Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1989


The problem of this study was to identify and discriminate the perceptions of administrators, Career Ladder teachers, and non-ladder teachers in the Tennessee public schools toward the Tennessee Career Ladder Teacher Evaluation System. Demographic data and information were collected by a state-wide survey of Tennessee educators. Two research questions were raised to guide the study. The comparison data collected pertained to sex and age of the participants, highest degree completed by the participants, participants' Career Ladder status, professional membership, professional experience, and the type and classification of school in which the participants worked. The information concerning educators' perceptions regarding the Career Ladder Program was obtained through their responses to the 30 statements in the research instrument which dealt with the various important aspects of the program. Major findings indicated that significant differences in perception regarding the Career Ladder Program existed among the Tennessee educators. In general, teachers who have obtained Levels II and III status on the Career Ladder and administrators perceived the program positively while Level I teachers and particularly non-ladder teachers tended to perceive it rather negatively. No groups surveyed felt that the evaluation process was well-understood or that the program encouraged diversity in teaching behavior. No groups felt that differences in learners, schools, and school systems were considered when assessing the effectiveness of teaching behavior under the current evaluation system. All educators felt that need for reducing the amount of paperwork required in teacher preparation for evaluation, and were aware of the "gamesmanship" dimension of the program. There was agreement among all groups in the study that the Career Ladder Program had failed to attract the best people into the teaching profession, failed to retain them, and has done little to enhance the teacher's public esteem. Despite the agreements, it is evident that Tennessee public school teachers and administrators held different perceptions toward the Career Ladder Program. A relationship seems to exist between administrators and higher level teachers and a more positive perception concerning the program. On the other hand, it appears to be true that lower lever teachers and non-ladder teachers are associated with a generally negative perception regarding the Career Ladder Program. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted