Term of Award

Spring 2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Bryan W. Griffin

Committee Member 2

Fred Page

Committee Member 3

T. C. Chan

Abstract

Teacher evaluation has the potential for improving teachers' skills and contributing to school improvement. This study was designed to measure and compare the perceptions of teachers and administrators regarding two performance evaluation systems that were in use in two comparable Georgia school districts during the 2001- 2002 school year to determine if teachers and administrators perceived any significant difference between the two systems of teacher evaluation and their impact on improving instruction and promoting professional growth. One of the school district's utilized a locally adopted alternative teacher evaluation system, while the other school district maintained its use of the Georgia Teacher Evaluation Program. A survey instrument was distributed to teachers and building -level administrators in both the Southeast and Central School Districts. The items on the survey asked the respondents to rate their perceptions of their teacher evaluation system in terms of 16 characteristics, along with being asked to respond to open-ended questions that addressed the strengths and weaknesses of their teacher evaluation systems, as well as to note their responses as to how their teacher evaluation system could be improved. I he data collected on the survey was summarized and analyzed in the form of a frequeney distribution summary , a profile of means and standard deviations, t-tests. and two-way Analysis of variance. The responses to the open-ended questions were analyzed and categorized according to the frequency of responses.

The results of the study indicated that teachers and school administrators in both school districts did not differ statistically with each other as to the impact of their teacher evaluation system on improving instruction and promoting professional growth when compared individually by school district. However, when the school districts were compared together, position and school district did have a statistically significant impact on teachers" and administrators' ratings of their teacher evaluation system on improving instruction. While administrators in both school districts were in close agreement, the teachers in the Southeast School District were more undecided than the teachers in the Central the School District on the effectiveness of their teacher evaluation system on improving instruction.

The findings of this study also indicated, that while teachers and school administrators may not always have differences in their perceptions of the impact of the their teacher evaluation system on improving instruction and promoting professional growth, there were a variety of opinions noted in their responses to the open-ended questions. While the majority of the respondents in both school districts stated that their teacher evaluation system had a positive effect on instructional improvement and provided opportunities for professional growth, respondents from the Southeast School [District made note of the time-consuming paperwork and lack of objectivity of their teacher evaluation system. Respondents from the Central School District cited that their process was subjective and generic and that the classroom observations were too brief and limited in scope. Although a majority of the administrators in the Southeast School District suggested a return to the state devised Georgia Teacher Evaluation Program, only a small percentage of teachers suggested that as an improvement. A large percentage of respondents in the Central School System wanted their evaluation system to be restructured, incorporating peer and self-evaluation needed to be included into the teacher evaluation process.

The study's results also suggest that every effort needs to be made to ensure that teachers are supported by a teacher evaluation system that provides them with the opportunity to improve their instructional skills and promote their professional growth.

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