Superintendent’s Evaluation: What’s Missing?

For the first time since 2002, the Madison School Board has produced a performance evaluation of Superintendent Art Rainwater. It’s a small step in the right direction. However, it’s important to understand how the evaluation fails to meet the requirements of the district’s employment contract with the superintendent.
The contract requires the Board to set specific, measurable goals for the superintendent by the first day of each school year. That did not happen.

It requires the Board to determine in advance what evidence and data will be used to measure his progress toward the goals. That did not happen.
It requires a confidential survey of administrators about his performance. That did not happen.
Having skipped those steps, the Board offers the community its own subjective views in a few general categories. More information will not be forthcoming because all discussions occurred in executive sessions.
For the 2005-06 school year, the Board proposes to set specific performance goals by November 1. This discussion does not yet appear on any meeting agenda. Whether we can quickly state our vision for the district and translate it into specific, measurable performance goals for the superintendent remains to be seen. I hope so. If we don’t hold our top employee accountable to clear goals, we will fail our students and the community.