Vol. 12 No. 5 (2017): An Analysis of Principals’ Perceptions of the Primary Teaching Evaluation System Used in Eight U.S. States
This research examines how public school principals in eight U.S. states perceive their teacher evaluation systems, which are based on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (FfT). States were selected to represent high, middle, and low scorers in the annual Education Week “Quality Counts” report (Education Week, 2016). A total of 1,142 out of over 8,100 working principals in the eight states responded to an online survey, yielding a response rate of over 14 percent. Most principals were somewhat satisfied with FfT but found implementing the system too cumbersome. Responses suggested an average of two changes to FfT desired by each principal; few wanted to keep their FfT as is. Targets for improvement included overhauling software used to enter teacher evaluations; eliminating student growth goals and student test scores (VAMs) as part of evaluations; reducing the time and paperwork required; and wanting more training for administrators and teachers on the use of FfT. Some states’ principals wanted to return control over teacher evaluation systems to local school districts. Most respondents agreed that their version of FfT has improved their school’s instructional program, and they prefer the new instrument over their previous evaluation instrument.