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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to expand upon what is currently known and understood about principals' thinking and actions when managing the remediation of types of unsatisfactory teachers. Methods and procedures. The research was descriptive. A survey questionnaire was sent to 75 principals in the target district; a large, urban school district. Analysis of the returned surveys led to identification of a sample of 15 principals who participated in in-depth interviews. The interviews were tape recorded and then transcribed. Analyses of the transcriptions followed objectives created in light of the review of literature and suggestions from a panel of experts. Target district documents regarding policies and procedures for evaluating and supervising teachers were analyzed for evidence of remediation practices. Findings. Interviewed principals identified 12 types of unsatisfactory teachers. Many unsatisfactory teachers mentioned during the interviews reflected combinations of the twelve identified types. Principals also noted successful or unsuccessful uses of 13 remediation strategies in relation to certain types of unsatisfactory teachers. All principals interviewed reported receiving annual training for assuring due process to certificated employees and following district procedures when managing teachers they deemed unsatisfactory. Recommendations. Educators should investigate alternatives to the current deficit model used to manage unsatisfactory teachers. The current approach does not appear to consider the subtleties and nuances of teacher attitude and aptitude that make remediating unsatisfactory teachers extremely complex. A replication of this study in an analogous school district should be conducted to determine if principals generated similar categories and labels for unsatisfactory teachers. Adopting an agreed upon vocabulary for diagnosing, discussing and managing unsatisfactory teachers should be a priority of the education profession. Additional research should be conducted to determine whether or not every school district's evaluation policies should allow principals to apply personal criteria during teacher evaluation. All school administrators should receive training in diagnosing and identifying types of unsatisfactory teachers. Additional research needs to be conducted to determine the impact of marginality and managing marginal teachers within the profession.



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