ERIC Number: ED340741
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Discretionary Assessment Practices.
Bogotch, Ira E.; Taylor, Dianne L.
Descriptive statements of evaluation practices by principals were studied concerning normative expectations and J. Dewey's general logic of experience. Focus was on describing what principals think and do in terms of evaluation as a step toward bringing evaluation specialists and educational practitioners into a closer working relationship. Four elementary school and two secondary school principals from a large urban school district were videotaped while talking about their experiences. All of the subjects referred to standardized tests as the primary measure used to evaluate academic achievement. Although they described standardized tests as a necessary evil, principals often pressured teachers to teach subject matter in the way it is to be tested. Principals described several qualitative evaluation techniques; focused on aspects of education beyond academic excellence, such as children's self-esteem, cultural diversity, and extracurricular activities; and recognized that evaluation, while subjective, involves trying to understand the total school context on a daily basis. Although gaps exist concerning the logic and coherence among processes and indicators by Dewey's standards, little evidence of final judgments and opinion-centered evaluation was found. Principals do not believe that formal evaluations tell them much about teachers, yet they must rely on them. Evaluation now occurs haphazardly and informally. Recommendations are made for the improvement of principals' evaluation decisions. One table and two figures present data from the study. A 23-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Classroom Observation Techniques, Decision Making, Educational Assessment, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Interviews, Principals, Standardized Tests, Teacher Evaluation, Videotape Recordings
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (20th, Lexington, KY, November 12-15, 1991).