Position Post 2
Principal Evaluation Models
One of the many changes within the NJ school system that have commenced during the 2013-2014 school year has been the principal evaluation model. The law TEACHNJ passed in 2012 mandated this new educator evaluation system for the current school year. The New Jersey Achieve works to recognize principals or teachers who exceed expectations and those that need additional support. The NJ Achieve also promotes strong and knowledgeable administrators.
This new legislature applies to all principals (i.e. vice principals and assistant principals). Principals are rated and assessed through multiple measures. Highly effective, effective, partially effective, and ineffective are the four potential ratings a principal may receive as their summative rating. For principals who already have tenure, they must receive a rating of effective or highly effective.
One aspect in which principals are measured on are Student Growth Objectives (SGOs), which encompass 10% of their summative rating, based on the average teacher SGO score in their school (New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). SGOs are, “measurable academic goals that teachers set for their students based on growth achievement” (New Jersey Department of Education, 2013).
Administrator Goals are another factor that principals are evaluated on. Administrator goals are self-explanatory in that administrator goals are simply goals principals set within their school. Administrator goals encompass anywhere from 10-40% of a principal’s evaluation score depending on the type of school the principal works in (New Jersey Department of Education, 2013).
Principals are also evaluated on School Student Growth Percentile (SGP). SGPs are, “state-calculated scores that measure a principal’s ability to help increase student achievement on the NJ ASK” (New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). This accounts for 20% of Single-Grade SGP principals and 30% of Multi-Grade SGP principal’s rating.
Regardless of the type of principal, principal practice accounts for 30% of a principal’s assessment. Similar to a teacher’s observations, a superintendent may do a school walk-through as a way to evaluate a principal. This may entail staff meetings, conferences with parents, and or school events. Minimum requirements for non-tenured principals entail three observations per school year. Those principals who are tenured must have a minimum of two observations per school year. Principals who are rated poorly must have an extra observation and partake in a corrective action plan.
Evaluation of leadership is the last factor principals are evaluated. It measures, “how well the principal implements the new teacher evaluation system within their school” (New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). The evaluation of leadership encompasses two domains. The first domain has two components that assess how principals build knowledge and collaboration. The second domain has four components that assess how well the principal executes the evaluation system.
One positive aspect of the NJ Achieve is that it now gives educators an idea statistically of how far their students improve. Data that teachers acquire from SGPs show how far students have excelled from one point in the school year to another. Another beneficial facet of NJ Achieve is the CAP that identifies those principals who need additional support and improvement as an administrator.
On the other hand there are negative elements of the NJ Achieve as well. If a school continuously performs poorly on the student achievement tests, the principal is subject to being dismissed, transferred or demoted. In working within the education system its known that there are many contributing factors in why students perform poorly academically. Many of these influencing factors can be outside the domain of a school (i.e home life, parenting, friends, and family). The fact that a principal’s job security is reliant on students and teachers performance in some ways is unfair.
With change, there are always beneficial and negative circumstances that come about. Job security for principals is a major concern raised within the principal evaluation changes. Hopefully in time the many changes that have recently been implemented this school year will prove to be positive.
New Jersey Department of Education. (2013). AchieveNJ: Principal Evaluation and Support 2013-14. Retrieved from http://www.state.nj.us/education/AchieveNJ/intro/1PagerPrincipals.pdf