Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require annual evaluations with frequent observations of all principals. This goal remained consistent between 2017 and 2019.
Evaluation Frequency: Rhode Island requires that all principals are evaluated annually.
Observation/Site Visit Requirements: Rhode Island requires at least three school visits (one announced, two unannounced), along with evidence gathered through day-to-day interactions.
Evaluator Training: Rhode Island districts must ensure that all evaluators receive comprehensive training and participate in calibration activities with colleagues to promote the demonstration of valid and accurate judgments. Schools and districts have the flexibility to decide who will serve as the primary evaluator; the use of complementary evaluators is explicitly allowed.
Evaluation Guidebook (2018-19): http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/BA_Guidebook_Ed_IV_7.31.18.pdf
Require all principal evaluators to be both trained and certified.
All principal evaluators in Rhode Island 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.
Rhode Island recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, however this analysis was updated subsequent to the states review. The state noted that there is a pending change to the existing principal evaluation that will include a new multi-year option. This multi-year option still requires that principals are evaluated annually; however, only formal evaluation years will culminate in a Final Effectiveness Rating (FER). As such, the evaluation processes will not look the same, as LEAs will be provided choice as to how this will be operationalized on a more differentiated basis. Changes will be reflected in new guidebooks that will be published in the summer of 2019.
Rhode Island added that there is no requirement that evaluators of building administrators be trained by RIDE. They are trained locally.
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.