Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Principal Evaluation System from McREL by Tony Davis and Kent Davis

These are my notes from Tony Davis and Kent Davis’ presentation, “Principal Evaluation System from McREL” on February 28, 2012, at the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE) “road show” presentation in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

The Tulsa Principal Evaluation system was developed with McREL
– they have two

(Alicia Currin-Moore clarified prior to Tony’s remarks that Tulsa’s model is a modified version of the one adopted by the Oklahoma TLE Commission. See the official Oklahoma SDE TLE website for links to approved evaluation systems.)

Oklahoma has adopted a leader evaluation model based on McREL’s research on educational leadership
– today we will look at

These are highly emotional and highly charged decisions you are making when it comes to teacher and administrator effectiveness

Our goal at McREL is to make a difference for kids
– we’ve been around since the 1960s when regional labs were created to provide assistance to school districts
– we’ve evolved, most our contracts now come from large federal grants / large federal opportunities
– we have a field service group which is who we work for, taking our research from those large lab contracts to turn them into useable products and services for schools

We also have a web-provider who provides opportunity for your leaders to report and use your data in electronic formats

approximately one-third of today’s entering kindergarteners won’t graduate from high school
– one third of those aren’t ready for the workforce or for college


McREL’s Mission: Making a difference in the quality of education and learning for all through excellence in applied research, product development and service

Premises of the evaluation system:
– school leaders make a difference for students
– leaders must focus on instructional leadership
– evaluations should drive important conversations
– evaluations should drive professional growth
– evaluations should align with organizational goals

McREL has taken 40 years of research and boiled that down into a framework that we know when applied, makes a big difference on student learning and in student achievement
– we asked why do school systems need a principal? we’ve found the school leader makes a huge impact/difference

an evaluation system clarifies practice

rather than evaluation being a function of compliance in your school, we believe evaluation should drive professional growth from day 1
– leadership happens in a very complex and dynamic environment which is constantly changing
– having an evaluation method built around a framework which permits flexibility as needs/contexts change is very important

it is not a linear process to be an educational leader, it is a very dynamic process

we focus on things school leaders which make a statistically significant difference on student achievement?
– 6 things

1 of the most important: clearly articulated goals and expectations communicated from the board and superintendent

Features and benefits of McREL’s system:
– research focus: focus on principals doing what matters most
– practicality and ease of use: based on an organized framework to support the complex and dynamic work of school level leaders
– multiple data sources: creates the conditions supported by a system for fair and accurate evaluations of principals
– growth-oriented rubrics: focus on continuous improvement
– flexibility: use system to advance your own district priorities
– ongoing support: ensure a successful transition to your new system

Formative rubrics are included
– this is NOT a deficit model, focusing on what principals don’t know and can’t do
– it is focused on what principals should do: it’s a growth model
– we start our categorical models with “developing…”
– rubrics move across a continuum of performance and behavior

this evaluation process isn’t an event, it’s meant to continue throughout the year

– orientation
– mid-year evaluation
– consolidated performance assessment

orientation leads into self-assessment & supervisor assessment
– that’s in input into pre-evaluation conference
– that’s used in end-of-year performance assessment

final step: final evaluation and goal setting

– evaluation rubrics allow for principal’s perception of performance AND supervisor’s perception of performance

Have just finalized randomized, control study with 50 treatment/50 control districts on balanced leadership and the impact it has on their practice
– based on “School Leadership that Works: From Research to Results” by Marzano, Waters, McNulty
– very strong effect sizes showing up in formative evaluation of those results

An overview of balanced leadership
– purposeful community surrounds everything (all 21 leadership responsibilities)
– school-level leadership (inside the community
– focus of leadership * magnitude of change (inside both of those)

See “Balanced Leadership: What 30 Years of Research Tells Us about the Effect of Leadership on Student Achievement” (free PDF)

Rubrics and the framework

categories for each are:
– developing

final evaluation and goal-setting
– self-assessment
– evaluator assessment
– meeting between principal and evaluator
– final evaluation and goal-setting

Customized electronic forms are provided
– district defined forms
– auto-populating fields
– dynamically defined visibility and edit rights at the field level
– has a user homepage for employers and employees to see what needs to be completed and what they are waiting on
– notifications for key deadlines/milestones are available based on local policies / legal requirements

Supported on mobile devices like iPad (not small screens like iPhone and Blackberry)
– supports all major browsers
– tablet friendly controls
– share forms using email

McREL training for principal evaluators
– helps your evaluators understand the balanced leadership framework and related rubrics
– provides guidance for collaborative leadership conversations with principals based on school and district goals
– helps principals become comfortable using software

– District Leadership That Works: Striking the Right Balance
– School Leadership that Works

Balanced Leadership Profile is available FREE at no additional charge when you use our evaluation product

Cost for online portion of this in Oklahoma now is $200 per principal (evaluators don’t pay on a seat basis)

Require 2 days of professional development, the fidelity of implementation is very important
– follow a structured protocol, this cost is $4000 per day

'Observation Training' photo (c) 2012, Kate Ter Haar - license:

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