A Brief Overview of Principal Evaluation Literature: Implications for Selecting Evaluation Models

By Nancy M. Sanders, Karen Kearney

Produced by Integrated Leadership Development Initiative

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Description

Principals play a vital role in school improvement. How should their performance be evaluated?

This overview provides highlights from The Policies and Practices of Principal Evaluation: A Review of the Literature, a comprehensive literature review of principal evaluation systems. The review is derived from a set of primary and secondary sources from reputable publications. The review and overview were cowritten by Karen Kearney of the Leadership Initiative at WestEd.

As part of the overview, Kearney and fellow researchers analyzed 68 documents, identifying themes and perspectives that might be useful to practitioners and policymakers working to improve district principal evaluation systems.

Primary-source publications provided information on the following key areas of principal evaluation:

  • System implementation
  • Evaluation instruments
  • Portfolio-based evaluations
  • Specific evaluation components, such as surveys, to identify stakeholder perceptions of principal performance

Secondary-source publications provided descriptions that target the status of principal evaluations in states and districts, commentaries about principal evaluations, descriptions of best practices, and recommendations for improving principal evaluation policies and practices.