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Assessing Your Principal Performance Evaluation System
Many school districts want to hire, support, and retain highly effective school principals, but district leaders are not always sure exactly how to change their policies or practices to make that happen. There are not enough resources available in the field to help – as a result, some schools struggle with school culture and student success.
Based on extensive research, the George W. Bush Institute School Leadership Initiative is releasing a series of guidebooks focused on Principal Talent Management (PTM) practices that districts can leverage to support school leadership. The first guidebook is centered on principal performance evaluation, an area that is often poorly implemented designed and used.
Leadership frameworks - or the common definition of highly effective school principals - are often created with little or rushed input, buy-in, or feedback from key stakeholders like teachers, principals, and support staff. Roll outs of new frameworks and accompanying rubrics require consistent messaging and lots of norming to be effective. That work is typically absent or inconsistent.
School districts who are able to create and use effective leadership frameworks in their evaluation systems naturally see more success as they work to hire, support, and retain their principals. Successful frameworks align with state and national standards, reflect district priorities, and provide clear direction for aspiring and sitting principals. Strong frameworks aid principals in building a clearer understanding of exemplary practice and goal setting.
A robust leadership framework can also shape requirements for future principal hires. With guidelines that align directly with a school district’s needs, principals with the right talent and expertise are easily identified. And, partnerships with preparation programs, such as universities, are only strengthened as everyone is working toward a common goal.
As school districts grapple with improving principal evaluation systems, this guidebook can be a basis for best practices and research based resources. Each subsequent guidebook will provide school districts with the additional tools required to improve their Principal Talent Management system. The guidebooks include best practices, common but problematic practices, how to effectively move to best practices, districts to watch, and a list of resources available to make this tool accessible and actionable for district leaders.
Anne Wicks, Director, Education Reform, develops and oversees the policy, research, and engagement work of the Education Reform team. Before joining the Bush Institute, Wicks served as an Associate Dean at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education where she lead a team with revenue, communications, and engagement goals. Additionally, she supported Dean Karen Symms Gallagher on a variety of special projects including the launch and early growth of Ednovate Charter Schools. She currently serves as the chair of PMC Support, a supporting organization for Ednovate Schools, and she serves as a board member for Dallas Afterschool. Over her career, she has held management roles at organizations including Teach for America, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, and Stanford University. Anne holds a B.A in American Studies and a M.A. in Education from Stanford University (during which she taught 8th grade social studies), as well as a M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. A former captain of Stanford's women's volleyball team, Anne was part of three national championship teams, two as a player and one as an assistant coach.Full Bio
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Two-Minute Take: Happy National Principals Month!
"At the George W. Bush Institute, we believe that principals are essential to student success. They set a positive school culture for the kids and adults in the building, and they bring a rigorous focus on instruction and academics so that all kids can succeed."