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Student standardized test scores as an effective measure of teacher performance: teacher and administrator attitudes

Lanese, Chad Jeffrey (2018) Student standardized test scores as an effective measure of teacher performance: teacher and administrator attitudes. Doctoral thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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In recent years, the focus of accountability has emphasized standardized test results and the individual teacher. Weight has increasingly been given to the use of standardized test results as an important tool to measure teacher effectiveness and has been implemented in a number of states through legislation that mandates its use on evaluation instruments. The emergence of Value-added Measures and Student Growth Percentiles as viable tools to accomplish the task of measuring teacher effectiveness using standardized test scores has become more prominent across school districts in the United States. However, much of the research on these tools has shown that they may not be stable enough to use in an evaluation. Additionally, the relative instability of these measures creates a larger concern when used in teacher evaluations because the results of evaluations can influence decision-making around teacher tenure, dismissal and even compensation. Using an unproven method to make these types of decisions is wrought with potential concerns about the issue of measuring teacher effectiveness. This study served to describe the attitudes of high school mathematics teachers and high school administrators regarding the use of standardized test results on teacher evaluations. The researcher administered quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews for the purpose of better describing teacher and administrator attitudes. Both quantitative survey results and qualitative interview results were analyzed in order to better understand teacher and administrator attitudes toward the use of student standardized tests results as an indicator of performance on teacher evaluations. When describing teacher attitudes, three groups of mathematics teachers served as a valuable source of data. Groups consisted of teachers of accelerated courses only, non-accelerated only, and those that instructed both accelerated and non-accelerated courses as a part of their teaching assignment. Administrator and teacher attitudes were also analyzed in order to compare the two groups. Each group responded to the same survey items and statistical analysis was applied for the purpose of comparing the two groups. The research design was mixed methods where sequential timing was applied as a subset methodology design in order to gather survey data first and then interview data. Survey and interview questions were categorized into three themes as related to teacher evaluation. Theme one considered the concept of standardized test results as an indicator used to measure teacher performance and/or effectiveness. Theme two questions focused on attitudes towards standardized test results and the degree of trust that participants had/did not have with regard to standardized test results. Theme three questions considered the actual process of teacher evaluations within the organization. The findings suggest that a clear attitude of disagreement exists for each group regarding theme one questions. However, the accelerated and combined (accelerated/non-accelerated) groups expressed disagreement toward theme two while the non-accelerated group was more neutral. Theme three produced similar neutral and agree responses across the three groups of teachers. Administrators also expressed an attitude of disagreement towards theme one, but were more neutral in responses to themes two and three. The idea of using standardized test results as a tool to evaluate teacher performance was met with disagreement for both teachers and administrators.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Education > Educational Leadership
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2019 22:19
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5447

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