The formal evaluation of Indiana school superintendents : frequency, practices, and procedures
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the practice of formally evaluating Indiana school superintendents and to determine superintendent dispositions toward the process. More specifically, the following issues were analyzed: (a) the extent to which Indiana school superintendents were formally evaluated; (b) the extent to which job descriptions, district policy, or employment contracts were associated with formal evaluations; (c) superintendent opinions regarding criteria, purposes, and methods of evaluation; and (d) the extent to which selected demographic variables were associated with the practice of completing a formal evaluation.A descriptive survey research procedure was used in this study. The survey instrument was adapted from the one developed and used by Simpson (1994) in his study of South Carolina superintendents. Several modifications were made to adjust to current conditions in Indiana. The instrument was divided into two parts: current practices and procedures for formal evaluations and background information about the superintendent and school corporation. The population of this study was all 287 public school superintendents in Indiana. Data were collected in March and April of 1996. A total of 248 usable surveys was returned and analyzed.The findings indicated: (a) more than 78% of the superintendents were being formally evaluated; (b) more than 79% of the superintendents indicated the presence of a written job description, with over 59% of these superintendents indicating they were evaluated using the stated role expectations included in the job description; (c) more than 58% of the superintendents indicated their employment district had a written policy concerning superintendent evaluation; (d) more than 33% reported that a formal evaluation was a provision of their employment contract; (e) a checklist or rating scale was most frequently used in the evaluation process; (f) the most important criterion in evaluation was board and superintendent relations; (g) the primary purpose for superintendent evaluation was to identify areas needing improvement; and (h) the higher the superintendent's salary and the larger the school corporation, the more likely it was that the superintendent received a formal evaluation. In addition, the study offers recommendations for practice and for further research.