Date of Award

8-2016

Rights

© 2016 Mariah Kramer

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Steven Moskowitz

Second Advisor

Suzan Nelson

Third Advisor

Chris Yuen

Abstract

Teacher evaluation reform has been a movement in the United States since the release of the educational report, A Nation at Risk. Through government initiatives such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, teacher evaluation reform has gained in popularity. States have either revamped or are currently revamping evaluation systems in order to provide better feedback to teachers, increase instructional practices and increase student achievement. New York State is no exception. During the 2011-2012 school year, New York State introduced its Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) teacher and principal evaluation system. This evaluation system became fully functional at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

This qualitative study explores the perceptions of both teachers and administrators regarding the effectiveness of APPR legislation in regards to changes in instruction, the quality of instruction and increases in student learning. Ten teachers and ten administrators from various school districts across New York State participated in one-to-one interviews where they shared stories and their experiences with regard to APPR.

The data collected and analyzed during the study helped the research answer the following three research questions:
1. How do teachers perceive APPR has changed their teaching practices?
2. How do administrators perceive APPR has impacted the quality of instruction?
3. How do teachers and administrators perceive APPR legislation has affected student learning?

Data representing the perspectives of the teachers and from the perspective of the administrators was examined. Each group was analyzed separately and the compared to the other. Three significant themes emerged for the teachers: Anxiety and Frustration, Inconsequence and Mixed Views. Three themes emerged from the administrators’ data: Concerns with Testing, Acceptance and Value. Most teachers interviewed do not believe APPR has changed their teaching practices, while most administrators do. Teachers believe they now teach more to the test, whereas administrators saw more student engagement and less teacher-centered practice. The majority of the teachers interviewed believed that their previous evaluation plans gave them better feedback while administrators felt the current APPR plans provided better feedback.

These findings allowed the researcher to develop several conclusions, including the need for legislators in New York State to work with teachers and administrators to develop regulations that are meaningful and relevant to educators in regards to teacher evaluation. Recommendations from the study include: monitoring the amount of testing children participate in each year; and working within districts to ensure better communication about APPR perceptions; and encouraging legislators to consider the negative impacts of APPR along with the benefits.

Comments

Ed.D. Dissertation