To help local school councils do a better job of evaluating and supporting their principals, school reform group Leadership for Quality Education collaborated with the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association to develop a new evaluation tool and process. Called EXCEL, for Evaluation Expertise for Councils and Educational Leaders, the program required goal setting with the LSC in the fall, internet software to track progress and evaluation in the spring based on how well the principal met the goals. The key factor was consultants who provided individualized training for the LSC and their principal. After a pilot program at 40 schools, CPS adopted EXCEL for system-wide use in 2005, but without funding for the consultants.
See CPS to adopt new tool for principal evaluations, Catalyst April 2002; Test scores, other data added to principal evaluation, July 25, 2005; New principal evaluation expanding, December 29, 2005
Like teachers, CPS now has a legislative mandate to include student performance as part of a principal’s evaluation. This mandate is independent of local school councils’ obligation to review principal performance. Principals must meet a higher student performance standard than teachers: 50 percent of their evaluation is based on student growth measures, with the remaining 50 percent based on principal practice. In its first year, the student-growth measures lowered many principals evaluations, and the process became bogged down with paperwork, according to some principals.
See CPS unveils new principal evaluations, Catalyst January 17, 2013; Few principals earn top, bottom rating under new evaluation, Catalyst December 9, 2013; Talking With Principals, Part 3: Evaluating educators, Catalyst June 12, 2014
Will PAARC exams lead to even lower principal evaluation scores? Which evaluation will matter more to principals – their LSCs or network chief?