Performance Evaluations Are Powerful

By Doug Eadie

In last month’s column, I described a process for the school board’s evaluation of superintendent performance that has proved to be a powerful tool for keeping this very precious but always fragile working relationship close, positive, and productive.

This month, let’s take a look at one of the key features of the process: Negotiating CEO-specific performance targets that can be used -- along with overall district goals -- to assess how the superintendent is doing. In my experience, your superintendent’s CEO-specific performance targets fall into four major categories:

1. The board-superintendent partnership. This includes the superintendent’s support for the board in carrying out its governing work, board capacity building, and board-superintendent communication.

2. External relations. This includes how the superintendent represents the district to the public at large and in particular forums in the community, as well as relationships with particular community leaders and media relations.

3. Strategic planning/innovation and change. How will the board be involved in the innovation and change process? What innovation and change issues and initiatives will receive intensive attention from the superintendent?

4. Internal management and administration. This category addresses specific improvements in internal management and administration that the superintendent will give significant individual time to, along with specific issues that the superintendent will take the lead in solving.

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