Teacher Evaluations Transform Principals

November 30, 2018 • Zach DiSchiano


Research from a trio of universities determined teacher evaluations developed in the early days of Race To The Top (R2T) have substantially impacted how principals do their jobs across the country.

R2T is a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education (DOE) grant created to reward states that lead the way with ambitious, comprehensive education reform. Texas declined to participate in the program, so the findings of this specific report may not directly reflect what’s changed in the principal’s role here, but the state certainly has felt pressure to improve its teacher evaluation system.

A No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver granted to Texas was contingent on incorporating guidelines for a teacher evaluation system that included the use of student growth as a major factor in determining a teacher’s evaluation rating. The DOE was not satisfied with the state’s previous system and placed the conditional waiver on high-risk status, leaving Texas worried it would lose the waiver after the 2015–2016 school year. That’s how the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) started.

That said, while this study looks at the effects of revamped teacher evaluation on principal roles based on R2T’s mandates, the results could be similar to Texas principal because of its own independent restructuring.

A few of the major outcomes identified include:

  • increased principals’ attention to instruction and what happens in classrooms
  • improved principal knowledge of the school and its staff
  • created time management challenges leading to turnover and burnout

For more details on the study, check out this Education Week article.

Zach DiSchiano is a communications specialist at TASB HR Services. Send Zach an email at zachary.dischiano@tasb.org.

Tagged: "Employee performance", T-TESS