Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (xxxiv, 339 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Gilbert A Valverde

Committee Members

Kathryn S Schiller, Lynn A Lisy-Macan


accountability, APPR, implementation, principal leadership, sense-making, teacher evaluation, Teachers, Teacher-principal relationships, Observation (Educational method)

Subject Categories

Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Education Policy


Teacher quality is the most important school-based factor affecting student learning and achievement. In 2009, the Race to the Top (RttT) federal education initiative provided an opportunity for states to compete for federal grant resources to reform their public education systems, which included revamping teacher evaluation systems to improve teacher (and principal) effectiveness. Consequently, New York State was awarded almost $700 million in 2010 during the second phase of RttT for its Regents Education Reform Plan, which established a new teacher and principal evaluation plan known as the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). Under its first version (§3012-c), APPR used multiple measures, which included student achievement measures, and was intended to inform retention, termination, and tenure determination along with high quality professional development. However, APPR has been criticized for its hasty implementation and controversial use of student outcomes measures to evaluate teachers. Although APPR went into statewide effect for all public school districts during the 2012-13 school year, this study seeks to examine how teachers perceive teacher evaluation and building principal leadership after five years of engaging with APPR. In particular, this study also seeks to examine the relationship of building principal leadership on teacher perception of APPR through the sense-making process (Spillane, Reiser, & Reimer, 2002).