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As public elected or selected officials, board members must be accountable to the community. The evaluation instrument is an excellent accountability tool. The board must answer various questions, such as: What are the legal requirements of superintendent evaluation? What is an evaluation's purpose? How can we measure performance? Is an evaluation instrument a measure of growth? How does it serve to improve superintendent-board relations? What is the board's ethical responsibility to the community regarding student learning? What documents are needed to perform the evaluation?

Certain things are easier to accomplish in a district comprised of only 700 students.

"Here I know most of the kids quite well," says Mary Rubadeau, the nine-year superintendent of the Telluride (Colo.) School District. Known for attending class and student council meetings, luncheons held by extracurricular clubs so she can be a sounding board, and most sporting activities, Rubadeau says, "It's not a usual superintendent relationship. I think they value knowing their superintendent. I have an open door, too, so they always know they can come to ask my opinion."


By all accounts Christopher Steinhauser, superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District - a position the locally grown school reformer has held since 2002 - is the right person for the job.