Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Reginald Green

Committee Member

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

Charisse Gulosino

Committee Member

Sharon Griffin


Policy shifts over the last decade have resulted in an increased focus on teacher effectiveness as a key lever for increasing student academic outcomes. As a result, districts and states began overhauling their teacher evaluation systems to more accurately assess the performance of teachers. Many of these models included multiple measures that when combined, are believed to more accurately measure a teacher’s individual effectiveness. Because these models are being used to make human capital decisions, it is imperative that the models be examined for both their efficacy and lack of bias. Ultimately, this study examined two overarching themes: whether the teacher evaluation model utilized in one large urban district provides an accurate assessment of teacher quality and whether school and teacher characteristics are predictive of educator evaluation ratings. Essentially, the study was conducted to determine whether the teacher evaluation system being examined, accurately assesses the performance of all teachers despite their race and the unique characteristics of the schools where they serve. The data revealed that relationships existed between the three primary components of the teacher evaluation system being examined: classroom observations, student perceptions, and value-added, or growth scores, indicating that it was in fact an accurate method for assessing teacher performance. However, the study revealed relationships between the components of the model and characteristics of teachers and schools. School culture and poverty concentration were linked to teacher performance ratings. Results also showed that certain demographics, such as teacher race and school poverty concentration were in fact predictive of effectiveness ratings. The study found that some teacher and school characteristics did predict teacher performance. Implications resulting from the study should lead district leaders to consider how evaluation scores are interpreted for certain races of teachers, particularly when these teachers are serving in more challenging school environments (across-school variance) and serving at-risk populations of students (within-school variance). Additional analyses should be conducted to further investigate the unmitigated effects of these variables in influencing a teacher’s performance.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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