Principal perceptions of common core state standards and the implications for teacher evaluation

This dissertation describes a study assessing Twin Rivers Unified School District’s school principals’ attitudes towards various characteristics of teacher evaluation and compares perceptions among sub groups. Thirty-one building principals completed a survey which measured perceptions of four constructs of teacher evaluation that were selected from current educational theory: teacher evaluation should be founded in a partnership, differentiated for individuals, ongoing, and considerate of student learning outcomes. Principals were examined as sub groups according to gender, ethnicity, school culture, professional backgrounds, and years of experience. Descriptive statistics indicated that principals agreed that evaluation systems should be part of an ongoing cycle. Might teacher evaluation be an opportunity to view a teacher’s performance from a growth mindset? This mixed-methods study used survey data and interview data at a Northern California school district, to explore the following questions: 1. Which of the following or combination of variables are significantly related regarding principal perceptions about teacher evaluation for Common Core? o Gender o Professional Background o Age o Years as a principal o Ethnicity o School Climate 2. What are the perceived factors already impacting teacher evaluations by school site principals that relate to CCSS and do they transfer? 3. What are the perceived changes (by principals) that teacher evaluation must undergo in light of Common Core implementation? The quantitative findings for Question 1 did not have a significant correlation between principal perceptions and variables on the survey. Questions 2 and 3, in a qualitative study, provided an opportunity to view principal perceptions of teacher evaluation through the lenses of Systems Theory (focusing on Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) Ecology of Human Development Theory), Universal Design for Learning Theory, Appreciative Inquiry Theory, and Transformational Leadership Theory. The theories formulated from qualitative data, showed illustration of support that could lead to growth oriented teacher evaluation via: 1. The removal of barriers for principals as they evaluate teachers. For example, more time for principals to provide focused support for teachers and a non-punitive evaluation. 2. Change to current evaluation models by implementing a more growth-oriented evaluation process and principals leading with a multi-faceted leadership style. This study concludes with policy and future research recommendations.