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The results section consists of two subsections; item analysis and inferential statistical analyses. First, principals’ responses to items within subscales are reported using the median value and the percentage point differential between positive responses and negative responses for each item. Second, the results from the inferential statistical analyses are presented.

Item analysis

Beliefs about curriculum

Eight items represent principals’ beliefs about curriculum. Principals agreed (median value was 4) with five of eight curriculum items (see Table 1). Principals agreed that (a) high stakes testing has resulted in principals paying more attention to the school’s curriculum, (b) students’ scores provide feedback to improve the curriculum, (c) high stakes testing requires teachers to teach to the test, (d) high stakes testing has led principals to rethink about subject matter that is important to teach, and (e) high stakes testing promotes some subject area content over other subject content. Principals neither agreed nor disagreed (median value of 3) with the statement that high stakes test items reflect the content students learn in a school’s curriculum. Finally, principals disagreed (median value of 2) that students’ scores reflect the quality of a school’s curriculum and that high stakes testing is consistent with a balanced curriculum.

Table 1: percentage of responses and descriptive statistics by item for beliefs about curriculum

Item 1 a 2 3 4 5 Mdn M SD
1 High stakes testing has led principals to reassess their beliefs about subject matter that is important to teach. 1 9 7 50 33 4.00 4.04 0.93
2 High stakes testing is consistent with the idea of a balanced curriculum (attention to all subjects). 8 54 12 20 6 2.00 2.62 1.08
3 Students’ scores on a high stakes test accurately portray the quality of a school’s curriculum. 16 48 20 15 1 2.00 2.37 0.96
4 High stakes testing requires teachers to teach to the test. 6 23 18 39 15 4.00 3.34 1.15
5 High stakes test items accurately reflect the content students learn through a school’s curriculum. 4 38 24 32 3 3.00 2.92 0.98
6 High stakes testing promotes certain subject area content over other subject area content. 0 7 7 56 30 4.00 4.08 0.82
7 Students’ scores on high stakes test provide feedback for schools to improve the curriculum. 1 7 16 62 15 4.00 3.82 0.81
8 High stakes testing has caused principals to devote more attention to the school’s curriculum. 1 5 7 60 28 4.00 4.08 0.79

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

Beliefs about teaching

Principals’ beliefs about teaching consist of 10 items . Principals agreed (median value of 4) with four statements (see Table 2). Principals agreed that (a) high stakes testing motivates teachers to improve the teaching and learning process, (b) students’ scores on a high stakes test provides feedback for teachers to improve their teaching, (c) high stakes testing has increased cooperation among teachers, and (d) high stakes testing reduces the time to teach other subjects’ content. Principals nether agreed nor disagreed (median value of 3) that (a) high stakes testing leads to better teaching, (b) the quality of a teacher’s instruction is directly related to student performance, (c) high stakes testing permits teachers to use the full range of their teaching skills, and (d) high stakes testing reduces the teaching and learning process to a student’s test score.

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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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