The perceptions of elementary school teachers regarding performance-based evaluations

The development and implementation of an accurate teacher evaluation system continues to be a controversial topic in public education. Educational researchers study a variety of teacher evaluation systems searching for a fair and balanced method. Policy makers searching for an accurate form of evaluation believe that student achievement data should be included in teacher evaluations. Performance- Based evaluation was created in order to test the effectiveness of teachers and hold them accountable for student achievement, but questions continue to arise as to the validity of this evaluation method. This study examined the perceptions of elementary school teachers on performance-based evaluation. Four research questions were developed based on the components of performance-based evaluation. Nine interview questions were generated to investigate teacher perceptions of teacher evaluation and student achievement, sources of information for teacher evaluation, the accuracy of performance-based evaluation, and types of teacher incentives that may be included as part of performance-based evaluation. Four teachers, two of which currently participate in performance-based evaluations were interviewed. Their responses were coded to discover overarching themes and commonalities. Through the analysis of the responses, this researcher found that teachers are searching for a fair and balanced method of teacher evaluation and believe that performance-based evaluation could be the answer, if it is implemented correctly.