Using the professional literature surrounding change knowledge, this study assesses Utah public school districts' response to Utah Senate Bill 64 (USB64) that was passed in 2012. USB64 required school districts to ensure that principals were evaluating teacher performance through the use of a chosen evaluation tool. The chosen evaluation tool needed to include evaluation rubrics tied to the state teacher standards. USB64 was passed with the intent to improve classroom instruction and thereby improve student learning in Utah schools. Utah school districts complied with USB64 requirements and timelines. Districts successfully identified and adopted observation tools that principals could use to assess teacher effectiveness. Once these tools were identified, districts provided training to principals covering the Utah Effective Teaching Standard Indicators so those principals could demonstrate understanding of how to use the observation tools to evaluate teacher performance. Districts then ensured principals were certified to conduct classroom observations using the relevant observation tool, a requirement set out within USB64 required in USB64, to conduct classroom observations using the adopted tool. Finally, districts successfully created systems to make sure the required number of observations were completed on time by each administrator for all teachers in all school locations. Thirteen district administrators who were responsible for their district's implementation of USB64 were interviewed for this study. Districts of all sizes were represented. Analysis of these interviews found that district implementation efforts were driven by a compliance-based approach to the legislation rather than an attempt to improve the system of learning for students. One common reason for this approach is it is an effective coping strategy that district leaders have used to balance district-initiated improvement efforts and annual state-mandated legislation like USB64.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





compliance, system change, professional development, accountability