WEC Article Describing Kimball-Arrigoni Study of School Principal Evaluations Published

September 15, 2023   |   By WCER Communications

WEC Co-Director Steve Kimball and Researcher Jessica Arrigoni

WEC Co-Director Steve Kimball and Researcher Jessica Arrigoni

Wisconsin has required school districts to develop an evaluation system measuring the performance of teachers and principals since 2014.

But while districts and schools in the state are increasingly tailoring local practices to support teachers, the aspect of principal evaluation and support has received less attention, producing a mixed bag of district effectiveness in leveraging principal performance for school improvement, according to a recent study by WCER's Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative(WEC).

Study authors Steve Kimball and Jessica Arrigoni explain their findings in "Principles for Principal Evaluation," an article they wrote for the August issue of Wisconsin School News, the official publication of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Kimball is a scientist and co-director of WEC and Arrigoni is a qualitative researcher and program evaluator.

Their study, "Wisconsin Principal Evaluation and Professional Learning," identified promising practices some districts used to support principal professional learning and purposefully align the process to support school and district improvement priorities. Findings also uncovered missed opportunities to strategically leverage the evaluation process, in some cases tied to inadequate communication between principals and school/district leaders.

"While some principals...described rich, ongoing conversations with their supervisors, others received little evaluation and feedback from district leaders," the article notes.

WEC provides culturally responsive evaluation and program support for youth-supporting organizations and initiatives. Its evaluation services include logic modeling and evaluation planning, data sourcing and collection, and surveys and focus groups.