Date of Award

Spring 3-6-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Kelchen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rong Chen, Ph.D.


Teacher evaluation, professional development, independent schools, teacher observation, faculty growth


This study examines administrator perceptions of the teacher evaluation process and professional development programming in New Jersey independent schools. Despite the contentious topic of teacher evaluation within the national landscape today, there is currently little research available concerning administrator perceptions of teacher evaluation and professional development within independent schools. In this study, I ask a) What teacher evaluation processes or tools are being used in the independent schools in the state of New Jersey? b) What types of professional development programs are provided for teachers in these schools? and c) How do independent school administrators perceive the relationship between the teacher evaluation system and the professional development programs?

This explanatory sequential mixed methods study examined data from New Jersey independent school administrators, including surveys (N = 25) and interviews (N = 6). Results show a) New Jersey independent school administrators perceive the evaluation process has an above-average impact on teacher professional growth goals and school improvement goals; b) oftentimes, administrators allow teachers to tailor their own professional development goals; c) majority of the administrators utilize either the Danielson model or a school-created model for teacher evaluation; and d) administrators view the teacher evaluation process as a tool to foster growth in teachers and ensure teachers are mission-focused, but they are averse to using rating scales and tying evaluation to performance. The findings of this study suggest there is great value in the teacher evaluation process as long as it is grounded in professional growth, reflection, and teaching excellence.