Book Review

Assessing Educational Leaders

By Douglas B. Reeves

Reviewed by Ira Harris
Superintendent,
Valliant Public Schools,
Valliant, Okla.

Douglas B. Reeves, president of the Center for Performance Assessment, provides a framework to direct leadership evaluations from one-dimensional to multidimensional systems in his book, Assessing Educational Leaders: Evaluating Performance for Improved Individual and Organizational Results.

Reeves uses data from 2002 about 500 school leaders in 21 states describing how standards of leadership are ambiguous in current evaluation systems. Then he offers a new model of leadership evaluation, something he calls multidimensional leadership assessment.

His approach provides for frequent feedback and describes the difference between levels and quality of performance. Reeves details how MLA can be used to analyze and improve the performance of any leader or aspiring leader and to facilitate schools in establishing clear, coherent and fair expectations and performance for all.

Reeves’ book is not just another book on school leadership but a blueprint for developing leaders. It is designed to begin with individuals already in the organization who have interest and ability. The subsequent steps include analyzing the present evaluation system, creating dimensions of leadership that individual leaders will be able to focus on and then specifying performance levels for each leadership dimension.

Although the author says no magic number of dimensions exists, the book distinguishes 10 dimensions the data suggest are the most important for leadership success.

(Assessing Educational Leaders: Evaluating Performance for Improved Individual and Organizational Results by Douglas B. Reeves, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2003, 163 pp., $32.95 softcover)