Recent Board Comments

Chairman Gilliss, Vice Chair Stewart, Superintendent White, and
Members of the Board,

In January of this year I spoke to this Board of the necessity to provide essential professional development to the Community Superintendents and Executive Directors in the 4 System Zones around the shift in supervision of Principals from an outdated compliance mindset to one of coaching and support to improve the principals’ capacity for instructional leadership. I shared then that, sadly, there was great inconsistency within and between the Zones as to how principals were supported and evaluated.

Tonight, I am most pleased to share with you that under the leadership of Superintendent White, COE Billy Burke, and the Community Superintendents, BCPS has committed to changing that paradigm.

For the last few months, a representative workgroup has worked diligently to rework the principal evaluation which is framed by the 10 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELs). Through a partnership with CASE, a meaningful and purposeful framework has been developed. This framework however, isn’t worth the paper on which it is printed if not implemented effectively and consistently across the system.

To ensure the fidelity of the implementation of this evaluation system, the leadership staff in all Zones have participated in unpacking the philosophy and strategies in supervising principals as laid out in the PSEL companion document Voluntary Standards for Principal Supervisors. In addition to this initial professional development for all Zone staff, the executive directors will meet regularly over the course of this school year as a professional learning community to share experiences, seek clarification, and learn from one another.

This ongoing collaboration between zone leadership will help create much needed consistency and inter-rater reliability. Amid everything an executive director does, by far the most important is increasing the skills of the building principal. This will be a heavy lift with new learning and mind sets on all sides. I am convinced however that this continuous growth model is an absolute necessary component to improve student achievement.

Thank you
Tom DeHart
CASE Executive Director