Are Principal evaluations a true assessments of their leadership abilities?
Are principals’ evaluations a true assessment of their leadership abilities? Throughout this policy brief, justifications for principal evaluations are given, and the evaluation model is explained. Furthermore, a case is built to justify why the evaluation model needs to be reexamined to better represent a principal’s ability to positively lead a school. In addition, suggestions are given to adequately reflect principals’ abilities as leaders and to improve the overall effectiveness of the Tennessee evaluation process of administrators.
Justifications for Evaluations
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10-12). Principals’ performance assessments also provide central office administrators and the principal information with which to build professional learning plans and to chart professional growth. These assessments are also challenging because principal’s practices and influence on instruction are not always readily apparent.
The evaluation model in Tennessee has two phases. Both phases consist of the same steps but require different obligations depending on the level of experience. Phase one of the process is used to evaluate administrators new to the district, school, or level scoring. Phase two is used to evaluate veteran administrators new to their most recent evaluation. The steps included in the evaluation are self-reflection, formative assessment, observation and conferences, surveys, and summative conferences. Principals’ and assistant principals’ final evaluations are based on the following measures:
• 50% Qualitative:
• 35% -scores on a rubric is based on the standards outlined in the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards (TILS).
• 15% - assessment of the quality of teacher evaluations.
• 50% Quantitative:
• 35% -school-wide growth data. Value Added
• 15% - achievement measure agreed upon by the administrator and their evaluator. (Huffman)
Present Evaluation Model
Some principals believe the 35% in school- wide growth data is too high. They have stated there are schools that do not show a year’s worth of growth in value-added because their students are performing on grade level, and therefore should not receive a lower score. They feel that the largest single factor in principal evaluations should be school-level student outcomes. A principal's ability to attract, to develop, and to retain effective teachers must also factor highly. By using both student achievement and quality teacher recruitment and retention as primary measures, districts can ensure that school leaders are evaluated in what matters most: the level of teacher effectiveness in their school. (Gates, Hamilton, Connelly & Bartoloetti, 2013, p.7)
How can the evaluation process be reformed?
Something should be done to help our principals. In a recent survey in the American Teacher journal principals claim their jobs are only getting harder. There are 75 percent of principals who feel the job has become too complex and their job satisfaction has decreased in the last five years to 59 percent. Mel Riddile, Associate Director of National Association of Secondary School Principals, claims, “We have the perfect storm of implementation: Common Core State Standards, new teacher evaluations, and new accountability systems. It’s dramatically changed the role of a principal, instead of being an inspector of effective teaching they are now a builder of teacher capacity” (DeNisco, 2013, p. 16). Educators and parents want to see students
grow and master the necessary skills to be successful. To help principals feel...