A study of policies and procedures used to evaluate members of the superintendent's cabinet in selected school districts in the United States, 1988-89
James, Linda Bethel
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The accountability movement in education has lead to performance based evaluations for teachers, principals, and district superintendents (Hanson, 1985). Although central office administrators serve a critical leadership role in the school system (Wimpleberg, 1987), little research has focused on this group of administrators. To be effective, an evaluation system must be supported by the total environment of the organization; without use of evaluation at the highest level of the school system, acceptance of its use at lower levels will be impeded (Bolton, 1980). The purpose of this study was to examine board policies and administrative procedures used to evaluate the "superintendent's cabinet"--central office administrators who report directly to and are evaluated by the superintendent. Specifically, the study addressed 1) board policies and administrative procedures currently used, 2) differences among districts, and 3) procedures considered desirable in evaluation of the cabinet. The population consisted of the 139 school districts that were members of either Mid-Urban Superintendents Association or National Federation of Urban-Suburban School Districts. Policies and procedures were examined via responses to a census questionnaire and through analysis of documents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, and chi-square tests. Formal evaluation of central office administrators was mandated by the state or specified in board policy in more than two-thirds of the districts. The average superintendent's cabinet consisted of 7 members. Evaluation occurred annually, was used for multiple purposes, and was obtained through various methods. Few differences occurred among districts related to size of the district. Currently used procedures were rated as most desirable by the superintendents.
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