Date of Award

Summer 5-15-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gerald Dawkins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Fredrick Pinkney, Ed.D.


TAP, Teacher effectiveness, Professional development, Student achievement, Performance based compensation, Collegiality


For many years, educators and researchers have debated over which variables influence student achievement. A growing body of evidence suggests that schools can make a great difference in terms of student achievement, and a substantial portion of that difference is attributed to teachers. (International Institute for Educational Planning, 2004). Specifically, differential teacher effectiveness is a strong determinant of differences in student learning, far outweighing the effects of differences in class size and class heterogeneity (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Students who are assigned to one ineffective teacher after another have significantly lower achievement and learning (that is, gains in achievement) than those who are assigned to a sequence of several highly effective teachers (Saunders & Rivers, 1996). Thus the impact of teacher effectiveness or ineffectiveness seems to be additive or cumulative.

Which factors contribute to teacher effectiveness? Professional development for teachers is a key mechanism for improving classroom instruction and student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 1997). According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, teachers have a more significant influence on student achievement than any other school factor, and they vary widely in their impact. Ongoing learning is an essential component of continuous improvement for teachers (Barber & Mourshed, 2007) as well as a key element in any clinical practice profession (Alter & Coggshall, 2009).

High quality professional development is a central component in nearly every modern proposal for improving education. Policy makers increasingly recognize that schools can be no better than the teachers and administrators who work in them. While these proposed professional development programs vary widely in their content and format, most share a common purpose: to “alter the professional practices, beliefs and understanding of school personnel toward an articulated end” (Griffin, 1983, p.2).

This study demonstrated that three questions posed in the case study were significant to its findings. The two areas that I examined during this study were program implementation and the impact of the program on student achievement. While there are multiple variables that factored into the measurement of the implementation process and student achievement, this study narrowed the focus to how this particular program (TAP) was implemented and its impact on student achievement. The summary findings from this study suggest that while there were differences between the three schools regarding the various components of the TAP process, participants at the Pre-K through 2nd-grade school were less satisfied than participants at the Elementary and Middle schools and there were no significant differences among the various schools regarding its implementation.