Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal was new in 2017.
Objective Student Growth Measures: Alaska does not require measures of student growth for principal evaluations. At its June 2016 meeting, the board voted to repeal the state's evaluation plan, which would have required student growth data to count for 50 percent of a principal's overall rating by the 2018-2019 school year. Alaska state policy permits a district to consider student learning data if the additional information is relevant to the performance of the administrator.
Link to Teacher Effectiveness/Instructional Leadership: Alaska state policy does not explicitly link principal evaluations and teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership.
Improvement Plans: Alaska districts must provide support and assistance for improvement if the principal receives a rating of basic on two or more content standards or other criteria, unless the district is "nonretaining" the principal.
Surveys: Alaska districts "may survey students, parents, community members, teachers, or administrators regarding the performance of an administrator." If information is provided, then it must be considered.
Minutes from Board Meeting, June 16 & 17: https://education.alaska.gov/State_Board/minutes/2016_06_1617minutes.pdf June 2016 Board Packet: https://education.alaska.gov/state_board/archive/packets/16-June-Packet.pdf 4 AAC 19.030
Require objective measures of student growth to play a role in principal evaluation ratings.
There is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes. Therefore, Alaska should require principal evaluations to include objective measures of student growth. This will allow districts to more accurately identify effective principals, who are more adept at attracting and retaining effective teachers.
Make an explicit link between principal evaluation and teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership.
Because the time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on both teachers and students, Alaska should evaluate its principals—to some degree—on teacher effectiveness and instructional leadership.
Alaska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
7G: Principal Effectiveness
Research demonstrates that there is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes. Principals foster school improvement by shaping school goals, policies and practices, and social and organizational structures. 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. Further, principals affect teacher retention and recruitment; effective principals are more adept at retaining effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers. The time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on teachers and students. 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.