Principal Perceived Autonomy Questionnaire

Lucas, S., Brown, G. C., and Markus, F. W. (1991). Principals’ perceptions of site-based management and teacher empowerment. NASSP Bulletin 75:56–62.


The 10-item questionnaire examines who is responsible in schools and measures the perceptions of principals regarding their ability to make decisions.


Elementary and secondary school principals from 11 states in the southeast participated in this study. Responses were received from 542 principals. The participants were randomly selected.


The eight areas identified in this study were: perceived autonomy of self; perceived teacher autonomy; perceived teacher effectiveness qualities; perceived acceptance of student achievement levels; school climate; increased support for teacher autonomy; degree of external pressure to instructional personnel; and use of standardized tests as a measure of teacher performance.

Data Analysis:

Mean scores for each of the eight categories listed here are presented for the total group, by ethnicity, and by size of school district. In addition, percentages of agreement are presented for the total group and by ethnicity for principal perceived autonomy, principal perceived teacher autonomy, principal view of effectiveness, and principal perceived need to increase teacher autonomy.

Principal Perceived Autonomy Questionnaire

1. I have sufficient autonomy over the following to create the best learning environment in my school:
• district allocated funds
• influencing educational reform activities
• subject matter and methods of instruction
• student personnel
• support personnel
• instructional personnel
2. Teachers in my school have sufficient autonomy in the following areas to create the best classroom environment for learning:
• choice of subject matter to meet student need
• choice of instructional procedures and strategies
• use of financial and other resources
3. Teachers in my school show sufficient levels of:
• professional competence to achieve desired goals
• motivation to teach productively
• caring for students
4. The level of student academic achievement is sufficiently high to meet community expectation.
5. The learning atmosphere in my school is sufficiently productive.
6. I would support teacher empowerment to:
• make staffing decisions
• manage resources allocated by the district
• design and implement educational programs
• “co-manage” the school
7. I face greater external pressure than before to increase teacher and student productivity.
8. The use of standardized test results in my school is an appropriate measure of teacher performance.
9. How many layers of administration exist between you and your superintendent?
10. What “one prerogative” do you need to be more productive with students and teachers?


Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree.