Weighing In: Rural Iowa Principals’ Perceptions of State-Mandated Teaching Evaluation Standards

Terri A. Lasswell, Nicholas J. Pace, Gregory A. Reed


As the accountability movement has gained momentum, policy makers and educators have strived to strike a difficult balance between the sometimes competing demands at the local, state, and federal levels. Efforts to improve accountability and teacher evaluation have taken an especially unique route in Iowa, where local control and resistance to state mandated curricular standards have been popular topics from the statehouse to the convenience store. This research explores principals’ impressions of Iowa’s state-mandated standards for best-practice teaching (as opposed to state mandated curricular standards). Further, the research examined the extent to which the Iowa Teaching Standards (ITS) and accompanying Iowa Evaluator Approval Training Program (IEATP) have impacted the way teacher evaluations are conducted in the state’s rural schools. Evidence indicates that most principals felt that ITS and the accompanying IEATP made them feel adequately or very well prepared to conduct teacher evaluations. In addition, 65% of respondents reported that IAETP had changed the way teachers are evaluated.


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