An ocean state voyage : a leadership case study of creating an evaluation system with, and for, teachers / Deborah A. Gist.

Gist, Deborah A.
xii, 192 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Educational and Organizational Leadership.
Educational and Organizational Leadership -- Penn dissertations.
The quality of education our students receive is affected by no school-based factor more than the effectiveness of our teachers (e.g., Gordon, Kane, & Staiger, 2006; Marzano, 2000; Wright, Hom, & Sanders, 1997). That knowledge has recently led to an increased focus on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness although the effort is certainly not new. School districts and states have been working to improve systems to measure teacher performance for decades (Darling-Hammond, 1986; Darling-Hammond, Wise, & Pease, 1983). A resurgence of that effort was accelerated when the U.S. Department of Education released information about a grant program, Race to the Top, which included an emphasis on improving teacher effectiveness. Those grants are supporting activity on evaluation systems, and leaders of school districts and states across the country are engaged in it.
Leadership has been studied extensively in many fields, including education. However, while empirical studies are available on school-level leadership (e.g., Bryk, Sebring, Allensworth, Luppescu, & Easton, 2010; Ballinger & Heck, 1996; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2008; Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom, & Anderson, 2010), there are fewer quality studies available on large-scale leadership and change management.
This qualitative research, conducted as a case study, considered how the team at the Rhode Island Department of Education led the development of a statewide teacher evaluation system from 2009 to 2011 with the goal to ensure a sustainable, high-quality system. It was a study of leadership in the context of the creation of the evaluation system.
In the study, I examined my role as the Commissioner of Education along with my senior team leading this effort. I followed the leadership choices we made and the ways in which the field responded, and I reflected on the connections between our choices and the ways in which we adjusted or "held steady'' based on input (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002, p. 141). I considered the challenges we face as leaders and the dispositions we need to keep in mind when we tackle adaptive change (Heifetz, 1994). Through the study, I developed a model, Elementary Leadership, which I will use to guide my future leadership of large-scale change.
Adviser: James H. Lytle.
Thesis (Ed.D. in Education) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Local notes:
University Microfilms order no.: 3573313.
Lytle, James H., advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.
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