Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Vincent A. Anfara

Committee Members

Ernest W. Brewer, Gary C. Ubben, Victor W. Barr


This mixed methods study examines how teachers and administrators react when the school is under the stress of an accountability system. In this study, teacher job satisfaction and school climate are measured as these often overlooked variables have a great impact on student academic achievement (Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy, 2000). Accountability systems such as No Child Left Behind need to be explored for negative unintended consequences such as the lowering of teacher job satisfaction and school climate. Questionnaires, interviews, and observations are used to measure teachers’ job satisfaction and school climate of two high schools that have been on Tennessee’s High Priority List but have not yet experienced restructuring with alternative governance. This study uses sequential intermethod mixing with the qualitative component being the dominant portion.

The quantitative data came from Lester’s (1987) TJSQ assessment of teacher job satisfaction and Hoy et al.’s (1991) OCDQ-RS assessment of school climate. In the two high schools, 148 teachers responded to both questionnaires. Qualitative data, in the form of interviews and observations, were obtained to further explore the results of the quantitative portion of the study. The researcher performed interviews with a purposive sampling of 30 teachers who had worked at the schools since placement onto the HPL.

Although the two schools were demographically and academically very similar, they had very different levels of job satisfaction and school climate. The teachers at both schools had high confidence in their coworkers and took great pride in the cohesiveness of the faculty. Teachers in School A explained the levels of job satisfaction and school climate have lowered in result of the new principal’s controlling management style and the high pressure environment created through frequent teacher reprimands. The job satisfaction and school climate levels were significantly higher at School B, but teachers complained about non-instructional duties and blamed the school district’s supervisors for extra workload that distracted from their instructional duties.

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