LA Unified, AALA announce new evaluation process for principals
Craig Clough | July 28, 2015
Principals at K-12, option and early education schools at LA Unified will start the 2015-16 school year next month working under a new evaluation system that was developed over the course of a two-year, no-stakes pilot program.
The new School Leader Growth and Development Program includes a number of key changes to the previous system, including a four-level evaluation instead of two.
The old system ranked administrators “meets standard performance” or “below standard performance” while the new one has four evaluation levels — “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing” and “ineffective.”
“It’s really important to note the district has really listened to directors and principals and made modifications in the last two years,” AALA President Juan Fletcha told LA School Report.
The new system also has a portion of the evaluation based on student performance measurements and test scores, which is not new, but what data is used may be changing in the next year.
For high school principals, the data includes graduation rates, the percentage of students on track to meet the A-G graduation requirements, AP enrollment and AP exam pass rate. It also includes the high school exit exam, although the state Legislature is currently debating if the exam should be eliminated.
Since the new Common Core-aligned California Standards Test was only given this year as a practice test, it is not part of the evaluation, but once the test does become official it will need to be renegotiated with the district as to what role it will play in evaluations, Fletcha said.
“That is something that we will have a conversation with the district, especially when we know how the information is gong to be used and relayed to the public,” Fletcha said.
The new system also has a more simplified process in some areas, including the “individual focus elements,” which has been reduced to five from seven.
“The principals were saying, ‘So its a good process where we learn about our professional development yet to collect evidence to justify the element is very labor intensive,’ so we think we can learn as much and the process can be as rich, but it doesn’t need that many elements,” Fletcha said.
The new system will only be used to evaluate K-12, options school and early ed principals this year, but Fletcha said the plan is to eventually evaluate other administrators, including adult education principals and assistant principals, the same way. Until then, other administrators will be evaluated under the old system.