Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Worcester superintendent is evaluated this week: how does it work?

The Worcester School Committee evaluates Superintendent Binienda this week, so it seemed a good chance to talk about how this works.
This is a process that is standard (and mandated) across the state, so while there are elements of this that are locally decided, there are some that are not. Superintendent Binienda and every superintendent in Massachusetts are evaluated by their school committee(s) in a two part system:
  • Each superintendent is also evaluated on three or more goals, falling into the following three divisions (there has to be at least one in each):
    1. Professional practice
    2. Student learning
    3. District improvement goals
For each of the goals, the superintendent is evaluated as did not meet; some progress; significant progress; met; exceeded.
  • Every superintendent is evaluated on the same four standards:
    1. Instructional Leadership
    2. Management and Operations
    3. Family and Community Engagement
    4. Professional Culture
For each of those, the superintendent is evaluated as unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient, or exemplary. The state emphasizes that 'proficient' is a high standard that should be considered an achievement; an 'exemplary' rating means the superintendent is quite literally an exemplar in that standard. Any ratings other than proficient must be backed up with comments reflecting the evaluator's rating. 
Once that is done, the superintendent is given an overall rate, reflecting the parts taken as a whole: unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient, or exemplary. 
That is done by each member of the committee individually. Those evaluations are then submitted to the chair, who creates a composite evaluation, completing each part, reflecting the overall view of the committee. It is this single evaluation that is the official evaluation of the school committee.
The individual evaluations are, however, public documents.
You can find the state rubric used for this, filled out for us with this year's superintendent goals in Worcester, online here. 
The superintendent's goals for this year, as voted by the Worcester School Committee last July, appear on the third page of the evaluation, as here: 

Each of the four standards in turn has a number of indicators that further divide up the parts of what that standard looks like for a superintendency, like so:

Instructional Leadership:

I-A. Curriculum: Ensures that all instructional staff design effective and rigorous standards-based units of instruction consisting of well-structured lessons with measureable outcomes.
I-B. Instruction: Ensures that practices in all settings reflect high expectations regarding content and quality of effort and work, engage all students, and are personalized to accommodate diverse learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness.
I-C. Assessment: Ensures that all principals and administrators facilitate practices that propel personnel to use a variety of formal and informal methods and assessments to measure student learning, growth, and understanding and make necessary adjustments to their practice when students are not learning.
I-D. Evaluation: Ensures effective and timely supervision and evaluation of all staff in alignment with state regulations and contract provisions.
I-E. Data-Informed Decision Making: Uses multiple sources of evidence related to student learning—including state, district, and school assessment results and growth data—to inform school and district goals and improve organizational performance, educator effectiveness, and student learning.
I-F. Student Learning: Demonstrates expected impact on student learning based on multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement, including student progress on common assessments and statewide student growth measures where available.
Management & Operations:

II-A. Environment: Develops and executes effective plans, procedures, routines, and operational systems to address a full range of safety, health, emotional, and social needs.
II-B. Human Resources Management and Development: Implements a cohesive approach to recruiting, hiring, induction, development, and career growth that promotes high-quality and effective practice.
II-C. Scheduling and Management Information Systems: Uses systems to ensure optimal use of data and time for teaching, learning, and collaboration, minimizing disruptions and distractions for school-level staff.
II-D. Law, Ethics, and Policies: Understands and complies with state and federal laws and mandates, school committee policies, collective bargaining agreements, and ethical guidelines.
II-E. Fiscal Systems: Develops a budget that supports the district’s vision, mission, and goals; allocates and manages expenditures consistent with district- and school-level goals and available resources. 
Family & Community Engagement:

III-A. Engagement: Actively ensures that all families are welcome members of the classroom and school community and can contribute to the effectiveness of the classroom, school, district, and community.
III-B. Sharing Responsibility: Continuously collaborates with families and community stakeholders to support student learning and development at home, school, and in the community.
III-C. Communication: Engages in regular, two-way, culturally proficient communication with families and community stakeholders about student learning and performance.
III-D. Family Concerns: Addresses family and community concerns in an equitable, effective, and efficient manner. 

Professional Culture:
IV-A. Commitment to High Standards: Fosters a shared commitment to high standards of service, teaching, and learning with high expectations for achievement for all.
IV-B. Cultural Proficiency: Ensures that policies and practices enable staff members and students to interact effectively in a culturally diverse environment in which students’ backgrounds, identities, strengths, and challenges are respected.
IV-C. Communication: Demonstrates strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
IV-D. Continuous Learning: Develops and nurtures a culture in which staff members are reflective about their practice and use student data, current research, best practices, and theory to continuously adapt practice and achieve improved results. Models these behaviors in his or her own practice.
IV-E. Shared Vision: Successfully and continuously engages all stakeholders in the creation of a shared educational vision in which every student is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and become a responsible citizen and global contributor.
IV-F. Managing Conflict: Employs strategies for responding to disagreement and dissent, constructively resolving conflict and building consensus throughout a district or school community.

The marks on each of the indicators are those used for the standards (Unsatisfactory/Needs Improvement/Proficient/Exemplary). 
A Committee can agree with their superintendent at the time of the goal setting to limit the number of indicators actually evaluated, choosing ones that tie specifically into the goals of the year. That does not mean the superintendent is less required to do the other required pieces of the job, but allows the Committee to focus the evaluation. As Worcester's Committee last July did not choose to do this, the Superintendent will be evaluated on all of the indicators.

The Worcester School Committee members' reports were due in Thursday. Mayor Petty is writing the composite. As yet, it is not public; I'll post when it is.
This will be discussed at our Wednesday meeting at 5 pm.

No comments: