GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty

The importance of superintendent evaluations
The strength of a governing board is based upon how strong the board’s relationship is with the superintendent. To have a strong relationship, it is imperative that the board and superintendent communicate so that they may build a relationship founded in trust.

When used effectively, a superintendent evaluation can be a communication tool between the board and superintendent. The evaluation is how the board and superintendent measure the district’s progress in accomplishing the goals that will help the district realize its vision. When boards can focus on the goals and vision, they are better able to move the needle on student achievement.

While thinking about the superintendent evaluation process, the board should reflect on these important questions:

  1. Is our evaluation process goal-based, measurable, ongoing and collaborative? If not, what could we do differently?
  2. Have we defined how we measure success and what success looks like?
  3. How are we using the superintendent evaluation to articulate and measure the outcomes that are important to the board and to the district?
  4. What systems and protocols are in place to support the goals that move the needle on student achievement? Are these supports sufficient?
  5. How are we using the evaluation to identify areas of growth for the superintendent? What are accessible supports that will assist the superintendent in addressing these growth areas?
  6. How does our board use the evaluation process to communicate and acknowledge the superintendent for his or her accomplishments in the district?
  7. When using the evaluation, are we using it as an opportunity to discuss this year? Are we also looking toward the future?

With updates throughout the year on the progress and success indicators toward the goals articulated, the board can feel confident that the district is moving in the right direction. For more information on superintendent evaluations, visit in the Effective Governance tab and refer to the resource, “Key points relating to superintendent evaluation.” In addition, CSBA offers Governance Consultant Services workshops and a new superintendent online evaluation tool will be released in late 2020.