District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard. TOOL to Assess the Strength of a District Evaluation System

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1 District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard TOOL to Assess the Strength of a District Evaluation System

2 About This Tool A high-quality and rigorous principal evaluation system serves as the linchpin to a comprehensive leadership talent management system at both the state and district levels. The first step toward the development of a robust principal evaluation system is to understand your district s current set of leadership evaluation policies and practices. The District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard provides a snapshot assessment of your district s current principal evaluation system and can support conversations about strengths, areas of growth, and next steps. The eight questions in the scorecard are drawn from Managing Educator Talent: A Research-Based Framework for District and State Policymakers also called the METworks SM Framework* developed by Learning Point Associates, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research. This framework is designed to support states and districts in critically examining the key components of educator talent management. (Additional information about METworks, a solution for managing educator talent, is available online at Although the District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard does not delve deeply into the underpinnings of your current principal evaluation system, it does provide a good starting place for conversations as your district enters into the improvement process. *Behrstock, E., Meyer, C., Wraight, S., & Bhatt, M. (2009). Managing educator talent: A research-based framework for district and state policymakers (Version 2.1). Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.

3 Instructions: Please check the letter that most closely describes the principal evaluation system in your district. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. When you have finished, use the scoring guide at the end of this document to assess your system. 1. Frequency of Principal Evaluation a. Principals and assistant principals, regardless of their experience, are not frequently or routinely evaluated in this district. b. Principals and assistant principals are evaluated at least once during their first three years in the district. After that period of time, they are not routinely evaluated, and their growth is not systematically monitored. c. All principals and assistant principals are evaluated at least once per year, regardless of the amount of time that they have been administrators in this district or another district. Growth is monitored, and scores are compared from year to year. 2. Differentiated Evaluation a. When performance evaluation occurs, the same evaluation approach and criteria are used for principals and assistant principals, regardless of school type (i.e., elementary, middle, high schools). b. Different evaluation criteria are used to evaluate principals and assistant principals, but the same approach and criteria are used for elementary, middle, and high schools. c. Different evaluation criteria are used to evaluate principals and assistant principals, and differences between elementary, middle, and high school leadership are included in the criteria. 3. Use of the Evaluation a. When performance evaluation occurs, principals and assistant principals are told how they scored, and scores are explained. Feedback in the form of meetings with supervisors or scores is not useful for improving leadership practices. Evaluation results are not closely tied to a rewards system or a progressive discipline system. Evaluation results do not inform formalized professional development planning. b. When performance evaluation occurs, principals and assistant principals are told how they scored, and scores are explained. Meaningful verbal and/or written feedback is provided to improve leadership practices. Ties between evaluation results and rewards, progressive discipline, and formalized professional development planning are weak, meaning that connections are not systematically made each time. c. Principals are told how they scored, scores are explained, and verbal/written feedback is meaningful. Evaluation results are always used for decisions about promotion, dismissal, assignment, and professional learning. District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard 1

4 District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard 2 4. Comprehensiveness of the Evaluation System Here is a list of principal performance measures: Student performance on annual standardized achievement tests, either measured by growth or value-added calculation Student performance on formative assessments Observation of leadership practices Review of leader portfolio or professional growth plan, displaying major activities during the year Review of school improvement plan and accomplishment of targets or benchmarks Self-report measures 360-degree or other feedback from teachers and other staff in the form of surveys Teacher working conditions or other teacher surveys Parent and/or community surveys Student surveys Goal-driven professional development accomplishments a. Our district relies on 1 3 of the above measures to assess school leader performance. b. Our district relies on 4 5 of the above measures to assess school leader performance. c. Our district relies on 6 or more of the above measures to assess school leader performance. 5. Reliability of the Evaluation System a. Evaluators of principals and assistant principals do not receive training. Inter-rater reliability is not established or analyzed, so no method is available to determine how evaluators may score principals differently. Trends in principal ratings are not compared districtwide or by individual over time. b. Evaluators receive some initial training, which involves inter-rater reliability testing to ensure that they rate principal performance similarly. Trends in principal ratings over time are not compared districtwide or by individual. Evaluators do not receive data or feedback on their practice, and no ongoing training is available to ensure that all principals are similarly evaluated. c. Evaluators receive initial and ongoing training. Inter-rater reliability is checked. Trends in principal ratings are reported districtwide and by individual to evaluators for the purpose of improving evaluation practices. Evaluators receive feedback and professional development on their work in an effort to ensure that all principals are similarly evaluated.

5 6. Tying Evaluation to Student Performance a. Principal evaluations do not consider student performance. b. Principal evaluations include some student performance measures, mainly those tied to increases in student test scores over time. c. Principal evaluations include several student performance measures. Growth or value-added measures are included, and other measures of student performance (e.g., on-time to graduation rates) are included. 7. Tying Evaluation to School Conditions a. Principal evaluations do not consider school climate conditions, teacher working conditions, service quality, or other school-level conditions. b. Principal evaluations include school climate, teacher working conditions, service quality, and other school-level conditions. These data are not systematically gathered from all staff, however. c. Principal evaluation includes school climate, teacher working conditions, service quality, and other school-level conditions. The data are systematically gathered through validated surveys and administrative data. 8. Addressing Ineffective Leadership a. Our district does not formally identify ineffective school leaders. Our district does not have a progressive support system in place to improve practices or a progressive discipline procedure in place to dismiss principals who appear to be persistently ineffective or underperforming. b. The district uses informal means of changing leadership behaviors or removing principals. Ineffective or underperforming school leaders tend to leave either of their own volition or at the encouragement of the district. c. School leaders who are found to be persistently ineffective or underperforming leave the district through formalized dismissal processes after progressive discipline and support are offered. District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard 3

6 District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard 4 Scoring Assign your district s principal evaluation system 0 points for each a response, 1 point for each b response, and 2 points for each c response. Add up these points for your overall score. Your score is. If your score is 0 to 6: The students and staff in your district are not benefiting from policies that ensure that their principals and assistant principals are effective. School leaders are not receiving the feedback and support that they require to improve their work. Developing a stronger evaluation system would show students, teachers, and leaders that the district is deeply concerned about leadership quality. If your score is 7 to 11: Although some elements of a strong leadership evaluation system exist in your district, many elements are missing. The evaluation system may not be coherent and aligned. Creating a stronger system would allow the district to develop and support strong school leadership and help leaders meet their highest potential. If your score is 12 to 16: Congratulations! Your district s principal evaluation system has the elements of a coherent and aligned system. This is a great starting point. Continuous assessment of the principal evaluation system and further refinements will allow you to build upon system strengths. Reflection Think about the answers to the following questions: What are the assets or high scores, as indicated by the scorecard? Do you agree that these are actually assets of your current system? What are the gaps or low scores, as indicated by the scorecard? Do you agree that these are actually gaps in your current system? How similar is your perspective to the perspectives of other leaders in your district? What can you do to build upon assets and address gaps?

7 About the Performance Management Advantage The District-Level Principal Performance Management Scorecard was developed through the Performance Management Advantage a service of American Institutes for Research (AIR). The Performance Management Advantage offers a six-phase approach and tested tools to accelerate change and strengthen a school or district s performance management system. The six-phase approach is as follows: PREPARE AND ENGAGE Our assessment process investigates the root causes hampering your current teacher evaluation system. The assessment pinpoints specific areas for improvement. DEVELOP AND PLAN We work with you to develop a teacher evaluation plan that assesses your needs and will have impact. CONSTRUCT AND CONNECT We work with you to develop appropriate evaluation measures and tools, align them with professional standards, and link them to professional development. IMPLEMENT AND SUPPORT We help launch your new system and provide the support you need so that staff are well trained to implement it. ASSESS AND REVISE We help you analyze the performance management system impact data and determine strategies for refining the implementation. INTEGRATE AND ENHANCE We help you connect performance management with other important components of teacher effectiveness. Our staff will work with you to assess your district s needs and develop a plan to enhance your teacher evaluation system. For more information about the Performance Management Advantage, please contact Gretchen Weber by or by telephone ( ).

8 About American Institutes for Research Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and offices across the country, American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. As one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, AIR is committed to empowering communities and institutions with innovative solutions to the most critical education, health, workforce, and international development challenges. AIR currently stands as a national leader in teaching and learning improvement, providing the research, assessment, evaluation, and technical assistance to ensure that all students particularly those facing historical disadvantages have access to a high-quality, effective education East Diehl Road, Suite 200 Naperville, IL To learn more about the Performance Management Advantage and other Learning Point services, visit Copyright 2011 American Institutes for Research. All rights reserved. 0514_05/11

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