An Examination of Teacher Belief Systems on the Implications of Their Evaluation Instrument through the Use of District and State Developed Models
Lucario, Joseph A.
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Teacher evaluation is a highly contentious issue that is disputed throughout education. Teacher supervision has been questioned due to its controversial nature, while it is required due to state mandates. Moreover, there is autonomy within Texas law to allow school districts to deviate from the state framework if district leadership deems it necessary. This study investigates state adopted and locally adopted teacher evaluation systems in schools. This offers a chronological framework as to how a tenured and locally developed system operates as opposed to the new state generated instrument. Research questions of interest in this investigation were: (a) Does teacher supervision make teaching better; and (b) Does the appraisal instrument influence teaching and student learning? This qualitative analysis consists of cognitive interviews that were conducted with 12 teachers to obtain information about their specific summative evaluation occurrence as it relates to school districts that use different systems. Cognitive interviews are used for specificity to highlight this summative activity to best provide districts with data. All districts have local control, but determining a variation from state stature is analyzed through teachers’ beliefs. Teachers from four different schools, within two different districts, were interviewed concerning their teacher evaluation model from practitioner experience. Analyses of their responses yielded various themes in which data was generated to conceptualize common principles, differentiations, and suggestive feedback for district and state lawmakers. Teachers of districts in which local control was present offered tailored distinctions directed to the community in which they serve. Results concluded that teachers believed that tailored differentiations could allow innovation and permit varied approaches to use in instructional support methods. Based upon the results of this investigation, researchers are encouraged to examine teacher retention under differentiated evaluation models; student performance based upon specific teacher ratings; and teacher contributions to the evaluation process through collaboration.