ACSA’s Board of Directors has approved recommendations from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Task Force concerning effective principal evaluations.
“We have set the bar high for principal evaluations but we have also taken an important step in ensuring that principals are evaluated fairly, reflecting the complexity of the job,” said Steve Betando, ESEA Task Force chair.
Approved Nov. 17, the recommendations state ACSA believes every student deserves an effective principal who ensures high levels of student learning at his or her school. Therefore, the purpose of principal evaluations must be to provide feedback to guide principal professional growth and help to improve principal performance while raising student achievement.
ACSA also believes evaluations should reflect the complex responsibilities of a principal’s daily work as it impacts student success. Evaluations should differentiate how to accelerate success, address professional development needs or, as necessary, intervene when there are persistent performance issues.
The recommendations go on to state that district-level evaluators have the obligation to ensure that principals are evaluated fairly, consistently and effectively using multiple methods consistent with the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. District leadership must build into the principal evaluation process the impact of the diversity of schools in regard to size, demographics and available resources. Principals should be provided with the resources needed to be truly effective. State and federal policy makers must ensure there is a coherent and comprehensive system to support principal development and leadership.
ACSA believes state and local education agencies, not the federal government, should determine the process for implementing principal evaluations and determine what constitutes an effective principal based on criteria.
The regulations lay out specific criteria for effective principal evaluations, as based on the CPSELs. This includes: 1) A Vision of Learning for all Students, 2) A School Culture Focused on an Effective Instructional Program, 3) An Effective Learning Environment, 4) Collaboration with Families and Community, 5) Ethical Leadership and Professional Growth, and 6) Operating Within a Larger Political, Social, Economic, Legal and Cultural Context.
ACSA believes evaluation indicators should be developed under each criterion based on the CPSELs. Indicators should be determined at the state and local level. Frequency of evaluations is determined at the local level, adhering to state requirements. School success and progress should be reviewed throughout the year between evaluators and principals and should include district defined goals.
The ESEA Task Force specified that the following criteria forms the basis of what a quality evaluation process should include but does not have to be limited to:
• Evidence of Academic Growth Based on Multiple-Measures. Evaluators should use student work as well as student and school longitudinal data that demonstrates student academic growth over time. Assessments must be valid and reliable and used for the purposes intended and for the appropriate student populations.
The definition of local and state academic assessments includes, but is not limited to: state standardized assessments, formative, summative, benchmark, end of chapter, end of course, advanced placement, international baccalaureate, college entrance, and performance assessments. For career and technical education “authentic performance assessment” is a strong indicator of effective teaching and learning.
• Evidence that Teacher Evaluations are Effective and Comprehensive.
• Evidence of Culturally Responsive Instructional Strategies to Address and Eliminate the Achievement Gap.
• Evidence of the Ability to Analyze Quality Instructional Strategies and Provide Effective Feedback that Leads to Instructional Improvement.
• Evidence of High Expectations for All Students and Leadership to Ensure Active Student Engagement and Learning.
• Evidence of Collaborative Professional Practices for Improving Instructional Strategies. This can include, but not be limited to, curricular and management leadership, ongoing professional development, teacher/principal teamwork and professional learning communities.
• Evidence of Effective School Management. This may include personnel and resource management, organizational leadership, sound fiscal practices, safe campus environment, appropriate student behavior.
• Evidence of Meaningful Self-Assessment to Improve as a Professional Educator. This may include, but not be limited to, a self-assessment on state professional standards for educational leaders and identifying areas of strengths and areas for professional growth and engaging in activities to foster one’s professional growth.
• Evidence of Consistent and Effective Relationships with Students, Parents, Teachers, Staff and Administrators.
ACSA’s ESEA Task Force will continue to follow the reauthorization of the federal law and develop recommendations on specific components. Upcoming discussion topics include college and career readiness, turning around low-performing schools, equity and opportunity for all students and others. Click here for more information.