Principal Effectiveness

2017 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy

2017 Goals for Principal Effectiveness

The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal was new in 2017.

Best practices

The principal evaluation systems required in Connecticut, Florida, and South Dakota all adequately address effectiveness of school administrators. These three states not only require objective student growth measures to be included in a principal's overall evaluation rating, but they also link principal evaluations to teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership. Florida requires that at least one-third of a principal's evaluation rating be based on instructional leadership. Connecticut requires that teacher effectiveness outcomes count for 5 percent of a principal's evaluation rating. South Dakota's standards used to evaluate principals include an instructional leadership domain.

Further, all three states require improvement plans for ineffective principals, and surveys are either required or explicitly allowed. Connecticut requires that stakeholder feedback, which must include feedback from teachers and parents, comprise 10 percent of a principal's evaluation rating. South Dakota allows the use of surveys from parents, teachers, students, and the community, and Florida allows input from parents and teachers to contribute to a principal's evaluation rating.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2017). Principal Effectiveness national results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/national/Principal-Effectiveness-77
Best practice 3

States

Meets goal 9

States

Nearly meets goal 14

States

Meets goal in part 14

States

Meets a small part of goal 7

States

Does not meet goal 4

States

Do states require student growth data to be included in principal evaluations?

2017
Figure details

Yes: AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY

No: AK, AL, AR, CA, DC, IA, KY, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, OK, VT

Do states explicitly link principal evaluations to teacher effectiveness and/or instructional leadership?

2017
Figure details

Yes: AL, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV

No: AK, AR, CA, DC, HI, IA, IN, LA, ME, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, UT, VT, WY

Do states require principals with less-than-effective ratings to be placed on improvement plans?

2017
Figure details

Yes: AK, AL, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IN, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, WV

No: AZ, CA, DC, ID, IL, KS, KY, MD, ME, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, OH, OK, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY

Do states facilitate the use of survey data (climate, teacher, parent, student, etc.) in principal evaluations?

2017
Figure details

Yes. State policy requires surveys.: CO, CT, GA, MA, MI, MS, UT, WV

Yes. State policy explicitly allows surveys.: AK, AR, AZ, DC, FL, HI, ID, KS, MN, MO, NC, ND, NV, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI

No. State policy explicitly prohibits surveys.: NY

No. State policy is silent regarding surveys.: AL, CA, DE, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, ME, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, WA, WY

How we graded

7G: Principal Effectiveness

  • Student Growth: The state should require objective measures of student growth to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
  • Evaluation and Instructional Leadership: The state should require principal evaluations to contain an explicit link to teacher effectiveness or instructional leadership.
  • Improvement Plans: The state should require that all principals who are rated as less than effective be placed on improvement plans.
  • Surveys: The state should require or explicitly allow surveys (e.g., school climate, teacher, student, school community) to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
Student Growth
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires objective measures of student growth to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
Evaluation and Instructional Leadership
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if principal evaluations contain an explicit link to teacher effectiveness or instructional leadership.
Improvement Plans
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires principals who have been rated as ineffective to be placed on improvement plans.
Surveys
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires or explicitly allows surveys (e.g., school climate, teacher, student, school community) to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.

Research rationale

Research demonstrates that there is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes.[1] Principals foster school improvement by shaping school goals, policies and practices, and social and organizational structures.[2] Principals vary significantly in their effectiveness, and research suggests that high-quality principals positively affect student achievement, in-school discipline, parents' perceptions of schools, and school climates.[3] Further, principals affect teacher retention and recruitment;[4] effective principals are more adept at retaining effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers.[5] The time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on teachers and students.[6] Because principals are an essential component of creating successful schools, their effectiveness should be regularly evaluated by trained evaluators on systems that include objective measures. Such systems will help to ensure that all principals receive the feedback and support necessary to improve their practice and, ultimately, student and school outcomes.


[1] Clifford, M., Hansen, U. J., & Wraight, S. (2014). Practical guide to designing comprehensive principal evaluation systems: A tool to assist in the development of principal evaluation systems. Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.; Rice, J. K. (2010). Principal effectiveness and leadership in an era of accountability (Brief 8). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.; Glasman, N. S., & Heck, R. H. (1992). The changing leadership role of the principal: Implications for principal assessment. Peabody Journal of Education, 68(1), 5-24.
[2] Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (1998). Exploring the principal's contribution to school effectiveness: 1980-1995. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 9(2), 157-191.
[3] Branch, G. F., Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2012). Estimating the effect of leaders on public sector productivity: The case of school principals (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.; Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K. L. Anderson, S. E., Michlin, M., & Mascall, B. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement/University of Minnesota and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, 42, 50.; Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School principals and school performance (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.; Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning: A review of research for the Learning from Leadership Project. New York: The Wallace Foundation.
[4] Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Ing, M., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions. American Education Research Journal, 48(2), 303-333; Kimball, S. (2011). Strategic talent management for principals. In Strategic management of human capital in education: Improving instructional practice and student learning in schools (pp. 133-152). New York, NY: Routledge Publishing; Rice, J. K. (2010). Principal effectiveness and leadership in an era of accountability (Brief 8). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.; Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School principals and school performance (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research. 
[5] Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., Loeb, S. (2009). Effective schools: Managing the recruitment, development, and retention of high-quality teachers (Working Paper 37). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.
[6] Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating principal effectiveness: How perspectives of parents, teachers, and assistant principals identify the central importance of managerial skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091-1123.; Horng, E. L., Klasik, D., & Loeb, S. (2010). Principal's time use and school effectiveness. American Journal of Education, 116(4), 491-523.; Catano, N., & Stronge, J. H. (2007). What do we expect of school principals? Congruence between principal evaluation and performance standards. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10(4), 379-399.