Education & STEAM

Delaware Educators’ Perceptions Study
Funder: Delaware Department of Education (DDOE)
Project Time Period: 2019

Project Category: Education & STEAM 

About DPAS-II: DPAS-II is the educator appraisal system in place in the state of Delaware whereby teachers and administrators in the state education system are formally evaluated. In 2013, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) began approving alternative evaluation systems that could be tailored to specific school - and district - contexts. The performance evaluation process has been driven by three overarching goals:

  • Evaluation Goal 1. Foster professional growth by providing educators with actionable feedback and opportunities to improve and refine their teaching and support their students’ growth;
  • Evaluation Goal 2. Ensure that there are quality educators in every school building and classroom;
  • Evaluation Goal 3. Continue to help students grow and succeed through targeted interventions and individualized educator professional development opportunities.

To understand educators’ perceptions of DPAS-II, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) has engaged independent organizations to evaluate the system since 2007. Each of these evaluations has included a statewide survey administered to all teachers, specialists, and administrators in the state to document their views of the performance appraisal process.

The Work: ImpactED at the University of Pennsylvania served as the external evaluator for the DDOE in the 2018-2019 school year and MAI supported ImpactED in this work by conducting the analysis for the state-level report as well as for district-level reports to help the state understand the following:

  • Perceptions of Design. Explored educators’ feedback on key elements of the design of DPAS-II, such as the evaluation criteria, rubrics, and processes.
  • Perceptions of Implementation. Reported on educators’ perceptions of the fidelity and quality of DPAS-II implementation.
  • Perceptions of Professional Development & Resources. Identified educators’ perceptions of the alignment and usefulness of professional development and resources associated with DPAS-II.

What We Learned: There were several recommendations that came out of the analysis. Recommendations include:

For Districts:

  • Communicate that the primary purpose of the evaluation system is instructional improvement.
  • Align professional development to DPAS-II and explicitly differentiate it based on educator needs.
  • Offer additional training for evaluators on DPAS-II implementation, with a focus on providing actionable feedback.


  • Revise DPAS-II rubric to reduce components.
  • Increase communication about available DPAS-II resources.
  • Involve teachers in the process of redesigning the system.