Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Manning, JoAnn

Second Advisor

Raivetz, Mark J.

Third Advisor

Graber, Jeffrey


Teachers--Rating of--Law and legislation; School superintendents--New Jersey


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to develop a theory, grounded in data obtained by interviewing current superintendents on how TEACHNJ has impacted their ability to improve student performance. TEACHNJ is a law enacted by the state of New Jersey to improve teacher quality and raise student performance by changing evaluation and tenure processes in order to create greater transparency, equity, consistency, and accountability across districts. This study examined the law's impact on five specific actions superintendents can take that have been found to enhance student performance. The study found that TEACHNJ served as a punctuating event, sending districts into a revolutionary period. "Enhancing the conversation" was found to the be core phenomenon through this period. Following grounded theory methodology as defined by both Creswell (2007) and Strauss and Corbin (1990), this study discusses the core phenomenon; the causal, contextual and intervening factors; as well as the strategies and consequences of the theory developed in this study.