Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

McNeal Larry

Committee Member

Reginald L Green

Committee Member

Charisse Gulosino

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how policy decisions concerning teacher effectiveness measures are made and have since evolved in Tennessee since the inception of the Race to the Top funding grant proposal. The push for education reform at the federal level has provided Tennessee with the funding to make major changes in the way teachers are evaluated and compensated under the guise of raising student achievement. First, at a micro level, the researcher explored the policy development process through semi-structured interviews of key policymakers and superintendents. The researcher utilized McDonnell’s policy feedback framework to determine how feedback shaped the policy implementation process. Second, at a macro level, the researcher explored the contextual flow of political streams evolution of teacher effectiveness measures after Tennessee received Race to the Top funding. Through the analysis of primary and secondary sources, utilizing Kingdon’s policy streams, the researcher examined the context and the policy actors involved in the shaping of each policy, with the idea that minute variations in initial inputs lead to sizeable difference in outcomes, as the decision agendas which stemmed out of each “policy window” had a large impact upon Tennessee’s classrooms. The findings and discussion explored the successes and challenges of implementing the teacher evaluation measures in Tennessee, how feedback helped legislators refine the policies as they were implemented, and the education reform legislation that spiraled out of measuring the effectiveness of teachers.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.