Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale

Hallinger, P., and Murphy, J. (1995). Assessing the instructional management behavior of principals. Elementary School Journal 86:217–47.


The 71-item PIMRS measures the instructional leader behavior of elementary and secondary school principals. Each item focuses on a specific job-related behavior of the principal, and according to the authors, is useful for school evaluation, staff development, research, and district policy analysis. Thus, the instrument may indirectly become a useful tool for the evaluation of a school’s effectiveness. The design of the instrument attempted to remedy earlier measurement shortcomings by isolating the curriculum and instructional management functions from other managerial duties.


Teachers, principals, and central office supervisors from one school district with 10 elementary schools in California responded to the initial development of the instrument.


The lowest alpha coefficient for the 11 subscales was 0.75.


Content, discriminant, and construct validation of the instrument are provided and ample evidence of each procedure provided.

Factor Analysis:

A factor analysis of the 71-item instrument yielded 11 interpretable factors, or subscales. The principal’s behavior/performance can be evaluated separately on each of the following 11 subscales, which were named as follows: framing goals, communicating goals, monitoring student progress, supervising/evaluating instruction, coordinating the curriculum, protecting instructional time, maintaining high visibility, providing incentives for teachers, promoting professional development, enforcing academic standards, and providing incentives for learning.

Data Analysis:

The data analysis indicated that individual principal profiles were obtained that discriminated substantially among principals as to their instructional management behavior. Principal and supervisory ratings generally supported those ratings provided by teachers.


Hallinger, P. (1983). Assessing the instructional management behavior of principals. EdD dissertation, Stanford University.

Lyons, B. J. (2010). Principal instructional leadership behavior, as perceived by teachers and principals, at New York State recognized and non-recognized middle schools. EdD dissertation, Seton Hall University.

McCarthy, M. J. (2009). Teachers’ perceptions of high school principals’ leadership behaviors using the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) and the relationship to the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status in high poverty suburban school districts located in southern Pennsylvania. EdD dissertation, Saint Joseph’s University.

Peariso, J. F. (2011). A study of principals’ instructional leadership behaviors and beliefs of good pedagogical practice among effective California high schools serving socioeconomically disadvantaged and English learners. EdD dissertation, Liberty University. Shatzer, R. H. (2009). A comparison study between instructional and transformational leadership theories: Effects on student achievement and teacher job satisfaction. PhD dissertation, Brigham Young University.

Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale

To what extent does your principal . . . ? Framing The School Goals
1. Develop goals that seek improvement over current levels of academic performance.
2. Frame academic goals with target dates.
3. Frame the school’s academic goals in terms of staff responsibilities for meeting them.
4. Use needs assessment or other questionnaires to secure staff input on goal development.
5. Use data on student academic performance when developing the school’s academic goals.
6. Develop goals that are easily translated into classroom objectives by teachers.

Communicating the School Goals

7. Communicate the school’s academic goals to people at school.
8. Refer to the school’s academic goals in informal settings with teachers.
9. Discuss the school’s academic goals with teachers at faculty meetings.
10. Refer to the school’s academic goals when making curricular decisions with teachers.
11. Ensure that the school’s goals are reflected in highly visible displays in the school (e.g., posters or bulletin boards indicating the importance of reading or math).
12. Refer to the school’s goals in student assemblies.

Supervising and Evaluating Instruction

13. Conduct informal observations in classrooms on a regular basis (informal observations are unscheduled, last at least five minutes, and may or may not involve written feedback or a formal conference).
14. Ensure that the classroom objectives of teachers are consistent with the stated goals of the school.
15. Meet with teachers and aides to ensure that they are working toward the same objectives.
16. Review student work products when evaluating classroom instruction.
17. Evaluate teachers on academic objectives directly related to those of the school.
18. Point out specific strengths in teacher instructional practices in postobservation conferences.
19. Point out specific weaknesses in teacher instructional practices in post observation conferences.
20. Note specific strengths of the teacher’s instructional practices in written evaluations.
21. Note specific weaknesses of the teacher’s instructional practices in written evaluations.
22. Note student time on-task in feedback to teachers after classroom observations.
23. Note specific instructional practices related to the stated classroom objectives in written evaluations.

Coordinating the Curriculum

24. Make clear who is responsible for coordinating the curriculum across grade levels (e.g., the principal, vice principal, or a teacher).
25. Ensure that the school’s academic goals are translated into common curricular objectives.
26. Draw on the results of school-wide testing when making curricular decisions.
27. Ensure that the objectives of special programs are coordinated with those of the regular classroom.
28. Monitor the classroom curriculum to see that it covers the school’s curricular objectives.
29. Assess the overlap between the school’s curricular objectives and the achievement test(s) used for program evaluation.
30. Participate actively in the review and/or selection of curricular materials.

Monitoring Student Progress

31. Meet individually with teachers to discuss student academic progress.
32. Discuss the item analysis of tests with the faculty to identify strengths and weaknesses in the instructional program.

33. Use test results to assess progress toward school goals.
34. Distribute test results in a timely fashion.
35. Inform teachers of the school’s performance results in written form (e.g., in a memo or newsletter).
36. Inform students of the school’s performance results.
37. Identify students whose test results indicate a need for special instruction such as remediation or enrichment.
38. Develop or find the appropriate instructional program(s) for students whose test results indicate a need.

Protecting Instructional Time

39. Ensure that instructional time is not interrupted by public-address announcements.
40. Ensure that students are not called to the office during instructional time.
41. Ensure that truant students suffer specified consequences for missing instructional time.
42. Ensure that tardy or truant students make up lost instructional time.
43. Visit classrooms to see that instructional time is used for learning and practicing new skills and concepts.

Maintaining High Visibility

44. Take time to talk with students and teachers during recess and breaks.
45. Visit classrooms to discuss school issues with teachers and students.
46. Attend or participate in cocurricular or extracurricular activities.
47. Cover classes for teachers until a late or substitute teacher arrives.
48. Tutor or provide direct instruction to students.

Providing Incentives for Teachers

49. Reinforce superior performance by teachers in staff meetings, newsletters, or memos.
50. Compliment teachers privately for their efforts or performance.
51. Acknowledge special effort or performance by teachers in memos for their personal files.
52. Reward special efforts by teachers with opportunities for professional development (e.g., new roles or inservice training).

Promoting Professional Development

53. Inform teachers of opportunities for professional development.
54. Select inservice activities that are consistent with the school’s academic goals.
55. Support teacher requests for inservice that is directly related to the school’s academic goals.
56. Distribute journal articles to teachers on a regular basis.
57. Actively support the use of skills acquired during inservice training in the classroom.
58. Ensure that instructional aides receive appropriate training to help students meet instructional objectives.
59. Arrange for outside speakers to make presentations on instruction at faculty meetings.
60. Provide time to meet individually with teachers to discuss instructional issues.
61. Sit in on teacher inservice activities concerned with instruction.
62. Set aside time at faculty meetings for teachers to share ideas on instruction or information from inservice activities.

Developing and Enforcing Academic Standards

63. Set high standards for the percentage of students who are expected to master important instructional objectives.
64. Encourage teachers to start class on time and to teach to the end of the period.
65. Make known what is expected of students at different grade levels.
66. Enforce a promotion standard requiring mastery of grade-level expectations.
67. Support teachers when they enforce academic policies (e.g., on grading, homework, promotion, or discipline).

Providing Incentives for Learning

68. Recognize students who do superior academic work with formal rewards such as the honor roll or mention in the principal’s newsletter.
69. Use assemblies to honor students for their academic work and/or behavior in class.
70. Recognize superior student achievement or improvement by seeing students in the office with their work products.
71. Contact parents to communicate improved student performance in school.


5 = Almost Always; 4 = Frequently; 3 = Sometimes; 2 = Seldom; and 1 = Almost Never.