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Aug 102011

Last week, The Hour Reported and Norwalk Net blogged about how the staffing of another central office position had come to dominate the BoE discussions of late, as Dr. Marks  has drawn the short end of the staffing straw with regard to the 2011-12 budget cuts, leaving central office staff short-handed.  One of many managerial issues that has emerged, is HOW or WHO should evaluate the principals?  We have provided what we think is simple solution to this particular issue:

What about interim measures for principals that objectively collected a variety of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by building?

Quite frankly, why doesn’t the board authorize Dr. Marks to hire clerical staff to compile the following types of hard teacher and student data on a per building basis and start benchmarking the elementary, middle and high schools. Certainly that might get folks to look at adult data and provide insight into school operations beyond student test data.

A short list of things to track might include the following:

• turnover
• grievances and complaints
• absences
• average years of service by teacher/subject
• % of teachers rated average
• % of teacher rated exceptional
• % of teachers in need of improvement

Student & Parent Data
• CMT  and other CFA  test data
• Suspension data
• Student absences
• Transfers out of district
• Attrition from elementary to middle
• # of Lawsuits
• # of Complaints

Last spring, I took the position of doing away with the Director of Elementary position (not person), given that I didn’t think that one person could be held responsible for evaluating the principals at this juncture in US education, due to the fierce lobbying efforts by many to keep things status quo and to come up with every excuse known to man as to why evaluations can’t be fair.   Also, until legislation changes, due to incredibly stringent collective bargaining contracts, you can’t get rid of an educational employee  anyway.

Objective data like the KPIs listed above coupled with the pending school climate survey for staff and parents seems to be a pretty good place to start and would yield an un-biased assessment of where school administration and management issues lay, allowing the Superintendent or the BoE to begin questioning principals on why their schools seem to yield best practices or alternatively ask  principals why they think their operational data is not consistent with their peer group in the district .  Additionally, folks could analyze whether there is a correlation between adult operational behavior(S) and data  and student achievement?





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