Study Guide

Field 144: 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 the collaborative process for the development and implementation of a school mission and vision that reflect core organizational values and priorities, and how to lead continuous school improvement processes that promote success and well-being for every student.

1. At a school with a student population that is highly culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse, state assessment performance varies widely among student groups. The school's principal is preparing to implement a new mission and vision that prioritize ensuring college and career readiness for all students. To support the success in implementation of the mission and vision, the principal should initiate which of the following actions first?

  1. analyzing state assessment results and modifying academic standards to reduce the effect of group differences
  2. allocating funds to develop additional academic supports and opportunities for individuals and groups of students who are at risk
  3. reorganizing the master schedule to allow teachers to spend more time preparing students for state assessments
  4. establishing a committee of faculty, parents/guardians, and other stakeholders to identify root causes of inequality in achievement

Correct Response: D. Before taking action, a principal should fully understand the reasons for implementing a new initiative. Gaining insight into the root causes of academic performance gaps will help ensure that time and resources will be directed where they are most likely to have a positive effect on student outcomes. Failure to discover and analyze the root causes could lead to the expenditure of resources in the wrong areas, while critical issues of equity remain unresolved.

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of the collaborative process for the development and implementation of a school mission and vision that reflect core organizational values and priorities, and how to lead continuous school improvement processes that promote success and well-being for every student.

2. A principal is overseeing the development of a school improvement plan focused on increasing scores on state assessments. The principal collaborates with a team of teachers, staff members, and other stakeholders to analyze the root causes of low assessment scores and to identify the goals the school hopes to accomplish. To ensure implementation of the plan can be monitored effectively, the principal should ask the team to also include:

  1. a list of resources that will be required to meet each goal.
  2. clear criteria for evaluating the relative priority level of each goal.
  3. a strategy for gaining the school community's support for each goal.
  4. specific outcomes that will indicate when each goal has been achieved.

Correct Response: D. Development of an improvement plan is an important undertaking for a school community. The plan is only a first step, however; monitoring implementation and progress is vitally important to achieving the goals of the plan. In this case, the school community must understand the level of improvement in assessment performance that will constitute success so that all stakeholders understand the desired end results and can work together toward school goals.

Competency 0002 
Apply knowledge of how to provide a comprehensive, coherent, and equitable curricular and instructional program using research-supported best practices in instruction and assessment that promote academic success for every student.

3. An elementary school has been piloting a new mathematics curriculum for the past two years. To evaluate the curriculum's effectiveness, the school's principal meets with the mathematics team to analyze the results of benchmark assessments, specifically looking at the percentage of students who have met or exceeded grade-level standards. Which of the following actions should the principal take next in using the assessments to evaluate the curriculum?

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

Correct Response: C. Assessment data is essential for measuring the success of a curriculum or program. While aggregate rates of students meeting proficiency standards are important, student performance trends will reveal strengths and areas of need in how the pilot curriculum covers specific learning standards. Working with teachers to identify those trends in performance will be a critical next step in this process.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of how to build and sustain an inclusive, supportive school culture and learning environment focused on high expectations, equity, and achievement and well-being for every student.

4. Before the start of the school year, the principal of a high school in a district characterized by increasing poverty rates determines the dropout rate has increased by approximately 10 percent over three school years. Further analysis reveals that currently, approximately 60 percent of students graduate in four years and approximately 30 percent go on to college. In responding to these findings, which of the following steps would be most effective for the principal to take first?

  1. increasing the amount of money and support that is available for programs that prepare students for college
  2. providing extra intervention services for those students who are at the highest risk for dropping out of school
  3. working with stakeholders to identify ways in which the school can respond to the changing needs of students
  4. meeting with parents/guardians to discuss supplementing school instruction with home support for student learning

Correct Response: C. The increase in the dropout rate and low percentages of students who graduate in four years and go on to college are likely due to multiple factors in- and outside of school. Before taking action to address these concerns, the principal's best first step will be to work with school stakeholders and gain their perspectives on conditions at the school. Students, their parents/guardians, and teachers are best positioned to understand what is driving trends with regard to dropout and graduation rates and to identify how the school can meet the needs of every student.

Competency 0004 
Apply knowledge of systems for supervising, supporting, and evaluating school staff performance and how to build a professional culture and provide professional development activities that help ensure success and well-being for every student.

5. A principal leads a school at which several new teachers hold certificates under the Oklahoma Alternative Placement program. Induction programming for these teachers will most likely promote retention if it includes:

  1. additional professional development opportunities focused on basic instructional practices.
  2. mentorship and support for the completion of professional education requirements within three years.
  3. formation of a professional learning community to study challenges faced by program participants.
  4. at least four classroom observations and conferences per year, with an emphasis on positive feedback.

Correct Response: B. Participants in the Oklahoma Alternative Placement Program are required to complete 6 to 18 college credit hours of professional education or 90 to 270 clock hours of professional development approved by an Oklahoma school district. Participants must complete the professional education requirement within three years after entering the program. By providing mentorship and support to participants, the school can assist the teachers in meeting these requirements, making retention more likely and helping develop qualified, successful teachers.

Competency 0005 
Apply knowledge of principles and practices of human resources and organizational management to develop the school's professional capacity, support continuous school improvement, and help ensure success and well-being for every student.

6. A school principal meets once a week with teachers and support staff. During the meeting, the principal always covers the following standing agenda items:

  1. Summary of the discussions that took place at the previous meeting
  2. Progress report on tasks that were assigned at the last meeting
  3. Update on the "state of the school" and any new issues that must be addressed
  4. Assignment of tasks to be completed before the next meeting

Including these topics at each meeting is likely to have which of the following effects on teachers and support staff?

  1. motivating teachers and staff to work hard in furtherance of the school's mission, vision, and goals
  2. demonstrating to teachers and staff that their input is welcome and their work is appreciated
  3. developing a collegial atmosphere that promotes collaboration between teachers and staff
  4. demonstrating to teachers and staff that they are accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities

Correct Response: D. Holding employees accountable for their work is an important aspect of an educational leader's role. As indicated in the weekly meeting agenda, the principal routinely refers back to assigned tasks to monitor their progress. If tasks have not been completed, the principal can follow up with staff members privately to understand the reasons for tasks not being completed initially and adjust plans as needed.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of school-level governance in Oklahoma; principles and practices for fiscal and resource management; and their use in promoting the achievement of educational goals and ensuring an efficient, equitable learning environment.

7. As part of the process of gathering data to inform the development of the school budget for the upcoming year, a principal meets regularly with the faculty in order to have detailed discussions of school needs. One important benefit of this practice is likely to be:

  1. helping faculty understand budget constraints and competing priorities in the upcoming budget.
  2. generating enthusiasm among faculty members for the efficient use of resources in the upcoming budget.
  3. enlisting faculty assistance in explaining the budget to parents/guardians and other stakeholders.
  4. encouraging collegiality and compromise among faculty members with regard to competing budget priorities.

Correct Response: A. Gathering information from faculty members regarding their budget recommendations through detailed discussions of school needs allows the entire faculty to understand the competing needs of the school. This transparent communication helps the staff and principal develop a shared understanding of budget priorities, based on student needs. Including faculty in these discussions will foster appreciation for the budget process and the varying priorities of each grade level, subject area, and program.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of laws, policies, regulations, and rules affecting education in Oklahoma, including the legal and policy dimensions of school safety and emerging challenges.

8. During a recent school building inspection, several violations of fire safety rules were discovered. The principal now wishes to undertake a thorough review and analysis of all the safety-related rules at the school. The most effective first step for the principal to take in this process would be to:

  1. review all relevant state and local safety codes and mandates.
  2. meet with the principals of other local schools to learn how they have addressed safety issues.
  3. hire local contractors to recommend changes to safety equipment.
  4. determine the origins of the school's current safety procedures and how they evolved over time.

Correct Response: A. When developing or revising policy, beginning with a review of current laws and regulations is best practice. Failure to conduct this step could lead the school to develop policies and procedures that are later discovered to be against regulations. In the area of fire safety in particular, state laws and regulations are comprehensive and are designed to ensure that all occupants of the school building are as safe as possible.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of how to build positive, productive relationships with parents/guardians and families, community members and partners, and other stakeholders to meet school goals and promote the success and well-being of every student.

9. A school's leadership team has set a goal of expanding community engagement in the school. In leading these efforts, the school's principal consistently involves faculty members in identifying opportunities for community involvement. Which of the following potential benefits of this practice is likely to be most important for meeting the school goal?

  1. building faculty understanding of resources within the community that can support instruction and student activities
  2. increasing the visibility of faculty leaders within the school and the community
  3. establishing channels for two-way communication between faculty members and individuals in the community
  4. enabling faculty members to recruit school volunteers from the community

Correct Response: A. Principals are responsible for guiding personnel to engage with the community at large and involve parents/guardians and other members of the community in school programs and activities. When community engagement is successful, both the school and community benefit from a positive and interactive partnership that serves the needs of all students. By working with the faculty, the principal can lead teachers to recognize and appreciate the value that community involvement can bring into the school.

Competency 0009 
Apply knowledge of professional norms, ethical guidelines, and behavior expectations for principals and other educators in Oklahoma that promote success and well-being for every student.

10. A principal is approached by a teacher with a request to borrow folding chairs and tables from the school 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 this would be an inappropriate use of school property.

Correct Response: D. While a teacher's request to borrow folding chairs may seem benign, it reflects a larger issue of faculty members requesting to use school property for personal use, which the principal should not allow under any circumstance. School materials are purchased with community funds; therefore, allowing personnel to borrow school property for their personal use would be an ethical violation.