Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Stephanie Hartzell


Stephanie Grote-Garcia


Mark Littleton


Research Focus. The purpose of this study was to determine effectiveness of goal setting protocol procedures implemented by three school districts on teacher evaluation scores using the Texas Teacher Effectiveness Evaluation System (TESS). It determined which school’s teacher evaluation ratings increased and the effect goal setting had on the increased goals. The evaluation system uses formative and summative goals to support teachers. Texas Teacher Support System added the goal setting professional development process for all teachers to reflect on their practice and identify needs of improvement. With these goals, teachers should become more effective teachers. The teacher and the administer develop a plan to reach goals and personal progress toward goals. Then they reflect on these goals throughout the year to track personal growth and the effects on student growth (TEA, 2014). Since the goal setting and professional development process is a new aspect to the appraisal system and there little available data of its effectiveness, research on this topic is warranted.

Research Methods. A mixed methods methodology was used that emphasized the quantitative perspective. Qualitative methods were used in order to add a descriptive dimension to the quantitative results. A primarily quantitative study was chosen to determine the effectiveness of goal setting on teacher evaluation scores using the given data from the teacher’s evaluation scores and teachers rating of goal setting protocol. Data were collected from three south Texas school districts that have participated in the Texas Teacher Evaluation Support System over the last four years. A factorial ANOVA analysis compared goal setting protocol and teacher evaluation scores at each of the three school districts over the four year time period. The Texas Teacher Evaluation Support System does not give a specified protocol for school districts to follow, therefore the protocol used is determined by the school principals. The purpose of this study is to see if there is a difference in the protocols and what affect it has on teacher overall evaluation score.

Research Results/Findings. Although the between-within factorial ANOVA indicated the presence of an interaction between districts and years, the simple main effects did not evidence any significant differences between individual districts or years. This indicates that goal setting protocol changes did not make a difference in any of the districts. There were also no significant correlations between teacher satisfaction with goal setting protocols and evaluation scores. This further substantiates the lack of evidence linking goal setting with teacher evaluations. According to the teacher responses, goal setting was often left up to the teachers to do, and it was only sporadically monitored by administrators. This lack of focus on goal attainment could explain the lack of relationships demonstrated in the quantitative data.

Conclusions From Research. This research was undertaken with the assumption that if goal setting protocols were becoming an important part of teacher evaluations, then their evaluation scores should reflect this different approach. This research demonstrated that not only was there no measurable difference between the teacher evaluation scores by district or by year, but that there was not even a significant relationship between the satisfaction of goal setting and teacher evaluation scores. As the goal setting protocols were described by teachers as generally unimportant and not consistently developed or monitored, it is not surprising that differences did not present in the data. It would be interesting to run this study again using districts with strict adherence to interactive goal setting protocols.