Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


This study investigated the historical development of Elgin School District U-46's teacher appraisal system and teacher mentor program during the years of 1998-2010. In 1998 a formal mentor program was implemented for the first time in district history. Shortly thereafter, district and union leadership agreed to revamp the twenty-five-year-old appraisal system. The study aimed to explore how district and union leadership prepared for, adopted, and implemented appraisal and mentoring during this time period through the framework of Thomas Sergiovanni's (1992) sources of authority for leadership.

The research questions of this study focused on five topics: the historical development of the teacher appraisal plan (TAP), the historical development of the teacher mentor program (TMP), sources of authorities for leadership evidenced during the stages of implementation and development, challenges faced and sources of authorities evidenced to overcome them, and evidence that appraisal and mentoring either complement or contradict each other in U-46.

An elaborate look at primary documents including teacher contracts, School Board reports and minutes, local newspaper articles, meeting agendas, professional development presentations, staff surveys, and selected professional literature helped reveal the change process undergone for teacher appraisal and showed the development of the mentor program.

As Senate Bill 315 recently passed, more districts will be revisiting their teacher appraisal system to include student performance data as a measure in order to qualify for "Race to the Top" funding. Article 21A of Illinois School Code continues to require districts to mentor their novice teachers, although the quality of these programs inevitably varies. These mandates, along with the continuous need to strengthen teacher performance in an accountability-driven era, make this a relevant study for educational leaders. Understanding the successes and challenges of Elgin U-46 can provide administrators and union officials insight as they move forward with similar developments and changes.

Creative Commons License

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