THE BELIEFS OF PRINCIPALS AND ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS REGARDING
This study examined the beliefs of principals and assistant principals regarding the influence of high stakes testing on their roles as administrators and the influences on parents, teachers, and students. The implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires states to administer statewide tests to measure student performance and to rank schools according to achievement. Low performing schools are subject to certain sanctions which create pressure on students, parents, and teachers and principals. Principals as instructional leaders of their schools (Lashway, 2000) have increased pressure on them to ensure positive student achievement on the tests (Findley &Findley, 1992; Day, 2007; Leithwood, 2005). This study used archival data which had been collected from two larger studies entitled, “A Survey to Examine the Work, Attitudes and Perceptions of Public School Principals (MacNeil 2004) and “A Survey to Examine the Work, Attitudes and Perceptions of Public School Assistant-Principals” (MacNeil, 2006). Participants in this study consisted of 310 principals and 371 assistant principals in a large metropolitan area of the Gulf Coast Area of Texas. A cognitive interview technique was used in collecting the data for the survey. The study examines the beliefs of principals and assistant principals regarding the influence of high-stakes testing on their roles as administrators and its influences on parents, students, and teachers. The results indicated that statistically significant differences exists between principals’ and assistant principals’ beliefs. Assistant principals tended to have more negative beliefs regarding the influence of high stakes testing regarding their roles as administrators and the manner in which it influences parents, teachers, and students. Principals had negative beliefs regarding the influence of high stakes testing but were less negative than were the assistant principals. There were significant differences with gender and schools’ socio economic status (SES) with assistant principals’. Assistant principals having low SES student ratio tended to have more positive beliefs regarding the influence of high-stakes testing; female assistant principals tended to have less negative beliefs than the male assistant principals. Principals and assistant principals with low minority student ratios had less negative beliefs regarding the influence of high-stakes testing.