Date of Award

Summer 6-6-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara V. Strobert, Ed.D

Committee Member

Christopher H. Tienken, Ed.D

Committee Member

Katherine H. Kieres, Ed.D


teacher evaluation, education policy, federal policy, teacher effectiveness, administration, accountability


Increased public demand to hold teachers accountable for student learning and to remove ineffective teachers has challenged state department of education officials to develop teacher evaluation systems that include student assessment data. Many educational researchers theorize teacher effectiveness is the variable under the control of the school with the most influence on student success.

This study examines the influence of federal government education policies on state teacher evaluation systems and how this influence has shaped the definition and evaluation of an effective teacher over the past 62 years. Teacher evaluations, when used as a proper tool, assist administrators in providing appropriate professional development and aid in terminating ineffective teachers, which in turn benefits student learning and potentially increases student performance on state standardized and international assessments.

Through the analysis of historical documents, within each decade from 1950 to 2012, we can better understand how the social, political, and economic structures and federal education policy of the United States influenced the definition and evaluation of teacher effectiveness at the state and local levels. State education agencies have not responded to public expressions of concern for what they perceived to be a failing education system by mandating effective evaluation systems. This research is a wakeup call for state policy makers to move forward in implementing teacher evaluation policy that will improve teacher effectiveness.