Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not every superintendent evaluation seems off the mark

The Harlan Independent School Board just gave their superintendent David Johnson good marks in his annual evaluation.

This time, we think a local board may have got it right when its board chair Joe Meadows said:

“We, as a board feel that our superintendent has performed his job admirably and we are satisfied with his performance.”

Some points:

• Harlan Independent ranks in an impressive ninth place for ACT Composite Scores from the 2010 testing of all 11th grade students in Kentucky.

• The district’s eighth grade students did almost as well, coming in at 14th place among Kentucky’s 174 school districts.

As a note, Harlan is a very small school system, enrolling only 818 students. That is virtually identical to enrollment in Caverna Independent Schools, which we blogged about a few days ago.

However, Caverna’s board clearly inflated their evaluation of their superintendent, giving him a perfect score on his evaluation even though Caverna ranks 164 for ACT Scores in 2010.

By the way, Caverna’s superintendent’s salary in 2010-2011 of $107,188.00 ranks at 108 out of 174 school districts. In sharp contrast, Harlan Independent’s superintendent’s salary is notably lower at only $99,272.51, ranking only at 142nd out of 174 school districts.

Let’s see, inflated evaluations and salary for much poorer performance.


Superintendent evaluations in Kentucky are definitely broken!

This broken system is extremely unfair. Anyone who would read the two superintendent evaluations discussed here would think that it was Caverna, not Harlan Independent, which has the superior superintendent. The ACT test results tell us the exact opposite is actually true.

This broken system is also unfair to taxpayers, who are not getting trustworthy information about how their local school leaders are really performing.

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