This study examined the relationship between collective efficacy and high school student achievement in a state with an accountability system heavily focused on achievement, measured by mandatory assessments in multiple content areas. Using social cognitive theory, a theoretical model was developed linking school context and collective efficacy to differences among schools in 12th-grader student achievement. Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of the model to data drawn from students and teachers in 96 state high schools. Collective efficacy was positively influenced by past mastery experience and negatively related to school socioeconomic disadvantage. Additionally, after accounting for the influence of several aspects of school context, collective efficacy remained a significant positive predictor of student performance across all content areas tested by the state. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for social cognitive theory and school improvement in an era of school accountability for student performance on subject-specific achievement assessments. (Education Policy 18(3): 403-25, July 2004.)
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