Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the teacher evaluation process, teacher’s attitudes and beliefs about teacher evaluation processes/systems, and how those impacted the effectiveness of the intended outcome of teacher improvement, resulting in greater student achievement. The Learning Policy Institute’s research cited a decline in the number of teachers exiting higher education institutions from 691,000 in 2009 to 451,000 in 2014 (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, & Carver-Thomas, 2016). Couple a decline in the number of teachers exiting college with almost an 8% reduction in workforce, and an anticipated future enrollment of students leaves many worried that a crisis is looming (Sutcher et al., 2016). There is limited qualitative research that substantiates the teacher’s voice or view point as teacher evaluation is often seen as something that is done to teachers, not necessarily done with teachers. The participants in this study encompassed seven female educators, from varying states across the country that have taught in public schools and charter schools. Each participant had engaged in the teacher evaluation process as a teacher and many had engaged in more than one teacher evaluation system. As the qualitative research was complete and coded, seven central themes emerged; time, transparency and communication with the tool and/or system, established culture, mindset, & positive intent, relationships, equity, resourcefulness & feedback, and alternative feedback & follow up. The themes from this study are indicative of many informal conversations that have occurred with other educators in the profession over the years. With the qualitative structure, participants conveyed that while teacher evaluation systems, yet highly complex in many districts and aren’t well articulated from the district office to teachers, can have great impact both positively and negatively on a teacher’s ability to grow as an educator and thus impact student achievement.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2018 Elizabeth Tonniges.

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