BENCHMARKING: A STUDY OF THE PERCEPTIONS SURROUNDING ACCOUNTABILITY, INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP, SCHOOL CULTURE, FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS AND STUDENT SUCCESS
Galamison, Tanya J.
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The primary purpose of this qualitative case study was to surmise, describe, and detail perceptions of teachers and administrators regarding connections between mandated benchmark testing and student success. Concomitantly, descriptions and details of teacher and administrator perceptions of school culture, instructional leadership, and accountability regarding the implementation of formative assessments were also developed. Specifically, teacher perceptions stressed a level of frustration with the process for implementation, but also decidedly viewed benchmarking as beneficial for assessing student growth and driving instruction. Administrator perceptions were mostly aligned with the teacher perceptions regarding instruction driven by benchmarking results and assessing student strengths and weaknesses for further intervention. Perceptions of school culture ranged from positive to negative among teachers and administrators. Perceptions of instructional leadership among teachers described both helpful and supportive administrators, as well as incompetent administrators, while administrators described a more teacher-led process regarding benchmarking. Perceptions of accountability were that of limited to no connection between benchmarking and accountability for half of the respondents, while the other half deemed benchmarking to be a necessary process in meeting accountability standards. Overall, the teachers and administrators did not perceive the district benchmarks to be effective in estimating how students might perform on the STAAR assessment for English I.