Advertisement

Association of District Principal Evaluation with learning-centered leadership practice: Evidence from Michigan and Beijing

  • Min Sun
  • Peter Youngs
  • Haiyan Yang
  • Hongqi Chu
  • Qian Zhao
Article

Abstract

Principal evaluation has become a key component of national policy debates on developing effective leaders. To contribute to these debates, this study draws on survey data to explore how principals in Michigan and metropolitan Beijing behaved differently in enacting leadership related to teaching and learning, and how they were evaluated differently by districts in these two regions in 2007–08 (Michigan) and 2008–09 (Beijing). We further combine these two independent samples and build two-level Multivariate Hierarchical Linear Models (HMLM) to estimate the extent to which district evaluation features were associated with principal leadership practice. Descriptive results indicated that Beijing principals were more likely to engage in core activities of instructional leadership (such as direct interactions with students about their learning, observing classrooms, and providing feedback to teachers) than their Michigan peers. Moreover, HMLM results suggest that district principal evaluation can serve as a powerful policy instrument to promote instructional leadership and should emphasize principals’ organizational impact on instructional and learning outcomes in determining evaluation purposes, contents, and sources of evidence.

Keywords

Principal leadership District principal evaluation Developing effective leaders Empirical study 

References

  1. Bottoms, G. (2001). What school principals need to know about curriculum and instruction. New York, NY: The Wallace Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. Bryk, A., & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Bryk, A. S., Sebring, P. B., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S., & Easton, J. Q. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Burch, P., & Spillane, J. P. (2003). Elementary school leadership strategies and subject matter: reforming mathematics and literacy instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 103(5), 519–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Catano, N., & Stronge, J. H. (2006). What are principals expected to do? Congruence between prinicipal evaluation and performance standards. NASSP Bulletin, 90(3), 221–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, F. (2011). Empirical investigation on instructional leadership behaviors of elementary and secondary school principals. Shanghai Jiaoyu Keyan, 3, 34–36.Google Scholar
  7. Chu, H. (2003). Construct the knowledge base for principal professionalization. Theory and Practice of Education, 23(12), 27–32.Google Scholar
  8. Chu, H., & Cravens, X. C. (2011). Principal professional development in China: Challenges, opportunities, and strategies. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.Google Scholar
  9. Chu, H., & Liu, J. (2010). Promoting principal instructional leadership. The Elementary and Middle Schools Administration, 3, 4–16.Google Scholar
  10. Chu, H., & Yang, H. (2002). Principal's specialization and its guarantee system. Theory and Practice of Education, 22(11), 20–26.Google Scholar
  11. Chu, H., & Yang, H. (2009). Towards principal professionalization. Shanghai: Shanghai Education Publishing House.Google Scholar
  12. Coburn, C. E. (2001). Collective sensemaking about reading: how teachers mediate reading policy in their professional communities. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23(2), 145–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cravens, X. C. (2008). The cross-cultural fit of the learning-centered leadership framework and assessment for Chinese principals. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.Google Scholar
  14. Creemers, B. P. M., & Reezigt, G. J. (1996). School level conditions affecting the effectiveness of instruction. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 7, 197–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Davis, S. H., & Hensley, P. A. (1999). The politics of principal evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 13(4), 383–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Doud, J. L., & Keller, E. P. (1998). The K–8 principal in 1998: A ten-year study. Alexandria, VA: National Association of Elementary School Principals.Google Scholar
  17. Goldring, E., Porter, A. C., Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2007). Assessing learning-centered leadership: Connections to research, professional standards, and current practices. New York, NY: The Wallace Foundation.Google Scholar
  18. Goldring, E., Cravens, X. C., Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., Carson, B., & Porter, A. C. (March, 2008). The evaluation of principals: What and how do states and districts assess leadership? Paper presented at the annual meeting of American Education Research Association, New York, NY. Retrieved from http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/Documents/pdf/LSI/AERA_EvaluationPrincipals.pdf.
  19. Goldring, E., Cravens, X. C., Murphy, J., Porter, A. C., Elliot, S. N., & Carson, B. (2009). The evaluation of principals: What and how do states and urban districts assess leadership? The Elementary School Journal, 110(1), 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guo, K. (2005). The trend of evaluation for elementary and secondary school principals. Instruction and Administration, (1), 5-7.Google Scholar
  21. Hallinger, P. (2011). Leadership for learning: lessons from 40 years of empirical research. Journal of Educational Administration, 40(2), 125–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (1996). Reassessing the principal’s role in school effectiveness: a review of empirical research, 1980–1995. Educational Administration Quarterly, 32(1), 5–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. (1999). Next generation methods for the study of leadership and school improvement. In J.Murphy & K. S. Louis (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational administration, second edition (pp. 141-162). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  24. Hallinger, P., Bickman, L., & Davis, K. (1996). School context, principal leadership, and student reading achievement. The Elementary School Journal, 96(5), 527–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heck, R. (1992). Principals’ instructional leadership and school performance: implications for policy development. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 14(1), 21–34.Google Scholar
  26. Heck, R. H., & Marcoulides, G. A. (1996). The assessment of principal performance: a multilevel evaluation approach. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 10(1), 11–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heck, R. H., Larsen, T. J., & Marcoulides, G. A. (1990). Instructional leadership and school achievement: validation of a causal model. Educational Administration Quarterly, 26(2), 94–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hipp, K. A. (1996). Teacher efficacy: Influence of principal leadership behavior. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Jing, W. (2010). School leadership in two countries: Shared leadership in American and Chinese high schools. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Arizona State University, Arizona.Google Scholar
  30. Kimball, S. M., Milanowski, A., & McKinney, S. A. (2007). Implementation of standards-based principal evaluation in one school district: First year results from randomized trial. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.Google Scholar
  31. Lashway, L. (2003). Improving Principal Evaluation. ERIC Digest. Access ERIC: Full Text (071 Information Analyses--ERIC IAPs No. EDO-EA-03-09). Oregon: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.Google Scholar
  32. Leithwood, K. (1994). Leadership for school restructuring. Educational Administration Quarterly, 30(4), 498–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Leithwood, K. (1996). School restructuring, transformational leadership and the amelioration of teacher burnout. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 9, 199–215Google Scholar
  34. Leithwood, K., & Janzi, D. (2005). A review of transformational school leadership research. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4, 177–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning: The Wallace Foundation.Google Scholar
  36. Linn, R. L. (2000). Assessment and accountability. Educational Researcher, 29(2), 4–16.Google Scholar
  37. Louis, K. S., Marks, H. M., & Kruse, S. D. (1996). Teachers’ professional community in restructuring schools. American Educational Research Journal, 33, 757–798.Google Scholar
  38. Mangin, M. M. (2007). Facilitating elementary principals’ support for instructional teacher leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(3), 319–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marcoulides, G. A., Larsen, T. J., & Heck, R. H. (1995). Examining the generalizability of a leadership model: issues for assessing administrator performance. International Journal of Educational Management, 9(6), 4–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marks, H. M., & Nance, J. P. (2007). Contexts of accountability under systemic reform: implications for principal influence on instruction and supervision. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(1), 3–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.Google Scholar
  42. Murphy, J. (2007). Restructuring through learning-focused leadership, pp. 71–84. Handbook on Restructuring & Substantial School Improvement, edited by Herbert J Walberg. Center on Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  43. Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., Goldring, E., & Porter, A. C. (2007). Leadership for learning: a research-based model and taxonomy of behaviors. School Leadership and Management, 27(2), 179–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Murphy, J. F., Goldring, E. B., Cravens, X. C., Eliot, S. N., & Porter, A. C. (2007). The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education: Measuring Learning-Centered Leadership. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.Google Scholar
  45. Newmann, F. M. (1997). How secondary schools contribute to academic success. In K. Borman & B. Schneider (Eds.), Youth experiences and development: Social influences and educational challenges. McCutchan: Berkeley, CA.Google Scholar
  46. Newmann, F. M., King, M. B., & Youngs, P. (2000). Professional development that addresses school capacity: Lessons from urban elementary schools. American Journal of Education, 108(4), 259–299.Google Scholar
  47. Newmann, F., Smith B., Allensworth, E., & Bryk, A. (2001). Instructional program coherence: What it is and why it should guide school improvement policy. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,23 (4), 297-321.Google Scholar
  48. OECD. (2010). PISA 2009 at a Glance: OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264095298-en.
  49. Payne, D., & Wolfson, T. (2000). Teacher professional development–the principal's critical role. NASSP Bulletin, 84(618), 13–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Portin, B. S., Feldman, S., & Knapp, M. S. (2006). Purposes, uses, and practices of leadership assessment in education. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, University of Washington.Google Scholar
  51. Qian, H. (2009). Secondary school principalship in China: Leading at the cusp of change. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.Google Scholar
  52. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  53. Reeves, D. B. (2005). Assessing educational leaders: Evaluating performance for improved individual and organizational results. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.Google Scholar
  54. Stein, M. K., & D’Amico, L. (2002). Inquiry at the crossroads of policy and learning: A study of a district-wide literacy initiative. Teachers College Record, 104(7), 1313–1344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stein, M. K., & Nelson, B. S. (2003). Leadership content knowledge. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 25(4), 423–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stein, M. K., & Spillane, J. P. (2005). How can educational leaders support and promote teaching and learning? New conceptions of learning and leading in schools. In W. A. Firestone & C. Riehl (Eds.), A new agenda for research in educational leadership (pp. 28–45). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  57. Stine, D. O. (2001). Developing an evaluation system to improve principal performance and accountability. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle.Google Scholar
  58. Sun, M. & Youngs, P. (2009). How does district principal evaluation affect learningcentered principal leadership? Evidence from Michigan school districts. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 8(4), 411–445.Google Scholar
  59. Sun, M., Frank, K., Penuel, W. R., & Kim, C. (2010). Formal versus informal leaders: How institutions penetrate schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
  60. Sun, M., Penuel, W. R., Frank, K. A., Youngs, P., & Gallagher, H. A. (2011). Shaping professional development to promote the diffusion of instructional expertise among teachers. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  61. Walker, J., & Slear, S. (2011). The impact of principal leadership behaviors on the efficacy of new and experienced middle school teachers. NASSP Bulletin, 95(1), 46–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Xin, Z., & Wang, L. (2006). Review of elementary and secondary school principals evaluation. Theory and Practice of Education, 26(9), 13–15.Google Scholar
  63. Xu, P. (2010). Improving principals' instructional leadership through reviewing and evaluating classroom instruction. The Elementary and Middle Schools Administration, 03, 14–16.Google Scholar
  64. Yang, H. (2006). Principal career ladder: promoting elementary and secondary school principals' professionalism. Modern Elementary and Secondary Education, 146(4), 63–66.Google Scholar
  65. Zhao, Q., & Liu, J. (2010). Principals' instructional leadership in China. The Elementary and Middle Schools Administration, 03, 10–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Sun
    • 1
  • Peter Youngs
    • 2
  • Haiyan Yang
    • 3
  • Hongqi Chu
    • 4
  • Qian Zhao
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Teacher EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.College of EducationRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  4. 4.Faculty of EducationBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations