Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the topic of the evaluation of school principals and the role it plays in fostering student achievement. The overarching research question for this study was the following: "Is there a relationship between the type and intensity of principal evaluation and pupil performance in DuPage, Will, and Lake County, Illinois public schools at the K-8 level?"

While there are a number of purposes for principal evaluation, the tools and methods used to evaluate principals vary tremendously by both state and school district. This study addressed the degree to which principal evaluation affects students' achievement, as well as the principals' perceptions about the impact of evaluation on student achievement and their own professional practice.

To supplement the primary research question, the kinds of evaluation that are identified were also correlated with the principals' perceptions as they pertain to two specific topics. The first topic addressed the principals' perceptions about the influence of principal evaluation on pupil performance. The second topic addressed the principals' perceptions about the influence of principal evaluation on their own professional performance.

This study used quantitative research in order to accomplish the first objective of determining the type and intensity of the methods that are presently in use for the purpose of principal evaluation. An on-line survey instrument was used to collect the data. The second objective was to correlate the identified evaluative methods with pupil performance, which were based on Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) school scores for the previous year. As this research study employed simultaneous mixed methods, open-ended questions were nested within the larger survey that allowed respondents to indicate their perceptions about the effect of the type and intensity of principal evaluation on student achievement, as well as their own professional performance. The data that was acquired from this additional component added richness and validity to the study.

The main constructs for the study included the following:

*The identification of the type/intensity of principal evaluation methods that are in predominant use in DuPage, Will, and Lake Counties

*The relationship between school performance level on the ISAT assessment and type/intensity of principal evaluation

*The relationship between principals' perceptions about the influence of principal evaluation on pupil performance and type/intensity of principal evaluation

*The relationship between principals' perceptions about the influence of principal evaluation on their own professional performance and type/intensity of principal evaluation

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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