Online Board Self-Assessment

What is it?

WSSDA’s online Board Self-Assessment survey is an easy-to-use tool that helps school boards assess and strengthen their performance in governing for improved student learning. Research-based and scientifically validated, the survey is based on the Washington School Board Standards. The self-assessment is freely available to school boards in Washington state.

Where did it come from?

Developed through funds from the Stuart Foundation and in partnership with The BERC Group and Anderson Data Solutions, the Online Board Self-Assessment has been tested and refined through pilot projects involving school boards and superintendents. It represents a cutting-edge approach to helping boards evaluate and improve the way they govern for student learning.

How does it work?

Each board member receives a link to the survey, which can be completed at their leisure on a smartphone, computer or tablet. From start to finish, it takes most folks no more than 10-20 minutes to complete. Results are provided in an easy-to-read, color-coded report, which is cumulative year to year.

Optionally, a member of WSSDA’s leadership development branch or cadre of trainers can travel to you and facilitate a review of your board’s assessment report to unpack the significance of your data.

Why is it important locally?

Board actions impact student success, period. Taking the survey is a valuable opportunity for boards to reflect on their practices. If taken annually as WSSDA recommends, the assessment report provides a year-to-year comparison that allows a board to identify progress made or areas in which boards may want to set goals. The purpose is not to “grade” your school board, but rather to measure, monitor, and strengthen its performance in governing for improved student learning.

Why is it important nationally or internationally?

By aggregating assessment results from each state using the Board Self-Assessment, WSSDA has grown the world’s largest collection of data correlating board actions with student outcomes. Research using multiple years of data, cross-referenced with academic outcomes, shows a strong correlation between board actions and student success. Thanks to a longstanding collaboration with researchers from the University of Montana and Kalispell Community College, we continue to improve and expand our understanding of what boards, anywhere, can do to improve outcomes for students. 

How do we get started?

To get started, email Christine Najarro, WSSDA Leadership Development Coordinator.

What Members Say


The self-assessment allows us to compare ourselves and what we are doing to an ideal board. This honest comparison provides us with a direction in which we can improve. It is a great way to grow. — Myron Yolo, Wapato School Director, 2017 participant

The WSSDA board self-assessment results tell the board two important things, 1) where directors think the board needs to improve, and 2) where directors need more information to understand their district’s processes. Both of these are useful in goal setting.” — Rob Coffey, Mount Vernon School Director, 2017 participant

Sample Report

See a sample self-assessment report