Superintendent Performance Review

Well, while folks are talking about having the public kibbitz on school district labor contracts, I suppose we can't help having comments on the Superintendent's contract as well. The Board will soon take up the matter of the Superintendent's annual performance review and action on her contract.

How has the Superintendent done?

I suppose the only proper way to answer that question would be to review her performance relative to her job description and the performance expectations for her that were established and defined in advance. These performance expectations should, of course, all be objectively measurable outcomes. That is, after all, her definition of accountability.

She wrote:
Accountability means that Seattle Public Schools understands our data and we use it to set performance targets for the district, school and classrooms. We decide what our data indicators should be, i.e.: WASL, dropout rates, teacher retention, etc. A concrete example about accountability is SPS will decrease the achievement gap in specific sub-categories of students. The target should be reasonable based on the current data. Then the strategies should align toward making a positive impact. Evaluation is tied to ongoing assessment and holding all levels of staff accountable.

For individuals, the District is supposed to use this performance evaluation form. I suggest that those who want to chime in on this effort by the Board should complete a version of this form for her.

I haven't seen the actual form for the superintendent, so I can't say with certainty what her SMART goals were for the year. I suppose they were mostly the elements of the Strategic Plan, the improvement of academic achievement for all students, and the closure of the academic achievement gap. You could also use the various measures used to determine her merit pay for this section.

In the next section the managers are supposed to rate the employee's work in the areas of Collaboration, Getting Results, Decision Quality & Problem Solving, Integrity, and Accountability. This section could give her real trouble. While I think she will score fairly well in the Getting Results part (particularly if you see how a ready-fire-aim approach is rewarded here), I fear she couldn't score well in the other categories.

Then comes a section for core competencies, an overall rating, and, finally, a plan for the coming year.

Please use actual data when completing your form. As is the standard order for Seattle Public Schools processes, we will not have 2010 WASL results before the evaluation is due.


Michael said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said…
From the Superintendent's description provided by Charlie: "A concrete example about accountability is SPS will decrease the achievement gap in specific sub-categories of students." While this is a laudable goal, how about focusing on the basics of running a public entity, like producing financial statements that aren't full of goobledy-gook: See #4 at . Also, see

Maybe if they could get this (and other) stuff right as it relates to the business-end of the district then they would actually know where they stand financially. I really don't think they know what they are doing, and pull all their financial figures out from where the sun don't shine.

(And, yes, I realize that some of you will say that the "business-end" of the district is the classroom. I agree. I mean it in the classical sense of knowing where your money comes from and where it is being spent (or "mis-directed", "misappropriated", or "stolen") as noted at #1 at , and all of , and
Charlie Mas said…
There could be another approach.

We could just check the results from the poll that Our Schools Coalition did on whether or not the Superintendent is doing a good job.

We could just check the interest in a "no confidence" vote.

Of course, that would only be appropriate if we wanted the Board to terminate the contract, not just evaluate the superintendent's performance.
Stu said…
There's no way four of the directors are going to terminate her contract; they've given every indication that they approve of the direction the district is heading and that they'll follow here wherever she leads. What's particularly scary is, if you think of how little regard MGJ has for the community now, imagine how it'll be when she gets the next vote of confidence.

Stu, that would be the use of a parent vote of confidence/no confidence. It seems clear to me, from this blog, public meetings and input from other parent groups, that many, if not most, parents are deeply unhappy with her leadership. What seems the overarching problem is her seeming belief that everything we say is self-serving for our own child and we can't be objective in the least.

I think it's time to send a message to the Board that they may choose to ignore but that they ignore at their own peril (criticism from other city leaders, not getting re-relected, etc.).
Stu said…
I think it's time to send a message to the Board that they may choose to ignore but that they ignore at their own peril (criticism from other city leaders, not getting re-relected, etc.).

Plus, if they ignore this "testimony," Dan can sue them for not including this in their final decision!

seattle citizen said…
OT, but speaking of evaluations, the New York Times Sunday has a front page article on NY City's attempt to get rid of seniority:

Here's some info from that article vis-a-vis "old" teachers vs "new" teachers:
"Indeed, even if school districts switched to performance-based layoffs, younger teachers could still face big losses.

Several studies have shown that teachers just beginning their careers are more likely to struggle than more experienced instructors. And a New York Times analysis of the city’s own reports on teacher effectiveness suggest that teachers do best after being in the classroom for at least 5 years, though they tend to level off after 10 years"

"...Limited data on teacher effectiveness in New York City suggests that a purely performance-based system would not favor younger teachers.

In 2008, New York City began evaluating about 11,500 teachers based on how much their students had improved on standardized state exams.

A Times analysis of the first year of results showed that teachers with 6 to 10 years of experience were more likely to perform well, while teachers with 1 or 2 years’ experience were the least likely."

hmmm...Besides knocking down the "teacher quality" idea that teachers get worse as they gain experience, I guess if we're truly "data driven" by standardized tests, the above analysis by the Times would indicate that we should get rid of teachers after ten years.

WV is named antooni!
dan dempsey said…
The Superintendent failed to put a system in place that allows the district to follow state law RCW 28A.645.020 thus with cooperation from three Superior court judges any appeal drags on interminably. Consider this... 2 appeals over New Student Assignment Plan and 2 appeals over school closures were both filed within the legally required 30 days of the original school board decisions and yet not one of these four has been decided.

The last straw for the public with the Superintendent should have been her explanation of why she is appealing the Spector math decision of 2-3-10. Her rationale is complete baloney as Charlie pointed out some time ago.

In the school board meeting of 3-3-10 ... see the Strawman construction

Here are the spots worth watching:
Superintendent 75:20 to 75:52
Steve S 107:07 to 109:08
DeBell 124:10 to 128:34

Read the Spector Decision the Superintendent and 4 directors are miles off base and are doing this seemingly only to extend and delay the implementation of a judicial decision that essentially found them guilty of failing to consider evidence from a concerned public.

Given the sorry state of truth delivery from this board and Superintendent coupled with the sorry state of the court system I have no idea what will be coming from the Supreme Court beginning May 27......

It seems that a proper review of Superintendent Performance would involve "Termination with cause".

I suggest Norm Rice for interim Superintendent.... as someone who listens would be an excellent change.... naturally if listening is important 4 school directors should be recalled.

The only trend the Spector decision might start would be the Board appropriately weighing all the evidence in decision making rather than decisions by whim......

Do not forget 2-3-10 approval of the NTN contract that was not there.... hard to get more whimsical than that. Required the Do-Over of 4-7-10....

Is not it the job of the Superintendent as secretary of the school board to make sure that contracts to be voted on actually exist? ... but there is no bonus for that so why should she care ... clearly no bonus for listening either.

more HERE
Joan NE said…
I sure wish we could get the Board to use the John Carver evaluation model, to conduct the evaulation in open instead of closed-door sessions, and have the evaulation include growth in approval rating from parent and staff.

If we had the John Carver evaluation model, the Superintendent would be measured according to how well she upheld the spirit of each School Board policy.

What a world of difference that would make. Then Policy Would Matter.
Stu said…
The problem isn't just the superintendent; she has the support of the majority of the board. (Dan, you wrote about the lawsuit but 3 judges agreed that the timing wasn't an issue. Doesn't matter if that's insane and it pisses us all off, and it is and it does, the court has given them permission to do this over and over again.)

Unless we can find a way to remove the gang of four, nothing's really going to change.

dan dempsey said…

The writ of Mandamus makes the point that Superior Court judges do not have the authority to wave State Laws "just 'cuz they wanna".

It will be interesting to See how the Supreme court Sees things.

McMinimee's Interrogatory makes it quite clear that the SPS sees compliance with RCW 28A.645.020 as of no concern at all. Seems the same could be said of 3 judges. Hopefully the Supreme Court thinks that state laws should be followed. Otherwise it is impossible to successfully win an appeal of a school board decision.
Anonymous said…
"Thought these links might be of interest re: Superintendent's evaluation...

THIS IS the superintendent performance appraisal instrument for this year, as presented to the public in September 2009


THIS IS the superintendent performance incentive measures for 2008/09, designed to be annual tracking steps to reach the strategic plan goals. The board will be doing a budget review for 2009/10 incentive discussion this spring in conjunction with the evaluation process


THIS IS the public document of the annual performance evaluation of the superintendent, presented at the June 17th meeting last year, and scheduled to be presented June 16th of this year.

Sorry - I don't know how to do links here.
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