator questionnaire included both forced-choice items (e.g., Likert-format items and yes/no items) and two open-ended items: one that asked respondents to discuss whether they thought that Florida's testing program was taking Florida's public schools in the right direction and another that asked them how they would improve upon or change the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). For more detailed descriptions of the methods used in these analyses, please refer to our other papers. (5)

FLORIDA'S TESTING PROGRAM

Under the leadership of Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida developed a testing program, the FCAT, that was first administered in the state's public schools and used for accountability purposes in the spring of 1999. The surveys described in this article were conducted near the end of the fourth year of testing, in the spring of 2002. Starting in the spring of 1999, Florida schools were assigned a letter grade ranging from A (making excellent progress) to F (failing to make adequate progress) based on student test scores in reading, writing, and mathematics and the percentage of students completing the test (e.g., 95% of eligible students were required to complete the test for the school to receive an A). (6) School grades were directly linked to accountability rewards and sanctions. (7) For instance, schools that received an A or that had improved at least one grade level were eligible for monetary incentives. Students attending schools receiving an F for two years in a four-year period were eligible for scholarships to attend another public or private school. Student retention decisions were made by the local school boards, although starting in 2003 students were required to pass the reading and math FCAT, first given in 10th grade, in order to graduate from high school. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.