Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brenner, Devon

Committee Member

Hare, Dwight

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Coffey, Kent

Committee Member

Coats, Linda

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The purpose of this study was to understand what No Child Left Behind (NCLB) meant to teachers in Mississippi and to determine what impact this reform had on reading and language arts classroom instruction for teachers. Qualitative research methods in the form of interview data and classroom observations were used to examine teachers’ perceptions of accountability and its effects on classroom instruction. Teachers were asked to answer a set of research interview questions related to research questions. The specific research questions used to explore teachers’ perceptions about accountability were (1) What are reading and language arts teachers’ perceptions of accountability? (2) What are teachers’ perceptions of the influence of state testing on reading and language arts classroom instruction? and (3) How do elementary and middle school teachers prepare students for end-of-year reading and language arts state test? The researcher gathered qualitative data from five teachers with teaching experience ranging from 5 years to 30 years of teaching experience. Each teacher who participated in this study was familiar with administering Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 (MCT2) at the elementary and middle school level. The results of this study indicated that teachers believe that the Mississippi accountability system is effective for improving the teaching and learning process but not for holding schools and districts accountable. Each teacher in this study believed that test scores alone were not effective for addressing the familial and societal issues many schools face on a day-to-day basis and as a result using test scores to determine school quality was unrealistic. Of the five teachers interviewed, four reported engaging students in meaningful learning activities that put emphasis on the significance of language arts in daily life. These teachers were also observed placing more emphasis on rubric-based assessments, classroom writing activities, and student-centered activities as a result of the 2006 Mississippi Language Arts Framework-Revised and MCT2. Recommendations for further research include investigating whether the impact of teachers’ professional experience influences student achievement, or whether the impact of the building principal’s perceptions of the framework impact classroom instruction and teachers’ perceptions.



MCT2||state testing||accountability