Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Education

First Advisor

Richard M. Ingersoll

Abstract

Research has shown that some teachers are dramatically more effective than others and further, that these differences are among the most important schooling factors affecting student learning. Accordingly, shifts in policy have resulted in the development of new performance management systems with the goal of improving teacher effectiveness. Although a growing body of research has begun to examine the impact of recent systems, we have very limited knowledge on how these systems influence teachers' motivation and improvement. This dissertation moves the body of research forward by using expectancy-value theory and mixed-methods analysis to examine the impact of INVEST, a new teacher evaluation system in Aldine ISD in Houston, Texas, on teacher motivation, effectiveness, and retention. It also explores how individual personality characteristics, school organizational factors, and evaluation system features influence these outcomes.

It employs a mixed methods design, utilizing the strengths of both methodological approaches. The quantitative research captures broad-based results from a teacher survey given to the population of teachers pre- and post- pilot and uses difference-in-differences analysis to examine the impact of the pilot on key outcomes (i.e., motivation, effectiveness, and retention) and multiple regression analysis to examine which predictors (at the individual, school, and system level) influenced outcomes. This analysis is supplemented by the qualitative research which draws from a small purposive sample of teachers to gain an in- depth understanding of how the policy influenced teachers' experiences.

Analyses revealed that overall INVEST had a negative impact on teachers' belief in their abilities (expectancy) and no significant impact on the importance they placed on their work (value), their effectiveness, or their decision to remain in teaching. However, teachers' responses varied considerably based on their individual characteristics (e.g., teachers' grit), their school's conditions (e.g., leadership), and their system perceptions (e.g., understanding, accuracy of measures, quality of feedback). The extensive data collected in this analysis offer a rich picture of the implementation of new performance management systems. Thus, it provides both policymakers and researchers with a better understanding of how new policies impact teacher's behavior and the influence of various characteristics (at the individual, school, and system level).

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