Research/Policy | Principal Evaluation Toolkit

Many states are working to improve educator evaluation systems, but too often they focus their time and resources on design without adequate attention to implementation.

In partnership with America Achieves, New Leaders developed a model principal evaluation rubric that districts can easily adapt to their local context, so they can prioritize the difficult and critical work of implementing a principal evaluation system that supports continuous development and meaningful school improvement.

This toolkit also provides a model principal evaluation system, including implementation training modules to help districts develop a system that improves principal practice and elevates school and student performance.

As many states, districts, and charter organizations are working to improve their educator evaluation systems, this open-source evaluation model simplifies the design process, enabling the bulk of time and resources to be focused on the critical priority of effective implementation. 


These recommendations are informed by our work designing and implementing principal evaluation systems in partnership with various districts and states, as well as lessons learned while preparing, supporting, and evaluating principals since 2000.


Principal Evaluation HandbookThis handbook describes the core design principles that underlie the evaluation model, outlining recommended approaches to measuring leadership practice and leaders’ influence on student learning. It also outlines the evaluation process from start-to-finish, including goal setting and assessment, along with the assignment of a year-end performance rating. Finally, it includes practical tools and resources to support effective implementation of a new evaluation system.

Principal Evaluation RubricOur principal evaluation rubric makes it easy for districts and charter organizations to design a principal evaluation system that works, establishing five evaluation standards and defining performance indicators for each of four performance levels underneath those standards. The rubric also includes concrete examples of evidence illustrating what evaluators might see in a school with a principal performing at the proficient level. The rubric can be used as is, or customized to local needs and context.

Putting Principal Evaluation into PracticeThis resource consists of seven training modules designed to help districts and states implement New Leaders’ principal evaluation model and rubric, including: guidance about introducing the model to stakeholders; developing a common language to describe principal practices; collecting and mapping evidence using the rubric; and providing actionable feedback.



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