Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal was new in 2017.
Objective Student Growth Measures: Tennessee requires that principal evaluations be comprised of 50 percent student achievement data: 35 percent is attributed to school-level value-added ratings, and 15 percent is based on other measures of student achievement.
Link to Teacher Effectiveness/Instructional Leadership: Tennessee requires that principals are evaluated on its Instructional Leadership Standards, which includes "a review of the quality of the principals' teacher evaluations."
Improvement Plans: Tennessee does not require that principals rated less-than-effective be placed on improvement plans.
Surveys: Tennessee indicates that principal evaluations "should include school climate and/or teaching and learning conditions surveys."
Ensure that principals receiving less-than-effective ratings are placed on a professional improvement plan.
Tennessee 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.
Tennessee 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.