NASP Issues Guidance on Personnel Evaluation

Article excerpt

PROFESSIONAL ISSUES

Federal initiatives such as the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have prompted new attention to the processes used for the evaluation of teachers and school administrators. A wide variety of professionals other than teachers and administrators contractually fall under the classification of "instructional personnel" and thus, local educational agencies and state departments of education are also finding themselves readdressing evaluation practices of these groups. Central to these conversations is the relevance of developing evaluation tools that capture student and professional growth accurately and fairly, are sufficient in scope to evaluate the broadbased services of the professional, utilize proven evaluation methods, and provide a uniform system common to all professionals.

DEVELOPING THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE PERSONNEL EVALUATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS

In November 2011, NASP created the Personnel Assessment Task Force comprising national and state leaders with knowledge of effective personnel evaluation systems. Task force participants included school psychologist supervisors, university professors, NASP leadership, and staff. NASP thanks the following task force members for their service:

Mary Alice Myers (chair), coordinator of school psychological services, Volusia County Schools, Florida

JOAN BOHMANN, coordinator of school psychology services, Washoe County Schools, Nevada

BOB LICHTENSTEIN, school psychology program director, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Massachusetts

LEAH NELLIS, director of the Blumberg Center, Indiana State University, Indiana

TRACY SCHATZBERG, supervisor of psychological services, Hillsborough County, Florida

Virgina Smith Harvey, director, school psychology program, University of Massachusetts, Massachusetts

Dan Reschly, consultant, principal investigator for special needs, National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

Philip Lazarus, NASP 2011-2012 president, Florida

Stacy Skalski, NASP director of professional policy and practice

The primary responsibility of the task force was to be proactive and develop a framework for the evaluation of school psychologists that could help guide local and state education agencies in establishing fair, reliable, and instructive personnel evaluation policies and practices. The need for this task force was considered particularly timely because many states are reexamining their personnel evaluation systems as a result of RTTT. School psychologists are often contractually held to these same evaluation standards and hence, NASP felt it was important to take the lead in defining who we are, what we do, why it matters, and how best to measure the effectiveness of our services to students. NASP's official policy for the delivery of school psychological services is called the NASP Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services (NASP, 2010), also known as the NASP Practice Model. This model provides the perfect framework for evaluating school psychologists.

The NASP Practice Model delineates what professional services can reasonably be expected from school psychologists across 10 domains of practice, and the general framework within which these services should be provided. It also offers guidance for setting up working conditions, including guidance for supervision and professional development - elements that are critical to personnel evaluation.

In developing this evaluation framework, the Personnel Assessment Task Force focused on highlighting key features of the NASP Practice Model, including the broadbased role of school psychologists, the school psychologist-to-students ratio outlined in the model, the importance of mentoring and professional development, and the critical role of supervision. The task force also felt that by utilizing the NASP Practice Model as an evaluative framework, administrators and other stakeholders outside of the field of school psychology would become familiar with the model and better understand the comprehensive nature of our services. …