Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal remained consistent between 2017 and 2019.
Objective Student Growth Measures: Utah requires that principal evaluations include student achievement data.
Link to Teacher Effectiveness/Instructional Leadership: Utah state policy does not explicitly link principal evaluations and teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership.
Improvement Plans: Utah requires that evaluators are responsible for giving principals whose performance is inadequate or in need of improvement a written document identifying deficiencies and a recommended course of action. Principals are responsible for improving performance, using the resources identified by the district.
Surveys: Utah requires that principal evaluations include "student and parent input."
Make an explicit link between principal evaluation and teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership.
Because the time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on both teachers and students, Utah should evaluate its principals—to some degree—on teacher effectiveness and instructional leadership.
Utah recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that the Board is currently working on a model principal evaluation system. Once completed, this will likely be taken as an opportunity to update the evaluation rule (R277-533). "There is no public documentation currently, but NCTQ may wish to be aware of this ongoing work." Utah anticipates some type of action by 2020.
NCTQ looks forward to tracking Utah's progress in this area.
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.