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Re: How competent are public school principals at improving student achievement through teacher evaluation?

Posted By: Gil Compton on January 7, 2009
A follow-up posting.
I am interested in thoughts on the following idea:
Task - create an experiment to test public school administratorís competence at evaluating teachers. The written evaluation report is the primary artifact that the evaluation process produces. Can a principalís competency be measured by examining the evaluation report? If so, as part of the experimental design a measurement instrument will need to be developed to gage and assess teacher evaluation documents. To meet the intent of experiment the design of the measurement instrument shall be; (1) objective; (2) based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP); and (3) easily understood from both the training and implementation perspectives.
Teacher evaluation is a regulated activity and structured by both the California Education Code (EC) and the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) under which teachers and principals are employed. Designing a measurement tool to assess a principalís competency requires an understanding of the evaluation instruments currently used in public education. Since the development of the CSTP public school districts in California have designed evaluation instruments that reflect these standards. Subsequently, the evaluation instrument of teacher performance has become increasingly uniform across districts. This uniformity, analogous to the uniformity of the State curriculum that began with the development of curriculum frameworks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has created an opportunity to develop administrator education programs that educate and train administrators to be competent teacher evaluators. An examination of University of California, California State University, private Universities in California indicate that less than ten percent (10%) of administrator education program training is dedicated to developing teacher evaluation competency. Current programs continue to focus on administrators and managers and not as instructional leaders. While administrator education programs include course work on organizational theory, school culture and climate, finance, law, and leadership theory, little time is dedicated to training administrative candidates in the skills necessary to competently evaluate teacher performance. Of all of the responsibilities and tasks assigned public school administrators, and there are numerous, the single most powerful activity an administrator can engage to improve teacher performance is teacher evaluation.
The goal of this research is to design a method(s) to understand the characteristics, knowledge, and actions of competent teacher evaluators that distinguish themselves from incompetent teacher evaluators. Once understood, this knowledge can be used to design education programs to train public school administrators to use teacher evaluation to its fullest potential to improve teacher performance and ultimately student learning and achievement.
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 How competent are public school principals at improving student achievement through teacher evaluation? by Gil Compton on January 5, 2009
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