A committee of the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) has developed a model for evaluating the professional practice of principals. The model was designed to meet the requirements of Maine’s educator effectiveness law and the rule implementing that law (which was provisionally-adopted this month). While the final rule has not yet been adopted, Department staff have reviewed the MPA model and determined that it meets the criteria currently proposed in the rule for the professional practice element of principal evaluation.
Since the MPA released its model last year, the Department has received some questions about how the model can be used to comply with Maine law and rule, and what parts of the model are required in order to comply. The following paragraphs attempt to answer those questions and to provide further clarity about the model.
1.) The MPA model, titled Principal Evaluation System, meets the criteria of the law and the proposed rule only for the Professional Practice element of a system. A Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth system must also include Student Learning and Growth Measures. While Domain 2 of the MPA model is entitled “Student Growth and Achievement,” that Domain does not satisfy the Student Learning and Growth Measures element of a principal evaluation system, (SECTION 7 of the Provisional Rule) because it does not incorporate student growth data directly as one of the multiple measures of principal effectiveness. When the multiple measures of principal (or teacher) effectiveness are combined to arrive at a summative rating, student learning and growth measures must be based on growth data and must be factored separately from the professional practice element in a numerical scale or matrix. The Provisional Rule requires that student learning and growth measures must have a discernible impact on an educator’s summative evaluation. If a percentage system is used, the student learning and growth measures must be no less than 20% of the educator’s summative rating.
2.) When the Department reviews a model for evaluating the professional practice of principals, we look to see whether the modal has the following three parts: practice standards aligned with the ISLLC 2008 Standards; descriptors or examples of the standards; and rubrics for each standard. The MPA model satisfies these three requirements but also includes other components, such as the 360 Survey and Self-Assessment Tool. These other components are optional; districts may choose to include a survey or self-assessment tool as one of its measures of effectiveness or choose to incorporate other types of measures. A district may also choose to use tools such as surveys and self-assessments formatively to improve practice rather than as factors in a summative rating.
3.) Similarly, the “Examples of Evidence” and “Measurement Examples” in the MPA model are in fact examples and are not required in order to have an approvable professional practice model. The Department interprets these examples as providing educators with an understanding of what the standards might look like in practice as well as providing guidance in determining locally appropriate evidence of the standards.
The Department congratulates the MPA Supervision and Evaluation Committee for their hard work in creating a strong model for Maine schools, and hopes that this dispatch provides guidance in the use of the model as part of a performance evaluation and professional growth system.