Exploring Novice Principal Perception of Whether Alignment exist Between Their Principal Development Program and Their Evaluation Rubric
This qualitative study explored whether novice principals believed their principal development program had adequately prepared them for high-performance ratings on the principal evaluation rubric. Over the past two decades, legislation has stressed that student achievement is an essential component of leadership effectiveness (Pannell & McBrayer, 2022). However, defining and clarifying the principal’s impact on campus performance continues to remain challenging (Hutton, 2019). Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of novice principals from 10 school districts in a Southeast Region of Texas. Typically, principal supervisors are responsible for the novice principals' evaluation and growth. Interview responses indicated that most principal supervisors performed these tasks in isolation. Participants agreed that their principal development program did not adequately prepare them for the principal role. The findings of this study and the parallels to the literature review indicate the significance of developing Principal Development Programs (PDPs) aligned with the evaluation criteria in their rubrics. When developing high-performing principals, the educational community might benefit from exploring the curriculum design for PDPs in school districts and educator preparation programs. Novice principals did not perceive that their PDPs prepared them for a high-performance rating based on their principal evaluation rubrics. Participants’ responses indicated their PDPs had limited overall value due to lack of comprehensive content to adequately prepare them for the principal role. The results from interview responses concluded that the role of the principal supervisor on the novice principal was more impactful on their development. A consensus surfaced in the interview responses when participants attributed their success to the support they received from their principal supervisor. Participants believed that mentoring and coaching had the most significant influence on their development. In addition, principal supervisors who understood how to perform their roles were equipped to align support and training opportunities geared to enhance principal performance. Therefore, school districts must develop principal supervisors who are knowledgeable about the principal role and capable of creating and modifying PDPs in ways that will produce high-performing principals.