Selecting criteria for the evaluation of school counselors based on item discrimination power

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Uhl, Perry
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Richard P. Manatt
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This study was conducted for the purpose of identifying discriminating, reliable, and valid criteria for evaluating counselor perfermance which could be used by local schools in constructing a new or refining an existing evaluation instrument. Data were collected by having 1,004 principals/supervisors, teachers, and counselors complete a 74-item questionnaire to determine which criteria had the ability to separate high counselor performance from that of average and poor performance;Fifty-eight counselors from seven school districts located in Kansas, Texas, Indiana, and Virginia volunteered to participate in this research effort. Each of the 45 secondary and 13 elementary counselors were evaluated by 15 to 18 raters;The nature of a school counselor's position calls for extensive confidentiality and one-to-one closed door conferencing with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. These factors add a great deal of complexity to counselor performance appraisal as many counselor behaviors are not observable to a large number of evaluators;Major findings of this study included: (1) Seventy-three of the 74 survey items discriminated or measured differences between the 58 counselors, (2) rater observability of the counselor performance criteria varied greatly, (3) two or more of the evaluator groups had significantly different means for 39 of the 73 items, (4) 47 of the 74 items on the questionnaire measured differences between the 13 elementary counselors, (5) 40 of the 74 items on the survey discriminated for the 45 secondary counselors, (6) all 74 items had discrimination values for both male and female raters, (7) a total of 73 items discriminated for male counselors and 72 items for female counselors, and (8) 62 of the 73 items on the questionnaire discriminated or measured differences between counselors based on school enrollment;It is recommended that separate evaluation instruments be used for elementary and secondary school counselors because of the difference in item discrimination values found for these positions. A list of 35 performance criteria for elementary and 35 for secondary counselor evaluation based on discrimination power, observability, and school size are included for local schools to consider.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1988