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Measuring principals’ effectiveness: Results from New Jersey’s first year of statewide principal evaluation

Region:
Mid-Atlantic
Description:
This study describes measures used to evaluate New Jersey principals in the first year of statewide implementation of the new evaluation system. It examines four statistical properties of the measures: the variation in ratings across principals, their year-to-year stability, the associations between component ratings and the characteristics of students in the schools, and the associations among component ratings. Based on statewide principal performance ratings from the 2013/14 school year and ratings from 14 districts that piloted the principal evaluation system in the 2012/13 school year, the study found a mix of strengths and weaknesses in the statistical properties of the measures used to evaluate principals in New Jersey. First, nearly all principals received effective or highly effective summative ratings. Second, fewer principals evaluated on school median student growth percentiles received highly effective summative ratings than principals not evaluated on this measure. Third, principal practice instrument ratings and school median student growth percentiles had moderate to high levels of year-to-year stability. Fourth, several component ratings—school median student growth percentiles, teachers' student growth objectives, and principal practice instrument ratings—and the summative rating had low, negative correlations with student socioeconomic disadvantage. Finally, principals' ratings on component measures had low to moderate positive correlations with each other, consistent with the idea that they measure distinct dimensions of overall principal performance. Nevertheless, the validity of the principal evaluation measures cannot be verified without a measure of principals' effectiveness at raising student achievement to use as a standard. More evidence is needed on the accuracy of measures used to evaluate principals.
Publication Type:
Making Connections
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
August 2016