In an ever increasingly competitive global marketplace, a concern exists that American students are not being adequately prepared with the skills needed for the 21st century. As a remedy, improving quality of teacher instruction is a current national focus. Stakeholders are questioning current infrequent and inefficient methods of evaluating teacher performance. Many states are looking at using a 360 model of evaluating through multiple perspectives including the students themselves as key stakeholders. One method of accessing student voice and adding another perspective to teacher evaluations would be to include student evaluations in the rating of teacher performance, Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET). While using student evaluations of teacher performance is wide spread in higher education, the practice has been limited in public school settings until brought to light by the publication of the recent Gates Foundation MET (Measures of Effective Teaching) Project (2010). Currently, states across the nation are considering adding a student input component to teacher evaluations. With the validity and reliability of student evaluations in the university settings still under debate by professors, public school teachers also fear punitive measures and public judgment based on the verdicts of adolescents. This research examined the archival data from a program study of one high school's student evaluation implementation process, accessing teacher feedback from the initial evaluation process and then an adjusted implementation of student evaluations according to teacher feedback the following year. Based on mixed method design using both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze teacher questionnaires, focus group open-ended responses and statistical analysis of close-ended agree/disagree statements from teacher questionnaires, this study used triangulation to explore teacher reflections on their anxiety levels created by the student evaluation implementation process, the value they found in student evaluations, and the degree to which student evaluations facilitated change in their teaching instruction. Exploring possibilities through the eyes of teachers to reduce their anxiety and increase their value of student input, this study suggests ways to tap into the potential but underutilized resource in schools that could come from developing a mutually beneficial partnership between students and teachers to improve teacher instruction and increase student learning.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





21st century skills, teacher evaluation, 360 method, student voice, stakeholders, student evaluation of teaching, SET