NASSP Board Approves Policy Brief on Teacher Evaluation Systems

Earlier this week at Ignite ’14, the NASSP Board of Directors officially approved the release of a joint policy brief with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) offering recommendations on how best to assist school leaders in implementing new teacher evaluation systems.

The brief, titled “Supporting Principals in Implementing Teacher Evaluation Systems: Recommendations from practicing principals to improve instruction and learning,” is the work of a joint committee formed by NAESP and NASSP in November to review current research and literature on the impact that new teacher evaluation systems are having on principals across the country.

The committee of 19 practicing principals provided a unique perspective on how the profession is being impacted by the adoption of new teacher evaluations systems. The committee developed seven recommendations for policymakers at all levels to better support principals in the implementation of teacher evaluation systems.

While the effect of new teacher evaluation systems on principals has been minimally covered in literature, NASSP and NAESP have learned from their members that the time required for the evaluations is a major concern for principals. In February 2013, a survey of NAESP and NASSP members found that a substantive teacher evaluation requires 11–15 hours per teacher over the course of a school year.

While the research is still emerging on the implementation of the new teacher evaluation systems, we do know that principals are facing many challenges including insufficient and ongoing training, unclear or “check the box” rubrics, poor feedback mechanisms, and inadequate time to complete meaningful evaluations and engage in instructional coaching. Recent studies have also found that one of the most positive impacts a principal can have in his or her school occurs when they are able to focus on instructional coaching and build strong relationships with teachers.

The official press release on the new joint policy will be issued early next week, so be on the lookout for it!

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