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Balch Dissertation

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    THE VALIDATION OF A STUDENT SURVEY ON TEACHER PRACTICE By Ryan Thomas Balch Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in Leadership and Policy Studies August, 2012  Nashville, Tennessee Approved: Professor David S. Cordray Professor Matthew G. Springer Professor Mimi Engel Professor Mark Berends  i   Though there is widespread evidence that teachers matter, a more challenging problem exists in attempting to measure teacher effectiveness. It can be argued that student feedback is an important consideration in any teacher evaluation system as students have the most contact with teachers and are the direct consumers of a teacher’s service. The current paper outlines the development and preliminary validation of a student survey on teacher practice. Using data from a large-scale pilot in Georgia, the analysis finds that teacher scores on a student survey have a  positive and marginally significant relationship to value-added estimates of teacher effects on student achievement. Further, there is a strong link between teacher scores and measures of academic student engagement and student self-efficacy. Finally, the paper investigates policy related issues that are pertinent to implementing student surveys as a component of teacher evaluation.  ii   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to those who directly supported my doctoral work. I especially would like to thank Kathleen Mathers and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for facilitating the student survey pilot in Georgia. Further, I would also like to thank all of the teachers and students who  participated in the student survey pilot. Finally, I would like to thank the members of my dissertation committee for their continued support, guidance, and valued feedback. In particular, David Cordray provided essential assistance in learning about the survey development process through independent studies and serving as my committee chair.  iii   TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………… i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………….………………ii LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………………………………v Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………...……….. 1 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE ……………………………………………….……... 6 Teacher Quality ……………………………………………………………...…6 Measures of Teacher Behaviors ………………………………………………..8 Student Feedback – Higher Education …………………………………...……13 Student Feedback – K-12 Education …………………………………………..14 Contributions to the Literature …………………………………………...……18 3. METHODS ………………………………………………………………………... 20 Content Validity ………………………………………………………………..21 Cognitive Interviews ………………………………………………….………..25 Pilot Testing ……………………………………………………………………30 Measures ……………………………………………………………………….32 Possible Threats to Validity ………………………………………………....…35
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