Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Jasmine R. Renner, James H. Lampley, Elizabeth Ralston


The pressure to perform on standardized tests in the United States has become intense. Increased accountability has caused principals to think about their perceptions of standardized testing with regard to accountability measures, test validity, use of test data, impact of testing on the curriculum, and stress related to testing. The purpose of this study was to investigate kindergarten- through 12th-grade principals' perceptions of standardized testing. The study included 91 principals of Title I and nonTitle I schools located in 8 rural East Tennessee school districts. Data were gathered using a survey instrument to determine principals' opinions of standardized testing.

There were 4 predictor (independent) variables in this study: Title I status of the school measured by status (Title I school and nonTitle I school), gender predictor variable, predictor variable of highest degree earned by principals (master's, specialist, and doctorate), and predictor variable of experience in current position (1-6 years, 7-14 years, and 15-39 years). The data analysis focused on 5 dimensions of standardized testing. The 5 (dependent) variables were: (a) general impact-accountability, (b) validity of standardized tests, (c) use of standardized tests in individualizing instruction, (d) impact on curriculum, and (e) stress related to standardized testing.

The findings reflected that in general, principals had a positive view of standardized testing; however, the study showed that there was agreement among principals that standardized testing has limitations, particularly in the area of fairness to ethnic groups. The research indicated that principals use test data in many ways to improve their schools. Regardless of Title I status, gender, highest degree earned, and years of experience in current position, there were no significant differences in principals' opinions of standardized testing regarding the 5 dimensions of standardized testing.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.