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Jul 22

Changing Responsibilities and Changing Evaluations – Help for Building Principals

Those of us who can trace our administrative experiences to the 1980’s and even earlier have memories of limited staff developemt or training for the job other than a graduate program and then  “on the job training.”  Principal evaluation seemed to be connected to limited number of student discipline issues and reports due to the central office completed on time.  As the years have gone by, the “definition of the principal’s role has changed from ‘ bells, buildings and buses’ to a focus on instructional leadership” (Vivian Stewart in “School Leadership Around The World” Ed Leadership   April, 2013). For currently active building principals, the responsibilities have multiplied and pressure for school academic success has become paramount.

In a recent blog in ASCD taken from a book by Christy Guilfoyle, Principal Evaluation and Professional Growth, she continues with the list of responsibilities that most all building principals will recognize :

  •  Supervision
  • Instructional Leader
  • Visionaries
  • Community Organizer
  • Data Analyst
  • Change Agents

Amid all of these roles ascribed to principals perhaps the one most significant is the responsibility for student achievement. The legislators and local school boards are stepping up the focus on the principal as the catalyst for positive achievement and conversely, the scapegoat for lack of achievement.

The blog from Guilfoyle’s book examines the level of responsibility for student achievement that can reasonably be tied to a principal’s influence. Student growth measures, along with with measures of attendance and student behavior have worked their way into the picture that superintedent’s can use to paint the performance evaluation of a building principal.

While this is not new information, Guilfoyle does offer some insight about improving principals’ evaluations and the training and growth necessary to meet the changing needs of schools and correspondingly, the evaluation of their leaders.

If you would like to review this blog, please go to: http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/policy-priorities/vol19/num02/Principal-Evaluation-and-Professional-Growth.aspx