The purpose of this study was to gather perceptions of principals and teachers with regard to the effectiveness of principals as evaluators of teachers. Perceptions were reviewed within the context of seven standards across the four attributes of the personnel standards developed by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (Joint Committee, 2009). These standards, organized by attributes, define quality personnel evaluation in education.
The research was exploratory and utilized quantitative research methods. Principal and teacher participants were asked to identify their perceptions of the frequency with which principals followed effective evaluation practices. Teacher participants were also asked to identify the relative importance of the practices as a factor of effective evaluation. Because validity and reliability are of heightened importance when evaluation results are applied to performance pay decisions (Loup & Ellett, 1997), the study used perceptions of middle school principals and tenured teachers who participated in the Minnesota Q-Comp program (Q-Comp), a performance based merit pay system.
An analysis of the findings indicated that principals are effective evaluators of teachers. Teachers rated principals as "Often" following the effective practices on 16 of the 24 practices. Principals' self ratings generally mirrored those of the teachers with principals frequently rating themselves higher. A further analysis based on the relative importance of each practice as ranked by teachers further supports principal effectiveness as evaluators. Principals' practices which are ranked higher in frequency are the practices that teachers identified as most important. Principals' practices that are ranked lower in frequency are of lower importance to the teachers.
This study found that principals are effective evaluators of tenured teachers as determined by the frequency with which they follow national personnel evaluation standards. The study suggests implications for principal preparation programs and district in-service training based on the effective practice skills analysis. The study further suggests that principals are capable of assuming a significant role in tenured teacher evaluation in a performance pay system.