Page 60

Journal for Effective Schools

Volume 11, Number 1

schools tended to reduce teacher commitment, the requirement appearing to reduce teachers’ belief that they could obtain their principal’s assistance to help improve student achievement. The effect of classroom management efficacy on commitment to teaching was found to be significantly different between the group that was penalized by reduction in resources and the group that was not. Discussion In the era of NCLB—even with the explicit modifications in President Obama’s waiver to ten states—student achievement remains the outcome focus. In the context of effective schools correlates, this emphasis on setting and meeting high achievement goals for all students, frequent monitoring of student progress, and instructional leadership are important independent of NCLB. The reciprocal relationship between teacher commitment and student achievement (Firestone & Fennell, 1993; Kushman, 1992) provides some evidence that teacher commitment may be important in facilitating a school’s persistent attention to student achievement and monitoring student progress. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship of NCLBgenerated consequences on principal and teacher efficacy beliefs and teacher commitment. Our first research question concerned the impact of failing to meet established performance standards on teacher commitment. Our Model 2 showed that teacher commitment was higher in settings that met performance standards. While we do not know if higher commitment led to meeting standards or if meeting standards led to higher commitment, the association between student achievement and teacher commitment is consistent with Kushman (1992), and Firestone and Pennell (1993). This finding is inconsistent with Ware and Kitsantas (2011) where, for SASS before NCLB, meeting performance goals had neither a direct nor a crosslevel interaction impact (with principal efficacy measures) on teacher commitment. In the 1999-2000 SASS, the meaning of “performance goals” was not specified and could have addressed goals as varied as student performance or increasing the number of volunteers at the school (Ware & Kitsantas, 2011). In addition to performance goals in the earlier study lacking specificity or concreteness, their outcomes were not directly tied publicly to teacher or principal accountability, factors that may also have affected efficacy beliefs. To us, this finding of a relationship of meeting student performance standards to teacher commitment adds credence to the importance of specifying NCLB goals in terms of student performance and public outcomes for principals and teachers. Next, we were interested in whether three forms of teacher efficacy beliefs – to enlist administration direction, to influence decision making, and for their own classroom management – positively impacted teacher commitment (our Model 3). All three forms of teacher efficacy beliefs were associated with increased teacher 50

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1