preparing principals

Topics: Assessment, Psychometrics, Evaluation Pages: 28 (4800 words) Published: June 22, 2014
Quality School LEADERSHIP


How Rigorous Are Commonly Used Principal
Performance Assessment Instruments?

Januar y 2012

Measuring Principal Performance

Quality School LEADERSHIP
High-performing and dramatically improving schools are led by strong principals. The Quality School Leadership (QSL) services developed by American Institutes for Research gives educators the tools they need to hire and assess their leaders. Our Quality School Leadership Identification (QSL-ID) process is a standardized hiring procedure built from research-based tools that local hiring

committees can use to reach consensus when selecting
a new school principal.
The QSL-ID process guides schools and districts through each of the specific steps to hiring the right school leader and allows them to: ¡¡ Establish an effective hiring committee that understands the specific leadership needs of the school or district.

¡¡ Recruit principal candidates based on the criteria that best meet school and district goals.
¡¡ Identify the strongest candidates and conduct an onsite performance assessment of finalists.
¡¡ Plan for a smooth leadership transition.
Learn more about our QSL-ID services at

Measuring Principal Performance
How Rigorous Are Commonly Used Principal
Performance Assessment Instruments?
Revised January 2012

Christopher Condon, Ph.D.
Matthew Clifford, Ph.D.



2 New Standards for Principal Performance

3 Reliability and Validity

4 The Reviewed Measures

4 Change Facilitator Style Questionnaire

5 Diagnostic Assessment of School and
Principal Effectiveness

5 Instructional Activity Questionnaire

5 Leadership Practices Inventory

5 Performance Review Analysis and
Improvement System for Education

6 Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale

6 Principal Profile

6 Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education

6 Summary of Findings



13 Additional Resources

The authors wish to thank Kenneth Arndt, Ph.D.; David Behlow, Ph.D.; Kenneth Leithwood, Ph.D.; Martha McCarthy, Ph.D.; and Patrick Schuermann, Ed.D., whose review of this brief improved its content. The author also wishes to thank Publication Services staff at American Institutes for Research, particularly Christine Hulbert and Laura King, who helped to shape the work.

Assessing school principal performance is both necessary and challenging. It is necessary because principal performance assessments offer districts an additional mechanism to ensure accountability for results and reinforce the importance of strong leadership practices. After all, school principals are second only to classroom teachers as the most influential school factor in student achievement (Hallinger & Heck, 1998; Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). Principal performance assessments also provide central office administrators and principals, themselves, information with which to build professional learning plans and chart professional growth. Such assessments are also challenging because principals’ practice and influence on instruction is sometimes not readily apparent.

During the past five years, many states have begun using validated measures in summative assessments of novice principal competency as a basis for certification decisions. These measures may be psychometrically sound but often cannot be used for formative performance assessments or professional development planning (Reeves, 2005). To be used as a formative performance assessment, test results would have to be disaggregated, and their underlying constructs would need to be made transparent to readers. In addition, administrative and analytic control would...

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