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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How competent are public school principals at improving student achievement through teacher evaluation?

Posted By: Gil Compton on January 8, 2009
This is an email I received from one of my professors at UCR. THoughts? Comments?

You appear to have a clear grasp on one key variable for study Ė the teacher evaluation documents produced by principals. Now you need to decide whether you want to see this as the dependent variable or the independent variable in the administrative study you want to undertake. That is, do you want to explain why some evaluation documents are better (that is how they are dependent upon some aspects of the school, the principal or the district management) others, or do you want to examine the consequences of performing better (or worse) evaluations (for example, do weak evaluations lead to principals not being respected by teachers, do they contribute to teacher dissatisfaction, student discipline problems, low achievement, etc.

Letís stipulate for the moment that you can fairly easily develop an evaluation document assessment process that will lead to reliable judgments regarding the quality of the evaluations (and that the quality of the evaluation document is in some way an accurate measure of the quality of the principalís evaluation of teachers). Then the research problem needs to answer the question where does this evaluation document quality variable fit in the dynamics of school organization operations. What comes before the evaluation instrument construction that determines whether a given evaluation document will be of higher or lower quality? And what follows after the production of the evaluation document production that you can isolate and measure with enough accuracy to determine whether the teacher evaluation documents are playing a significant role in subsequent organizational actions.

You will have a very powerful dissertation if you can develop a theoretical model that traces the causal chain from the factors determining principal evaluation quality through the evaluation quality assessment to some important hypothesized consequences in the operation of the schools, the behavior of teachers, or the actions of students.

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 How competent are public school principals at improving student achievement through teacher evaluation? by Gil Compton on January 5, 2009
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