Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1984


The problem of this study was to compare the content of principal evaluation instruments in use in Tennessee public school systems in terms of seven selected categories. The selected categories compared were (a) personal qualities, (b) professional skills and qualities, (c) human relations skills and qualities, (d) instructional leader skills and qualities, (e) manager skills and qualities, (f) decision-making skills, and (g) teaching skills. Of the 142 public school systems in Tennessee, 121 utilized a principal evaluation instrument consisting of either a checklist or rating scale. The evaluation instruments of these 121 systems were analyzed (using content analysis) for reference to the seven selected categories. From this data, the percentage of references to each category by each of the 121 instruments was calculated. Based on the calculated percentage of references to each of the categories, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was computed to determine what relationships existed between the percentage of references to the categories by the 121 evaluation instruments. Twelve of the 21 relationships tested were significant at the .05 level. The only two positive relationships were between the percentage of references to personal qualities and human relations and between the percentage of references to professional skills and qualities and decision-making skills. The content (percentage of references to skills and qualities) of the evaluation instruments varied, and the number of evaluation items found on the instruments varied (range = 211). The conclusions included the following: (a) Evaluations of Tennessee principals from differing systems cannot be compared due to the range in the number of evaluation items. (b) The relative importance of principal job tasks were not considered when local school systems developed principal evaluation instruments. (c) The Tennessee Department of Education has not monitored the content of locally developed principal evaluation instruments. (d) The findings of research studies defining the role of principals as instructional leaders, managers, and decision makers were not considered by local school systems when developing principal evaluation instruments. (e) The evaluation competencies of the 121 instruments utilized in this study differ from the evaluation competencies of the 21 instruments not included. Recommendations were given.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access