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Title:Illinois elementary principals' perceptions of the teacher evaluation process of special education teachers
Author(s):Glowacki, Heather
Director of Research:Hackmann, Donald G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hackmann, Donald G.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hunter, Richard C.; Monda-Amaya, Lisa E.; Sloat, Lisa
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):teacher evaluation
special education
elementary education
educational leadership
Abstract:The purposes of this study were: (a) to determine the perceptions of elementary school principals regarding the effectiveness of their existing teacher evaluation processes and supervisory practices for special education teachers, and (b) to determine principals’ ability to self-assess their efficacy in supervising and evaluating special education teachers. The guiding questions for this study were: “What are the perceptions of elementary principals regarding the process and tools used to evaluate and supervise special education teachers?” and “Do these perceptions vary based on the academic training principals have in special education?” An online survey was created and distributed to all public, elementary school principals, serving grades within the preK-6 grade range, in the state of Illinois. Participants were asked to self-assess their ability to provide feedback to special education teachers regarding their unique job responsibilities. Of the 1,551 possible respondents, 330 responses were returned, providing a 21.3% return rate. Independent t-tests were conducted to determine statistical significance in responses based upon the respondents’ special education teacher certification. Findings indicated that regardless of special education certification status, respondents did not have significantly different perceptions of their district teacher evaluation systems when rating their models’ effectiveness in providing professional growth opportunities, ensuring teacher accountability, or promoting student growth. Over 8 in 10 (83.9%) reported that their current teacher evaluation systems did not differentiate between the professional responsibilities of general and special education teachers. Respondents also rated the extent to which they believed their district teacher evaluation process should include the unique job performance indicators for special educators, with all respondents reporting a fairly neutral response. Overall, respondents reported that they evidenced a “good” ability to provide feedback to general education teachers, but respondents with special education certification rated their ability to provide feedback to special education teachers at a statistically significant higher level than did respondents without this certification. Respondents also rated their ability to provided feedback to special education teachers on several skills within seven professional standards identified by the Council for Exceptional Children. Specifically, respondents were asked to rate their ability to provide feedback to special education teachers in the areas of instructional responsibilities, management of behavior, support procedures, parent relationships, advocacy, professional development, and working with other professionals. Respondents with special education certification reported a statistically significant stronger ability to provide feedback in these areas to special education teachers than did respondents without special education certification. Finally, respondents identified ways in which their district supervision/evaluation processes could be improved to more fully address the unique job responsibilities of special education teachers. The two primary suggestions were an overall change in the evaluation process and a revised evaluation instrument that would address the performance expectations of special education teachers.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Heather L. Glowacki
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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