Title

Principals' use of best practices for involving parents in the Connecticut Mastery Testing Program

Date of Completion

January 2002

Keywords

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Administration|Education, Elementary

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Herman and Yeh (1980), Coleman (1982) and Henderson (1988) present strong arguments for greater parental involvement in their child's academic development. There are many benefits for children whose parents are more involved in their formal education. They have better grades, test scores, attitudes, and behaviors than peers whose parents are less involved (Henderson, 1988; Rich, 1985). Williams (1994) concurs that parental involvement is the key to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. ^ Test scores can form a basis for parents and the school to work together to help their child learn (Ames, 1993; Roeber, 1994; Test Service Notebook, 1980). The sharing of standardized test results is an excellent way to tell parents how their child is performing on basic skills (Coleman, 1982). Therefore, it is important that test information be presented to parents in a manner that is comprehensible. ^ The purpose of this descriptive study was: (a) to determine the best practices for involving parents in a school's standardized testing program; (b) to determine principals' perceptions of the importance of such practices in involving parents in the Connecticut Mastery Testing Program; and (c) to identify what proportion of principals are implementing these practices in their schools and (d) how they are implementing these practices. To accomplish this a thorough review of the literature on best practices for involving parents in the testing process was conducted. A survey was developed and administered to principals of Connecticut elementary schools to assess their perceptions of the importance of these best practices as well as whether and how they are implementing them. Principals' responses were analyzed to determine if perception of importance and implementation of best practice varies with respect to Educational Reference Group (ERG). ^ It was found that most principals' perceived these practices to be important. In fact, most principals implemented these practices in some fashion. For the most part there were no differences by ERG with regard to principals' perceptions of the importance of the best practices as well as if and how they implemented these practices. ^