Principal Leadership Performance Review: A Systems Approach
- Download the Principal Leadership Performance Review Instrument
- The Iowa ePortfolio™ Model for Iowa School Leaders
- Purposes, Uses, and Practices of Leadership Assessment in Education
The Performance Review Process
The process of coaching a principal is a very important tool in the entire improvement effort of a school district. It defines expectations, enhances communication, prioritizes district goals and encourages supervisors to focus their attention on the principal's role in improving achievement for all students.
A new approach to principal performance review that reflects a systems approach is particularly in order in these times of increased accountability. A process as important as this one should be guided by a set of ethics — values and beliefs — that support the work so both the principal and supervisors can operate with integrity. The following principles are offered as an ethical compass to guide this important work.
An effective performance review process is predicated on a spirit of providing feedback for growth, not on finding evidence of shortcomings. The purpose of this process is to improve performance, not prove incompetence. If a supervisor is considering performance review as an evaluation for the purpose of termination, other processes should be employed.
A comprehensive principal performance review process must:
1. Align with the six Iowa Standards for School Leaders (View the Iowa Standards for School Leaders)
Rationale: The Board of Educational Examiners, the State Board of Education, and the Iowa Department of Education have all endorsed the Iowa Standards for School Leaders as the framework for expectations for building principals.
2. Be intended to acknowledge strengths and improve performance.
Rationale: An effective evaluation process is predicated on a spirit of providing feedback for growth.
3.Connect academic, social, emotional and developmental growth for all students in the building/system.
Rationale: Multiple indicators for all types of student growth must be included in the definition of accountability.
4. Recognize the importance of a principal's role in improving the culture of the learning community.
Rationale: Research is very clear that the quality of leadership in a building has a direct correlation to positive relationships and the achievement levels of all learners.
5. Have research-based criteria about effective principal behaviors which are substantiated by measurable data from multiple sources, and are legal, feasible, accurate and useful.
Rationale: Examples may include self-assessment, a portfolio compiled by the principal, 360 degree feedback, the school improvement plan, artifacts that address previous goals, and meeting agendas.
6. Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth as a facilitator/leader of learning.
Rationale: Evaluation processes must consider the needs of the whole professional and be oriented toward continuous improvement.
7. Be ongoing and connected to school improvement goals.
Rationale: An evaluation is a process, not a once a year conversation, and must be connected to Comprehensive School Improvement plans.
8. Align building and district goals with community members’ vision for education.
Rationale: Goals cannot be developed in isolation; district and building goals must reflect the community's highest hope for their public schools.