Dr. Bill Heimann
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|Title||Performance Evaluation of Nebraska K-12 Public School Superintendents|
|School||The University of South Dakota - Vermillion|
The relationship between the public school superintendent and board of education is critical to the successful operation of the public school district. This study examined the perceptions of Nebraska K-12 public school superintendents regarding the purposes, criteria, and practices of the formal evaluation process. Comparisons of the superintendents’ perceptions were made based school district enrollment, years as a superintendent within the school district, and total years of experience as a superintendent.
A researcher-developed survey instrument was used to collect data from the 238 individual K-12 public school districts in Nebraska that are served by 229 superintendents. Five-point Likert-type scales were used to measure respondents’ perceptions regarding the importance of the purposes for conducting the evaluation of the superintendent and the extent that the American Association of School Administrators’ eight professional standards are utilized by the board of education as criteria to measure superintendent performance. Current evaluation practices were identified by superintendents along with the respondents’ level of satisfaction with the formal evaluation.
Nearly all superintendents (95.3%) reported a formal evaluation conducted at least annually by the board of education. The board of education is the only stakeholder group that consistently has formal input into the formal performance evaluation of superintendents. Regardless of the school district enrollment or years of superintendent experience, Nebraska superintendents believe the most important purposes of performance evaluation to be related to documenting accountability and communicating with their boards. The AASA professional standards related to communication and community relations are most often examined in the performance evaluation.
Performance evaluation practices conducted by boards of education are similar in Nebraska regardless of the district enrollment or years of superintendent experience. Although Nebraska superintendents are generally satisfied with the criteria and practices utilized in their most recent performance evaluation, there is no clear agreement regarding the purpose, criteria, and practices for the performance evaluation of Nebraska public school superintendents.