Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Richard P. Manatt


With the heightened focus on school improvement, clearly it is not possible to increase student achievement and to raise the accountability of the educational system without addressing teacher performance and evaluation. Because the recent federal legislation titled "No Child Left Behind" reinforces the concept that "all" really does mean "all," the increased focus on teacher evaluation includes the skills and support needed by special education teachers. The challenge in the evaluation of special education teachers includes the level of sensitivity necessary to recognize the struggles these teachers face in balancing federal special education requirements, state and district reform standards, and individual student needs.;The intent of this investigation was to develop and assess a compendium of professional growth plan (PGP) strategies for special education teachers designed to assist districts in meeting the standards for accountability and student achievement. The study was based on the results of a comparison of the national standards from the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Board of Professional Teacher Standards and the evaluation criteria and indicators used for special education teachers in two districts, Camp Verde (AZ) Unified School District No. 28 and West Des Moines (IA) Community School District.;The behaviors resulting from this comparison were presented to the evaluators of special education teachers from the selected sites, a judgment panel, and a focus group in order to (1) affirm that the behaviors were critical to special education teacher performance to ensure student achievement, and (2) to identify the behaviors that are typically lowest rated during the teacher evaluation process. The results established the basis for the development of a draft compendium of model improvement strategies or professional growth plans.;The draft compendium was evaluated and assessed for quality and feasibility by a focus group. As a result, nine additional professional growth plans and two additional recommended behaviors were recommended and added to the draft compendium. The table of contents was also expanded to provide more detail for the user. The selected sites in this study as well as members of the focus group were provided a print and disk copy of the final draft of the compendium.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sandra Ann Schmitz



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

272 pages