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Table 4: percentage of responses and descriptive statistics by item for beliefs about stress

Item 1 a 2 3 4 5 Mdn M SD
24 High stakes testing leads to competition among principals. 1 12 19 53 15 4.00 3.68 0.91
25 Principal’s stress increases when the school receives a failing grade. 1 0 1 34 63 5.00 4.58 0.62
26 Principal’s stress increases when the school’s accountability grade declines. 0 1 1 38 59 5.00 4.54 0.63
27 Punitive measures associated with high stakes testing induce principal stress. 2 2 5 38 54 5.00 4.41 0.80
28 Principals experience stress in the effort to maintain their school’s accountability grade. 0 1 3 47 49 4.00 4.45 0.59
29 Principal’s stress increases with public advertisement of a schools high stakes test results. 0 4 6 39 51 5.00 4.38 0.77
30 The pressure of high stakes testing may result in principals cheating to improve scores. 23 28 30 15 4 2.00 2.49 1.11
31 District supervisors’ pressure to improve high stakes test scores increase stress in principals. 0 5 10 49 36 4.00 4.18 0.78
32 Principals pressure to improve high stakes test scores increase teacher stress. 0 1 7 49 43 4.00 4.33 0.69
33 Principals leave the profession because of stress related to high stakes testing. 2 12 35 36 15 4.00 3.49 0.96

Note. a 1 ( Strongly Disagree ), 2 ( Disagree ), 3 ( Neither Agree nor Disagree ), 4 ( Agree ), and 5 ( Strongly Agree ).

Beliefs about accountability

Eight items represent principals’ beliefs about accountability . Principals agreed (median value of 4) that (a) high stakes testing has increased awareness of accountability issues, (b) principals are more accountable because of high stakes testing, and (c) high stakes testing has increased principal accountability for student performance (see Table 5). Principals neither agreed nor disagreed (median value of 3) that (a) high stakes testing improves the quality of education, (b) student performance is related to the quality of a principal’s instructional leadership, and (c) high stakes testing crates a cooperative environment between the principal and the community. Principals disagreed (median value of 2) that students’ scores on a high stakes test are an indicator of principal effectiveness and that high stakes testing is an effective means for determining the quality of public education.

Table 5: percentage of responses and descriptive statistics by item for beliefs about accountability

Item 1 a 2 3 4 5 Mdn M SD
34 High stakes testing has increased principals’ accountability for students’ academic performance. 2 5 6 64 23 4.00 4.03 0.79
35 High stakes testing has increased principals’ awareness of the accountability issue in education. 0 2 5 60 33 4.00 4.25 0.63
36 High stakes testing is an effective means of determining the quality of public education. 14 43 26 14 3 2.00 2.49 0.99
37 Students’ scores on a high stakes test are an indicator of principal effectiveness. 15 39 25 20 1 2.00 2.53 1.00
38 High stakes testing is a reform measure that improves the quality of education. 9 30 30 29 2 3.00 2.86 1.01
39 Principals are more accountable because of high stakes testing. 2 9 15 56 19 4.00 3.81 0.89
40 High stakes testing creates a cooperative environment between the principal and community. 6 29 45 20 1 3.00 2.81 0.84
41 Student performance on a high stakes test is directly related to the quality of a principal’s instructional leadership. 11 36 28 21 3 3.00 2.69 1.03

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Source:  OpenStax, Education leadership review, volume 12, number 1 (april 2011). OpenStax CNX. Mar 26, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11285/1.2
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