Kentucky School Advocate
Since 2015-16, school boards effectively have been required to use a superintendent evaluation system mandated by the Kentucky Department of Education, an initiative pushed by former Commissioner Terry Holliday.
No more. While KDE still must approve all superintendent evaluation plans, it will “no longer be requiring adherence to the (Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System) model that was created under Commissioner Holliday,” according to a memo from KDE General Counsel Kevin Brown.
In his memo, Brown said the education department hopes boards still will continue to incorporate the best practices from the SPGES model. Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will be looking to see that local boards develop evaluation plans “that are meaningful and that are tied to goals that impact student achievement, gap closure, and other items that are relevant to the success of students in each district,” the memo said. “Failure of local boards to develop and maintain such plans could result in KDE asking for amended evaluation plans from local boards.”
School boards had the option of devising their own plans under the Holliday administration but KDE rejected the only plan developed by a local board. Prior to the Holliday-imposed system, some districts had used a KSBA model for evaluating the superintendent. At this point, however, the association is awaiting more guidance from KDE about the parameters it will accept in this new era, said Jean Crowley, KSBA Board Team Development specialist.
Because of that, and because districts are midway through the current evaluation process, “we recommend that school boards continue to use the SPGES process,” Crowley said. By July 1, she added, KSBA hopes to have more information to assist boards that may want to develop their own process.
The SPGES has some strengths, she noted; among them are the conversations about goals between the board and superintendent, and the ongoing nature of the process itself.