A Framework for the Personnel Evaluation of School Psychologists Utilizing the NASP Practice Model

Article excerpt

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) embraces the critical importance of accurate, high quality, and reliable personnel evaluation for the purpose of enhancing professional practices and improving related student achievement, behavior, and socialemotional outcomes. Federal initiatives such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition 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 (LEAs) and state departments of education (SEAs) 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 broad based services of the professional, utilize proven evaluation methods, and provide a uniform system common to all professionals.

The NASP Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services (2010), also known as the NASP Practice Model, provides an ideal springboard for the development of an evaluation tool specific to the roles of school psychologists. The NASP Practice Model represents NASP's official policy regarding the delivery of school psychological services and provides a framework for school psychologists to have a common language for defining school psychological services. It is envisioned that the NASP Practice Model will suffice as the foundation for professional conversations in determining the distinctions among different levels of proficiency. Accordingly, professional support by means of supervision, mentoring, and professional development can be differentiated per level of experience and career development.

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 services should be provided. This model also offers guidance for setting up working conditions that support the full implementation of this model. The 10 NASP Practice Model domains are organized around three broad areas:

Practices That Permeate All Aspects of Service Delivery

Domain 1: Data-based decision making and accountability

Domain 2: Consultation and collaboration

Direct and Indirect Services for Children, Families, and Schools

Domain 3: Interventions and instructional support to develop academic skills

Domain 4: Interventions and mental health services to develop social and life skills

Domain 5: School-wide practices to promote learning

Domain 6: Preventive and responsive services

Domain 7: Family-school collaboration services

Foundations for Service Delivery

Domain 8: Diversity in development and learning

Domain 9: Research and program evaluation

Domain 10: Legal, ethical, and professional practice

The following foundational principles are intended to meet the mandates of the new programs and initiatives already mentioned while also upholding the need for and importance of high quality professional evaluations as embraced by NASP.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS

NASP recommends that the following foundational principles be considered and incorporated within a comprehensive evaluation system for school psychologists:

Principle 1: Use the NASP Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services (NASP Practice Model) as the overarching framework for personnel evaluations.

The NASP Practice Model should serve as the foundation for job descriptions, professional expectations, and the personnel evaluations of school psychologists.

School psychologists work with students and their families to support students' social, emotional, and behavioral health. …