Annual Performance Evaluation Christina W. Kishimoto, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools 2011-2012 School Year

Hartford Board of Education September 2012

About the Evaluation
District Policy 2140 and the Connecticut General Statutes 10-157 require an annual evaluation of the Superintendent. The overall intent of the evaluation process is to:       Contribute to the harmonious working relationship between the Board and the Superintendent. Clarify the role of the Superintendent and the Board for all members. Inform the Superintendent of strengths and of areas of concern. Provide an understanding of the differences in ideas and expectations of individual board members. Provide the highest quality and effective leadership for the school district. Promote the professional development and growth of the Superintendent.

In December 2011 the Superintendent and the Board agreed upon both quantitative and qualitative measures aligned with Board Policy and with the Superintendent’s duties and responsibilities to evaluate her performance for the school year ending June 30, 2012. These two measures were weighted as follows:   Qualitative – Four (4) measures that reflect leadership and management strategies and actions (40%) Quantitative – Ten (10) student achievement measures aligned with the Strategic Operating Plan (60%)


The four qualitative measures were rated on a scale ranging from 1 to 5. The number 1 being the lowest possible score and indicates unacceptable performance. The number 5 being the highest possible score and indicates outstanding performance. A definition of each numerical rating follows: 1. UNSATISFACTORY: The Superintendent’s performance in this category is unacceptable and requires immediate attention; 2. NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The Superintendent needs to concentrate selfimprovement efforts in this area; 3. SATISFACTORY: The Superintendent meets expectations; 4. VERY COMPETENT: The Superintendent exceeds the expectations of the job description; 5. OUTSTANDING: The Superintendent excels in this category. Board – Superintendent Relations (10%)      Recognizes Board members as stakeholders Keeps Board Members informed of issues, needs and operations of the school system Assist Board in formation and achievement of goals and objectives Offers Board professional advice on items requiring Board action Interprets and executes the intent of Board policy

RATING: 1.6 COMMENDATIONS AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT/ RECOMMENDATIONS  Inadequate attention was dedicated to the significant transition of five new Board members in early 2012. Initial training was weak. The continuous drive towards getting the Board to simply approve or concur with the actions of the former Board demonstrated a lack of understanding and judgment. Reminding the Board of the previous Board’s support was not a successful approach for moving forward with reform. The Board Retreat mostly highlighted successes but lacked balance and a

The Superintendent managed the formal and public practices of the Board effectively, ensuring proper administration - - a critical component of the Board’s public and fiduciary responsibilities. The Superintendent’s “Board Brief” is an excellent tool for providing a broad spectrum of information to the Board. Further development of this tool would be helpful in improving Board-Superintendent relations. Conducting monthly workshops was helpful. Inviting the Board to select


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topics for next year is positive. The Superintendent was responsive to Board input in developing the monthly agendas. Documents have been provided to the Board regularly and in an orderly manner. Agendas and materials for meetings were timely and accurate. The coordination of a one-day training for new Board members through the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education was beneficial.

sense of urgency. There was little discussion of anticipated risks and concerns and a lack of transparency with regard to what was not working. Examples of situations that undermined the building of a positive relationship with the Board: New Board Appointments: The Superintendent publicly expressed concern about the appointment of new Board members, making it clear that she preferred to maintain the status quo. Burns School: The transition of principals was the Board’s first encounter with insufficient information from the Superintendent. Board members were not encouraged to attend meetings and were regarded as distractions. Milner School: Changing the design was poorly handled. Without sufficient preparation, the Board could not make good and reasonable decisions regarding the second redesign of the neighborhood school. Ultimately, the Board was provided with the information to make an informed decision - - but it was clear that the Superintendent expected support for her recommendations regardless of the Board’s discomfort with them. Great Path School: The Superintendent expected the new Board to vote on a significant transaction solely based on blind faith. Principal transitions: The Superintendent did not support policy changes that would involve the Board in reviewing principal appointments as well

as the appointment of other senior leaders. In order to instill confidence with the Board regarding the high rate of principal resignations and terminations, the Superintendent must focus on developing a revised effective hiring method. Special education: The Board finds it difficult to support the Superintendent on matters concerning special education because the overall plan is not clear nor is it a strong, central component of reform. It is also overly expensive. Learning Corridor/CREC Relationship: The District’s relationship with CREC continues to weaken. It should be a mutually beneficial partnership to educate our children, rather than a combative one. The use of common areas at the Learning Corridor must be resolved cordially. Quirk School: The Board expects a final proposal from the Superintendent regarding her negotiations with the Police Chief regarding the maintenance of police presence or of locating other quarters as the Quirk renovations move forward. The Board expects a resolution acceptable to all parties - - including neighborhood residents who have experienced a significant reduction in crime due to the police presence. Betances: The proposal to create a magnet school was poorly managed. Ultimately the right decision to move forward was made, but the path was unnecessarily twisted and fraught with pitfalls that could have been avoided with proper planning.


Lack of full disclosure unless specifically questioned: To help the reform process, the Board needs the unvarnished truth - both pluses and minuses. The Superintendent tends to highlight achievement without identifying risks in order to get Board support of her policies. Legislative Action/Advocacy: The Superintendent’s presentation to the Education Committee of the General Assembly was not shared beforehand with the Board for its confirmation of support. One Board member feels the Superintendent should retract her comments, alerting the General Assembly that she lacked Board authorization. In the future, the Superintendent should obtain consent from the Board before developing a legislative agenda or advocacy proposal.


Educational Leadership (10%)   Sets a clear vision, theory of action and teaching and learning approach Executes the district strategic operating plan using a systems approach to improvements, i.e. alignment with and management of human resources, district budget, and succession planning Serves as a leader of leaders and models sound decision-making Creates and reinforces a climate of performance excellence across the school district Serves as an educational expert in City, State and National agendas; stays current with research and participates in professional development

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RATING: 3.0 COMMENDATIONS   AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT/ RECOMMENDATIONS The Superintendent must develop and implement a communication system that creates a wide-range understanding of the District’s data. The Superintendent’s management structure is overly complex and layered thereby contributing to a weak, disjointed communication process that must be reviewed. Greater, stronger leadership is needed to drive best practices throughout the system in order to more speedily close the gap between low-performing and high-performing schools. More in-depth analysis of community factors/partnerships that support higher achievement must be executed. There is no evidence of corrective action plans to correct downward trends. Improving principal and staff performance is often discussed but there is no evidence of a plan on how it will be achieved and how individuals

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The Superintendent focuses on plans necessary to build a high-performing District. She understands the importance of developing an organizational infrastructure that will drive strategic imperatives and operating goals. The Strategic Operating Plan is a navigational device with flexibility to allow for course corrections. It has become part of a broader community discussion regarding education in Hartford. The Hartford School Leader Rubric is an excellent tool to accelerate principal development, leadership and accountability. Review of the bilingual world language and ELL program is a response to a real need. The Superintendent highlighted accomplishments of children, parents and staff throughout the year at Board meetings. She presided over several

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academic competitions to generate excitement of learning. The Superintendent is highly knowledgeable about education reform and is willing to experiment to achieve desired outcomes and increased student achievement. The Superintendent makes effective use of networking and has been a positive presence at education related gatherings.

will be held accountable. Although standardized test results may be necessary to demonstrate progress in closing the achievement gap, care must be taken to ensure that a focus on test results does not undermine excellence in instruction, culture, climate and student’s academic exploration. Limited course offerings and narrow school themes may diminish the overall quality of education. The Superintendent must promote excellence in the arts, science, literature, athletics and other academic areas both in and out of school. The inordinately and unprecedented high number of principal departures was a major concern that must be addressed. There has been a lack of significant progress measured by the redesigned neighborhood high schools.


Stakeholders Engagement      Develops and facilitates effective working relationships with teachers, parents, staff, union, City government and other stakeholders Promotes public participation in educational matters Interprets district priorities to Board members, parents, staff, news media, and partners Promotes a governance approach that includes student and parent participation and voice Utilizes effective communication strategies and is visible and accessible in the community

RATING: 2.4 COMMENDATIONS AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT/ RECOMMENDATIONS  Despite the long list of activities, there is evidence that key stakeholders and other critical constituencies are not engaged. The Superintendent cannot do this alone and must reach out to leaders and teachers. The Superintendent must evaluate how the district manages communications in high profile/high-stake situations. Several incidents were handled poorly this year (e.g. Burns, Milner, Betances). The Superintendent’s rigorous focus on teaching and learning has not sufficiently been accompanied by a strategic and sustained effort to report to families and the community about the District’s approach and its outcomes. Regarding public communication, the District has taken a piecemeal, reactive approach that has failed to align the range of activities and initiatives. In addition, there’s a lack of message consistency and measurement of impact with insufficient communications about priorities. The Superintendent must work with the Board to revise the redesign policy so all people in Hartford have a stake and a voice. A number of personnel decisions were

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Progress has been made with external stakeholders that may lead to more funding opportunities or policy improvements to facilitate reform. Hartford Promise is a great example because of the connection with the Gates Foundation. The Superintendent’s support of the School Governance Councils. Constructive contact with the teacher union, building representatives, corporate executives and leaders of higher education institutions. Several vital partnerships were created/expanded, including Ray of Hope, Trinity College, University of Hartford, and the Connecticut Science Center. Good use of media to promote the Superintendent’s agenda. She has been very visible in the community. The early District community forums were well received.


The Superintendent runs community meetings smoothly and professionally with great preparation.

questioned because they disregarded parent and student voices. The Superintendent must work with the Board to modify School Governance Council policy to ensure they are consulted when a principal leaves- or is removed and replaced with an interim leader. The Superintendent must help parents gain an increased understanding of the critical role they must play in closing the achievement gap. The Superintendent must engage the Mayor’s Office when consulting with state agencies, the legislature and the governor. The Superintendent must ensure that frontline administrators are out into the community on a regular basis.


Strategic Resource Alignment (10%)      Develops and monitors the annual budget based on Board policy and district SOP priorities Develops systems and partnership models for continuous institutional advancements Creates a professional learning approach in alignment with the SOP priorities Organizes district systems, staff and resources in support of school improvement plans Aligns staff performance requirements and talent management approaches

RATING: 3.3 COMMENDATIONS AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT/ RECOMMENDATIONS    A process is needed to forecast financial requirements three to five years out. The status of special education and adult education in the District must be clarified. Continue the development of systems and partnership models; align Cabinet resources; define accountabilities of Cabinet members, especially in regard to their relationship with SOP. Articulation of a talent management strategy is essential to further align resources with priorities and to ensure desired results. The budget process systematically penalizes schools with a high percent of students in poverty, those with disabilities and those who are ELL. The Superintendent must engage with the Board to find alternative methods of funding to eliminate the negative impact on these schools. The Superintendent and OTM must work with the HR committee to develop a selection, transition and support plan for principals. A comprehensive staff/parent survey

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Expectations that sufficient resources exist to meet the District’s strategic operating priorities have been fulfilled. The Superintendent’s budget process was effective and its justification understandable. The Talent Management approach is a good start to build a continuum of services to ensure a professionally trained staff. The Superintendent’s budget was prepared and presented within the parameters and resources provided by the City, State and Federal Funds. The Superintendent managed to provide the bulk of the budget to schools. The SGCs were engaged in developing school improvement plans and the budgets to support them. The Superintendent responded on time to the DOE report of major violations of the rights of students with disabilities. The Superintendent and OTM collaborated with the union to identify a teacher evaluation rubric and to implement the evaluation of all principals that was not previously done.


must be conducted in order to fully understand the concerns at each school. Resources influence the strengths of magnet schools and accentuate the handicaps facing neighborhood schools. Guidance counselors, art, music and health education are critical resources that are too often missing in neighborhood schools. These inequities must be addressed. The District must join forces with the City to improve efficiency of operation and maintenance of buildings. The Superintendent must consider a contingency plan as part of the budget process in order to identify potential risks and opportunities - and delineate how the District can best respond.


K-3 Reading Readiness 3rd Grade Overall Reading K-3 attending same school K-3 attending any HPS school All 3rd Graders 3 6th Grade Matched Cohort Overall Reading Index Overall Achievement Index 4 7th Grade Matched Cohort Overall Reading Index Overall Achievement Index 5 8th Grade Matched Cohort Overall Reading Index Overall Achievement Index 6 9th Grade Achievement 7 10th Grade Reading Math Science Writing 8 SAT 9 NGA Graduation Rate* Post Secondary 10 Enrollment* Total 1 2 Baseline 47.1 54.0 51.7 50.8 22.5 10.5 1.5 -0.4 -2.0 -5.1 N/A 48.1 48.5 44.7 61.0 NA 59.9 50.0 Target 51.1 63.2 55.7 54.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 Actual 53.3 55.6 53.0 49.8 17.3 5.8 4.8 -1.7 1.3 -1.8 Met? Y N N N Y Y Y N N N % of eval* 10.00% 3.33% 3.33% 3.33% 5.00% 5.00% 5.00% 5.00% 5.00% 5.00% Score** 10.000 0.579 1.082 0.000 5.000 5.000 5.000 0.000 1.625 0.000

52.1 52.5 48.7 65.0 62.7 TBD

49.8 48.0 42.7 63.5


2.50% 2.50% 2.50% 2.50% (7.5%)* (7.5%)*

1.063 0.000 0.000 1.563


* Per the Superintendent’s self-evaluation, data for the NGA Graduation rate and post-secondary enrollment are not yet available. The percent of evaluation (15%) was reallocated to the remaining categories on a proportional basis; i.e. K-3 Reading Readiness represents 7.5% of the original allocation and 10% after reallocation. ** If the target was not met but progress was made, a calculation was made to assign partial credit; i.e. growth in reading for K-3 attending same school was 17.4% of target (1.6/9.2). 17.4% of the 3.33 available for that item (.57913) was credited. In areas of negative growth (e.g. 8th Grade Overall Achievement Index) 0 points were assigned.


  Qualitative: 25% Quantitative: 31%

This has been a year of performance contrasts for the district's new Superintendent. Dr. Kishimoto has had several accomplishments, however, there are significant areas requiring immediate improvement. While adapting to her new responsibilities of substantial scope and accountability, Dr. Kishimoto was also faced with a newly constituted board. The Superintendent did not consistently manage these dynamics that required highly effective leadership, relationship building and operational management. Relative to the qualitative evaluation measures that reflect leadership and management strategies, Dr. Kishimoto demonstrated satisfactory performance in Educational Leadership. She implemented initiatives outlined in the strategic operating plan that pertain to developing organizational infrastructure, assessment strategies and principal/teacher quality. However, further improvements are needed in the evaluation of what's working, understanding best practices and the implementation of strategies to accelerate improvements across mid and low performing schools. In addition, evidence of plans for execution of initiatives and methods of accountability are essential in order to give clarity on how results will be driven across the system. Dr. Kishimoto demonstrated strong performance regarding strategic resource alignment. The Superintendent has good command of operational issues, budget management and resource alignment. Nevertheless, a continued emphasis on an effective talent management strategy; alignment of cabinet resources with clear accountabilities; and thought leadership regarding the budget process and minimizing impact on disadvantaged schools is imperative. While a critical role of the Superintendent, as the top executive of the district, is to foster effective partnerships with stakeholders, performance in this area has not been at the level required. With regard to Board and Superintendent relations, the quality of this relationship has been hindered by poor communication processes; lack of thought leadership on the part of the Superintendent regarding how to manage the relationship; and ineffective approaches to decision making. Immediate improvements are required in these areas in order to demonstrate effective executive leadership, as well as help ensure greater alignment among the governing body of the district.

Stakeholder Engagement is another key area that impacts overall performance of the district. Dr. Kishimoto has implemented a number of initiatives in partnership with local corporations and other entities. In addition, she has established the Welcome Center, School Governance Councils and community forums designed to engage parents. Despite success in these areas, the Superintendent must demonstrate greater effectiveness in partnership with other key stakeholders (e.g. Hartford Police, CREC). Also, more communication regarding what is working and where the district challenges exist is important to further mobilize the community around key initiatives. The quantitative evaluation measures established by the Superintendent, which represented 60% of her evaluation, fell well below expectations. It is important for the Superintendent to effectively analyze why these results were not achieved and what specific strategies are needed to improve performance. Overall, the role of Superintendent of the Hartford School System presents great challenges and opportunities. After six years of reform, there are several schools performing very well, however, the majority of schools in the district are not performing at the level needed to educate all children effectively. Dr. Kishimoto has been a part of the early reform efforts and has demonstrated some success in executing key initiatives and driving student-centered approaches. What will be required for full success in this role is effective board and stakeholder relationships and processes; improved communication; and greater thought leadership in utilizing data to gain insights on what's working and what is not- in order to ensure effectiveness of the Strategic Operating Plan. The board recommends further professional development to support Dr. Kishimoto in demonstrating broader leadership capabilities and achieving greater success as the Superintendent of the Hartford Public School System. Going forward, the Board expects Dr. Kishimoto to focus on:  Establishing a communication process with the board that ensures proactive information sharing to support effective decision-making and governance.  Modeling and maintaining the values of candor, openness and inclusiveness  Demonstrating political savvy in managing relationships with stakeholders and establishing partnerships  Leveraging data to gain insights and effectively evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and initiatives  Providing clarity on execution approaches and systems of accountability for highly visible initiatives


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Recognizing when there is a need for change and effectively managing both the areas that need to remain stable and those that need to change Maintaining and fostering a sense of urgency throughout the organization for driving achievement gains for all students

The Board strongly recommends that the Superintendent pursue services offered for additional professional development. The primary goals are to support Dr. Kishimoto and ensure the future success of the Hartford School District. Submitted on behalf of the Hartford Board of Education:

_____________________________________________ Matthew K. Poland Chairman

___________________ Date


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