The empirical relationship between administrator ratings of teacher effectiveness and student achievement on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness

Open Access
Oliveras, Yanira
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
March 03, 2014
Committee Members:
  • James F Nolan Jr., Dissertation Advisor
  • Bernard Joel Badiali, Committee Member
  • Iris M Striedieck, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • administrator ratings
  • teacher effectiveness
  • student achievement
The quality of education and the teachers’ effectiveness impact students’ lives beyond classroom performance (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockoff, 2012) and achievement on standardized tests. Furthermore, in Texas, it is unclear if teacher effectiveness as defined and measured by the teacher evaluation system, the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS), has any relationship to the students’ performance on the state of Texas’ reading and mathematics Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Hence, the intent of the study was to begin gathering data to shed some light on the degree to which administrators’ ratings of teachers effectiveness correlate with student learning as measured by high-stakes testing. The study focused on the relationship between the classroom practices, as evaluated by Domains I and II of PDAS, and third, fourth and fifth graders’ performance on the reading and mathematics STAAR tests. The quantitative, correlational study was conducted in a North Texas Independent School District using PDAS and STAAR data from the spring of 2013. Three hundred fifty two teacher evaluations ratings for Domains I and II were paired with their classes’ average scale score on the third, fourth and fifth grade 2013 reading and mathematics STAAR. Noteworthy conclusions include: (1) In general administrator ratings of teacher effectiveness on Domains two and three of the PDAS system have very low correlations with student performance on STAAR; (2) Successful student engagement in learning that is learner-centered and has depth and complexity appears to have a significant positive impact on student achievement on reading and mathematics tests. (3) Self-directed learning, learner-centered instruction, opportunities for critical thinking and meaningful use of technology as an instructional tool make a significant contribution in explaining the differences in students’ test scores. Suggestions for additional research include qualitative studies where principals identify highly effective teachers who implement research-based instructional practices and produce students who achieve above the state’s average on STAAR. Furthermore, a longitudinal study which looks at student performance over time and on various assessments could aid in the identification of teachers who produce high levels of student growth while implementing effective instructional practices. Similarly, additional research on valuable teacher evaluation is needed.