Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Johnson, Ane Turner

Committee Member 1

Kerrigan, Monica

Committee Member 2

Abraham, Stephanie


critical discourse analysis, principals, teacher evaluation


Teachers--Rating of--New Jersey; School principals


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


In recent years, education in the United States has been framed within a context of crisis where American students have been perceived as unable to compete with their international peers in an increasingly competitive global environment. Some responses to this perceived crisis included reforms, which changed teacher evaluation policies. In New Jersey, the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TeachNJ) Act mandated that districts use a state-approved model for evaluations, the most popular of which was the Danielson Framework for Teaching (FFT). The FFT has become an integral part of teacher evaluation reform, and this study examined this changing discourse through Fairclough’s (2010) theory of the technologisation of discourse. As the instructional leaders of their buildings, principals played a key role in the discursive change process; therefore, this study also explored how principals functioned as social agents in enacting the discourse of change. The findings suggest that the Danielson Group’s website represented the elements of technologisation, providing a strategy for change that supported and positively appraised neoliberal values such as objectivity and quantification. It also demonstrated that a principal’s enactment of the discourse was unique to his past experiences and values, dialectically related to both his role as a social agent in the change and his appraisals of the reforms.