Teacher evaluation in Illinois: School leaders’ perceptions and practices

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Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability






Springer Verlag

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The aim of the current study is to assess school leaders’ perceptions and practices in the context of a new policy that emphasizes teacher evaluation. The study draws from survey data of 606 K-12 school leaders in the USA in a state implementing a new teacher evaluation model under Race to the Top. Findings illustrate that school leaders spent significant time on teacher evaluation. Some felt this was a good investment of time (e.g., rich conversations with teachers), increasing the ability for evaluations to improve instruction. Most, however, perceived the time demands as a cost (e.g., spending longer hours on the job, delegating more tasks to others). School leaders felt very confident in their ability to conduct observations and provide feedback to teachers. The opposite was found for student achievement data. Administrators’ reported preparedness, confidence, and beliefs suggest that barriers exist to using student achievement data to evaluate teachers. Findings suggest that school leaders need resources to build capacity, particularly in accommodating the new time demands of teacher evaluation. Administrators could benefit from professional development that addresses the use and value of student achievement if this measure continues to be a substantial component in teacher evaluation models.

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