Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student Growth Goals: The Impact of Evaluative Student Achievement Goals on Principal Practice
by Lowney, Brian, Ph.D., Northwest Nazarene University, 2016, 145; 10123867
Abstract (Summary)

Changes in recent federal, state, and local legislation have added increased scrutiny of and pressure on the evaluation systems of educators across the nation. This scrutiny and pressure have prompted significant changes to both the systems and processes for determining and reporting the effectiveness of teachers and principals. One of the most substantial changes is the use of student growth goals in determining evaluation outcomes for educators. This qualitative study examined the practice and impact of student growth goals created by principals. How do principals describe the impact of evaluative student growth goals on their leadership practice? In what ways are teacher-created student growth goals reflected in the student growth goals that principals set?

To examine these questions, the researcher interviewed ten principals and analyzed the data using an open coding and thematic organization of the results. Several themes that emerged from the participant interviews included: (a) principals view improved evaluation as a crucial leadership practice; (b) principal level (i.e. elementary or secondary), rather than experience, is a critical factor in goal-setting effectiveness; and (c) principals must have expertise in collaborative leadership to effectively develop meaningful student growth goals.

The implications of these themes suggested that policymakers and practitioners increase professional development designed to improve the level of learning-focused conversations of teachers and principals, target increased professional development to secondary principals, develop student growth measures that are useful at the secondary level, and find ways to create time in the system for teachers, principals, and their evaluators to engage in these evaluation conversations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perkins, Susan
Commitee: Kellerer, Paula, Smith, Fredrika
School: Northwest Nazarene University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Idaho
Source: DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Evaluation, Goals, Principal, Reform
Publication Number: 10123867
ISBN: 978-1-369-00361-1
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