The data and analysis on this page is from 2019. View and download the most recent policy data and analysis on Principal Effectiveness in Wisconsin 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: Wisconsin does not require that student growth play a role in a principal's evaluation rating.
Link to teacher effectiveness/instructional leadership: Wisconsin's Framework for Professional Leadership includes a domain titled "Effective Educators," which includes instructional leadership.
Improvement plans: Wisconsin does not require that principals rated less-than-effective are placed on improvement plans.
Surveys: Wisconsin explicitly allows school climate surveys/parent surveys for the purposes of principal evaluation.
User Guide (2018): https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/ee/pdf/principalprocessmanual-draft.pdf
Require objective measures of student growth to play a role in principal evaluation ratings.
There is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes. Therefore, Wisconsin should require principal evaluations to include objective measures of student growth. This will allow districts to more accurately identify effective principals, who are more adept at attracting and retaining effective teachers.
Ensure that principals receiving less-than-effective ratings are placed on a professional improvement plan.
Wisconsin 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.
Wisconsin asserted that the principal process includes the same SLO process as teachers, and the state reiterated that the principal process is exactly the same as the teacher process, by design. Therefore, all answers for teachers also apply to principals.
Wisconsin added: "In a few months, we will be releasing a report that directly links implementation of our system to significant positive outcomes. Our system directly impacts teacher satisfaction and retention. And every time implementation in a school improves, so do student outcomes. The impact on student outcomes compounds across years when teachers stay in the building—which, as noted, they do. So our system is working as intended when implemented as intended. We fully intend to support it as such."
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.