Date of Award

Summer 5-10-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Arvin Johnson

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Iván M. Jorrín Abellán

Second Committee Member

Dr. Chinasa Elue


This study focuses on the perceptions of six principals of the assessment culture within their schools. The principals were experienced in the assessment culture under study from a single school district consisting of two principals from each level – elementary, middle and high – with each level having one principal with a low SES (free and reduced lunch above 60%) population of students and one with a high SES population (free and reduce lunch below 20%). The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which principals perceive functional value in the neoliberal School Assessment Culture Phenomenon comprised of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System that is used to evaluate student, educator, and school success in these specific contexts: 1) student growth required in 2020 by the Teacher and Leader Keys Effectiveness Systems (TKES/LKES) and 2) student growth and achievement currently required by the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI).Through an interpretive phenomenological approach, this study reveals that the principal informants perceive little functional value in the current neoliberal assessment system's ability to address the needs of the whole child as delivered through the Georgia Milestone Assessment System. The researcher also identifies the essential essence of the school assessment phenomenon in these principals' schools as dissonance created by the narrow scope of the Milestone Assessments and the issues appertaining to that scope.