Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Harold W. Boles

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Third Advisor

Dr. John ltizzo


The primary purpose of this study was to answer the question: When reduction in force (RIF) decisions are necessary, what is the extent of agreement between teachers and administrators in regard to criteria to be considered? The criteria of seniority and performance evaluation were investigated in depth through analysis of the responses to these questions: (1) To what extent do teachers and administrators have similar opinions concerning the definition of seniority? (2) Would a change in nature of existing evaluation systems affect the acceptance of evaluation as a criterion in RIF decisions?

In order to collect the data necessary to answer the questions posed, copies of a questionnaire developed by the researcher were mailed to the 320 teachers and 20 administrators from three NEA districts randomly selected from the 18 largest in Connecticut. Except for items specific to position characteristics and five attitudinal items, the teacher and administrator forms were identical. Questions associated with the choice of criteria for RIF staffing decisions, preferred indicators and participants in evaluation systems, and preferred definitions of seniority were each answered on a 5-point Likert-type scale.

Substantial agreement was found between teachers and administrators regarding criteria to be used in RIF situations. The majority (over 50%) endorsed the use of multiple criteria, e.g., areas of certification, degree status, program needs, teacher evaluation, seniority, specific experience at grade level or in subject area, and tenure. No definition of seniority was agreeable to a majority (over 50%) of each group.

Although most of the teachers and administrators favored some form of teacher evaluation as a criterion in RIF staffing decisions, only 45.7% of the teachers were in favor of developing and using separate formative and summative evaluations. Over 50% of each group indicated willingness to accept the following indicators for either formative or summative evaluation: classroom environment, teacher command of subject, observation of classroom, pupil-teacher relations, individual performance objectives, lesson plans, and personal attributes. Over 50% of each group was willing to accept the participation of principal, department chairpersons, and self in either formative or summative evaluation systems.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access