Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jarene Fluckiger


A new tool has recently been introduced to the Nebraska classroom entitled STARS, which is the Student-based Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System and it is used to measure student competencies of Nebraska's standards. The purpose of this research project was to discover teachers' attitudes towards the Statewide Writing Assessment and the district assessments used as part of STARS. The information gathered through this study is intended to help curriculum leaders, policy makers, administrators and the Nebraska Department of Education to make informed decisions regarding STARS and its influence on students, teachers and the classroom. A survey was distributed to graduate students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha who taught third through sixth grades in Omaha, Millard and Bellevue public schools. The survey combined a series of Likert scale and one open-ended question to determine the attitudes of teachers towards the Statewide Writing Assessment and the district assessment used in STARS. There were five conclusions discovered through this research: a) Overall, Nebraska teacher attitudes seem fairly consistent with the research available on teachers' attitudes toward standardized assessments; b) Nebraska school districts appear to be achieving some of their main goals in assessment for the classroom; c) Nebraska teachers' attitudes, regardless of the grade level that they teach, seem to be the same towards the Statewide Writing Assessment and the district assessments used as part of STARS; d) Nebraska teachers and Texas teachers feel negatively toward the need for standardized assessments and the use of standardized test scores to compare schools; and e) Nebraska teachers displayed a more positive attitude then Texas teachers towards the amount of time that state assessments (Statewide Writing Assessment and district assessments vs. Texas Assessment of Academic Skills) take in the classroom and the motivation that these assessments give teachers to do a better job.


A Thesis Presented to the College of Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree Master of Arts in Secondary Education University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Kristi A. Preisman July, 2002