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: South Dakota does not require annual evaluations for all principals. Only principals in their first four years of employment are evaluated annually. Those with five-plus years of experience are only required to be evaluated once every other year.
Observation/Site Visit Requirements: South Dakota does not articulate any requirements regarding the number of times a principal is observed. Multiple observations are recommended in the state's model.
Evaluator Training: South Dakota does not include any training requirements in state policy.
Administrative Rules 24:58 http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/documents/PEReqReco.pdf
Require annual formal evaluations for all principals.
All principals in South Dakota should be evaluated annually. Rather than treated as mere formalities, these principal evaluations should serve as important tools for rewarding good principals, helping average principals improve, and holding weak principals accountable for poor performance.
Require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
To ensure that annual evaluations are based on adequate information, South Dakota should require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
Require all principal evaluators to be both trained and certified.
All principal evaluators in South Dakota 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.
South Dakota reiterated its policy that principals in their first four years of employment are required to be evaluated annually. After that, they must be evaluated once every two years.
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.