2017 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require annual evaluations with frequent observations of all principals. This goal was new in 2017.
Evaluation frequency: Michigan requires all principals to be rated annually. However, districts may choose to conduct biennial evaluations for those principals rated highly effective on three consecutive evaluations.
Observation/site visit requirements: Michigan does not articulate any requirements regarding the number of times a principal is observed.
Evaluator training: Michigan state policy requires evaluator training; however, the state does not require evaluator certification or a process that would ensure inter-rater reliability.
Revised Code Act 451 of 1976 380.1249b
Require annual formal evaluations for all principals.
All principals in Michigan should be evaluated annually. Rather than treated as mere formalities, these principal evaluations should serve as important tools for rewarding good principals, helping average principals improve, and holding weak principals accountable for poor performance.
Require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
To ensure that annual evaluations are based on adequate information, Michigan should require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
Require all principal evaluators to be both trained and certified.
All principal evaluators in Michigan should be trained and certified to conduct teacher evaluations on systems that include objective measures. Ensuring that all principals are appropriately trained and certified in conducting teacher evaluations will help ensure that all principals are able to provide their teachers with fair and valid evaluations.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state also provided a link for further guidance on its principal evaluation system.
7H: Principal Evaluation and Observation
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.