Although scholars and popular press writers are critical of school district failures to remove inadequately performing teachers, little has been said about the thinking of principals on this issue. Because principals are the front-line implementers of evaluation policy, their beliefs about barriers (real or perceived) are likely to influence their actions. This study asked elementary and middle school principals in the state of Oregon to identify barriers to deal effectively with inadequately performing teachers. Results demonstrated that principals believe teacher unions to be the most significant barrier, and blame the union representatives more often than the language of the negotiated contract. In addition, principals identify the amount of time required to engage in the process as a barrier. Continued study of principal beliefs about these factors may suggest (1) areas of needed reform in the implementation of evaluation and (2) administrative training needs.
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