Principal Effectiveness: Colorado

2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy

Goal

The state should meaningfully assess principal performance. This goal was new in 2017.

Meets

Analysis of Colorado's policies

Objective Student Growth Measures: Colorado requires that academic growth of students comprises 50 percent of a principal's evaluation rating. 

Link to Teacher Effectiveness/Instructional Leadership: Colorado requires that one measure for capturing information for principal performance be the percentage and number of teachers rated effective, highly effective, partially effective, and ineffective and the number and percentage of teachers who are improving their performance. 

Half of the principal's rating is based on professional practice standards, which include:

  • Instructional Leadership
    • Principals support Teachers through ongoing, actionable feedback and needs-based professional development to ensure that rigorous, relevant and evidence-based instruction and authentic learning experiences meet the needs of all students and are aligned across P-20.
    • Principals demonstrate a rich knowledge of effective instructional practices, as identified by research on best practices, in order to support and guide Teachers in data-based decision making regarding effective practices to maximize student success.
  • Human Resource Leadership
    • Principals establish and effectively manage processes and systems that ensure a knowledgeable, high-quality, high-performing staff.
    • Principals evaluate staff performance using the District's Educator evaluation system in order to ensure that teachers and staff are evaluated in a fair and equitable manner with a focus on improving teacher and staff performance and, thus, student achievement.
Improvement Plans: Colorado requires that all principals are provided with a professional performance plan.

Surveys: Colorado requires that one measure for capturing information for principal performance be "input from teachers." Districts are strongly encouraged to use student perceptions, parent/guardian perceptions, and perceptions of other administrators about a principal's professional performance.

Citation

Recommendations for Colorado

As a result of Colorado's strong principal effectiveness policies, no recommendations are provided.

State response to our analysis

Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

How we graded

7G: Principal Effectiveness

  • Student Growth: The state should require objective measures of student growth to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
  • Evaluation and Instructional Leadership: The state should require principal evaluations to contain an explicit link to teacher effectiveness or instructional leadership.
  • Improvement Plans: The state should require that all principals who are rated as less than effective be placed on improvement plans.
  • Surveys: The state should require or explicitly allow surveys (e.g., school climate, teacher, student, school community) to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
Student Growth
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires objective measures of student growth to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.
Evaluation and Instructional Leadership
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if principal evaluations contain an explicit link to teacher effectiveness or instructional leadership.
Improvement Plans
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires principals who have been rated as ineffective to be placed on improvement plans.
Surveys
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following: 

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it requires or explicitly allows surveys (e.g., school climate, teacher, student, school community) to be used in part to determine principal effectiveness.

Research rationale

Research demonstrates that there is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes.[1] Principals foster school improvement by shaping school goals, policies and practices, and social and organizational structures.[2] 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.[3] Further, principals affect teacher retention and recruitment;[4] effective principals are more adept at retaining effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers.[5] The time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on teachers and students.[6] 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.


[1] Clifford, M., Hansen, U. J., & Wraight, S. (2014). Practical guide to designing comprehensive principal evaluation systems: A tool to assist in the development of principal evaluation systems. Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.; Rice, J. K. (2010). Principal effectiveness and leadership in an era of accountability (Brief 8). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.; Glasman, N. S., & Heck, R. H. (1992). The changing leadership role of the principal: Implications for principal assessment. Peabody Journal of Education, 68(1), 5-24.
[2] Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (1998). Exploring the principal's contribution to school effectiveness: 1980-1995. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 9(2), 157-191.
[3] Branch, G. F., Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2012). Estimating the effect of leaders on public sector productivity: The case of school principals (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.; Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K. L. Anderson, S. E., Michlin, M., & Mascall, B. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement/University of Minnesota and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, 42, 50.; Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School principals and school performance (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.; Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning: A review of research for the Learning from Leadership Project. New York: The Wallace Foundation.
[4] Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Ing, M., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions. American Education Research Journal, 48(2), 303-333; Kimball, S. (2011). Strategic talent management for principals. In Strategic management of human capital in education: Improving instructional practice and student learning in schools (pp. 133-152). New York, NY: Routledge Publishing; Rice, J. K. (2010). Principal effectiveness and leadership in an era of accountability (Brief 8). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.; Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School principals and school performance (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research. 
[5] Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., Loeb, S. (2009). Effective schools: Managing the recruitment, development, and retention of high-quality teachers (Working Paper 37). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.
[6] Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating principal effectiveness: How perspectives of parents, teachers, and assistant principals identify the central importance of managerial skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091-1123.; Horng, E. L., Klasik, D., & Loeb, S. (2010). Principal's time use and school effectiveness. American Journal of Education, 116(4), 491-523.; Catano, N., & Stronge, J. H. (2007). What do we expect of school principals? Congruence between principal evaluation and performance standards. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10(4), 379-399.