Superintendent Evaluation 

On December 12, 2016, the Texas Education Agency issued its To the Administrator Addressed correspondence (TAA), which reestablishes a commissioner-recommended appraisal process and criteria for evaluation of school district superintendents. Recent rule changes on school administrator appraisals had temporarily left a gap as to a commissioner-recommended appraisal method for superintendents, which is now filled through this TAA correspondence.

Superintendent annual appraisal options

Texas Education Code 21.354 provides two options for the annual appraisal of a school district's superintendent:

  • Option One: A district may use the commissioner's recommended appraisal process and performance criteria.
  • Option Two: A district may develop its own appraisal process and performance criteria in consultation with the district and campus-level committees, which is then adopted by the board.

The reestablished appraisal method for superintendents

The TAA correspondence reestablishes a commissioner-recommended appraisal method for superintendents under the first option in Section 21.354. This new commissioner-adopted appraisal method requires only that a superintendent's evaluation include a student performance domain; other appraisal procedures and criteria are determined by the board.

Key questions

Can a school board use the same appraisal instrument it used last year to evaluate the superintendent?

Yes. The repealed rules already included a student performance domain as part of the superintendent's evaluation. If your district was using an instrument that complied with the old commissioner rules, your school board may continue to use that instrument this year. Read TEA's Correspondence on Superintendent Appraisal (pdf). 

Do we need to consult with the district's site-based decision making committees?

No. If you are using the same appraisal instrument as last year, and it contains a student performance domain, there is no need to consult with the district's site-based decision making committees before conducting the superintendent's appraisal.

What if our board is interested in making future changes to the superintendent's appraisal instrument?

You may want to wait and see. The TAA correspondence additionally notes that the commissioner will be adopting new rules on superintendent appraisal. Read TEA's Correspondence on Superintendent Appraisal (pdf). 

Helpful resources

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If you have questions about the superintendent evaluation process, contact Bill Rutherford at 512.505.2460, or