Perceptions of secondary level ensemble directors regarding teacher evaluations in Texas public schools
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Performance evaluations of classroom teachers have become increasingly important in recent years as a result of demands for greater quality in schools and the demand for greater accountability with regards to tax dollars used in education. Although a plethora of evaluation instruments exist, each state education agency is charged with designing and implementing its own system. The state of Texas adopted the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) in 1997 as an evaluation system for Texas teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of music ensemble directors in Texas secondary schools towards teacher evaluations. Through this mixed methods study, the researcher examined ensemble directors' perceptions of the purposes, procedures, and outcomes of the Texas PDAS. Analysis of the data revealed that music directors believed evaluations were intended to provide feedback to ensure effective teaching, but also felt that the evaluation procedures being utilized were somewhat ineffective. They also believed that feedback was an important component of teacher evaluations, and that effective feedback would lead to improved teaching and ultimately to student academic success; however, the participants did not agree that the feedback they were receiving was useful towards improving their teaching. Additionally the researcher found that some participants believed their evaluators lacked the background in music necessary to properly evaluate them, thus the feedback being provided was not useful in improving their own teaching. The data from this study also led the researcher to discover issues related to the relationships between teachers and their evaluators.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University