QUALITY TEACHERS WANTED: AN EXAMINATION OF STANDARDS-BASED EVALUATION SYSTEMS AND SCHOOL STAFFING PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA MIDDLE SCHOOLS Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Campbell, Shanyce
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
Abstract
  • A quality education has substantial returns such as higher wages, improved health, reduced incarceration rates and increased civic engagement. While there are long-term benefits to obtaining an education, research continues to highlight disparities in the educational opportunities students receive. Recent, policy efforts to improve education for all students has focused on teachers, because they are the most influential school-level factor to student success. This dissertation examines the ways in which school leaders recruit, allocate, and evaluate beginning teachers across North Carolina's middle schools in efforts to improve student success. Understanding these dynamics can help policy makers create and implement policies geared towards improving the quality of teachers in classrooms. In the first chapter, I use administrative data to examine whether principals' evaluation ratings of teachers validly reflect teachers' effectiveness, as measured by value-added scores. This chapter also examines whether principals fairly evaluate teachers based on teachers' race, ethnicity, and gender. In the second chapter, I assess how principals evaluate teachers based classroom and school characteristics. Analyses suggest that there are marginal differences in evaluation ratings based on teachers' ascriptive characteristics - race, ethnicity, and gender. However, classroom and school characteristics has little to no relationship on teachers' evaluation ratings. In the third chapter, I employ a qualitative case study design to understand how beginning teachers are staffed to schools and assigned to classrooms. Interviews with core (English language arts, math, science, social studies) middle grade teachers and principals from a large district, show little evidence that beginning teachers hold specific preferences when applying for and accepting teaching positions. Conversely, school leaders do not intentionally seek out beginning teachers in staffing their schools. As it relates to how teachers are assigned to the classroom, school leaders use of a "spread the wealth" philosophy and strategy among ELA and math teachers to ensure all teachers teach a heterogeneous group of students. This dissertation addresses an important but often overlooked area in education policy - equitable evaluation and assessment of beginning teachers. Much of the research on improving student achievement has focused on how best to measure teacher effectiveness - credentials or value-added estimates. As school leaders continue to improve the quality of education for students, the results presented here suggest several possible ways achieve this goal. In these analyses, classroom and school characteristics are not associated with evaluations ratings; however, there is an association between evaluation ratings and the race/ethnicity and gender of teachers, after controlling for teachers' performance. This underscores the need for North Carolina to develop a rigorous statewide training on the proper use of the evaluation rubric. Furthermore, the findings indicate that school leaders use an equity-based approach to ensure that no teacher is assigned to all high performing or low performing students. This strategy assumes that all teachers have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach all students; however, if this hypothesis is inaccurate school leaders may want to reconsider the weight placed on equity-based teacher assignment practices.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Lauen, Douglas
  • Henry, Gary
  • Cohen-Vogel, Lora
  • Tyson, Karolyn
  • Hemelt, Steven
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
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