Sunday, December 22, 2013

Focus on principal growth . . .

This Anthony Cody post at Education Week TEACHER includes a guest post by a teacher, Jennifer Gonzalez. that is worth the read. In it she asks the question: What makes a principal great? She refers to evaluation standards developed by the Interstate School Leaders' Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and shares information from a study in our state.

Research in the state of Washington, for example, suggests that adoption of the ISLLC standards hasn't resulted in their consistent use in principal evaluation. In a 2011 summary of research on principal evaluation, Matthew Clifford and Steven Ross report that these evaluations are not conducted in any consistent way, and that by and large, principals see little value in them for their own professional growth.

This hits at home since I am the evaluator of principals in our system. Before this year and implementation of the mandated principal evaluation model I was much more focused on supervision and principal growth. The model that we have selected is based on the ISLLIC standards and is one that allows me to maintain a focus on what I believe are critical areas for principal focus, school culture and instructional practice. Though I am collecting data in more areas, I continue to provide feedback in these critical areas.

In her post Gonzales ends with these questions.

What impact have principals had on your ability to teach well? Have you found ways to offer them feedback about their work?

I am interested in the same questions and welcome any comments from teachers in our system. Principals want to increase their capacity to support teacher growth and feedback is an essential component of increasing this capacity. Please join me in supporting growth of our principals by providing this necessary feedback.

If interested, she is also conducting a survey on this topic. You can participate here.

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