The data and analysis on this page is from 2019. View and download the most recent policy data and analysis on Principal Effectiveness in Washington from the State of the States 2022: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policies report.
The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal remained consistent between 2017 and 2019.
Objective student growth measures: Washington requires that student growth data be a substantial factor for at least three of the eight evaluation criteria.
Link to teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership: Washington requires that principals be evaluated on the following criterion: "Monitoring, assisting, and evaluating effective instruction and assessment practices." According to the state, the related descriptor is: "An effective leader monitors teaching and uses the evaluation process and other strategies to support teachers' efforts to strengthen their teaching and learning in classrooms."
Improvement plans: Washington does not require that principals rated less-than-effective are placed on improvement plans.
Surveys: Washington state policy does not mention surveys for the purposes of principal evaluation.
Ensure that principals receiving less-than-effective ratings are placed on a professional improvement plan.
Washington 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.
Washington 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.
Washington 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.