Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Competency-based educational tests; School superintendents and principals--Attitudes;


Minimum competency testing (MCT) has been a controversial educational issue for the past several years. Much of the literature on this topic has been written by educators and/or members of the public who are not directly responsible for implementation, administration, or evaluation of test results. This study was designed to gather information from primary sources concerning their opinions about the use of minimum competency testing programs in their own schools. Data was gathered during the 1978-79 school year.

Professional literature indicates that the minimum competency testing movement was generally initiated by individuals and groups outside of educational circles who were motivated by a desire for greater accountability in the public school system. At the time this data was collected, thirty-eight (38) states had completed legislation, state department of education resolutions, or state department of education rulings concerning minimum competency testing. Controversy surrounding MCT appeared to revolve around several key issues: identification of competencies to be measured; methods for measuring competencies; frequency and grade levels for measurement; establishment of standards and levels of difficulty; procedures to follow for those who fail the tests; legal implications; cost of MCT programs. The purpose of this study, then, was to ascertain the opinions about these issues of those principals whose schools used the tests.

The data which was collected from the formal survey indicated that the majority of respondents had made the following conclusions and/or observations about the use of minimum competency tests in their schools: 1. Favored continuing MCT even if local and state requirements were abolished. 2. Noted positive effects upon student performance. 3. Noted favorable attitudes on behalf of staff, parents and members of the community. 4. Noticed positive effects upon staff performance. 5. Noted that test results were used to assess effectiveness of curriculum. 6. Noted that test results were used to assist students who lacked minimum academic skills. 7. Believed that competency tests which they used generally represented the major objectives of their school. 8. Believed that the benefits of MCT have been worth the efforts involved. 9. Noted insufficient financial resources to support changes necessitated by MCT.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education


Department of School Administration and Personnel Services

First Advisor

Robert P. Brimm


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Date Original


Object Description

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