The impact of accountability upon the behavior of mid-managers using diagnostic performance indicators

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The present decade yielded many Performance-Based Administrative Education (PBAE) tangents which gradually shaped accountability movements toward an evaluative state. However, as of 1973 significant alterations in the PBAE literature diminish in stature and in frequency. To date, there has been no marketed method for determining how well an administrative function or role indicator is carried out. This study focused upon the advisability of self-assessment as a practical evaluation tool for educational administrators. A sequential review of the literature showed the need for a generic set of administrative competency statements; the advantages of a general profile of the administrator's strengths and weaknesses; and the demand for empirical administrative accountability both on the job and during in-service training. The major focus of this study was to determine if a significant correlation exists between principals' self-assessment scores on a diagnostic performance examination as factored by two of the eight dimensions on the Evaluate Administration and Supervision Yourself (EASY), and an accountability expectancy attributed to the perceived destination of profile results. The task performance areas were based on interlocking indicators measurable by five distinct levels of competence. Accountability referred to a projectional bias related to the status of a person or agency reviewing the performance indicators reported, and to a reckoning expected from that person or agency. The statistical description of these hypotheses predicts that there will be positive correlation between principals' self-assessment scores on strengths and weaknesses in performance areas chosen, and the perceptions of two recipient destinations of accountability. The initial sample of this study was taken from the total elementary school principal population of one hundred and fifty-nine county school districts and twenty-nine independent school districts within the State of Georgia. Subjects were sent a detailed request when they responded to a specific plea for identifying the area of performance they judged themselves to display 'most strength' and 'least strength' as outlined by the eight performance areas of EASY. The respondents of the state population were randomly divided into two groups (a) principals told that their profile results would be returned—and viewed only by the researcher, (b) principals told that their profile results would be returned—and an additional copy shared with their superintendent. Each group was administered two of the eight dimensions of Evaluate Administration and Supervision Yourself (EASY) to determine the level of their reported strengths and weaknesses within an area chosen for 'most strength' and an area chosen for 'least strength'. Each principal in the sample was also preassigned two rotating performance areas to serve as an additional internal randomization and normative control. The performance level of each principal was tabulated to obtain a group mean for high accountability and low accountability. A comparison of the averages was weighted against performance norms established in the eight functional areas. A one-way analysis of variance was run with T-tests and chi- square tests to establish frequencies and determine significant differences. High accountability principals were inflationary at a half-point difference, or 10% higher than the low accountability group scored. This difference was significant at the .02 level. Support Services and Curriculum Design were most often ranked as weaknesses, and Facility Design and Public Relations were most often ranked as strengths. The chief weakness in the ratings was that response sets were formed in which most principals scored themselves well above average on all segments on the assessment.

School principals--Self-rating of