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Knowledge From the Field

Assessing the Effectiveness of School Leaders: New Directions and New Processes

Published: March 2009

Publisher(s): Wallace Foundation

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

View Report (20 pages; 1.66MB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Accountability

Abstract: Well-designed assessment processes have the potential to be a powerful and constructive way to identify leaders’ strengths and weaknesses and encourage focus on the actions likeliest to bring about better teaching and learning. The report discusses possible new directions in leader assessment and outlines goals and criteria for better assessment based on current research and experience. It also highlights several newly developed instruments that apply those criteria.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= High-quality assessments should exhibit the following traits: measure what was originally intended, consistently apply and test for fairness, be an ongoing process for professional growth, be based on best available evidence according to multiple sources, reinforce the organization’s core goals, provide actionable feedback on what matters most, and help build a culture of continuous improvement.

= School leaders should be assessed on behavior and actions that impact teaching and learning, which if improved will have the greatest likelihood of bettering the quality of teaching and learning.

= The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education was created to measure behaviors associated with learning-centered leadership. It consists of six “Core Components of School Performance” – the “what” of effective leadership – and six “Key Processes of Leadership” – the “how”.

Geographic Focus : National

Subjects/Keywords : Accountability; teacher quality; leadership development; school reform; leader assessment

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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