Factors and Sources of Information School Boards Consider when Evaluating a Superintendent
Gore, Philip Harold
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University of Washington Abstract Factors and Sources of Information School Boards Consider when Evaluating a Superintendent Philip H. Gore Marge Plecki, PhD Professor College of Education This mixed methods study uses observations, survey, and interviews to examine the factors and sources of information school boards consider when they evaluate a superintendent. Exploring these elements provided an opportunity to identify what is most important to board members when considering a superintendent’s performance. It also provided insight into board members’ conception of their role, responsibility, and relationship with a superintendent. Findings suggest that there is a relationship between a board members’ length of service and the likelihood that they hold a trustee conception of their role. This conception relates to a likelihood that a board member supports recommendations from the superintendent, considers himself/herself responsible to the superintendent, and considers the superintendent extremely or very important as a source of information when evaluating the superintendent. Board members with more tenure also seem more likely to consider student achievement data as a source of information when evaluating a superintendent. The most important source of information board members consider when evaluating a superintendent may be personal observation of the superintendent and his or her interactions with others. Similarly, the factor of performance board members most frequently emphasize when evaluating a superintendent is the superintendent’s communication with them, the whole board, staff, and the community. Board members are constantly observing and evaluating a superintendent’s performance, particularly throughout school board meetings.
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