Strengthening classroom and school leadership through appropriate evaluation techniques are the most effective methods for school improvement and student achievement. During my tenure as Superintendent, I have implemented a variety of strategies for teacher and principal accountability which directly apply to the enhancement of those evaluated and the improvement of classrooms and schools. The effectiveness of these strategies has ensured that all students reach ambitious levels of performance as evidenced by our improved District scores and graduation/completion rates.
The process of evaluation development has been a collaboration between our administrative team and the instruments and guidelines developed by the Mississippi Department of Education. The Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric and the Mississippi Principal Evaluation System, new standards utilizing best practices and research, form the foundation of our evaluation strategies. These devices have been the result of diligent research and were carefully scrutinized by our administrative team before modification and implementation.
Our teacher evaluation system has been modified and implemented to most effectively impact student learning. Our evaluation instrument successfully tracks each aspect of teacher performance, including planning strategies, assessment, instructional delivery, learning environment, and professional development. Our methodology collects and organizes teacher evaluation data, provides adequate feedback for flexible instructional adjustments, and devises plans for effective professional growth.
The principal’s role is defined by the demonstration of actions that builds appropriate policies and procedures, establishes structures conducive for student and teacher success, ensures effective management, and provides a safe, efficient learning environment. Evaluation strategies targeted for principals measure leadership behaviors, the effects of principal leadership, and track school outcomes. Principal evaluations are evidenced-based, with benchmarks guided by collaborations between the principal and supervisor. Guidance for principals is derived from both formative and summative evaluations and includes constructive feedback, with flexible options and timelines for improvement.
The implementation of our processes of teacher and principal evaluation systems have allowed our District to solidify our vision and mission, improve the quality of instruction, focus upon continuous school improvement, and establish on-going monitoring and accountability benchmarks. We are highlighting learning-centered leadership in each classroom and school environment to reach our foremost goal, the constant improvement of student achievement.