The Principal Evaluation Process: Principals' Learning as a Result of the Evaluation Process
Bethman, Jennifer Lynn
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With a new level of importance being placed on the evaluation of principals, this study specifically examines the process used to evaluate principals. Data were analyzed to determine if the principal evaluation process impacted principals perceived professional learning and the principal's practice as an instructional leader. Data was collected in this qualitative case study from interviews, evaluation instruments, and documents used during the evaluation process. Two principal evaluators and seven principals were interviewed about their experience in the principal evaluation process. Interviews took place during the 2013-2014 school year. The principal evaluators and principals were from a school district of approximately twenty thousand students in Washington State using the new Association of Washington School Principals Leadership Framework as a tool in the evaluation process. The study found that the principal evaluation process used was aligned with standards, offered continual feedback, and maintained numerous meetings between the principal evaluator and the principal. The principal evaluators and principals perceived the process as an avenue for them to learn professionally. As an extension of the learning, both the principal evaluators and the principals perceived that the evaluation process had a positive impact on the professional practice of the principals. The study found that for the evaluation process to be meaningful the principals needed to be able to trust their evaluator and feel supported. The collaborative structure of the evaluation process was also important to the principals. The relationship developed between the principal evaluator and principals working in the collaborative setting allowed for principals to take what they learned from working with their evaluator and apply it to their work with teachers.
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