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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Benerd School of Education

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Phyllis A. Hensley

Second Committee Member

Stephen E. Trotter

Third Committee Member

Linda Haro-MacDonell

Fourth Committee Member

Mari G. Irvin


The purpose of this study was to investigate the practices and perceptions of high school principals in northern California in their use of teacher evaluation for school improvement. The population included 60 high school principals in 29 northern California counties. The data included the responses of 60 principals to a questionnaire and the responses of ten of the 60 principals participated in telephone interviews. This study investigated teacher evaluation processes that were used and how they were seen as useful to school improvement. Specific topics that were included were the degree that teacher evaluation was perceived as useful to improve student learning, learning environments, teachers' subject matter knowledge, and staff development. Also, principals were asked if they use teacher evaluation to make recommendations to grant tenure, non-reelect, promote, and dismiss teachers. In addition, principals were asked what prevents them from further using teacher evaluation for school improvement? The responses of experienced principals (those with more than three years of experience) were compared to those with fewer than three years of experience. Principals were asked which formative evaluation processes they used including classroom observation, teacher and student reports, diagnostic processes, and demonstration lessons. They were asked how useful they felt formative evaluation is to improve tenured and non-tenured teachers. Principals' use of summative evaluation was also studied. Specifically, principals' use of classroom observations, rating scales informal observations, peer ratings, student ratings, students achievement, exams, portfolios, and self-assessments for evaluation were tallied. In addition they were asked how useful they felt summative evaluation is to improve tenured and non-tenured teachers. Finally this study investigated the barriers that principals perceived that prevented them from further implementing teacher evaluation. Most frequently principals reported that a lack of time and the interference of teacher unions were barriers to more fully using teacher evaluation. The conclusion of this study includes nine general recommendations and three recommendations for further research.




9780599707238 , 0599707232

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