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Evaluating the Superintendent and the District. A Public Process That Yields a Public Document. A Public Document That Focuses on Results. Board Members Rick Maloney Mary Lu Dickinson Kent Keel Paul Koppe Ray Tennison. Superintendent Patti Banks.

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evaluating the superintendent and the district

Evaluating the Superintendentand the District

A Public Process That Yields a Public Document

A Public Document That Focuses on Results

university place school district
Board Members

Rick Maloney

Mary Lu Dickinson

Kent Keel

Paul Koppe

Ray Tennison

Superintendent

Patti Banks

University Place School District
your observations please
Your Observations, Please

Please discuss with a neighbor:

In your experience…

What problems or concerns have you had with superintendent evaluation?

1

Agenda

now let s hear from you
Now Let’s Hear From You

What problems or concerns have you had with superintendent evaluation?

Agenda

agenda
Agenda
  • Role of the superintendent…
  • Problems for boards to avoid…
  • An approach to consider…
  • Our board’s experience with this approach, under policy governance…

and the impact on superintendent evaluation

Supt Role

the superintendent role
The Superintendent Role

Cuban (1998) - Superintendents are expected to succeed at 3 roles:

  • Instructional
  • Managerial
  • Political

I

Improve Student Achievement

OperateEfficiently

M

Deal w/Multiple Stakeholders

P

Standards

standards
Standards

AASA/NSBA (1993) Professional Standards for the Superintendency

  • Leadership and District Culture
  • Policy and Governance
  • Communications and Community Relations
  • Organizational Management
  • Curriculum Planning and Development
  • Instructional Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Values and Ethics of Leadership

Sort

standards8
Standards

AASA/NSBA (1993) Professional Standards for the Superintendency

  • Leadership and District Culture
  • Policy and Governance
  • Communications and Community Relations
  • Curriculum Planning and Development
  • Instructional Management
  • Organizational Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Values and Ethics of Leadership

Age of Acct

standards9
Standards

AASA/NSBA (1993) Professional Standards for the Superintendency

  • Curriculum Planning and Development
  • Instructional Management
  • Organizational Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Leadership and District Culture
  • Values and Ethics of Leadership
  • Communications and Community Relations
  • Policy and Governance

I

M

P

Age of Acct

under accountability
Under Accountability

In an age of accountability, superintendents are in danger of being…

“…preoccupied with shoring up their political base and thus unlikely to take the bold steps needed for transforming schools.”

- Lashway (2002)

I

M

Role shift

under accountability11

I

I

M

M

P

P

Under Accountability
  • Superintendent role shift
    • Greater focuson student learning
    • From Manager to InstructionalLeader

Challenge

challenge for boards
Challenge for Boards
  • How do we ensure the instructional gets the most superintendent time?
  • How do we avoid preoccupation by the superintendent with managerial/political?
  • How do we maintain balance?

I

M

P

Not this way

not this way
Not This Way

The “blame game”

Priorities

board priorities have impact
Board Priorities Have Impact
  • Take the lead in political arena
    • Supt in supporting role
  • Support managerial
    • Delegate/monitor
  • Scrutinize theinstructional
    • Obsess onresults

Distraction

I

M

P

Can we?

your observations please15
Your Observations, Please

Please discuss with a neighbor:

With regard to Cuban’s description of the superintendent’s role…

How can board priorities reduce distractions/support the supt in the political and managerial areas?

Questions

now let s hear from you16
Now Let’s Hear From You

How can board priorities reduce distractions/support the supt in the political and managerial areas?

Questions

questions to consider
Questions to Consider
  • In superintendent evaluation, what could possibly go wrong?
  • Let’s review the research. Dr. Dave says…

The top ten things that can go wrong in superintendent evaluation are…

Community

10 community missing
#10 – CommunityMissing

Community values/priorities/voice missing – confidential vs public

  • The law…
  • The board…
  • The superintendent…
  • The community…

All have expectations

  • Ignoring any one of them changes the nature of evaluation

Executive session

Subjective

9 subjectivity
#9 – Subjectivity

Feedback that is subjective

  • Unfocused dialogue leans toward the subjective
    • e.g. ‘style’
  • Even checklist criteria that, on paper, appear objective, can morph into the subjective

Time

8 time timing
#8 – Time & Timing

Board focus gets limitedtimeand is affected by the timingof the evaluation process

  • Limited time planned/available
    • Important end-of-yr conversation crowded out by other priorities
  • Timing of annual conversation
    • Recent events color the tone
    • “What have you done (for me) lately?”

Past

7 past mindset
#7 – Past Mindset

Past vs. future mindset leads to

  • Punishing past peccadilloes…“Let the flogging begin”
  • Thinking about the cup as “half-empty” vs.thinking about filling it
  • The past cannot be changed, but the future can be built

Alignment

6 mis alignment
#6 – (Mis)Alignment

Various district elements affecting evaluation are not aligned

  • Superintendent Job Description
  • Superintendent Contract
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Strategic Plan
  • Annual District Report Card
  • Budget
  • Superintendent Evaluation

Expectations

5 expectations unclear
#5 – ExpectationsUnclear

The Superintendent is judged accordingto criteria that the Board has not statedor not clarified

  • Imagine a teacher publicly announcing a grading policy that says: “Guess what it takes to get an A”
  • Now imagine not announcing that policy
  • Supt’s often find themselves guessing

Voice

4 voice s
#4 – Voice(s)

Failing to speak with one voice

  • Multiple sources – blurred message
  • Individual agendas
  • ‘Stray zinger’ effect

Traits

3 traits
#3 – Traits

Standards emphasize approved traits or behaviors rather than district results

  • Most evaluation checklists describe standards - focusing on:
    • Who the superintendent is and
    • What the superintendent does
  • Q: How much is focused on the district and its results?

Dialogue

2 dialogue
#2 – Dialogue

Failing to really communicate;Evaluation that is not serious

  • Missed opportunity
  • Annual ritual – going thru motions
  • Just doing it to get it done
  • Skirting around important issues

Nike

1 not nike
#1 – Not Nike

Just Don’t Do It!” -Evaluation is not done

  • ~20-25% of all districts
  • Waiting for the next crisis
  • How does this compare with just going thru the motions?

Summary

our list
10. Community

9. Subjectivity

8. Time & Timing

7. Past Mindset

6. (Mis)Alignment

5. Expectations

4. Voice(s)

3. Traits

2. Dialogue

1. Not Nike

Our List

Which

your observations please29
Your Observations, Please

Please discuss with a neighbor:

With regard to this list…

Which is of most concern? Why?

1

5. Expectations Unclear

4. No Single Voice

3. Traits vs. Results

2. Inadequate Dialogue

1. Just Don’t Do It

10. Community Missing

9. Subjectivity

8. Time & Timing

7. Past Mindset

6. Alignment Missing

Given

now let s hear from you30
Now Let’s Hear From You

Which is of most concern? Why?

5. Expectations Unclear

4. No Single Voice

3. Traits vs. Results

2. Inadequate Dialogue

1. Just Don’t Do It

10. Community Missing

9. Subjectivity

8. Time & Timing

7. Past Mindset

6. Alignment Missing

Given

given
Given
  • Given what can get in the way of superintendent evaluation, and…
  • Given a desire to shift focus toward instruction and student outcomes…
  • How should the board approach the evaluation process?

What v How

what how
What & How

Evaluating outcomes

  • Object: Grade the Bottom Line
  • Summative evaluation

Evaluating how the superintendentgoes about getting there

  • Object: Guide and Shape
  • Formative evaluation

Summative

should we just do it like this
Should We ‘Just Do it’ Like This?

The ‘Drive by’ Summative Evaluation:

  • Meet annually to review results
  • Only one agenda item…
    • Motion: Retain the Superintendent?
  • If the motion passes, annual eval is ‘Satisfactory’…See you next year…
    • End of story
  • If the motion fails…Supt search…
    • End of story

Formative

or like this
Or Like This?

The ‘Dissection’ Formative Evaluation:

  • Superintendent develops a detailed portfolio
  • Members of the public respond to a detailed opinion survey on superintendent performance…
  • Central office and principals provide an upwardassessment of the superintendent…
  • Trained evaluator uses surveys/interviews to assess professional superintendent standards…
  • Each board member fills out an assessment checklist

False choice

false choice
False Choice

“Drive by” evaluation

  • Too little…Baby Bear…Ignores the supt

“Dissection” evaluation

  • Too much…Papa Bear…All about supt

Is there a third way?

  • Mama Bear?

Another way

how about this
How About This?
  • Limit the scope
    • Reduce emphasis – HOW (supt)
    • Increase attention – WHAT (district)
  • Get more value
    • Increase time – distributed
    • Most important (district) issues…

Issues we are qualified to judge

  • KISS

Simplify

simplify
Simplify

Now, explain it to me like I'm a four-year-old.

simplify38
Simplify
  • Job Descriptions
  • Policy
  • Execution
  • Focus
simplify job descriptions
Simplify Job Descriptions
  • The board’s job is to assure, on behalf of the community, that the district ‘works’
  • The superintendent’s jobis to ensure that the district…
    • Achieves
    • Avoids
  • Evaluation involves the board doing its job by judging whether the superintendent is doing his/her jobas written in policy

End results

What it should

Limitations

If we follow

simplify policy
Simplify Policy

First we fulfill our policymaking role by:

  • Writing (in policy) what the board’s job is in regard to evaluation
  • Writing (in policy) the superintendent’s job:
    • Achieve desired district end results
    • Avoid unacceptable conditions
  • Writing criteria (in policy) for judging whether the job is done

Follow policy

simplify execution
Simplify Execution

Then we follow our policy by:

  • Monitoring for criteria:
    • Achievement of prescribed ends
    • Avoidance of unacceptable means
  • Judging whether the district has made:
    • Progress toward ends
    • Compliance with limitations

Focus

simplify focus
Simplify Focus

Focus on the DistrictOrganizational Results vs Personality

Continuous MonitoringResults compared w/policy criteria, Record accumulates thru the year

Continuous

simplification process
Simplification Process

Expectations written into policyIf expectations change…so do policies

1

6-10

simplification process44
Simplification Process

Organizational performance monitored systematically throughout the year

2

simplification process45
Simplification Process

Performance data compared w/ criteria

3

simplification process46
Simplification Process

Board makes judgments about whether criteria are met

4

simplification process47
Simplification Process

If not met, Board judges whether there is reasonableprogress

5

simplification process48
Simplification Process

Board judgments written in “monitoring response documents”

6

Business

simplification process49
Simplification Process

Adjustments then made in policy based on monitoring/judgments

7

simplification process50
Simplification Process

Compilation of board response to monitoring constitutes the ongoing district evaluation

8

simplification process51
Simplification Process

The district’s annual evaluation becomes the superintendent’s evaluation

9

9 step process
Expectations written into policy

Performance systematically monitored

Performance data compared with written criteria

Board judges whether criteria are met

Reasonable progress?

Monitoring response documents

Adjustments in policy

Compilation of board response documents becomes evaluation

District’s annual evaluation becomes the superintendent’s

9-Step Process
process
Process

Reduced sensitivity, because…

it s not personal
It’s not personal…

…it’s strictly business.”

Can it be?

your observations please55
Your Observations, Please

Please discuss with a neighbor:

Given a theory that suggests asimpler superintendent evaluation can be “strictly business”…

How do we do this in practice?

1

PG

now let s hear from you56
Now Let’s Hear From You

Given a theory that suggests asimpler superintendent evaluation can be “strictly business”…

How do we do this in practice?

PG

can we do this
Can we do this?
  • We believe we have changed the terms of superintendent evaluation
  • Now it is ‘strictly business’
  • Part of a total system change…

Evaluation is one feature

  • A change in how we look at board and superintendent roles
policy governance
Policy Governance
  • A strategy that
    • Focuses on district ends,
    • Provides limits on district means, and
    • Evaluates based on district criteria
  • Offers a more narrowly focused approach but devotes more time to evaluation
  • It’s strictly [district] business

Bd Job

under pg our board s job
Under PG Our Board’s Job

Is to ensure:

  • Linkage with the Community

Discern community expectations & values that are to be written in policy

  • Written Policy that guides the district

Prescribe ‘What’ & proscribe ‘How’

  • District Performance

By monitoring and comparing results against expectations written in policy

Supt Job

the superintendent s job
The Superintendent’s Job
  • IS NOT HOW:
    • Education/curricular knowledge/skill
    • Demonstration of political skills
    • Demonstration of leadership skills
    • Demonstration of management skills
    • Intelligence – Sociability – Charm
  • IS WHAT: District Performance in 2 ‘Job Products’…the district
    • Achieves what it should achieve
    • Avoids conditions it should avoid

Supt Eval

superintendent evaluation
Superintendent Evaluation

Comparison* of Job Performance vs Pre-Stated Expectations

Is the Superintendent…

  • Achieving What is Expected?
  • Avoiding What is Not Acceptable?

*part-time (lay) board is able to do

Public

public process
Public Process
  • Open Public Meetings
    • Linkage that ID’s expectations
    • Board response to linkage
    • Monitoring of ‘achieves’ (board agenda)
    • Monitoring of ‘avoids’ (consent agenda)
    • Board response to monitoring
    • Accumulation of district evaluation
  • Executive Session
    • Addendum - personnel file (if needed)

Schedule

monitoring ends
Monitoring Ends

7th gr WASL

board response ends
Board Response - Ends

Monitoring Response Document (Ends)B/SR 5-E-1

Policy Monitored: E-2 Date Report Submitted: Oct 26, 2005

The Board on the date shown above received and reviewed the official internal monitoring report of its policy E-2 (Competence Goal 1 – Academic Standards) submitted by the Superintendent. Following its review of the report, the Board concludes:

1. _x_ Based upon the information provided, the Board finds that the Superintendent has reasonably interpreted the provisions of the relevant Ends policy, and the district is making reasonable progress toward achieving the desired results called for in the relevant policy. The Board commends the Superintendent for exemplary performance in the following areas:The district has made commendable progress in most areas of Reading, Writing, and Math at the 4th and 7th grade levels, and in writing at the 10th grade level.

EL’s

executive limitations policies
Executive Limitations Policies
  • Means guidance for Superintendent
  • What are the parameters within which the Superintendent may act?
  • What conditions or actions would be unacceptable?
  • Any means not prohibited in EL policies are permissible

Budget

example el policy
Example EL Policy

BudgetPlanningEL-7

Financial planning for any fiscal year shall not deviate materially from the Board’s Ends policies, risk fiscal jeopardy to the district, or fail to be derived from a multi-year plan.

Accordingly, the Superintendent may not present to the Board a recommended budget which:

1. Is not consistent with the board’s established priorities;

2. Is not in a comprehensive summary format understandable to the Board;

3. Fails to adequately describe major budget initiatives and funding sources;

4. Fails to show the amount budgeted for each major fund type for the most recently completed fiscal year, for the current fiscal year and the amount budgeted for the next fiscal year;

Monitor EL

board response means
Board Response – Means

Monitoring Response Document (Means)B/SR 5-E-2

Policy Monitored: EL-7 Date Report Submitted: Aug 24, 2005

The Board on the date shown above received and reviewed the official internal monitoring report of its policy EL-7 (Budget Planning) submitted by the Superintendent. Following its review of the report, the Board concludes:

1. With respect to the provisions of its policy, EL-7 the University Place Board of Directors concludes that the Superintendent’s performance during the previous year has beena. _x_ In compliance.

b. ___ In compliance, with the following exceptions:

c. ___ Not in compliance.

2. Additional remarks:

- Good information about priorities.

- Clarity of budget documents is a strength.

Writ Eval

writing the evaluation
‘Writing’ the Evaluation
  • Each Board response document adds to a continuously accumulating annual evaluation
  • Superintendent evaluation discussion runs all year, in considerable depth
  • Superintendent is judged against criteria that the Board has taken the time to put in writing, in advance.

UPSD Eval

what s right about supt eval
What’s Right about Supt Eval?
  • 1. It is done
  • 2. In-depth conversation
  • 3. All through the year, few surprises
  • 4. Aligned w/ job description, contract, board self-evaluation, policies, strategic plan, budget
  • 5. Expectations stated upfront, then superintendent judged

6-10

what s right about supt eval76
What’s Right about Supt Eval?
  • 6. Expectations based on community values/priorities
  • 7. District evaluation not ‘personal’
  • 8. Future mindset
  • 9. Criteria used in making judgments
  • 10. Substantive discussion in public

Conclusion

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Superintendent evaluation, using a strategy that works, makes you an offer that you really can’t refuse.
  • And…It’s strictly business.

Questions

questions
Questions

For more information:

  • University Place School District
    • Rick Maloney, Board Presidentrmaloney@ospi.wednet.edu
    • Patti Banks, Superintendentpbanks@upsd.wednet.edu