Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Leslie W. Grant

Committee Member

Michael F. DiPaola

Committee Member

Christopher R. Gareis


The purpose of this study was to investigate the assessment literacy of Virginia principals and describe how principals with varying levels of assessment literacy integrate assessment leadership practices that support assessment for learning. This study investigated the differences in assessment literacy between elementary and secondary principals and across principals’ predominant method of training in assessment. Mertler and Campbell’s (2005) Assessment Literacy Inventory (ALI) was used to obtain measures of overall assessment literacy and determine relative strengths and weaknesses across the seven Standards for Teacher Competence in the Educational Assessment of Students. There were no significant differences in assessment literacy across levels or as a result of type of training in assessment. Participants scored highest in their ability to recognize unethical practices and their relative weakness was in developing assessment methods. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six principals with higher levels of assessment literacy and six principals with lower levels. Interviews were analyzed for assessment leadership practices related to: support of assessment for learning principals, alignment, professional development, balanced assessment, and ethical practices. Discrepancies between principals with higher and lower levels of assessment literacy were in the areas of professional development on learning targets and the alignment of instruction to learning targets. Principals with across levels of assessment literacy described using professional learning communities and instructional specialists to support grouping for instruction. Additionally, principals described balanced assessment systems with multiple measures of formative and summative assessments. There were commonalities in ethical practices and considerations across principals.




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