Special Education Teacher and Administrator Perception of the Teacher Evaluation Process in Western Pennsylvania
Teacher evaluations have long been used to increase teacher effectiveness and accountability in public schools. According to the literature, special education teachers have varied roles and responsibilities, the most crucial being improving the post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. With the number of students identified with disabilities increasing each year, it is more important than ever to develop the skills of marginal teachers and further develop those who are already proficient. This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of special education teachers and administrators in Western Pennsylvania regarding the evaluation process used by public school districts. Survey data were collected from five special education teachers and five administrators representing five different school districts in Western Pennsylvania. Data tools included the Teacher Evaluation Profile for Teachers and Administrators, followed by individual interviews via Zoom. The Teacher Evaluation Profile had Likert-type questions and open-ended responses. The Likert-type questions, open-ended responses, and subsequent interviews allowed special education teachers and administrators to reflect on their perception of the evaluation process in their district. This study demonstrated that special education teachers are more frustrated with the evaluation process. However, the administrators were reasonably satisfied with the process. They found that using Differentiated Supervision allowed special education teachers to take a more active role in their evaluation and subsequent professional development decisions. This study resulted in findings that support the need for additional professional development for teachers and administrators in evidence-based practices in special education classrooms and a more significant presence in the special education classroom by administrators.
Dr. Toni Mild
Dr. Jessica Hall-WirthDr. Misty Slavic
Slippery Rock University of PennsylvaniaCollege of EducationSpecial Education
Degree of Doctor of Education (Ed. D.)
Special education teachersTeacher evaluationDanielson frameworkDifferentiated supervisionTeacher effectiveness
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