Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Beabout, Brian

Second Advisor

Broadhurst, Christopher

Third Advisor

Nelson, Steven

Fourth Advisor

O'Hanlon, Ann


As teacher evaluation practices become increasingly high-stakes, principal observation has been made an important source of data in the evaluation process. Driven by the federal Race to the Top initiative, implementation of teacher evaluation systems has been rapid and questions remain about the preparedness of principals to successfully implement the new evaluation processes. The researcher conducted a qualitative case study that focuses on the implementation of the Louisiana Department of Education's COMPASS teacher evaluation system and its impacts on principals in one school district. Interviews were conducted with six principals, a focus group was held with the four members of the district central office that supervise and support these principals, and two more focus group were held with selected teachers from the schools of each of the participating principals. Viewed through the lens of Transformational Leadership, data was collected, transcribed, analyzed, and organized into themes in order to present a practical and real-life perspective on how the COMPASS mandate has impacted principals. Findings indicate that principals perceive that COMPASS was implemented too quickly and they have had to change several of their practices as a result. Additionally, principals believe their biggest success in implementing COMPASS was supporting teachers, while they believe their biggest challenge in implementing COMPASS to be setting student learning targets that are both reasonable and challenging, and aligning school practices with those set forth in the COMPASS Rubric. Implications of this research include practical knowledge for current principals and administrators, and a ground-level view for policy makers regarding how mandates and change impact principals, as well as scholars seeking to understand the change process.


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