Last year, Susan Avey, the principal of Bogle Junior High School in Chandler, Ariz., had a heart-to-heart with one of her new teachers about how he was relating to students.
In a previous year, this might have been a conversation based on subjective impressions. The teacher might have gotten defensive. But this year, Avey had a new tool up her sleeve: a survey of her students.
"He came in to talk to me and said, 'I felt like I had really good relationships with kids, but reading my comments, I was surprised that I wasn't rated as highly.' "