Date of Award

Spring 2-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Stewart

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow


While many factors have been identified as influencing student academic performance, previous studies consistently determined effective teaching as the most significant factor, within the control of educators, leading to improved student achievement. Nonetheless, educational experts, statisticians, and policy-makers alike acknowledged the complexity of isolating the contributions of individual teachers on their students’ achievement. Converging with these changing beliefs about teaching and learning, the landscape of education faced an additional challenge — marked by an increased demand for schools and individual teachers to be held accountable for the academic growth of his/her students. Local districts have been empowered to create and implement teacher evaluation systems, with the caveat they maintain student achievement data as one measure of teacher effectiveness. While there has been research conducted investigating a relationship between performance-based teacher evaluation systems and student achievement, studies have been limited to the most common large-scale models. This study was unique because the research focused on a specific teacher evaluation system, created by and for, a rural Missouri school district during its first two years of implementation. The purpose of this mixed-methods research study was two-fold: (1) to investigate the relationship between teachers’ annual evaluation ratings (as measured by the researched district’s teacher evaluation tool) and their students’ academic performance (as measured by the MAP and i-Ready assessments), and (2) to analyze teacher and administrator perceptions of the impact of the new teacher evaluation system on improving student achievement and the teachers’ instructional performance. iii This study’s analysis took both math and reading achievement scores into account, considering two different standardized assessments, the state-mandated Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and a locally-administered i-Ready Benchmark Assessment. The student achievement data yielded an increase in student achievement over the two years of the study. However, the results of the study did not establish a correlation between the two variables: teacher quality and student achievement. More sensitive evaluation methods are needed to isolate the variable of teacher evaluation ratings on student achievement.


Copyright 2017