Academic optimism and organizational climate: an elementary school effectiveness test of two measures

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study examined the relationship of two climate constructs in academic optimism and organizational climate as each relates to school effectiveness. Academic optimism is an academic environment comprised of three dimensions: academic emphasis, collective efficacy, and faculty trust (Hoy, Tarter, & Hoy, 2006). The Organizational Climate Index (OCI) is a short organizational climate descriptive measure for schools. The index is made up of four dimensions: principal leadership, teacher professionalism, achievement press for students to perform academically, and vulnerability to the community (Hoy et al., 2002). An examination was conducted on each framework. Their relationship was tested and analyzed how they would predict overall effectiveness and student performance. It was hypothesized that academic optimism and the organizational climate index are positively correlated. To test this hypothesis, elementary school teachers at 67 schools located in the northern half of Alabama responded to surveys that measured academic optimism, organizational climate index (OCI), and school effectiveness. Effectiveness was measured by student performance, in particular, the 4th grade Stanford Achievement Test and by overall effectiveness, the index of perceived organizational effectiveness (IPOE) in the 2009-2010 school year. Reliabilities for all measures ranged from .82 to .92, indicating acceptable levels of reliability. As predicted in hypothesis 1, academic optimism and organizational climate index were related. Hypothesis 2 predicted that academic optimism is a stronger predictor in student achievement and it was found to be significant and supported. However, hypothesis 3 did not indicate that OCI is a better predictor in overall effectiveness. Academic optimism was found to be a significant and stronger predictor in overall effectiveness.

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Educational administration, Educational leadership, Elementary education