TEACHER APPRAISAL SYSTEMS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine the teacher appraisal systems utilized by Pennsylvania school districts. Four major questions were investigated. The first question was concerned with the procedures used to appraise teacher performance. Eleven areas of appraisal systems were examined: written documents, purposes, frequency, personnel, monitoring/controlling, methods, classroom observations, conferences, criteria and rating results. The second question was concerned with the extent of compliance of teacher appraisal systems with state statutes and regulations governing teacher rating. The third question sought to determine if the difference in the appraisal systems of school districts could be attributed to the size of the school district. The fourth question was concerned with the conformity of teacher appraisal systems with contemporary models of performance appraisal.^ Procedure. A survey instrument was developed to collect descriptive data on the teacher appraisal practices of Pennsylvania school districts. The survey instrument was mailed to the superintendent of each of Pennsylvania's 504 school districts. The responses to the survey instrument served as the major source of data for answering the four questions in this research.^ Findings. This study identified a variety of procedures used to appraise teachers in Pennsylvania school districts. The research findings demonstrated that there is a high degree of compliance among school districts with the state mandated elements of teacher appraisal systems. The statistical analysis used in the study failed to show that the difference in the appraisal systems utilized by Pennsylvania school districts can be attributed to the size of the school district. This research also demonstrated that contemporary models of performance appraisal are not generally accepted by Pennsylvania school districts.^ Implications. This research has a number of implications for improving performance appraisal systems in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These implications include: (1) the rating provisions of the School Code should be updated to include elements of contemporary appraisal models, (2) school districts should develop policy statements governing their appraisal systems, (3) school districts should develop position descriptions for teachers and incorporate them in the appraisal process, (4) district goals and objectives should be incorporated in the appraisal process, (5) information gathered through the appraisal process should be used as the foundation for teacher development programs, (6) school districts should integrate the performance objectives method of appraisal with the rating procedures mandated by the School Code, and (7) school districts should incorporate preappraisal planning conferences and teacher development conferences in the appraisal process. ^
WILLIAM W LEE,
"TEACHER APPRAISAL SYSTEMS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA"
(January 1, 1980).
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