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Principals’ perception of the effectiveness of a standards based principal evaluation system

Marin, Maria (2019) Principals’ perception of the effectiveness of a standards based principal evaluation system. Doctoral thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Abstract

This study investigated K-12 school principals’ perception of their standards based evaluation system. A case study methodology was used to investigate, describe, and analyze the perceptions of twelve school principals serving across five regions in one southwestern school district. The following questions guided this study: How do principals utilize the standards to shape their leadership practice? What role does the principal play in their own evaluation? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the standards based evaluation system? How might the standards based evaluation system be improved? The primary sources of data collected and analyzed were generated by in-depth semi-structured interviews with the participants. Additional data analyzed were memos, field notes, and artifacts which included the district policy regarding the evaluation of principals and the principal evaluation instrument. The data were organized and analyzed through the framework of the research questions and sub-questions related to principal perceptions and interaction with their standards based evaluation. Strategies used to analyze the data consisted of organizing the data, coding, memoing for emergent ideas, theming, interpreting, and representing the data. Validity was addressed using triangulation, bracketing interviews, transcript checking, member checking, and an external audit. Cognitive interviews, triangulation, and external audit were used to demonstrate reliability in this study. This study had limited generalizability because only the perceptions of school principals in one southwestern school district were analyzed. The following major findings emerged from this study relative to principal participant perceptions of their individual standards based evaluations. The principal participants were unable to list the standards by name; however, the standards were aligned to their top three priorities. The data also revealed that the majority of the principals were not focused on their standards based evaluation system to drive their priorities or leadership actions. Subsequently, more than half of the principal participants believed that the standards had no impact on their leadership capacity. Most of the principals in this study reported that they did not have strong relationships with their supervisors, which they believed was elemental to their standards based evaluation system. The lack of interactions translated into a one-sided compliance requirement by the principals when addressing their evaluations. All of the principal participants understood that state and district policy mandated that state testing student data would bear weight on their standards based evaluation system. None of the participants appeared to be overly concerned about the impact the test scores would have on their performance ratings; nevertheless, they stated that including student data from the yearly tests was inequitable. Based on the data, a major strength of the district’s evaluation system was that all of the principal participants were able to fully describe their district’s standards based evaluation protocol. Weaknesses included: lack of a comprehensive support system for principals, lack of relationships between supervisors and principals void of interactions and feedback, and the lack of training on the evaluation process and curriculum and instruction. Suggestions for improvement by the participants were centered on professional development, relationships, support, and the alignment of district initiatives to the standards based evaluation system, and work of the school principals.

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.
Keywords: evaluation; ISLLC Standards; leadership; perceptions; principals; PSEL 2015
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Education > Educational Leadership
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2022 23:01
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 23:01
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5592

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