Study Guide

Field 045: Elementary Principal Comprehensive Assessment 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

Recommendation for individuals using a screenreader: please set your punctuation settings to "most."

Expand All | Collapse All

General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section that includes two writing assignments.

Each question in the first section of this test is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer. Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of two constructed-response assignments. You will be asked to provide a written response to each assignment. Directions for completing your written responses to the constructed-response assignments will appear immediately before the assignments.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of how to collaboratively facilitate the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a shared school vision of learning that promotes success for every student.

1. An elementary school has a history of low achievement on state assessments in reading, with scores that are consistently below average and declining. The principal decides to adopt an innovative reading program. The principal can best evaluate the effectiveness of the program by:

  1. administering a survey to parents/guardians about how the program has changed their child's reading habits.
  2. reviewing the data on assessment performance by students who are part of the program.
  3. comparing assessment scores from before and after the program was implemented.
  4. meeting regularly with teachers to discuss the effects of the program on their instructional practice.

Correct Response: C. An elementary principal needs to be able to determine the effectiveness of programs at the school. The most objective way to evaluate program effectiveness is to analyze data relevant to the program. In the situation described, the principal can best achieve this goal by analyzing assessment data from before the program was instituted and comparing the results to data from after the program was implemented.

Competency 0002 
Apply knowledge of how to build and sustain a school culture and learning environment focused on high expectations, equity, and excellence for every student.

2. An elementary school improvement plan includes increased opportunities for collaboration among school staff to improve teaching and learning. According to the plan, teachers will participate in walkthroughs of each other's classrooms and will make note of observations. Following the walkthroughs, groups of teachers will meet to discuss observations, identify areas of effective instructional practice, and identify areas in need of improvement. Which of the following principal actions is most important for the success of the plan?

  1. making available the classrooms taught by the most experienced teachers
  2. training teachers on how to engage in successful collaborative practice
  3. identifying those teachers who have strengths in particular skills
  4. creating a professional culture of respect and trust among students and teachers

Correct Response: D. Collaboration among faculty members is a highly effective tool for improving teaching and learning. The plan described involves not only discussion of one anotherís teaching methods, but also observation by colleagues. Being observed by a colleague, even in an informal walkthrough, can be threatening and intimidating for teachers. A vital prerequisite to the success of this program will be the establishment of a culture of respect and trust.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of how to provide a comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent curricular and instructional program using research-supported best practices in instruction and assessment that promote academic success for every student.

3. An elementary school principal is planning to adopt portfolios as a tool for assessing students' progress. Each student will submit work for his or her portfolio that demonstrates his or her skill in each area of the curriculum. The most likely benefit of this type of assessment is that it:

  1. provides an authentic representation of students' performance.
  2. allows teachers to spend less time developing assessments.
  3. gives students increased responsibility for monitoring their own work.
  4. increases the rigor of the instructional program across content areas.

Correct Response: A. An elementary principal must apply knowledge of effective and appropriate classroom-based assessment practices. The portfolio system of assessment requires teachers to evaluate student work samples. When evaluating students' actual work against the district's learning standards, a teacher gains a true picture of a student's understanding of academic concepts. The advantage of this assessment practice is its authenticity.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of how to provide a comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent curricular and instructional program using research-supported best practices in instruction and assessment that promote academic success for every student.

4. An elementary school has been using an experimental mathematics program for the past two years. To evaluate the program's effectiveness, the school's principal meets with the mathematics team to analyze the results of interim assessments, specifically looking at the percentage of students who have met proficiency. Which of the following actions would be best for the principal to take next in using the assessments to evaluate the program?

  1. discussing with teachers their observations about the accuracy of the assessment data
  2. sharing with teachers how the standards for the assessments were defined and set
  3. working with teachers to identify current trends of student performance on the assessments
  4. asking teachers to compare students' progress reports to their scores on the assessments

Correct Response: C. As the instructional leaders of their schools, elementary principals have a responsibility to guide faculty members in using achievement data to improve student learning. In the situation described, the principal is reviewing assessment data with faculty in order to evaluate an experimental instructional program. After determining the percentage of students who showed academic growth under the new program, the principal can best guide teachers' use of the assessment data by working with them to identify trends in the data.

Competency 0005 
Apply knowledge of principles and practices of organizational and human resource management that support continuous school improvement and help ensure success for every student.

5. The principal of an ethnically diverse elementary school has formed a search committee to interview candidates to replace a third-grade teacher who will be retiring. When preparing the committee members for the search process, the principal should stress the need to:

  1. find candidates whose ethnic background is similar to that of the retiring teacher.
  2. ensure that candidates are evaluated without regard to ethnic background.
  3. give priority to candidates whose ethnic background is underrepresented in the faculty.
  4. include candidates from ethnic backgrounds represented in the student population.

Correct Response: B. Elementary principals must understand and apply legal and equitable procedures for recruiting, hiring, and assigning staff. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it is unlawful to make hiring decisions based on a person's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. When hiring new teachers, the principal needs to be sure the hiring committee understands the law and makes a candidate's teaching skills and knowledge the priority, not the candidate's cultural background.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of principles and practices of fiscal and operational management and their use in promoting achievement of the school's educational goals and ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

6. A principal is preparing to meet with a group of stakeholders to seek continued support for a mentor program that has been in place at the school for the past few years. Which of the following actions by the principal is likely to be most effective in persuading stakeholders to continue to support the program?

  1. presenting data to demonstrate that the program is helping the school achieve its vision and goals
  2. comparing the program to similar programs in other local school districts
  3. collecting information from students who have participated in the program regarding its benefits
  4. identifying gaps that would exist without the current program in place

Correct Response: A. An elementary principal needs to be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders regarding programs and the educational progress of the school. In this case, the principal's goal is to win continued support for a program that is succeeding at the school. The principal can best persuade stakeholders to support the program by presenting data demonstrating its effectiveness.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of principles and practices of fiscal and operational management and their use in promoting achievement of the school's educational goals and ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

7. An elementary school principal arranges for the school's carpeting to be cleaned during spring vacation. Upon returning to school early in the morning on the day classes are to resume, the principal notices a faint chemical odor in the air. Later in the morning, the school nurse reports that several students have complained of nausea and dizziness and are being sent home. After discussing the situation with the school nurse, the principal concludes that residual fumes from the carpet cleaning may be harmful to students and staff. In this situation, which of the following steps should the principal take  start italics first end italics ?

  1. evacuating all students from the school while the building is being inspected and evaluated
  2. surveying teachers and students to determine how many of them have felt discomfort
  3. opening all windows and turn on ceiling fans to ventilate the school building
  4. calling the local health inspector and request that the school be evaluated as soon as possible

Correct Response: A. One of the primary responsibilities of an elementary principal is to ensure student and staff welfare and safety and respond quickly if conditions arise that may threaten health and safety. In the situation described, the first concern of the principal should be to take all necessary steps to avoid further student and staff exposure to a potentially harmful substance. Evacuation of the school building until it is declared safe is an appropriate response.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of the political, social, economic, and cultural contexts of education and how to build positive, productive relationships with faculty, families and caregivers, and other community members to promote the success of every student.

8. A principal is working with a group of stakeholders to develop plans for modernizing several elementary school classrooms. The classrooms will be supplied with new technology and updated furniture. As the group begins to discuss the plans, it is apparent that the stakeholders have differing views of how to decide what to purchase. The principal should remind the group that the most important factor to consider is:

  1. what types of technology teachers can use effectively in the classrooms.
  2. the preferences of faculty and staff who will use the items in the classrooms.
  3. what types of learning activities will take place in the classrooms.
  4. the alignment of the new items with existing items in the classrooms.

Correct Response: C. It is the responsibility of an elementary principal to work effectively with all stakeholders, including those with competing or conflicting perspectives. In the situation described, the principal recognizes that the stakeholder team's work is being obstructed by differing perspective on procedures for recommending purchases. The principal can best resolve the impasse by reminding stakeholders that the learning activities that take place in the classrooms must guide their decisions.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of laws, regulations, and judicial decisions affecting education in Oklahoma and ethical guidelines and behavior expectations for principals.

9. A teacher has given a principal digital copies of photos the teacher took of an interactive learning activity and has requested that the photos be placed on the school's Web site. Before the photos can be posted on the Web site, the principal should  start italics first end italics :

  1. check that the photos depict appropriate educational activities.
  2. determine if the photos are of the proper image quality.
  3. determine if the students depicted in the photos have been featured previously.
  4. check that the school has a signed photo release from the students in the photos.

Correct Response: D. An elementary principal needs to apply knowledge of student, staff, and parent/guardian rights, protections, and responsibilities, including confidentiality. The school must seek the permission in writing of parent/guardians to use their children's photographs for public display, such as on a school's Web site. Before approving the displaying of classroom photos of students, the principal must confirm that the parents/guardians have given their approval for such a use of their children's photographs.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of laws, regulations, and judicial decisions affecting education in Oklahoma and ethical guidelines and behavior expectations for principals.

10. A teacher has approached a principal with a request to borrow some folding chairs and tables for a party the teacher is having over the weekend. The best way for the principal to respond to this request would be to:

  1. forward the inquiry to the district superintendent for approval.
  2. allow the teacher to borrow the items if they are returned promptly.
  3. review the staff handbook to see if borrowing school property is allowed.
  4. inform the teacher that this would be an inappropriate use of school property.

Correct Response: D. In carrying out their professional responsibilities, elementary principals must always apply knowledge of personal and professional ethics. District property is purchased with public funds specifically for school use, and it is inappropriate and unethical for district employees to borrow district property for personal use. Even a seemingly insignificant request such as the one described in this item can have unplanned consequences. The principal, therefore, should deny the request and inform the teacher of the reasons for the refusal.