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Accountability and the classroom: A study of selected beliefs and practices of Nebraska public school teachers and principals concerning student classroom assessment and grading

John George Gilsdorf, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

To determine the beliefs and practices of Nebraska public school teachers and principals regarding selected aspects of student classroom assessment and reporting of student achievement in order to guide teacher and administrator staff development activities related to a new statewide student assessment, reporting, and accountability system for public schools in Nebraska, answers were sought to several research questions concerning teacher and principal beliefs and practices regarding classroom assessment and grading. ^ The research design for this study was mailed survey research. Data for the study were obtained through questionnaires mailed to stratified, randomly-selected principals and teachers with full-time contracts in a single attendance center who were employed by public school districts in Nebraska during the 1999–2000 school year. Four different questionnaires were designed—two for teachers with matching questionnaires for principals. T-tests, t-tests of repeated measures, and one-way ANOVAs were utilized for analysis of data. ^ Significant differences were found in the beliefs of male and female teachers, elementary and secondary teachers, secondary core and non-core teachers, and elementary and secondary principals. Significant differences were found in the practices of elementary and secondary teachers and teachers teaching in the smallest and largest schools. Significant differences between beliefs and practices were found for both teachers and principals. Lack of adequate time, lack of assessment knowledge and skills, and lack of adequate resources were fisted as major obstacles to improved practice. Complexity of assessments, traditional expectations, large numbers of students, and multiple content preparations were all listed as obstacles. The frequency of use and importance of nineteen different assessment practices were ranked by respondents by disaggregations. ^ Major recommendations were to provide extended contracts, to provide staff development opportunities, and further research into the cause(s) of the differences between various subgroups of teachers. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Gilsdorf, John George, "Accountability and the classroom: A study of selected beliefs and practices of Nebraska public school teachers and principals concerning student classroom assessment and grading" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9991988.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9991988

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