Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Management

Committee Director

William M. Leavitt

Committee Member

Diana L. Deadrick

Committee Member

John R. Lombard


This study first assessed the accuracy of performance appraisal ratings of high school teachers in comparison to the achievement of their students as measured by Virginia's Standard of Learning (SOL) tests. The overall performance rating scores of 145 teachers were compared to the pass rates of their students on SOL end-of-course tests. The rating sub-scores in each of four domains of performance were also compared to the SOL pass rates.

The study then tested the influence of Inferential Accuracy, a model proposed by Jackson (1972), on rating accuracy overall and of individual raters in the study. Inferential Accuracy is comprised of both sensitivity to rating norms and standards and threshold to infer consistent patterns of behavior from limited samples of that behavior.

The findings of the study indicated a statistically significant, though weak, correlation between performance appraisal ratings and student achievement as measured by SOL pass rates. The study found little support for the application of the Inferential Accuracy model to performance appraisal accuracy as it was posited originally. There was some empirical support for the influence of one component of the model, threshold, on rating accuracy when the researcher controlled for other factors such as rater motivation, time constraints, et al.