Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Scullen


In this study, educator literacy about selected laws of the state of Michigan pertaining to education is examined. Literature related to laws and litigation have often included assertions that educators are not familiar with laws and court decisions related to their workplace.

The purpose of this study was to develop and field test an instrument for measurement of educator knowledge of laws of the state of Michigan related to education and judged important as laws about which educators should be knowledgeable. A test was developed from three sources: the Michigan School Code of 1976, Michigan Laws Relating to Education, and Michigan Administrative Rules Relating to Education.

The test was developed after discussion with experts in educational law; a jury of experts was used to validate the test questions. The test was designed in a true-false format according to the guidelines established by Ebel (1972) in Essentials of Educational Measurement and had 100 questions. This test was administered to educators (teachers and administrators) in a single school district during the 1985-1986 school year.

Data analysis included general data on return rate, grand mean and range of scores, an item analysis which included indices of difficulty and discrimination, and a multiple regression equation for the four demographic questions. There were 131 tests returned out of a total of 402 (32.2%). The grand mean was 57.58 with a variance of 42.69 and a standard deviation of 6.53 indicating a cluster around the chance score. Results of the indices of difficulty and discrimination indicated that even though the test as a whole was low in difficulty and discrimination the scores were clustered around the chance score. The test showed low reliability (.56) which is consistent with the low discrimination index.

Educators tested were unfamiliar with the laws that relate to education. In order to retain the original premise for this study, that educators need to be better informed about legal requirements, it is necessary for the test developed in this study to be revised and readministered. These findings can give direction to future studies or to programs designed to better inform educators about legal requirements related to their profession and roles.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access