Performance Management for School Leaders

1. Establish a performance management system that is fair, differentiated, and high-quality.

2. Ensure that school leader evaluators are properly trained.

3. Link school leader evaluation to professional development, mentorship, and other educator talent


1. Establish a performance management system that is fair, differentiated, and high-quality.

    Why It Is Important
    • A fair evaluation system enables school leader buy-in and meaningful growth, and it increases morale.
    • Differentiated evaluations that engage the school leader, evaluator, and other stakeholder groups have the potential to facilitate professional development instead of merely complying with a requirement.
    • A high-quality school leader performance management system allows for genuine differences in teachers’ performance to be identified and for leaders to be rewarded or remediated accordingly. Discerning genuine differences in school leader quality also allows for the equitable distribution of school leaders to be considered in a more meaningful way than if qualifications alone were used.

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    Use multiple measures when evaluating school leader performance, including student achievement and multiple observations.
    • Include multiple measures of student achievement outcomes.
    • Involve principals in the design of the system and in modifications that are made to the system over time.
    • Review the components of OPES.

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    Require goal setting with respect to performance.
    • Increase school leaders’ engagement and commitment to the process by helping them to see performance management as a tool to help them form and achieve professional development goals.
    • Encourage school leaders and their supervisors to work together to set individual goals that take into account the school leader’s strengths, challenges, and career stage.
    • Ensure that goal setting and professional development are aligned.

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    Use valid and reliable evaluation tools.
    • Base evaluation tools on theOhio Standards for Principals, and ensure that they reflect the complexity of the school leader’s job, are used to promote fair assessment, and are used to guide the school leader’s practice.
    • Choose tools that promote in-depth analysis of each of theOhio Standards for Principals.

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    Provide timely feedback and appropriate next steps.
    • Require that feedback be clear, specific, aligned with standards or competencies, and linked to professional development.
    • Consider evaluating school leaders more frequently than once per year to provide them with feedback to inform and improve their current practices.
    • Encourage school leaders to self-assess and reflect on performance as part of the overall performance management system.
    • Implement policies and procedures that balance the value of frequent feedback with the time demands on school leaders and supervisors.

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2. Ensure that school leader evaluators are properly trained.

    Why It Is Important
    • Training the evaluators is essential if the evaluation tools are to be used properly and consistently.
    • Effective evaluator training increases the likelihood that school leaders will grow and develop as a result of the process.
    • Evaluator training ensures that adequate time and resources will be made available so that the evaluation process will go smoothly.

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    Conduct audits to ensure inter-rater reliability
    • Monitor the performance of school leader evaluators by checking for interrater agreement, and hold them accountable for conducting good evaluations.
    • Monitor evaluators’ stringency or leniency over time to avoid “rater drift.”

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3. Link school leader evaluation to professional development, mentorship, and other educator talent

    Why It Is Important
    • Many LEAs currently do not utilize performance management to advance larger LEA goals or plans.
    • Linking with mentors, individual professional development plans, training, and coaching ensures that the evaluation will result in meaningful growth.
    • Linking with recruitment and hiring allows candidates to self-screen out of the system if they do not think they will be able to meet the performance standards.
    • The Ohio Standards for Principals can provide a useful starting point for developing criteria for performance management systems. Such standards can be adapted in order to reflect the specific goals of the school or district.

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Last Modified: 5/8/2013 2:22:32 PM