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Increased federal government involvement in state education policy has resulted in forced changes at the state and local levels. These top-down changes have included a mandated requirement that an individually selected student achievement goal count for 40% of an assistant principal’s employee performance evaluation. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of student achievement goals in Virginia assistant principal evaluations including how the goals are determined, what job tasks the assistant principals perform that relate to the student achievement goal, and what factors influence the choice and implementation of these goals. This study used a research-informed survey to examine the choices, factors of influence, and job task relationship on the assistant principal student achievement goal. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this study found that most assistant principals chose student achievement goals related to the new system of evaluating schools. In addition, although the assistant principals report that they feel more effective at their jobs and provided focus for the work of assistant principals, they report little control over the job tasks that relate to the student achievement goals. Assistant principals reported having a goal to comply with the law or a goal not related to the curriculum or subject area they supervise, but a goal that was chosen for them. Few participants in this study received professional development from a source other than their principal. In addition, a majority reported that they set the student achievement goal with their principal, leaving the principal as the sole source of information and input into the subject and measurement of the student achievement goal. There were two significant relationships found using a chi-square analysis for this study. There was a relationship between the assistant principal’s school level and the topic of the student achievement goal, and there was a relationship between the school district location and the topic of the student achievement goal. Beyond this study, research should focus on the purpose of assistant principal evaluation – to evaluate based on the job they are doing versus evaluating against the promotion to the principalship or is the evaluation set to be reflective or punitive, how the student achievement goal can be used to focus on the professional development of the assistant principals, the job tasks of the assistant principal as related to the evaluation, and how the assistant principal job tasks focus on instructional leadership. The Virginia Department of Education and other government organizations have an opportunity to reflect on how policy is constructed. As is currently under review, adjustment of the quantitative value of the student achievement goal in the assistant principal evaluation so it promotes risk taking. A more articulate job description of the assistant principal by VDOE that better reflects the current reality and development of a performance evaluation and professional development tailored to the position is warranted. Once the job description and job tasks are aligned, the VDOE can better align the assistant principal evaluation so that it is not a replication of the principal evaluation but an evaluation that can promote reflection and growth to prepare for the principalship. The Virginia Department of Education should also evaluate the fidelity of implementation of the student achievement goal and guidelines for promotion to the assistant principalship and from the assistant principalship to the principalship. Keywords: Assistant principal, student achievement goals, performance evaluations, ESSA, NCLB, Race to the Top