Board self-evaluation provides more than just accountability and communication. It provides an opportunity for building the best possible leadership for the district and community. Commitment to quality, excellence, continuous learning, and local control of the educational system is demonstrated when boards lead by example.
Oregon School Boards Association's Board Self-Evaluation online survey is designed to provide both a clear objective system for board evaluation. It was developed by our colleagues in Washington, and is based on board standards that were identified through the Lighthouse Inquiries. This tool has also been validated in additional research asking about the relationship between boardsmanship as measured with this board self-assessment tool and student achievement. The initial research was conducted in Montana by Ivan Lorentzen, Ed. D. Click here for an executive summary.
This initial research from Montana has now been replicated in Washington and Texas. We hope to soon add Oregon to that list.
The survey measures 5 standards, 22 benchmarks, and 69 key performance indicators. It takes about twenty minutes to complete. It is designed to assess the board as a whole, not its individual members, and each question asks to what extent the board does the following statement or question. It is completely anonymous, however, it does ask a role question in case the board wishes to include its superintendent and board secretary. Their answers however are not individually identifiable.
The culture of an organization is set at the top, and it is no different for school and educational organizations. School boards must be strong, effective leaders to meet the challenges faced by public education today. School board members direct the affairs of the district by setting goals, developing policy, communicating and evaluating, all with a focus on the achievement and best interests of all students in the district. Self-assessment by the board provides valuable information, discussion and communication.
Self-evaluation by the board:
Holds the board accountable to themselves, the staff and the community.
Allows for reflection by board members on the board's behavior and performance.
Fosters open communication.
Improves decision making by enhancing a common understanding of philosophies and goals.
Resolves differences of opinion and challenges assumptions.
Provides insight into how and why decisions are reached.
Allows new board members an opportunity to understand board processes.
Identifies strengths and weaknesses of the board as a whole.
Holds the board accountable in its role as representative of the public.
Provides a starting point for effective goal setting and long range planning.
The OSBA online survey is available and free for OSBA member boards. Please reach out to the Board Development department to request the link. A summary report of the 5 standards will be provided free of charge. A more in-depth facilitated conversation of the survey's 22 benchmarks and 69 key performance indicators is provided to your board by a member of the OSBA Board Development team for a small fee and travel costs.