Factors that assist school administrators to effectively evaluate and improve teaching: a mixed methods case study

The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher and administrator sensemaking to improve teaching. Investigating what educators know, how they interpret their responsibilities in context, and the barriers they perceive will inform research, local policies, and practices for effective teacher evaluation. This case study took place in a juvenile detention setting. The conclusions of this study are that there are some key features that are strengths in the evaluation of teachers. These features include development of performance plans and goal setting on an annual basis. The study also found, however, that the lack of clear policies and implementation inhibit the cycle of performance feedback and have led to inconsistent evaluation practices. The study demonstrates that there is a need for teacher and administrator support systems in order to build capacity. A consistent model of evaluation that connects individual development, and ongoing communication among these groups will foster distributed leadership in these unique school systems.