Since 1999, the Madison School Board has had a written employment contract with Superintendent Art Rainwater. It contains a job evaluation process that is fair to the superintendent and that requires the Board to perform its most important function, setting clear goals for the district.
Before the first day of each school year, the Board must set performance goals that are “measurable to the extent possible”. By July 30 of the next year, the Board must meet with the superintendent, review his progress toward meeting the performance goals, review his self-evaluation, and review confidential evaluations by other administrators in the district.
If the Board followed the contract, the superintendent and the public would know what’s expected of the most powerful employee in terms of “improvement in programs, projects and activities to be undertaken” during the upcoming year.
According to the MMSD Human Resources department, the last time the Board evaluated the superintendent was in 2002. It did not follow all of the requirements of the contract in that evaluation.
The first day of the school year is September 1. The Board has not set measurable performance goals for the superintendent for 2005-06, although it has had two discussions on the subject.
When the evaluation does occur, I suggest that we all compare the provisions of the contract with the evaluation. If the Board does not set measurable performance goals for the superintendent in 2005-06, it will again fail in its duty under the contract.It will again fail to inform the public about its priorities for our children and fail to hold the superintendent accoutable under the priorities.
The contract spells out the evaluation process very clearly.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS: Each year before the first day of school, the Board and superintendent must establish performance expectations for the next year in writing based on his duties and responsibilities under the contract and any other criteria mutally agree upon.
MEASURABLE OUTCOMES: “To the extent possible, all performance expectations shall have measurable outcomes”.
JULY 30 DEADLINE: After setting performance expectations, the Board must meet with the superintendent to discuss his evaluation no later than July 30.
Two types of appraisals are required.
SPECIFIC RESULTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS BASED ON PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS: The written performance expectations must include goals that reflect the superintendent’s priorities for the improvement programs, projects and activities to be undertaken. Prior to meeting with the Board for his evaluation, the superintendent must complete a self-evaluation that summarizes his progress on each goal.
5 PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES—PLANNING, ORGANIZING, LEADING, SUPERVISING AND JOB KNOWLEDGE: In each category the Board must indicate the type of evidence of performance and data sources that will be used to evaluate the superintendent’s performance.
SURVEYS OF OTHER ADMINISTRATORS: The Board must distribute surveys about the superintendent’s performance in the five categories to individuals who report directly to him and a random selection of other administrators.