Date of Award

Spring 4-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Second Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Panagos

Third Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Abstract

This study examined the evaluations of special education teachers in a Midwest Public Special Education District which consisted of five separate special education schools. Despite the vast research and literature on evaluations of general education teachers throughout the nation, there was little research on the evaluations of special education teachers within special education buildings. In this study, I asked a) How do teachers perceive the performance-based evaluation measure? b) How do administrators perceive the performance-based evaluation measure? c) How are the performance-based evaluation components determined to be most relevant for teachers in a self-contained special education setting? and d) How is the performance-based evaluation process implemented in a special education setting? I also investigated the relationship between performance-based evaluation scores of teachers and student scores on the MAP-A, EOC, STAR Math, STAR Early Literacy. This mixed methods study examined data from Midwest Public Special Education School district teachers, administrators, and students, including surveys, interviews, and standardized test scores. The results showed a) administrators support the changes in teacher evaluations; b) teachers initially do not support the changes in the educator evaluations as related to the special education setting; c) teachers did not understand the new system as it was presented; d) some teachers liked aspects of the new evaluation system as related to special education; and e) in special education it was challenging to correlate educator effectiveness score to student assessment scores due to many outside, unknown variables. The findings from this study show whether there is a correlation between student performance and teacher evaluation scores. The study also shows that iii there is a value to effective teacher evaluation in special education settings when staff are trained and prepared.

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