Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, x, 359 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kathryn S Schiller

Committee Members

Francesca Durand, James Butterworth


critical discourse analysis, macro/meso policy, teacher agency, teacher evaluation, Teachers, Teacher participation in curriculum planning, Teaching, Freedom of, Classroom environment, Agent (Philosophy)

Subject Categories

Education Policy


This qualitative research study provides a critical analysis of New York State’s teacher evaluation policies to document and understand how teacher agency is promoted in these policies over time. Between 2009 and 2014, the United States Department of Education under its national Race to the Top education reform initiative incentivized significant changes to teacher evaluation policies and systems as a key strategy to enhance the quality of the teaching profession. During this same period, a growing body of research recognized teacher agency as an important capacity in improving student and teacher learning, suggesting that teachers achieve agency, both by their individual capacity and by social practices in teachers’ environments, including the discursive influences of educational policies. How teacher agency is conceptualized and achieved at the school level figures prominently in educational research and literature, however, there is a dearth of research on how policies at the national and state levels promote teacher agency.