Study Guide

Field 035: Educational Administrator
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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Sample General Test Directions

A sample of the general directions for the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessment of Educational Administrator is shown below.

Each question in this test is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question carefully and choose the ONE best answer. Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure about an answer, it is better to guess than to not answer a question at all. You will NOT be penalized for guessing.

You may NOT use any type of calculator or reference materials during the testing session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

This section presents sample selected-response questions for you to review as part of your preparation for the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessment of Educational Administrator. To demonstrate how the test competencies may be assessed, each sample question is preceded by the competency that it measures. On an actual test, the competencies will not be given.

The sample selected-response questions are designed to illustrate the nature of the test questions. They should not be used as a diagnostic tool to determine your individual strengths and weaknesses. The selected-response questions require you to demonstrate more than the ability to recall factual information. They ask you to think critically about the information, to analyze it, to consider it carefully, or to apply it to a hypothetical situation.

Work through each question carefully before viewing the answer.

Competency 0001
Understand the role of leadership in educational administration; ways in which political, social, economic, and cultural factors at the local, state, and national levels influence schools and educational leadership; and characteristics and behaviors of effective leaders.

1. Which of the following accurately describes the primary responsibility of educational administrators in responding to the cultural diversity of New Mexico's student population?

  1. providing a learning environment that emphasizes similarities among individuals and groups of students rather than their differences
  2. adapting the core curriculum to reflect the specific characteristics and needs of each student group
  3. ensuring that students from all backgrounds are taught using similar instructional strategies, methods, and materials
  4. managing resources equitably to provide equal learning opportunities for all students
Correct Response: D.

Competency 0003
Understand how to communicate and collaborate with members of the educational community, respond to the interests and needs of diverse stakeholders, and mobilize community resources to support schools.

2. A new superintendent has been hired to lead a school district that includes a significant number of families from a particular cultural group. The superintendent has had very little experience interacting with individuals from this group and knows little about their culture, beliefs, and perspectives. Which of the following would be the most appropriate and effective way for the superintendent to acquire the knowledge needed to respond effectively to the issues and needs of this group of students and their families?

  1. Send a letter to each family in this group inviting them to visit the superintendent at any time to discuss any concerns they have.
  2. Use resources available on the Internet or at the local library to research key elements of the history and culture of this group.
  3. Form and regularly consult with an advisory committee made up of parents/guardians and community leaders from this group.
  4. Create opportunities to interact with students from this group, for example, during lunch or as they are entering or leaving school each day.
Correct Response: C.

Competency 0004
Understand how to facilitate the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of an educational vision that is shared and supported by the educational community.

3. A superintendent wishes to use a newly developed district vision to shape changes in the district's educational programs. The superintendent can best proceed by taking which of the following steps first?

  1. evaluating the extent to which the new district vision correlates with student learning standards defined by the state
  2. meeting with diverse groups of stakeholders to evaluate their willingness to use the new district vision to change school curricula
  3. overseeing development of a set of clearly defined educational goals and objectives that are aligned with the new district vision
  4. meeting with school-level personnel to identify resources needed to achieve the major elements of the new district vision at each school
Correct Response: C.

Competency 0006
Understand the significance of diversity in education and leadership strategies for ensuring the success of all students, including students with disabilities and students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

4. A school district plans to adopt a more inclusive model of education for students with disabilities. Many students who previously received special education services in resource room settings will now be attending general education classes. Special education and general education teachers will work together to plan instruction for these students. When meeting with stakeholders to discuss the change to a more inclusive model, the superintendent would like to emphasize its benefits for members of the school community. Which of the following would be an appropriate benefit to discuss?

  1. reduced overall workload for general education teachers due to the increased availability of professional support
  2. increased opportunities for the parents/guardians of students with disabilities to be active participants in their children's education
  3. reduced reliance on individualized educational plans (IEPs) to define instructional goals and methods for students with disabilities
  4. increased opportunities for all students to get to know, accept, and appreciate individuals with diverse characteristics, strengths, and needs
Correct Response: D.

Competency 0007
Understand student development and learning, curriculum planning, and implementation of effective instruction and assessment to promote achievement for all students.

5. A middle school principal is conducting informal classroom observations. Which of the following teachers observed by the principal is using an approach that most closely reflects Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences?

  1. Ms. Garrison calls on individual students to solve a new type of math problem at the board and then assigns all students to do a set of similar problems independently at their desks.
  2. Mr. Sanchez introduces a new scientific concept with a brief lecture and demonstration, followed by a hands-on experiment that students perform in small groups.
  3. Ms. Blackstone has students respond orally to comprehension questions about a literary selection they have read, then participate in a discussion of the selection's central theme.
  4. Mr. Thomas assigns students to read first-person and media accounts of an important historical event and then write an essay comparing the accounts they have read.
Correct Response: B.

Competency 0008
Understand how to create a positive school culture that values student achievement and a safe and supportive environment conducive to student learning.

6. During a faculty meeting, many teachers in an elementary school express concern that behavior problems are increasing and instructional time is being lost. The principal agrees, stating that a great deal of administrative time is spent on discipline referrals. The principal and staff decide to create a schoolwide code of conduct to encourage responsible student behavior. The most important first step in this process is for the principal and teachers to:

  1. solicit student input regarding meaningful social rewards for demonstrating appropriate behavior.
  2. develop clearly stated expectations for acceptable behavior that reflect the school's educational values and philosophy.
  3. review the various rules and behavior guidelines that individual teachers are currently using.
  4. establish a set of flexible consequences for minor behavior infractions and nonnegotiable consequences for serious offenses.
Correct Response: B.

Competency 0009
Understand strategies for supervising, evaluating, and retaining faculty and staff and methods for promoting their ongoing professional development and personal growth.

7. A newly hired principal has been assigned to a school in which the previous principal adhered strictly to a clinical model of supervision. Although the new principal will continue to use the clinical supervision model, she also plans to incorporate teaching portfolios and peer supervision activities into faculty supervision. Which of the following is likely to be the most important benefit of the changes planned by the new principal?

  1. giving teachers greater opportunity to engage in reflective thinking with regard to their own and others' work
  2. delegating a greater portion of the responsibility for supervision to the school's teaching staff
  3. facilitating communication to teachers regarding standards and expectations for their performance
  4. encouraging initiative and innovation in teachers' instructional decision making
Correct Response: A.

Competency 0010
Understand principles and practices of organizational, operational, and human resource management.

8. A new principal faces many challenges in attempting to improve the performance of her school. Among the difficulties facing the principal are declining student achievement, poor faculty morale, and increasing student discipline problems. One of the first decisions made by the principal is to employ a Management by Walking Around (MBWA) approach in the school. Which of the following is likely to be the most immediate benefit of using this management approach?

  1. communicating to members of the school community the principal's high standards and expectations for their performance
  2. facilitating ongoing information gathering by developing informal lines of communication with many members of the school community
  3. increasing the speed and efficiency with which decisions can be communicated to and implemented by other members of the school community
  4. demonstrating to members of the school community the principal's determination to establish a culture of accountability and personal responsibility within the school
Correct Response: B.

Competency 0011
Understand principles and practices for managing facilities and auxiliary services to ensure a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

9. A school district has found that asbestos insulation is present around pipes in the basement of a school. According to regulations governing asbestos abatement, the district can decide to leave the asbestos in place only if the asbestos:

  1. shows no signs of crumbling or cracking, and the district closely monitors its condition for signs of deterioration.
  2. is located in an area of the school in which students are not regularly present.
  3. is present in small quantities, and the cost of removing it would adversely affect provision of the school's educational program.
  4. was part of the original construction of the school and has been in place continuously since that time.
Correct Response: A.

Competency 0012
Understand principles and practices of effective fiscal and resource management.

10. A school district in New Mexico receives two bids for repairing the roof of a district school. The bid from Acme Roofing Company is $20,500, while Pinnacle Roofing has turned in a bid of $21,000. Both companies have good reputations, and their labor and materials specifications for the job are essentially equivalent. Under which of the following circumstances can the district legally accept the higher bid from Pinnacle over the lower bid from Acme?

  1. Some members of the district staff know the owner of Pinnacle and trust the company to do a good job.
  2. The median pay for a worker at Pinnacle is fifty cents an hour more than the median pay at Acme.
  3. Pinnacle has satisfactorily completed a similar project in an adjacent school district.
  4. Pinnacle is located in New Mexico, while Acme is an out-of-state company.
Correct Response: D.