Evaluating School Principal Effectiveness
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Evaluating School Principal Effectiveness Why We Need to Evaluate Principals and Use Principal Evaluation as a Tool for Professional Improvement October 4, 2011. Webinar Logistics. Everyone is muted Use the chat function to make a comment or ask a question

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Evaluating School Principal EffectivenessWhy We Need to Evaluate Principals and Use Principal Evaluation as a Tool for Professional ImprovementOctober 4, 2011

Webinar Logistics

Everyone is muted

Use the chat function to make a comment or ask a question

You may chat privately with individuals on your team

If you have problems, you may send William Bentgen a message via the chat function or an email at [email protected]



  • Janice Poda,CCSSO

    • Initiative Director Education Workforce


  • Mary Canole

    • School Leadership Consultant, Council of Chief State School Officers


To provide an objective, research-based overview of what an effective principal evaluation system should include.

To provide SCEE Teams a Framework for Principal Evaluation Tool.

Framework for Principal Evaluation


  • Margaret Terry Orr

    • Bank Street College of Education

  • Jean Satterfield

    • Assistant State Superintendent for the Maryland Division of Certification and Accreditation

  • Sarah Brown Wessling

    • National Teacher of the Year 2010, English Teacher, Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa

Research on conventional practice for principal evaluation

  • Wide variation in principal evaluation scope, instruments, and practices

  • Few psychometrically rigorous evaluation rubrics or rating systems

  • Movement:

    • away from assessing leadership traits

    • toward use standards

    • toward the relationship between leadership practices and student achievement

Essential content elements of principal evaluation system:

Who is assessed

The purposes of assessment

What is assessed

What sources of evidence are used

Essential organizational elements of principal evaluation system:

How the assessment is conducted

How evidence is valued

Psychometric qualities

Implementation, organization, and support of evaluation

Evaluation of the system’s effectiveness

Considerations of who is assessed

How “principal” is defined

To include all school building leaders, or just principals

To include district leaders or not

To differentiate based on years of experience, time in current building assignment, and levels of responsibility

Purposes of the evaluation

Summative—for consequential decisions

Formative—for professional growth

Organizational change—cohesive system

Evaluation systems differ based on which purposes are incorporated and to what degree.


How much emphasis does your state give to each of the 3 purposes of leader evaluation?

  • Summative

    • No emphasis

    • Minimal emphasis

    • Moderate emphasis

    • Great emphasis

  • Formative

    • No emphasis

    • Minimal emphasis

    • Moderate emphasis

    • Great emphasis

  • Organizational change

    • No emphasis

    • Minimal emphasis

    • Moderate emphasis

    • Great emphasis

  • Poll Results

    • Summative

      • No emphasis(0%)

      • Minimal emphasis(5%)

      • Moderate emphasis (13%)

      • Great emphasis(16%)

  • Formative

    • No emphasis(0%)

    • Minimal emphasis(5%)

    • Moderate emphasis (16%)

    • Great emphasis(13%)

  • Organizational change

    • No emphasis(0%)

    • Minimal emphasis(16%)

    • Moderate emphasis (13%)

    • Great emphasis(5%)

  • What is assessed?

    Leadership Development

    School, community, district and state context

    Leadership practices

    National standards

    District priorities for practice (e.g. teacher evaluation practices)

    Span of authority and control in whether leaders can perform the practices

    Teacher and organizational capacity and effectiveness

    Indirect influence on student achievement through influence on:

    • teacher instructional practices

    • distributed leadership

    • school culture and climate

    • teacher and school use of data

    • community engagement

    • working conditions

    • school wide improvement goals

    Student and other outcomes

    Student achievement progress

    Progress on other student outcomes, such as graduation rates and reduced dropout rates

    Progress on other broader school effectiveness goals, such as improved learning for ELLs and special education students

    Improved safety and security




    Parent and community expectations

    Other district and state policies

    What types of evidence is collected?



    Principal reports

    Perceptions of actions and behaviors

    Perceptions of working conditions, school climate

    Student performance data

    Whose judgments?


    Subordinate staff (teachers, other professionals, support staff)

    Peers (other principals)

    Supervisors (central office and superintendent)



    Community partners

    Considerations in selecting types of evidence to include

    • Psychometric considerations

      • Validity of measures

      • Validity of combining measures

      • Representation of scope and depth of principal work

      • Reliability

    • Balance between direct observation of principal practice, evidence and impact

    • Evaluator skill

    • Time

    When measures are made and how interpreted?

    • How often is measurement made?

      • Initial-interim-final? or

      • Annual only?

    • How are results interpreted?

      • What is used to make judgments? Rubrics and rating forms?

      • Are results disaggregated?

      • Who makes the judgments in reviewing the evidence?

    How measures are valued:

    See: Principal Score Card (Milanowski, 2009)

    Evaluating the evaluation system

    • New field

    • Test out:

      • Measures

      • Tools

      • Processes

      • Implementation

    • Evaluate the underlying theory of action

    Theory of action of principal evaluation as a lever of change

    Making evaluation system design decisions

    Start with purpose

    Build in an evaluation of the system from the start

    Involve critical stakeholders to engage, educate and create buy-in

    Keep it simple, easy to use, and easy to understand

    Framework for Principal Evaluation: Key evaluation elements and considerations

    Jean Satterfield

    Assistant State Superintendent for the Maryland Division of Certification and Accreditation

    7 MD Pilots Model Teacher & Principal Evaluation System

    • 2011-2012: 7 Districts run pilot to identify ways to measure student growth in all subject areas and for all teachers

      • Student growth will account for 50% of a teacher and principal evaluations

    • 2012-2013: Statewide pilot using results and feedback from pilot year to inform the no-fault, statewide pilot.

    • Fall 2013: Mode fully operational statewide

    Pilots Underway…

    • Baltimore County

      • Instrument aligns to the Danielson Model

      • 11 principals self selected to participate [with 80+ teachers]

      • Data systems and measures in place

    • Baltimore City

      • 8 principal volunteers with 300+ teachers in 8 schools begin 1st cycle in December

    MD District Pilots

    • Charles County: 7 pilot school principals & 56 teachers now working with teacher leaders to complete a pilot evaluation tool.

    • Kent County: All 7 schools (2 teachers per school)

      • Completed internal restructuring

      • Migrated to a new student data management system

    Pilots (continued)

    Prince Georges County: Aligned with the Danielson model – All principals & 100 teachers in 38 schools. Data systems and measures are progressing.

    Queen Anne’s County: 7 principals & 126 teachers are exploring cost effective methods for aligning data, validating student growth measures and delivering PD.

    Pilots (continued)

    • Data collection system in place to identify PD needs of teachers, principals and the system

    • St. Mary’s County:

      • Five principals,11 assistant principals, 235 teachers

      • Implemented the Danielson model for the past 10 years

    Sarah Brown Wessling

    National Teacher of the Year 2010

    English Teacher, Johnston High School,

    Johnston, Iowa

    Evaluation Discussion Group

    Join the Evaluation Discussion Group


    On the Collaboration Site Home Page select Evaluation

    If you are not already a member, request an invitation

    Upcoming Webinars

    • NEW DATE: November 1, 2:00 EDT

      • Continuing the Conversation About Educator Evaluation: Next Steps After the SCEE Topical Meeting

    • Save the date for our December webinar

      • December 13, 2:00 EDT

    30 Minute Q&A

    Participants respond to questions regarding the framework tool—we’ll pose three questions

    Participants ask questions of the experts

    We will post the Q&A on the webinars page at the conclusion of this event


    Using the Chat

    Find the Chat in the bottom right side of your screen.

    To make the Chat appear larger on your screen, click on the triangle next to the Participants list to minimize it.

    Questions and comments sent to All Participants are visible to everyone.

    To offer an anonymous question or comment privately, click on Circe Stumbo’s name in the list of Chat recipients or email her at [email protected]

    For technical assistance find William Bentgen in the Chat box or email him at [email protected]

    Chat with other SCEE members…

    Which elements of the Framework for Principal Evaluation generated the most discussion with your team?


    In Maryland, framework elements most discussed: The difference between how to measure highly effective and effective.

    Chat with other SCEE members…

    2.If you have a Principal Evaluation Model in place, who are you evaluating (“Who is assessed”)?


    In Maryland, principals are included in the evaluation/assessment – We are discussing whether the same model could be used for all levels of administrators, e.g., assistant principals and supervisors.

    Chat with other SCEE members…

    3.Which elements of the Framework for Principal Evaluation should be the highest priority for SCEE to attend to with future technical assistance (TA)?


    In MD, we would like TA to address validity, reliability, and how to use student growth data.

    Thank You

    Please complete the webinar evaluation that you will receive by email.


    Brown-Sims, M. (2010). Evaluating School Principals. Tips & Tools. Washington, DC: National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.

    Calabrese, R. L., & Zepeda, S. J. (1999). Decision-making assessment: Improving principal performance. The International Journal of Educational Management, 13(1), 6.

    Catano, N., & Stronge, J. H. (2006). What are principals expected to do? congruence between principal evaluation and performance standards. NASSP Bulletin, 90(3), 221-237.

    Goldring, E., Porter, A. C., Murphy, J., Elliot, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2007). Assessing learner-centered leadership: Connections to research, professional standards and current practices. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

    Hessel, K., & Holloway, J. (2001). School leaders and standards: a vision for leadership. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

    Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2008). Linking leadership to student learning: The contributions of leader efficacy. Educational administration quarterly, 44(4), 496-528.

    Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervison and Curriculum Development.

    Resources (cont.)

    McREL. (2010). McREL's Principal Evaluation System.

    Milanowski, A., & Schuermann, P. (2009). Principal evaluation (powerpoint slides), Teacher Incentive Fund Grantee Meeting. Bethesda, MD: Center for Educator Compensation Reform.

    Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., Goldring, E., & Porter, A. C. (2006). Learning-centered leadership: A conceptual foundation. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

    Porter, A. C., Goldring, E., Murphy, J., Elliot, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2006). A framework for the assessment of learning-centered leadership. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

    Portin, B., Feldman, S., & Knapp, M. S. (2006). Purposes, Uses, and Practices of Leadership Assessment in Education Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, University of Washington.

    Reeves, D. B. (2004). Assessing educational leaders. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Corwin Press.

    Rhode Island Department of Education. (November 9, 2010 ). Working draft. Rhode Island Model. building administrator professional practice framework. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Education.

    Robinson, V. M. J., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational administration quarterly, 44(5), 635-674.

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