ELEMENTARY PRINCIPALS‘ PERCEPTIONS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A TEACHER APPRAISAL SYSTEM AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Raphiel, Jilliane Christina 1979-
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Across the nation, teacher appraisal systems are being revamped to serve the primary purpose of supporting and developing teachers, regardless of experience. To what degree a principal believes the instructional criteria within the appraisal system are valid influencers on student achievement may be key in developing teachers at all levels of effectiveness to cultivate student achievement that can lead to higher performing schools. The purpose of this study was to identify what principals at highly effective elementary school campuses valued as the key instructional criteria in a teacher appraisal system. The outcome of this study can greatly impact the development, hiring, and transitioning of teachers at any school. By using the value-added model to identify effective schools, this study focused on the perception of principals of elementary campuses that are able to accelerate students, regardless of any perceived learning barriers. Data was collected through a qualitative approach, using descriptive statistics in the form of charts, tables, and graphs to identify trends. A survey and follow-up interviews were administered to elementary school principals currently leading schools within the top 25% of value-added achievement in a large urban school district in the southern United States. The study determined that while the appraisal instrument encompasses several instructional criteria that principals clearly perceived as impacting student achievement, the instrument serves as a springboard into additional best practices. Open-ended survey responses and interviews determined additional instructional criteria that principals perceived as having an impact on student achievement and their plans to ensure that they continue to add value to all students as accountability rapidly increases.