GSU Workshop Brings 120 School Districts Administrators Together

Donna Joy
Dr. Donna Joy, principal evaluation project leader, works with school administrators from across the state. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

University Park, IL –(ENEWSPF)—More than 120 school and district administrators from 40 school districts throughout Illinois participated in a workshop recently sponsored by Governors State University (GSU) in University Park. The workshop presented the details of the new principal performance-based evaluation process the educators are piloting this year. The new evaluation process will measure the effectiveness of administrators, including data on the impact on student learning.

The principal performance-based evaluation process was developed in a partnership of the Metropolitan Institute for Leadership in Education (MILE) and the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant. MILE/TQP brought educators together with representatives from 14 regional, partner school districts to design the new system with assistance from Dr. Joseph Murphy, from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Murphy is one of the nation’s leading experts in educational administration policy who has worked with several states in the development of new principal evaluations. “This pilot is the best I have seen in place thus far,” Dr. Murphy noted.

“We were pleased by the number of additional districts that wished to participate in the pilot year of this evaluation process. We have made significant progress in creating an evaluation system that measures the aspects of leadership and principal effectiveness that are deemed important not only at our local, regional level, but also at the state level,” said Dr. Karen Peterson, co-director of the TQP grant. 

Dr. Donna Joy, recently retired superintendent of Flossmoor School District 161, is the project leader. She remarked that the pilot has grown from 14 school districts to more than 40 districts with representation throughout the state, from Quincy to Lake Zurich.

Districts from the south suburbs whose administrators participated in the development of the prototype include Blue Island 130, Calumet 132, Posen/Robbins 143.5, Dolton 148, South Holland 151, Harvey 152, Lansing 158, Flossmoor 161, Matteson 162, Brookwood 167, Ford Heights 169, Chicago Heights 170, Bloom Township 206 and Rich Township 227.

According to Dr. Pam Guimond, co-director of the grant, the GSU system combines best practices with hard data on principal effectiveness. It merges the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED), with student achievement, and principal and district goals’ assessments. “Quality evaluations are based on establishing quality goals. The district superintendents and principals collaboratively established goals by which the principals will be evaluated.” 

By participating in this pilot, school districts position themselves to comply with an Illinois mandate to evaluate all principals in a performance-based model by 2012. The GSU MILE/TQP Principal Performance-Based Evaluation Pilot is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.