Wyoming public school administrators' perceptions and practices regarding the performance evaluation of occupational, physical, and speech -language therapists
This descriptive survey study examined the performance evaluation practices used to evaluate occupational, physical, and speech-language therapists working in Wyoming public schools. Of Wyoming public school special education directors and principals, 194 participated in this study, resulting in a 66% return rate.
Findings indicated that special education directors were the most frequent evaluators of all three types of therapists. The results also suggested that some occupational, physical, and speech-language therapists who worked in Wyoming public schools received no performance evaluations.
Results revealed that administrators had more knowledge, time, responsibility, and effectiveness related to the evaluation of speech-language therapists in comparison with the evaluation of occupational and physical therapists.
Findings indicated that more speech-language therapists were district-owned (hired by school districts as direct employees of school districts) and more occupational and physical therapists were contracted (hired by school districts via agreements with outside agencies or private practices). The study also found that more Wyoming school districts had policies for the evaluation of speech-language therapists compared to policies for the evaluation of occupational and physical therapists.
Recommendations were provided for Wyoming public school districts, Wyoming public school administrators, Wyoming higher education institutions, and the Wyoming Department of Education. Among the recommendations provided was the need for standardized performance evaluation practices for all contracted and district-owned occupational, physical, and speech-language therapists in Wyoming public schools. It was also recommended that Wyoming school administrators receive on-going training and education about therapy services and performance evaluation best practices.
Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that future research determine if there are any significant differences between performance evaluation practices used for contracted versus district-owned therapists. It was also recommended that future research examine the reason(s) for the differences in performance evaluation practices used for speech-language therapists compared to those used for occupational and physical therapists.
0529: Special education
0460: Speech therapy
0769: Health care