New America examined how principals are being evaluated and supported to develop the necessary skills to be good instructional leaders through the following questions:
1) Are states incorporating instructional leadership as one standard of their principal evaluation systems?
2) Does that standard attempt to assess the quality of principals’ evaluation of and ongoing support for teachers, including feedback on teacher practice, coaching, and connection to other meaningful professional development opportunities?
3) What role are states playing in supporting LEA implementation of principal evaluation systems in the area of instructional leadership?
We explored whether states provide districts with tools, training, or other resources to guide principal supervisors in their role to better evaluate and support principals' ability to assess and support teacher practice.
In order to answer the first two questions, New America conducted a scan of each state’s education agency website to review their principal evaluation and support system guidelines, with a specific focus on the state-designed or -approved principal practice evaluation instrument, and whether the instrument included an instructional leadership standard.
To explore the third question—the role that states are playing in supporting LEA implementation of principal evaluation systems in the area of instructional leadership—New America reached out to all SEAs via email in June 2017 with a set of questions centered around the state’s role in supporting implementation of principal evaluation. The questions specifically explored whether states are providing LEAs with tools, training, or other resources to guide principal supervisors in their role to better evaluate and support principals' ability to assess and support teacher practice. We also asked about how states are communicating and sharing such resources with LEA and school leaders.
New America received responses from 39 states, and were able to conduct phone interviews with 28 of those states between July and November 2017. Based on these communications and our scan of SEA websites, we identified themes in the types of support that states are providing, and have highlighted promising examples of how states are implementing those supports in our accompanying report.