Implementation of Reform with a Performance-Based Teacher Evaluation System:  A Case Study of One School District

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Virginia Tech


This dissertation focused on the new performance-based teacher evaluation system implemented in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Eight school districts were granted an implementation waiver for one year making the 2013-2014 school year the implementation year for those school districts. A mixed methodology study was designed to understand teacher perceptions in one waiver school district in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purposes of this study were to collect empirical evidence on the implementation of the new performance-based teacher evaluation system by comparing teachers' and principals' perceptions at three elementary schools to teachers' perceptions in the school district, identified as District Z and were to add to the research base on policy implementation theories and teacher evaluation.

Findings and analysis of research questions were based on the responses of 357 teacher participants, two district directors, and three principals. Policy implementation research suggested access to resources and support along with an alignment of beliefs and values resulted in more effective implementation practices. Conclusions of this study, while limited to the district studied, suggested professional development on the new performance-based teacher evaluation system, including the Uniform Performance Standards and SMART goals, would provide teachers and principals with the increased knowledge to use as a resource during new implementation phases. Additionally, involvement in the design and modification of the teacher evaluation system would encourage participation and provide opportunities for teachers and principals to develop shared values regarding aspects of the evaluation system.



teacher evaluation, Academic achievement, student academic progress, annual goals, performance-based teacher evaluation, policy implementation