Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal was new in 2017.
Objective Student Growth Measures: Maryland requires student growth to be a "significant" factor in principal evaluations. If no agreement is reached within a district, then a default model must be adopted—and student growth must count for 50 percent of a principal's evaluation rating.
Link to Teacher Effectiveness/Instructional Leadership: Maryland requires that a principal's professional practice is based on administrator standards that include the following: "Effective educational leaders develop the professional capacity and practice of school personnel to promote each student's academic success and well-being." Effective principals must:
COMAR 13A.07.09.04, -.06
Ensure that principals receiving less-than-effective ratings are placed on a professional improvement plan.
Maryland should adopt a policy requiring principals who receive even one less-than-effective evaluation rating to be placed on structured improvement plans. These plans should identify noted deficiencies, define specific action steps necessary to address these deficiencies, and describe how and when progress will be measured.
Require or explicitly allow surveys.
Maryland should require—or at the very least, explicitly allow—survey data to be included in a principal's evaluation rating. These data could be derived from school climate, teacher, student, or school community surveys and are necessary to provide data about a principal's overall leadership of the school community.
Maryland was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state added that it requires student growth to be measured by student learning objectives that are, in part, based on and informed by state assessment data, aggregated schoolwide growth in state-assessed content areas, or the schoolwide index. Maryland also noted that it requires principal evaluations to contain a professional practice component that includes outcomes in the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL). These standards address instructional leadership. Further, the state pointed out that it does not prohibit the use of surveys.
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.