A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL PERCEPTIONS OF WASHINGTON STATE TEACHER EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS: DANIELSON, MARZANAO, AND CEL 5D+
Coulter, Matthew Paul
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The purpose of this study was to describe the level of support teachers and principals have toward the new mandated teacher evaluation instruments in the state of Washington. In 2010, the Washington state legislature passed SB 6696 which essentially overhauled the system of how principals evaluate teachers in the state. The bill did away with the old satisfactory or unsatisfactory evaluation and used a multi-tier model with a long list of specific criteria that teachers must now meet. The new law ultimately allowed each school district to select among three state approved evaluation models and unions were allowed to bargain with school districts about the way student performance would be used. The three evaluation models approved include the Danielson Model, Marzano Model, and CEL 5D+ Model. The philosophical support of teachers and principals was really not included in the re-shaping of teacher evaluation laws. This study explored whether or not this current course of action is what was best for teachers and principals. This study challenged the political support of teacher evaluation reform with the philosophical support of the teachers and principals who were the most impacted by the change. A qualitative study based on participant interviews was completed in six school districts from the state of Washington during a two-month period. The districts were selected based on equal representation of three evaluations instruments used in that state (Danielson, Marzano, and CEL 5D+). A total of six school districts participated by providing a willing teacher and principal for an interview. There were a total of twelve participants interviewed. The results of the study found the new evaluation too cumbersome and unrealistic with the current structure of time and resources allocated in the educational system. The new teacher evaluation instruments are good tools in fostering the development of teachers but lack in the ability to fairly evaluate teachers. Implications involved lawmakers and principals. Lawmakers are advised to implement educational change cautiously. The complexity of education requires educator input on time, resources, reality, and fairness. Principals need more support.