Meaningful impact : a case study of a multiple-measure teacher evaluation system




Taylor, Abigail Ramage

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Effective teachers lead students to improved academic outcomes; therefore, it is critical for the field to understand best practices related to measuring teacher effectiveness. Increasing teacher capacity to positively affect student learning leads to school improvement (Stronge, 2010). When a teacher evaluation system builds teacher efficacy through systematic and rigorous feedback, the evaluation system can contribute to overall school improvement. Current trends support the use of multiple measures of teacher effectiveness (Adnot, Dee, Katz, & Wyckoff, 2017; Darling-Hammond, Amrein-Beardsley, Haertel, & Rothstein, 2012; Jacob, 2012; Phillips & Weingarten, 2013; Rockoff & Speroni, 2010; Steinberg & Kraft, 2017; Steinberg & Sartain, 2015). Multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems are worthy of study because they examine teacher effectiveness, and effective teachers improve students' learning outcomes. Understanding the effective implementation of multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems within Texas is of particular interest due to the 2019 passage of House Bill 3 (HB 3). HB 3 established the Teacher Incentive Allotment, creating a pathway for Texas teachers to earn a six-figure salary (Texas Education Agency, 2019). As Texas districts have been incentivized to implement multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems, understanding the effective implementation of these systems within the state is necessary. This study examined the effectiveness of a multiple-measure teacher evaluation system in an urban school district. Using mixed methods, this study examined The Teacher Appraisal Model (TAM), a multiple-measure teacher evaluation system implemented in a Texas school district, South Independent School District (SISD). Surveys, focus groups, and existing administrative data were used in this study. The epistemological origin of this study is subjectivism, found within the philosophy of interpretivism, as meaning is created from something applied to the object by another source (Crotty, 1998). Process theory (Maxwell, 2013) influenced the interpretation of data and findings. Findings indicate that TAM can help to improve instructional effectiveness when well-implemented. Gaps in perception between teachers and appraisers result from inequitable application of Instructional Domain ratings and diverse views on the value of feedback. Teachers' ratings in the Instructional Domain are greater than their ratings in the Student Outcomes Domain, resulting in misalignment between domain ratings.


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