Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Sandra Caramela-Miller

Abstract

Since the development and implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002, educators have received pressure from local, state, and federal policyholders for students to achieve academically and for schools to make adequate yearly progress to avoid state and federal sanctions. The purpose of this study was to examine educatorsâ?? perceptions of the effects of high-stakes testing and the accountability policies in high poverty and low poverty schools. The theoretical frameworks were conservation of resources theory, jobs demands-resources model, and job autonomy and control theory. Research questions focused on understanding educatorsâ?? perception of high-stakes testing regarding curricula, instructional practices, available instructional support, and job satisfaction. A cross-sectional, quasi-experimental design was used to obtain both quantitative and qualitative with a sample of 200 teachers and 6 principals, respectively. To investigate the differences in responses between teachers, a two-way factorial analysis of variance was used. Quantitative findings indicated that teachers in lower poverty schools had a lower perception when it came to the curricula, instructional method, and instructional support. Teachers in lower poverty schools expressed higher job satisfaction. Qualitative findings showed that principals felt that the Georgia Professional Standards teaches how to pass the test and does not give students the opportunity to apply what is learned. These findings illuminate the role of poverty in high-stakes testing and accountability policies; they also assist policymakers and stakeholders in identifying supports needed to ensure that all children succeed.

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