The data and analysis on this page is from 2019. View and download the most recent policy data and analysis on Principal Evaluation and Observation in Massachusetts from the State of the States 2022: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policies report.
The state should require annual evaluations with frequent observations of all principals. This goal remained consistent between 2017 and 2019.
Evaluation Frequency: Massachusetts requires all principals to be evaluated at least annually.
Observation/Site Visit Requirements: Massachusetts requires "observations and artifacts of professional practice, including unannounced observations of practice of any duration."
Evaluator Training: Massachusetts state policy requires evaluator training; however, the state does not require evaluator certification or a process that would ensure inter-rater reliability.
603 CMR 35.00
Require all principal evaluators to be both trained and certified.
All principal evaluators in Massachusetts should be trained and certified to conduct principal evaluations on systems that include objective measures. Ensuring that all evaluators are appropriately trained and certified in conducting principal evaluations will help ensure that all evaluators are able to provide principals with fair and valid evaluations.
Massachusetts recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
7H: Principal Evaluation and Observation
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.