KBS Reference Desk: Superintendent Evaluations

Q:       I’m new to my district and will be evaluated for the first time at next week’s board meeting. The superintendent appraisal document includes my goals and is only two pages long. Is this sufficient?

A:        No. Your superintendent appraisal document should include, at a minimum, the district’s annual performance report. Your local policy at BJCD will likely include other criteria for evaluation, such as superintendent goals and statutory duties.

Board Policy BJCD (LEGAL) articulates the Texas Education Code’s requirements concerning the Superintendent evaluation process. The policy provides that a board may use one of two methods in appraising superintendents: (1) the commissioner’s recommended appraisal process and criteria; or (2) an appraisal process and performance criteria developed by the district in consultation with the district- and campus-level committees and adopted by the board. Tex. Educ. Code § 21.354. Regardless of method selected, the Education Code specifies that the annual report describing the educational performance of a district serve as a primary consideration of the board in evaluating the superintendent.  TEC 39.307(3)(C).  Because the commissioner’s recommended appraisal process requires only an annual evaluation and inclusion of a student performance domain, it is the commissioner’s system that is most commonly utilized by boards state-wide. This minimalistic approach allows boards to “add to” or otherwise tailor the instrument to address additional, board-specific expectations.

Look to policy BJCD (LOCAL) to determine whether your board has additional responsibilities and/or criteria to consider when evaluating the superintendent.  Most commonly included is an obligation that the instrument be board approved and that the evaluation contain a category for assessment of the superintendent’s job duties, as well as performance goals.  Log onto your myTASB account for valuable resources, including a recommended evaluation instrument and a performance indicator worksheet for completion by the superintendent. Specific questions your trustees regarding the process should be directed to the school district’s attorney.