Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela Scott

Committee Members

Don Good, Cecil Blankenship, Bethany Flora


The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) were created by the Virginia Department of Education as a method to assess student learning. The SOLs were implemented in the mid-1990s and were used as end of grade and end of course assessments for grades 3-8 and secondary courses. The SOLs have taken on a foundational role within the Virginia public schools as they now count toward student graduation and teacher evaluation. Virginia now uses a teacher evaluation system that is in large part based upon student performance on the SOL assessments. This evaluation system is in place in all public school divisions in Virginia.

This study began as an attempt to understand the potential changes in the mental and physical well-being of teachers as related to the Virginia SOLs. Teachers were asked to complete a brief survey designed to measure their response to various mental and physical stressors. One hundred twenty-one surveys responses were received with 117 completed. The survey data will be used to discuss the possibility of creating a quality program of professional development that will help teachers guide their stress into positive and productive areas.

This study revealed that elementary/middle school teachers tended to experience higher rates of insecurity, vulnerability, depression, and coping ability than secondary teachers during SOL test administration. However, it was also determined that elementary/middle school instructors did not experience changes in most aspects of physical well-being during the SOL test administration that are drastically different than their secondary school counterparts. The study indicated elementary teachers experienced a higher rate of heart racing than their secondary colleagues. The means and standard deviations across the areas surveyed were similar and did not vary significantly across surveyed responses except for the areas mentioned above.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.