Superintendent’s Memo #272-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 5, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents

On September 27, 2012, the Virginia Board of Education approved revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents.  The guidelines and standards become effective on July 1, 2014; however, school boards and divisions are authorized to implement them prior to July 1, 2014.

The Board’s action was based on recommendations from a Work Group on Superintendent Evaluation established by the Virginia Department of Education.  The Work Group included superintendents, principals, teachers, a human resources representative, a parent representative, and representatives from professional organizations (Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, Virginia Association of School Superintendents, Virginia Education Association, Virginia School Boards Association, and the Virginia Parent Teacher Association), an expert consultants, and Department of Education personnel.

The Board is required to establish performance standards and evaluation criteria for teachers, principals, and superintendents to serve as guidelines for school divisions to use in implementing educator evaluation systems.  The Code of Virginia requires that (1) superintendent evaluations be consistent with the performance objectives (standards) set forth in the Board’s Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents and (2) school boards’ procedures for evaluating principals address student academic progress.

The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents set forth seven performance standards for all Virginia superintendents.  Pursuant to state law, superintendent evaluations must be consistent with the following performance standards (objectives) approved by the Board:

Performance Standard 1:  Mission, Vision, and Goals
The superintendent works with the local school board to formulate and implement the school division’s mission, vision, and goals to promote student academic progress.

Performance Standard 2:  Planning and Assessment
The superintendent strategically gathers, analyzes, and uses a variety of data to guide planning and decision-making consistent with established guidelines, policies, and procedures that result in student academic progress.

Performance Standard 3:  Instructional Leadership
The superintendent fosters the success of all teachers, staff, and students by ensuring the development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of effective teaching and learning that leads to student academic progress and school improvement.

Performance Standard 4:  Organizational Leadership and Safety
The superintendent fosters the safety and success of all teachers, staff, and students by supporting, managing, and evaluating the division’s organization, operation, and use of resources.

Performance Standard 5:  Communication and Community Relations
The superintendent fosters the success of all students through effective communication with stakeholders.

Performance Standard 6:  Professionalism
The superintendent fosters the success of teachers, staff, and students by demonstrating professional standards and ethics, engaging in continuous professional development, and contributing to the profession.

Performance Standard 7:  Divisionwide Student Academic Progress
The superintendent’s leadership results in acceptable, measurable divisionwide student academic progress based on established standards.

The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents incorporate student academic progress as a significant component of the evaluation while encouraging local flexibility in implementation.  The Guidelines call for each superintendent to receive a summative evaluation rating and that the rating be determined by weighting the first six standards equally at ten percent each, and that the seventh standard, student academic progress, account for 40 percent of the summative evaluation.

The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents provide school divisions with a model evaluation system, including sample forms and templates that may be implemented “as is” or used to refine existing local superintendent evaluation systems.

The revised evaluation document is available on the Performance and Evaluation page on the Department of Education Web site.  The reference document, Research Synthesis of Virginia Superintendent Evaluation Competencies and Standards, is also posted on this site.  This site will also be used to post training and support materials for the new evaluation model as they are developed.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Dr. Mark R. Allan, director of teacher licensure and school leadership, at Mark.Allan@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371‑2471.

PIW/ej