Teacher perceptions of the Mississippi teacher evaluation system: Insight for school administrators
Kappler, Lois A.
AdvisorBrocato, Kay D.
A strong focus has been placed on accountability for the educational process and the achievement of all students. This has put tremendous pressure on teachers, as well as school administrators, superintendents, and school board members, to seek innovative ways to increase student achievement and to ensure that effective teachers are in all classrooms, so emphasis is on developing effective evaluation systems. Given the development and implementation of the Mississippi Teacher Evaluation System (MTES) in 2010, there is a need to discover the perspectives of the teachers who are evaluated within this process. The success of an evaluation process will only be successful if teachers use it to enhance their professional growth and effectiveness in the classroom. In order to gain an understanding of the perceptions of Mississippi teachers in Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) schools and their insight into the MTES, this study focused on three research questions: (1) how do Mississippi teachers perceive the usefulness of the MTES, (2) how do Mississippi teachers perceive that the MTES develops their effective teaching practices, and (3) how do Mississippi teachers perceive that the MTES supports teachers’ professional growth? A qualitative approach provided descriptive, narrative, and percentage responses to the research questions of this multiple-case study. Results showed that the majority of the TIF teachers who participated in this study perceived that the MTES to have some degree of usefulness, especially when implemented consistently across the campus. Teachers who did not experience the entire evaluation process and feedback conferences were frustrated and irritated by the process. Overall, teachers did experience an improvement in their instructional practices because of their participation in the MTES, and most perceived that the MTES supported their professional growth because of targeted professional development and the development of professional-growth goals. With timely feedback and evaluator support, teachers are enriching their teaching practices which enhance student engagement, but they are concerned that the instrument is not being implemented consistently in all schools. There is a lack of confidence in navigating the observation rubric and implementing the process with consistency.