A Reader Asks… Principal Evaluation

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A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following:

SC,

I had a question from a principal that I wanted to pose to you.

The order of our evaluation / contract renewal system has a bizarre sequence.  Around March or April contracts go out. About the same time summative conferences occur.  Finally scores from the state come back. 

Hence the question from the principal, “The system is completely backwards!  How can you take STAAR results and have them reflect them on our PDAS evaluations?”

I like the way my principal is thinking… Input?

SC Response Here is the short version of a long answer.

I need an objective performance matrix for my principals.  This matrix will be made up of critical leading indicators (formative) and results (summative).  Nearly every measure on this matrix should directly correlate to STUDENT performance. The formative indicators will be locally determined and collected.  The summative results will be a mix of required local and state performance targets and outcomes.  

Once I have this matrix built, I can then evaluate my principals.  By contract law, I may have this evaluation conference prior to having all of my state data.  This is OK, since the state data is not the sole determinant of my evaluation.  The final state data (STAAR results in Texas) simply confirms that our evaluation matrix is, or is not, aligned with state mandated student performance standards.  If it is aligned, stick with your decision.  If it is not aligned, figure out why.  

One final, extremely critical, point: Fairness is not sameness.  If your Title I campus performs at the same level as your non-Title I campus, the Title I principal should receive the better evaluation.  And here is your sports analogy that drives this point home.  

The University of Texas goes 8-4 this year and barely beats the University of Houston in the Holiday Bowl.

The University of Houston goes 7-5 this year and barely loses to the University of Texas in the Holiday Bowl.

Who is the better coach? Mac Brown or Tony Levine?

The Holiday Bowl Results shouldn’t matter that much.  The evaluation of the coach should be driven by the 8-4 and 7-5.  Given available resources, UT has performed below expectations.  UH, most likely has met expectations (you don’t know how hard it is for me to use this example).

Does your current principal evaluation system reflect this basic truth?

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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A Reader Asks… Getting a Principalship
The Fundamental 5 National Summit – October 2013

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