Members of the Dyer County School Board discussed developing an evaluation for the director of schools during a supplemental agenda at Tuesday evening's board meeting.
The issue was brought up by School Board Chairman Mike McLaughlin at the first meeting of the New Year. The meeting took place in the boardroom at Central Office at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
McLaughlin requested feedback from school board members on the required superintendent's evaluation and presented his own version of an evaluation.
McLaughlin cited five criteria the superintendent should be evaluated on each year, including:
* job performance
* student achievement
* relationships with staff and personnel
* relationships with board members
* relationships with the community.
"I am of the opinion that if the schools are performing and there is money in the bank, the biggest part of the battle is won," said McLaughlin. "I have developed something that might be worth our consideration."
McLaughlin suggested ranking the director of schools on a 100-point scale, with 70 percent of his job performance resting on student achievement and the budget.
McLaughlin's draft offers 50 points for student achievement, taking results from the State Report Card to compare the Dyer County School System to other systems in the area and the state average.
For job performance, the director will have the opportunity to earn 20 points depending on data collected from the state financial audit and the superintendent's ability to maintain a 10 percent fund balance in the budget. The other 30 points will come from surveys of school board members, community leaders and staff and personnel.
School board representatives present at Tuesday's meeting requested tabling the issue to have time to go over McLaughlin's handout. McLaughlin encouraged the representatives to use the draft as a springboard for their own ideas.
"We need to chew on this," said school board representative Ross Maldonado. "We know Dr. Hedge does a good job. We also know Dr. Hedge is about to retire. I'd like to feel, going forward, we have a plan in place (to evaluate our next superintendent fairly)."
"We need to be working on something for the next superintendent," said school board representative William May. "We haven't evaluated (Hedge) one time."
The issue should appear on the agenda of the February meeting.
Also at the meeting, members of the Dyer County School Board:
* approved a resolution transferring bonus funds for staff in lieu of a pay raise. Hedge said the bonus has already been distributed to employees within the system. The resolution is simply a housecleaning item.
School board representative Maria Starks moved to approve the resolution, with Maldonado adding a second. The motion passed, unanimously, by board members present. Only Carol Feather was absent from the meeting.
* approved new and updated school board policies concerning student discrimination/ harassment/bullying/intimidation and building-use applications.
"Most of these are driven by outside forces," said Hedge.
May moved to approve the policies, with Starks adding a second. The motion passed without opposition.
* discussed the challenges of implementing Common Core standards (see related story) and keeping quality educators interested in teaching in spite of the increasing pressure of state mandates and teacher evaluations.
"In the future, do you think it will be harder to get people to go into education?" asked May.
"It already is," said Stark.
"Particularly at the high school level, it is hard to get the quality of teachers you want," said Hedge. "And our salaries are not competitive."
"I think the average person has no idea what pressure teachers today are under," said May. "We are going to have to take this to the County Court. The County Court is going to have to get off of its pocketbook."