Principal Evaluation in North Dakota

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Frequently Asked Questions regarding ND Principal Evaluations:

What is the history of the Principal and Teacher Evaluation System Support Subcommittee (PTESS)?
In October 2011, the Teacher and Principal Evaluation System Support Subcommittee (TPESS) was convened to develop ND’s plan for principal and teacher evaluation systems as part of ND’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. In March 2013, ND withdrew its application for the waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. Superintendent Baesler reconvened the former TPESS subcommittee under a new name, the Principal and Teacher Evaluation System Support (PTESS) committee in August of 2013 to review and refine North Dakota’s plans for developing and implementing teacher and principal evaluation systems, with an initial emphasis placed on advancing principal evaluation.  

What is the role of the PTESS committee?
The PTESS committee is a leadership initiative of ND DPI.  The PTESS committee provides advice and recommendations to the State Superintendent regarding the development of North Dakota’s Principal & Teacher Evaluation System. 

Is there a specific timeline for implementation of the principal and teacher evaluation systems?  
Districts will be expected to select a Principal evaluation model and notify DPI by November 26, 2014.  District implementation of their models for local principal evaluations begins on or before February 1, 2015.  Additionally, districts will be expected to select their teacher evaluation model by June 1, 2015 and begin implementation of their models for local teacher evaluations on or before September 1, 2015.  While selection must be made and implementation begun by these dates, the ND DPI understands that full implementation of a new evaluation system will require an extended period of time in some cases.  Districts do not need to have the same evaluation model for the principal and/or teacher model(s). DPI will send a notice to school administrators how to submit their selected Principal Evaluation Model by November 10.

How does this affect schools and districts that have already selected evaluation models?
There are many districts that have already reviewed and are piloting evaluation models at this time; however, districts will have the ability to continue to review and vet evaluation models until the required decision dates are reached. Districts must submit their evaluation model(s) for approval to the ND DPI.  This process allows districts time to make the best determinations for their staff.

Will training or resources for training be provided by ND DPI?
The ND DPI Teacher & School Effectiveness will assist in the development of a professional development plan, with our state educational partners (e.g., ND LEAD Center), to help ensure all districts will have access to professional development opportunities. Grant funding for principal evaluation will be available for REA’s to apply for, from the Teacher & School Effectiveness Unit to support their professional development.  REA’s will be sent notices of dates available for the professional development assistance by DPI.

How will existing commercial evaluation systems be treated?
The Department had issued a RFP for State Approved North Dakota Principal Evaluation instrument; however it was cancelled due to the upcoming release of the newly adopted 2014 North Dakota Principal Evaluation Guidelines and template.   The companies who submitted proposals in response to the RFP were found to be in alignment with the newly adopted Principal Evaluation Guidelines.  The newly adopted guidelines allows for schools to submit their principal evaluation model for Department approval based on the guidelines and template. Following is a list of companies where the Department has already approved their model.
  • American Institute for Research Principal Evaluation (AIR)
  • McCrel Principal Evaluation;
  • Marzano School Leader Evaluation Model
  • Stronge Teacher and Leaders Effectiveness Performance Evaluation System
  • Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education
Can districts develop their own models?  
Locally developed models are also allowed.  Districts may develop their own models that align to the North Dakota Principal and Teacher Evaluation Guidelines.  These district generated models will be reviewed by DPI Teacher and School Effectiveness, using the same evaluation tools aligned with the commercially available models.  The ND DPI will provide a document and process for districts to use when submitting their local models for approval to ensure that all necessary alignment information is included.  Currently the North Dakota Principal Evaluation template has been developed and aligns to the North Dakota Principal Evaluation Guidelines.

How will ND DPI and the PTESS working group communicate the decisions that have been made and the guidance that has been developed with practitioners?
Decisions will be communicated through the ND DPI website, the ND DPI newsletter, email listserv communications, educational partners (i.e. NDCEL, NDU, REAs, NDSBA, etc.).  ND DPI staff will also provide information at regularly scheduled educational conferences throughout the 2014-15 academic year.  

How do you evaluate a person who is both the superintendent and the principal?
It is recommended that a school administrator, with dual roles, follow the higher positions’ evaluation process.  Therefore, if a person is both the superintendent and principal, the person would follow the superintendent evaluation.  The administrator’s evaluation should align with the job description, and therefore, if there are functions that would normally be those of a superintendent, they should be evaluated by the board.  It is highly recommended that this administrator conduct a survey of stakeholders such as teachers and noncertified staff, using a 360 tool (ND LEAD Center) which reflects the principal’s position.  The results of the survey should form the basis for principal goals in the superintendent’s evaluation.

How do you evaluate a principal in a K-8 school district where there is no superintendent?
The administrator’s evaluation should align with the job description, and therefore, if there are functions that would normally be those of a superintendent, they should be evaluated by the board.  For the principal role, it is highly recommended that the person conduct a survey of stakeholders such as teachers and noncertified staff, using a ‘360 tool’ which reflects the principal’s position.  The results of the survey should form the basis for principal goals in his/her evaluation. Consideration may be given to possibly securing an appropriate, external consultant to provide feedback to the principal.

What model should be used to evaluate a guidance counselor, media specialist, or other certified staff who are not in a classroom setting?
A school district should align the evaluation with the job description.  There are national standards for counselors (ASCA – American School Counseling Association) and media specialists (ALA -American Library Association).  Some of the national models include standards and rubrics for such positions.  If the model does not provide a set of standards and rubrics, they should be developed locally.  Contact DPI for further support in evaluation needs.
 
Who do I contact if I have questions?
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Gail Schauer, Director
Teacher and School Effectiveness
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201
Bismarck, ND 58505-0440
701-328-2265 (phone)
701-328-0201 (fax)


October 2014