I rang up a few San Diego Unified board members to get their thoughts on the newly proposed way of evaluating principals, which includes test scores.

Several of the trustees are out of town or even out of the country, but John de Beck took a look at the proposed criteria and shot me some comments by e-mail that he addressed to “Emily (The Voice) Alpert.” De Beck said he is game for evaluating principals on student attendance and the goals they’ve developed for their own schools. However, some of the other criteria make him worry:

Achievement gap: While I agree that the goals for all students should be growth. I do not believe that closing the gap should be a single goal since it could mean deemphasis of efforts to help high achievers in order to close the gap. Most national data supports that good instruction helps all students and not necessarily one group. Those that close the gap may be missing my point and working on the gap alone.

He also had concerns about using No Child Left Behind test results:

[T]he measure needs some constraints. What if the school changes demographics or receives a batch of far below basic kids from a earlier school experience?

De Beck also noted that the proposal cannot simply be imposed on the principals, because they are now unionized. Check back for more blog posts about reactions to the new proposal. Want to check out the proposal yourself? You can find the new evaluation, plus a description of how it came about, by clicking here.


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