Can Superintendents’ Evaluation Lead to Their Own Growth?

Type: Article
Topics: Leadership Development, School Administrator Magazine

June 01, 2023

Reflecting with candor on her own tenure in district leadership, the author details the challenge of making the process ‘protective, transparent and relational’

Superintendent evaluation is more precarious than ever. High performance is harder to define, given the considerable divisions in our nation’s political arena and among boards of education.

In the past, the school board’s lowering of a single rating on the superintendent’s evaluation could signal waning confidence and serve as a death knell for the top leader’s tenure. Nowadays, mysterious, unscheduled closed-session meetings are catching our colleagues entirely off guard. You’re in one day, and you’re out the next. Protective actions in superintendent evaluation are more important than ever.

But so are learning and growth.

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Jennifer Cheatham

Senior lecturer on education and co-chair

Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education