Bill H.1089 187th (2011 - 2012)
An Act relative to principal leadership in schools
By Ms. Walz of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1089) of Martha M. Walz, Carolyn C. Dykema and John V. Fernandes relative to school principal evaluations. Education.
Section 37. The school committee in each city and town and each regional school district shall have the power to select and to terminate the superintendent, shall evaluate the superintendent annually, shall review and approve budgets for public education in the district, and shall establish educational goals and policies for the schools in the district consistent with the requirements of law and statewide goals and standards established by the board of elementary and secondary education. Said superintendent evaluation shall be conducted according to procedures developed by the local school committee, provided that the evaluation shall include whether or not the superintendent has evaluated district and school staff, including principals, as required. The school committee in each city, town and regional school district may select a superintendent jointly with other school committees and the superintendent shall serve as the superintendent of all of the districts that selected him.
SECTION 2. Section 38 of Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting before the first paragraph the following paragraph:-
As used in this section, the following terms shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
“Board”, the board of elementary and secondary education.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
“Department”, the department of elementary and secondary education.
“Evaluator”, the superintendent, or a designee, who conducts the evaluation.
SECTION 3. Said section 38, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “of”, in line 16, the following:-
elementary and secondary
SECTION 4. Said section 38, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the third paragraph the following paragraphs:-
The board shall develop a model rubric, aligned with state leadership standards, that provides concrete descriptions of performance for school principals at no less than three rating levels. Each superintendent shall adopt a rubric to be used in the evaluation of principals based on said model rubric.
At the beginning of each school year, school principals and their evaluator shall devise professional development plans for the year, and performance evaluations for said principals shall be based in part on how well the professional development plan was carried out. At the end of each school year, school principals and their evaluators shall have an end of year conference to discuss the annual performance evaluation, review the year, assess progress on the professional development plan, and set goals for the future.
Evaluations of school principals shall be aligned with leadership standards established by the board and shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
(i) a self- assessment by the principal on his strengths and weaknesses, including evidence to support that assessment, to which the evaluator shall provide feedback and recommendations for improvement;
(ii) goals and a plan aligned with school improvement goals, jointly developed by the principal and the evaluator, for improving the performance of a school's administrators, teachers, staff and students;
(iii) an assessment of whether the principal evaluated other school employees as required;
(iv) an assessment of how, if at all, the principal uses and analyzes data, including student achievement data, to inform school policy;
(v) an assessment of how the principal has involved parents in the education of their children and in the school community;
(vi) multiple indicators of school quality, including student attendance, dismissal, and exclusion rates; student promotion and graduation rates; teacher and staff attendance and attrition rates; and student achievement data;
(vii) evaluation by other school employees, which may include confidential staff surveys related to working conditions and instructional support;
(viii) interim benchmarks;
(ix) periodic observations by evaluators; and
(x) the training or support that will be available to help the principal achieve his goals.
The superintendent shall ensure that all evaluators have training in the principles of supervision and evaluation and have, or have available to them, expertise in the subject matter or areas to be evaluated.
SECTION 5. Said section 38, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “sixty-three”, in line 69, the following:-
, and for school principals, to inform the professional development plan.
The board shall make available to school districts a list of resources to help them create an evaluation system for principals that aligns with state criteria. The resource list shall identify assessments, processes, tools, and policies that a school district may use to develop an evaluation system for principals that complies with the provisions of this section. The board shall include resources that are appropriate to school districts of different sizes, demographics, and locations. The board shall update the resource list at least annually to reflect new research and ongoing experience.
SECTION 6. Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 38G the following section:-
Section 38G ½. As used in this section, the following terms shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
“Board”, the board of elementary and secondary education.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
“Department”, the department of elementary and secondary education.
To be eligible for initial licensure as a principal, the candidate shall provide evidence that he (i) holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; (ii) has passed a test established by the board which shall consist of two parts: (A) a writing section which shall demonstrate the communication and literacy skills necessary for effective instruction and improved communication between schools and parents; and (B) the subject matter knowledge for the license; (iii) has demonstrated successful application of the professional standards for administrators through completion of a performance assessment for initial license; (iv) has completed at least three full years of employment in an executive management or leadership role or in a supervisory, teaching, or administrative role in a public school, private school, higher education, or other educational setting accepted by the department; and (v) one of the following: (A) completion of an administrative apprenticeship or internship of 300 hours in the principal role at the level of the license sought with a trained mentor using guidelines established by the department; (B) completion of an approved post-baccalaureate program of studies including a supervised practicum or practicum equivalent of 300 hours in the role of this license; or (C) completion of a panel review, provided the candidate has completed a post-baccalaureate program in management or administration at an accredited institution or has three full years of employment in an executive, management, leadership, supervisory, or administrative role.
To be eligible for professional licensure as a principal, the candidate shall provide evidence that he (i) holds an initial school principal license in that level; (ii) has at least three full years of employment in the role of principal under that license; and (iii) has completed a one-year induction program with a trained mentor.
School districts shall provide said induction program for all principals in their first year of practice, which shall include assignment of a first year principal to a trained mentor within the first two weeks of working.
Any individual who has served as a principal, superintendent, or assistant superintendent in Massachusetts for five or more years and who has demonstrated success as an instructional leader, including by meeting established best practice and research based criteria as defined by the board, shall be eligible to serve as a mentor.
The school district employing the new principal shall assign a mentor to the new principal based on (i) similarity of grade level or type of school, (ii) learning needs of the new principal, (iii) geographic proximity of the mentor to the new principal, and (iv) willingness of the mentor to perform in that role.
Mentors shall receive training by entities approved by the board and shall meet any other requirements set forth by the board and by the school district employing the mentor.
The new principal, in collaboration with the mentor, shall identify areas for professional growth, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) analyzing student achievement data and applying it to practice;
(ii) aligning professional development and instructional programs;
(iii) building a professional learning community;
(iv) evaluation of personnel, including observing classroom practices and providing feedback;
(v) facilitating effective meetings;
(vi) instructional leadership;
(vii) facilitating organizational change;
(viii) creating a safe school culture;
(ix) budgeting; or
The mentor and principal shall meet not less than three times per semester. At each meeting, they shall discuss progress on the areas of professional growth and other topics as jointly determined by the mentor and principal. Any written or other reports of a mentor regarding a principal assigned to the mentor may not be used in the evaluation of the principal.
The district employing the principal or the mentor may provide a stipend for the mentor or provide release time for a principal or superintendent acting as a mentor.
All induction programs shall submit an annual report to the department that includes the following information: (i) the number and a complete list of trained mentors involved in the program; (ii) the number of site-based visits made by mentors; (iii) the number of hours that mentors and principals spent with each other; (iv) the retention rates for first-year principals; (v) participant satisfaction; and (vi) partnerships developed with other districts, professional associations, and institutions of higher education to support the principal induction program.
The board shall promulgate rules for the approval of said induction programs and for the review of approved induction programs.
The board shall establish policies and guidelines for a principal preparation program and the commissioner may approve principal preparation programs. The policies, guidelines, and approved principal preparation programs shall be aligned with the standards and qualifications for principal licenses adopted by the board. A school or other institution offering an approved principal preparation program shall certify to the commissioner that a student has demonstrated satisfactory competence in the skills and knowledge expected of college graduates in the most advanced nations and has completed the program approved. The school or other institution shall also provide the commissioner with a transcript of the student’s record.
The policies and guidelines established by the board for an approved principal preparation program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) instruction in instructional leadership, including state curriculum frameworks and student performance standards;
(ii) instruction in teacher and staff evaluation skills and methods, including observation, performance analysis, and documentation;
(iii) practical experience in actual classroom and school situations, during which the candidate must demonstrate the knowledge and skills described in state leadership standards;
(iv) field experiences in schools of varied socioeconomic and cultural characteristics, organized around student achievement problems;
(v) observation and evaluation of preparation program faculty members who are teaching a course for credit in the principal preparation program during not less than two regularly scheduled classes;
(vi) ongoing screening and counseling of principal candidates by practicing administrators or faculty;
(vii) proficiencies in the analysis of student assessment data and its use in setting school policy;
(viii) an emphasis on developing the essential competencies for increasing student achievement and for improving the safe and efficient management of schools;
(ix) proficiencies in comprehensive, long range planning, informed by multiple data sources, to determine the present state of the school, identify root causes of problems, propose solutions and validate improvements with regard to all aspects of the school, including instructional practices; and
(x) instruction in parent and community relationships.
Approved principal preparation programs and school districts shall develop agreements on how to provide internships for principal candidates that address state leadership standards. Approved principal preparation programs and school districts shall also work to jointly identify potential candidates for the district to move into the position of principal. Approved principal preparation programs and districts may jointly design the internship framework, define learning expectations, or provide training and support for mentors and principal candidates.
The commissioner shall annually report to the joint committee on education on the effectiveness of principal preparation programs. The report shall include the percentage of principal candidates graduating from each principal preparation program during the preceding twelve months that applied for and received a principal license. The commissioner shall file said report not later than July 31.
At the end of each five-year period each principal shall attest to and provide appropriate supporting evidence and documentation to the department, in such form and at such time as the commissioner shall prescribe, that the principal has successfully completed a professional development plan which meets the standards set by the board.
In addition to any other requirements of this section, the board shall require, as a provision of a principal’s relicensure, that the principal shall have received training in strategies for effective inclusive schooling for children with disabilities, instruction of students with diverse learning styles, and classroom organization and management. Such training shall include, at a minimum, practical experience in the application of these strategies.
All school district professional development plans shall have as an objective the satisfactory completion of the individual professional development plans required by this section; provided, however, that this requirement shall not be construed to require that a school district or the commonwealth provide funding for the fulfillment of the professional development requirements of this section and section thirty-eight Q beyond the foundation budget.
The board shall establish policies and guidelines for the approval of courses, seminars, projects, and other activities that would be deemed sufficient to maintain or enhance the professional skills and knowledge pertinent to particular licenses in accordance with the same procedures used for initial approval of principal preparation programs. The commissioner shall establish for each license alternate methods for fulfilling the professional development requirement, at least one of which must be at no cost to persons employed by a school district who are engaging in such an activity for the purpose of satisfying the professional development requirements for relicensure of this section.
Each local and regional school district shall attest to the department, in such form and at such time as the commissioner shall prescribe, that professional development activities for which credit toward licensure renewal is granted meet the requirements set by the board and are documented in accordance with procedures established by the board.
SECTION 7. Section 38Q of Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraphs:-
For principals, the plan shall be aligned with state leadership standards and criteria and shall include training in:
(i) instructional leadership, including state curriculum frameworks, student performance standards, how to impact student learning, and how to build staff capacity for student learning;
(ii) strategic leadership, including comprehensive school reform, managing change, student performance data analysis, and long and short term planning;
(iii) how to improve all instruction through effective teacher and supervisor evaluation skills and methods, including observation, performance analysis and documentation, and how to identify the professional development needs of teachers and other staff that will contribute to improved instructional practice;
(iv) coordinated management of teachers’ time;
(v) how to use interim assessments to improve teaching and learning; and
(vi) for elementary school principals, literacy and early childhood education and development, transition strategies and how to work more collaboratively with community-based early childhood education providers in order to support increased school readiness for students.
Professional development plans for principals shall be aligned with school and district improvement goals, shall include a component for self-evaluation, and shall be linked to student results. The professional development plan for principals shall include documentation on how a principal who receives professional development that has been required or offered by the state or a school district incorporates the results of that professional development in the school.
At the beginning of each school year, principals shall devise professional development plans for the year, and performance evaluations shall be based in part on how well the professional development plan was carried out.
SECTION 8. Said section 38Q, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the second paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
The commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall prepare each year a plan for providing statewide assistance in the preparation and implementation of professional development plans in conjunction with a broad-based coalition of teachers, principals, superintendents, and higher education representatives. Such plan shall provide opportunities for district collaboration and shall evaluate the feasibility of obtaining assistance from institutions of higher education and private service providers. The plan shall include data that demonstrates, statewide and by school district, the types of professional development provided for educators who work with limited English proficient students. The commissioner shall consult with the board of higher education in developing said plan. To support the development of said statewide plan, the department of elementary and secondary education shall document district professional development practices and shall create a network of schools and districts that demonstrate high-quality professional development practices that show evidence of improving student achievement. Said network shall support low-performing schools and districts in the development of professional development plans that improve student achievement. The plan shall be submitted to the board of elementary and secondary education for approval. A copy of said plan shall be submitted to the joint committee on education of the general court not later than July 31.
Petitioners: Martha M. Walz, Carolyn C. Dykema, John V. Fernandes
Emergency Preamble: Yes