Stories of Principals’ Roles as a Result of High Stakes Teacher Evaluations in Louisiana

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Galjour Chiasson, Jenna L
teacher evaluation; principal; education policy; Louisiana; leadership; teacher evaluation; principal; education policy; Louisiana; leadership; Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
thesis / dissertation description
In 2010, the Louisiana legislature passed Act 54, a law that requires public school teachers to undergo a performance-based accountability evaluation. COMPASS (Clear, Overall Measure of Performance to Analyze and Support Success) asks principals to evaluate teachers using a rubric with components of Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching to evaluate teacher effectiveness (Act 54). Act 1, passed in 2012, ties Louisiana public school teacher’s pay and tenure to their score on COMPASS. Principals of Louisiana are now asked to evaluate teachers in a high stakes evaluation that is linked to teacher tenure and pay.A qualitative study using narrative research design was conducted to explore how principals described their roles as high-stakes evaluators through the implementation of COMPASS. Data was collected from seven participants in the form of in-depth interviews and each was recorded and transcribed for data analysis. Restorying and story mapping were used to compose narratives that describe the roles of the participants in their implementation of COMPASS. Using the theoretical frameworks of Contingency theory and Instructional Leadership theory, two roles emerged from their narratives: Instructional Coach and High Stakes Evaluator. The information gleaned from this study can help to inform future policy about possible issues with COMPASS in implementation as well as impact future practice for evaluators from the stories of the participants.