Exploring the Relationships Among Standards-Based Education Reform, Leadership,
and Teacher Work Outcomes
Connie J. Daigle
Principles of quality management leading to standardization have been applied to education and have become central to international educational reform efforts in Canada, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Weller, 1996). These principles have met with success in the business realm in producing quality products and services through a structured and comprehensive delivery system. Indications of success as a result of standardization and applying quality principles to education have included enhanced student achievement scores. Implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has potentially resulted in large scale changes in the nature of jobs and the career perceptions of teachers in schools . The purpose of this study was to empirically test if some leadership practices would moderate the potential negative relationships between standards-based education reform, teachers' job perceptions, and career commitment. This study was based on data from a sample of 184 elementary teachers (K-6) from 16 different elementary schools in a K-12 district in California . A review of literature and interviews with current teachers indicated that the implementation of standards-based education was creating increased job stress as well as reduced job variety, job autonomy, and career commitment. However, the results of the data indicated that a higher extent of standards-based implementation had a positive relationship with job variety and career commitment and a negative relationship with job stress and did not significantly affect a teacher's view of autonomy. Further, leadership behaviors of inspiring a shared vision and enabling others to act did not moderate teacher job perceptions.
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