Superintendent Evaluation: A Systems Approach
This model process is designed to promote a reflective conversation between school board members and their superintendent. This collaborative approach is for the purpose of improvement of performance of both the Superintendent and the system so that student achievement increases.
Developed by and for Iowa School Leaders with support from the Iowa Association of School Boards, the School Administrators of Iowa and The Wallace Foundation
Iowa Code establishes the authority and requirement for Boards to evaluate superintendents (Iowa Code 279.14), “The board shall establish evaluation criteria and shall implement evaluation procedures.” Chapter 83 builds upon the earlier Code requirement. This document is intended to assist boards in fulfilling their responsibilities for superintendent evaluation. It identifies sections of Chapter 83 pertinent to superintendent evaluation, and describes the results that can be obtained by implementing each provision according to best practice.
Resource Guide for Superintendent Evaluation: A Systems Approach - Download document￼ (The sections are described below.)
The Introduction and Operating Principles Section explains the values and beliefs upon which this new approach is based and upon which school board members and superintendents must agree if this is to be successful.
The Timelines Section outlines a proposal for how a comprehensive evaluation process could actually be implemented. Please note the references to Iowa's Open Meetings Law in this section.
The Superintendent Evaluation Form has three parts:
Part I: Job Responsibilities is organized according the Iowa Standards for School Leaders (ISSL) and includes sample performance indicators that can give both board members and superintendents examples of the types of responsibilities that fall under each standard. It is not the intention of the instrument that the superintendent must be evaluated on each of the sample indicators. The Supporting Evidence section asks for written narrative that provides data related to the performance of the standard. The Summary Rating can be altered to reflect an individual district's needs. Some districts prefer a simple "Yes, did meet district standards, or No, did not." Others wish to include more differentiation between categories, such as using "Exemplary, Satisfactory, and Does Not Meet Standards."
Part II: Job Targets is a suggested form for use by the superintendent and board as they develop goals, stated in measurable outcome terms, for the upcoming year. These goals should relate to the district's comprehensive school improvement plan. The form is designed to be completed at the end of one evaluation cycle to guide the next year's work.
Part III: Overall Summary allows for both superintendent and board comments and documents the existence of a formal evaluation process.
The Professional Growth Plan Form is a template that could be used to help a superintendent indicate growth targets in two areas of professional strength and one area of improvement. The wording is often stated as a "To Be" goal rather than a "To Do" goal.
Sample Job Targets provides examples to be used for areas for growth and how to establish measurable outcomes for growth targets.
The Remediation Target Form is a template intended to be used only in the event that a superintendent's overall evaluation is deemed unsatisfactory by a majority of board members.
A Sample Job Description provides the context for the expectations of the position of superintendent. It is anticipated that each local district should develop its own job description, specific to its situation.