Saturday, May 25, 2019

Board to self-evaluate annually

Two years ago, on April 18, 2017, the Richland 2 School Board adopted this Policy. Has it been followed?

Have three board evaluations (2017, 2018, 2019) been conducted? Has a summary report been presented to the public after each evaluation? Have two? Has one? When will the next evaluation be conducted?

How detailed is the questionnaire offered by the South Carolina School Boards Association?

Policy BAA Board Self-Evaluation

"Issued 4/17
"The school board is committed to quality, excellence, growth, and leading by example. To that end, the board will conduct annual self-evaluations during a special meeting.
"Self-assessment by the board provides valuable information, discussion, and communication in an effort to build a unified body of effective leaders. The evaluation will assist the board, as a governance team, in continuous improvement of the following areas:
  • providing a starting point for effective goal setting and long-range planning
  • allowing new board members an opportunity to understand board processes, roles, and responsibilities
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses of the board as a public body and steps for board development
  • improving decision making by enhancing a common understanding of philosophies and goals
  • fostering open communication
  • holding the board accountable to themselves and the district
"SCSBA will assist the board with the annual evaluation by providing the assessment instrument, analysis, and feedback on how the board may improve its operation.
"Following the evaluation, the board chairman will make a summary report of the process at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
"Adopted 4/18/17"

Note that the Policy, as written by and adopted by the school district, states that the SCSBA "will" assist the board. That's just shy of "shall assist", and the degree of assistance is greater than "may assist" or "might assist" or "is available to assist" the Richland 2 School Board.

What are "self-evaluations"? Does each board member evaluate himself? Are the evaluations 360ยบ; i.e., each board member evaluates himself and is evaluated by each other board member?

Can the Richland 2 School Board really evaluate itself? Honestly? This is not a rhetorical question. I mean, can they do an honest evaluation of themselves? Some of them can and will. Others? Not so sure.

What happens if one or more board members gets negative feedback from the other board members?

Is the superintendent absent from the board evaluations process? He should be (absent). He shouldn't supervise, coach or monitor the evaluation process.

Is the assessment instrument available for review? How about the individual assessment results? Nothing in Policy BAA says the information is private. It should all be available upon request or by FOIA.

Note that the Policy reads "during a special meeting"; it does not read "during executive session". This means that the evaluations are to be done in public. And the special meeting should be recorded and published on YouTube.

Read carefully the accountability requirement, which is "to themselves and the district". By "district" (lower-case), does this policy mean to the taxpayers, voters, parents, students, community members? Or does "district" mean to the school district, which they govern?

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