Matching Items (9)

151333-Thumbnail Image.png

Classroom walkthroughs at two suburban high schools: gathering data to improve instructional practice

Description

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for all students. They no longer just manage their schools but must now be instructional leaders charged with observing and conferencing with teachers, leading professional development aligned to data, and measuring results. Classroom walkthroughs have become a way of assisting with these tasks while supporting the mission of each school. The purpose of this research was to describe how walkthroughs operate in practice and how they were experienced by school administration, teacher leaders, and teachers at two schools within the same suburban district. Interviews illustrated that experiences were varied using the classroom walkthrough protocol. Continued professional development needed to occur with administrators and teachers. Participants shared their thoughts on implementation and usage, as well as made recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementing classroom walkthroughs. Results also indicated a great deal of attention paid to the collection of data within the schools but there was less consensus on the analysis and use of the collected data. There was also confusion with teachers as to the vision, purpose, and goals of using classroom walkthroughs. Changes in leadership during the five years since implementation and young administrators, who were relatively new in their positions, helped shape school experiences. Recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementation focused on support from the district office, a need for help with data collection and analysis, and a clear vision for the use of the protocol. Interviewees mentioned it would benefit districts and schools to develop a shared vocabulary for instructional engagement, alignment, and rigor, as well as a focus for professional development. They also shared the view that calibration conferences and conversations, centered on instruction, provided a focus for teaching and learning within a school and/or district.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

150519-Thumbnail Image.png

Implementing a standards-based teacher evaluation system: learning experiences for administrators in an urban school district

Description

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools to adopt standards-based teacher evaluation systems and link them to student outcomes. The end product is to result in annual summative measures of teacher effectiveness. Because of this, Arizona school administrators have become concerned about rapidly becoming experts in high-stakes teacher evaluation. Principals rarely have time to come together to talk about teacher evaluation, and consider the reliability of their evaluations and how to use teacher evaluation to help teachers improve their practice. This action research study focused on a group of nine administrators in a small urban district grappling with a more complex and high-stakes teacher evaluation system. An existing community of practice was engaged to help administrators become more effective, fair, and consistent evaluators. Activities were designed to engage the group in dynamic, contextualized learning. Participants interacted in small groups to interpret the meaning of newly adopted evaluation instruments and professional teaching standards, share practical knowledge, and compare teacher evaluation experiences in classrooms. Data were gathered with mixed methods. Prior to, and immediately after engaging in this 20-week innovation, principals and district administrators were given two surveys and interviewed about teacher evaluation. Additionally, a detailed record of this project was kept in the form of meeting records and a research journal. Quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated to validate findings. Results identified concerns and understandings of administrators as they attempted to come to a shared consensus regarding teacher evaluation, increase inter-rater reliability, and use teacher evaluation to improve professional practice. As a result of working and learning together administrators lowered their concerns about inter-rater reliability. Other concerns, however, remained and grew. Administrators found the process of gaining a common understanding of teacher evaluation to be complex and far more time-consuming than anticipated. Intense concerns about alignment of the evaluation system with other reforms led these administrators to consider modifications in their evaluation system. Implications from this study can be used to help other administrators grappling with common concerns.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

153078-Thumbnail Image.png

Investigating a teacher evaluation system: school administrator and teacher perceptions of the system's standards of effectiveness

Description

Increasing public criticism of traditional teacher evaluation systems based largely on classroom observations has spurred an unprecedented shift in the debate surrounding educational accountability policies, specifically about the purposes for

Increasing public criticism of traditional teacher evaluation systems based largely on classroom observations has spurred an unprecedented shift in the debate surrounding educational accountability policies, specifically about the purposes for and measures used to evaluate teachers. In response to growing public demand and associated federal mandates, states have been prompted to design and implement teacher evaluation systems that use increasingly available, statistically complex models (i.e., value-added) intended to isolate and measure the effects of individual teachers on student academic growth over time. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of school administrators and teachers within one of the largest school districts in the state of Arizona with regards to the design and implementation of a federally-supported, state policy-directed teacher evaluation system based on professional practice and value-added measures. While much research has been conducted on teacher evaluation, few studies have examined teacher evaluation systems in context to better understand the standards of effectiveness used by school administrators and teachers to measure system effectiveness. The perceptions of school administrators and teachers, considering their lived experiences as the subjects of the nation's new and improved teacher evaluation systems in context, must be better understood if state and federal policymakers are to also better recognize and understand the consequences (intended and unintended) associated with the design and implementation of these systems in practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

150557-Thumbnail Image.png

Administrators' perceptions of career and technical education

Description

Career and technical education was founded on the common practice of apprenticeships integrated into the public schools at the beginning of the 20th century as manual arts, which continued to

Career and technical education was founded on the common practice of apprenticeships integrated into the public schools at the beginning of the 20th century as manual arts, which continued to evolve into a culture and practice of its own as vocational education, and into what is now career and technical education,with an evolving focus on college and career readiness. This study sought to collect and compare the perceptions of superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and deans who were affiliated with ten Northeastern Arizona high schools, which were members of Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) to seven similar sized high schools in rural Arizona, which were not affiliated with NAVIT. The NAVIT schools were members of the Joint Technological Educational District. The member schools were required by intergovernmental agreement to operate their career and technical education programs by specific guidelines and curriculum.This study also compared the combined average academic achievement of the 2011 CTE concentrators of the NAVIT high schools, the non-NAVIT high schools, and all Arizona statewide CTE concentrators. Both NAVIT and non-NAVIT administrators were administered a survey, designed to measure perceptions of college/postsecondary preparation, career guidance and counseling,academic tracking, and curriculum. Results revealed that both NAVIT and non-NAVIT administrators were supportive of career and technical education, but for different reasons. The NAVIT administrators tended to view students in career and technical education programs as more mainstream, with college opportunities. The non-NAVIT administrators supported career and technical education as a system of programs that offered students opportunities for success, whether college bound or not. A significant number of NAVIT and non-NAVIT administrators opted for no opinion responses for several potentially controversial survey questions, which suggested discomfort with the topics. The academic achievement of the NAVIT, non-NAVIT, and statewide CTE concentrators as measured by the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards pass rates were marginal between groupings. The statewide average was highest, followed by NAVIT, and non-NAVIT. Recommendations for further research include conducting personal interviews of administrators to better assess leaders' perceptions of career and technical education and their influences on the academic and postsecondary career successes of students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

152613-Thumbnail Image.png

Navigating the heteronormative public education system: lesbian and gay educators' experiences in educational leadership

Description

The experiences of lesbian and gay (LG) administrators in school and district-level positions are different than their heterosexual counterparts, not just because their social lenses are different, but because the

The experiences of lesbian and gay (LG) administrators in school and district-level positions are different than their heterosexual counterparts, not just because their social lenses are different, but because the policies and climates of the communities where they work has a significant impact on their relationships with stakeholder groups in the schools/offices. In this qualitative study I document and analyze the stories of LG educators, how they navigate their professional relationships, how they evolve as leaders, and their understanding of how their choices to be out or not have influenced their careers and professional relationships. The study also explores how performativity and sexuality relate to the professional relationships of the participants. Finally, the leaders' stories provide insight into the experiences of marginalized groups of professionals whose stories are often absent from the professional and research literatures on school administration. These eight school and district administrators live in the Southwestern and Northwest, many of them are out at work and a few are not. They range in age from mid-20s to late 50s, and their experiences as educational leaders spans from just one year to over 25 years. The participants sat for two to three interviews each over the course of approximately four months. The names of the participants, institutions, and specific communities have been changed to maintain confidentiality. I found that all the participants' relationships with stakeholders groups and individuals were impacted to varying degrees by fear - specifically the fear that results from the heteronormative rules, biases, and expectations of the public school system. The heteronormativity of the public education system is often a reflection of its community's belief system, as well as a reflection of the larger, more unconscious heteronormative belief system that shapes schools and educational leadership, a leader's professional capacity, and the relationships that are critical to being an effective leader. Essentially, the heteronormative fear reflected in the policies and practices of a community, an educational institution, and its members has a dramatic effect on the decisions and relationships that educational leaders have with key stakeholder groups on both an unconscious and conscious level.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

152517-Thumbnail Image.png

Leadership matters: supporting administrators through first year implementation of a standards-based evaluation system in a small urban school district

Description

ABSTRACT Education policymakers at the national level have initiated reforms in K-12 education for that past several years that have focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. More recently, reforms

ABSTRACT Education policymakers at the national level have initiated reforms in K-12 education for that past several years that have focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. More recently, reforms have included legislation that focuses on administrator quality as well. Included in far-reaching recent legislation in Arizona is a requirement that administrators be evaluated on a standards-based evaluation system that is linked to student outcomes. The end result is an annual summative measure of administrator effectiveness that impacts job retention. Because of this, Arizona administrators have become concerned about rapidly becoming proficient in the new evaluation systems. Administrators rarely have the explicit professional development opportunities they need to collaborate on a shared understanding of these new evaluation systems. This action research study focused on a group of eight administrators in a small urban district grappling with a new, complex, and high-stakes administrator evaluation that is a component of an all-encompassing Teacher Incentive Fund Grant. An existing professional learning time was engaged to assist administrators in lessening their concerns and increasing their understanding and use of the evaluation instrument. Activities were designed to engage the administrators in dynamic, contextualized learning. Participants interacted in a group to interpret the meaning of the evaluation instrument share practical knowledge and support each other's acquisition understanding. Data were gathered with mixed methods. Administrators were given pre-and post-surveys prior to and immediately after this six-week innovation. Formal and informal interviews were conduct throughout the innovation. Additionally, detailed records in the form of meeting records and a researcher journal were kept. Qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated to validate findings. Results identified concerns and understanding of administrators as they attempted to come to a shared understanding of the new evaluation instrument. As a result of learning together, their concerns about the use of the instrument lessened. Other concerns however, remained or increased. Administrators found the process of the Administrator Learning Community valuable and felt their understanding and use of the instrument had increased. Intense concerns about the competing priorities and initiatives led to the administrators to consider a reevaluation of the competing initiatives. Implications from this study can be used to help other administrators and professional development facilitators grappling with common concerns.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

149605-Thumbnail Image.png

White dreams, another world: exploring the racial beliefs of White administrators in multicultural settings

Description

Although racial minorities are heavily represented in student bodies throughout the United States, school administrators who work with minority children have been overwhelmingly White. Previous research by race scholars has

Although racial minorities are heavily represented in student bodies throughout the United States, school administrators who work with minority children have been overwhelmingly White. Previous research by race scholars has demonstrated that systems of racial dominance in the larger society are often replicated in schools. However, the role of White school administrators in perpetuating or disrupting racism has not been documented. This study examined the racial attitudes and resulting professional practices of White school administrators who worked in a unique environment. These administrators lived and practiced their profession in towns that lay just outside the borders of the Navajo Nation, a large Indian reservation in the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Termed border towns, these communities were populated by a large majority of Native Americans, with a heavy representation of Hispanics. This placed White school administrators in the uncommon position of living and working in a place where they were a numeric minority, while simultaneously representing the majority culture in the United States. Twelve White border town administrators in four different communities agreed to participate in the interview study, conducted over a two-month period in 2010 and 2011. Using a semi-structured interview format, the researcher gathered data on participants' racial attitudes and analyzed responses to find common themes. Common responses among the interviewees indicated that there were clear racial hierarchies within border town schools and that these hierarchies were sometimes atypical of those found in mainstream American society. These racial hierarchies were characterized by a dichotomy of Native American students based on residence in town or on the reservation, as well as deferential treatment of White administrators by Native American constituents. The intersectionality of race and socioeconomic class was a key finding of the study, with implications for school administrators' professional actions. Racial attitudes also impacted White border town administrators' actions and sometimes reinforced institutionally racist practices. Finally, results of the study supported several established models of race relations and White identity formation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

149565-Thumbnail Image.png

Factors affecting teacher satisfaction in an urban school district

Description

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level of satisfaction towards their work and their attitude towards the administration of their schools. Forty-one teachers from two kindergarten through eighth grade schools in the southwest region of the United States were given a modified version of the 2007/08 Schools and Staffing Survey, a federally recognized survey on the satisfaction levels of teachers in America, combined with a select number of questions created by the researcher in this study to address the research questions of this study. Data were collected and analyzed through Survey Monkey, an online data portal, and imported into SPSS for data analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were compiled to provide answers to the research questions established for this study. Results from this study indicated that although a majority of teachers sampled were satisfied with their teaching positions (78%), kindergarten through fourth grade teachers were more satisfied than teachers in the older grades. For the whole group, salary was the most influential factor; however, the teachers with 11 to 15 years of experience were the only ones who chose salary as their primary choice to increase their satisfaction. This study found that the levels of satisfaction per subgroup (teachers' years of experience, level of education, gender, age, type of certification, and grade level) were different than the group needs as a whole. This study revealed that the needs of the whole group and the needs of the subgroups can differ, consequently individual differences of the staff need to be taken into consideration. To view the staff as a whole may discredit the needs of the individual. Even though data indicated that a significant number of teachers felt supported by their administration, this study revealed the need for administrative staff to address specific issues of subgroups in their schools.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

149570-Thumbnail Image.png

Effects of reduction in force on administrator job satisfaction

Description

The purpose of this study is to determine job satisfaction among school administrators who were involved in the teacher RIF (reduction in force) process in the spring of 2009. The

The purpose of this study is to determine job satisfaction among school administrators who were involved in the teacher RIF (reduction in force) process in the spring of 2009. The study attempts to ascertain the effects of RIF on administrator job satisfaction in one, large, urban school district in Arizona and what impact, if any, the RIF process may have on the district and its personnel in the future. This study will question to what extent administrators within sample district are satisfied with their jobs, to what extent demographic information such as years of experience, age, gender, district position, and school level correlate with job satisfaction of administrators, in what ways has administrative job satisfaction been affected by the RIF process, what aspects of the RIF processes correlate with administrative job satisfaction, and what suggestions, if any, do administrators have regarding future RIF notifications during that time. This study will also recommend methods of notification delivery, advocate for administrator job satisfaction, and report any correlations within our findings to the sample district for review and consideration for the future. This study found that most administrators are very satisfied with their jobs, but the RIF process was somewhat influential in affecting their job satisfaction. Additionally, it seems that the higher the job position, the higher the job satisfaction. Advanced age, higher educational accomplishment, and longevity in one`s current position also correlated with high job satisfaction.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011