Current accountability systems place too much emphasis on student test scores to gauge school, teacher, and student performance rather than focusing on building the capacity of educators to improve schools.
Instead, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) recommends in its newly released 2013 policy platform ways that that legislators can improve current laws to:
Acknowledge the core competencies of effective principals;
Develop comprehensive, fair, and objective principal evaluation systems;
Develop accountability systems that include growth models and multiple measures;
Hold principal preparation programs to common high standards;
Insist on standards-based certification, induction, and mentoring;
Invest in identifying and retaining effective principals;
Dedicate ongoing professional development that strengthens core competencies; and
Strengthen elementary principals’ knowledge of early childhood education.
“The evidence about successful schools is clear: A great teacher makes a great classroom, but only a principal can lead and sustain long-term improvements. As lawmakers regroup for the 113th Congress and consider where to take federal education reform and legislation, the principal’s voice must be heard,” said NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly. “It is time for federal education policy to better acknowledge the evidence on the important role of principals and support effective instructional leadership. We know that building the capacity of principals will lead to sustained school improvement so that every school can benefit from a strong leader who can create the optimum conditions for teaching and learning.”