Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Donald W. Smitley
Each year principals in Illinois schools are required to evaluate teachers. This study was conducted to assess principal perceptions of teacher evaluation processes and instruments used in schools located in the southern Illinois counties of Clinton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Marion, and Washington. The study was conducted to determine the principal perceptions related to the following research questions: (a) What are the minimum number of classroom observations principals are required to make each year before developing the final teacher evaluation? (b) What type of teacher evaluation instruments are being used in districts? (c) What is the extent of principals' satisfaction with district teacher evaluation instruments? (d) What recommendations would principals make for improving teacher evaluation instruments currently being used? (e) What is the extent of principals' satisfaction with district teacher evaluation processes? (f) What recommendations would principals make for improving teacher evaluation processes currently being used?
The study took place during the fall of 1997. Questionnaires were mailed on November 4, 1997, to 81 principals whose schools were located in the southern Illinois counties of Clinton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Marion, and Washington. Responses were received from 65 (79%) of the principals.
Fifty-three percent of the principals reported that they were required to conduct one observation per year for each tenured teacher. Seventeen percent of principals reported that two teacher observations were required, while 11 % reported that three teacher observations were conducted. Eleven percent of reporting principals related that one observation for a tenured teacher was required every other year.
Fifty-three percent of principals reported that two non-tenured teacher observations were required each year in their school districts. Seventeen percent of principals were required to have three observations for non-tenured teachers, with 16% completing four observations.
Twenty-two percent of responding principals reported that a subjective rating list of characteristics was used in teacher evaluation. Fourteen percent of principals indicated that a checklist was used as their teacher evaluation instrument, while 13% reported that a narrative was used. Fifty-one percent of reporting principals stated that more than one type of evaluation instrument was used. Nineteen percent reported using a combination of checklist and narrative; 14% used the checklist, narrative, and subjective rating; and 8% used the narrative and subjective rating combination.
Fifty-seven percent of principals reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their district's teacher evaluation instrument. Thirty-six percent of reporting principals were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
Forty-one percent of reporting principals recommended making changes in the content of the teacher evaluation instrument, while 18% recommended making changes to the scoring system. Thirteen percent of principals made statements concerning the time necessary to complete teacher observation and evaluation instruments. Ten percent of principals recommended adding evaluations and having more formative teacher evaluations.
Seventy percent of the principals who completed the questionnaire reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the school district's teacher evaluation process. Twenty-seven percent of principals reported that they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the current teacher evaluation process.
Thirty-nine percent of reporting principals recommended increasing the number teacher observations. Twenty-eight percent of principals indicated a need to add to the evaluation process by (a) adding conferences (7%); (b) adding more instruments to complete during evaluation (14%); and (c) adding teacher goals reached or teacher accomplishments (7%). Eleven percent of reporting principals recommended making the teacher evaluation process more subjective.
Recommendations made to the Superintendent and Board of Education of West Washington County Unit #10 School District (where the author was employed as high school principal) as a result of the study included (a) incorporating additional types of instruments in the teacher evaluation process such as a combination of checklists, narratives, and subjective ratings of listed characteristics; (b) providing more time for principals to spend evaluating teachers through additional observations and completing teacher evaluation instruments; and (c) encouraging principals and teachers to participate in effective student instruction workshops.
Carpenter, William Harold, "Principals' Perceptions of Teacher Evaluation Processes and Instruments" (1998). Masters Theses. 1708.