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March 17, 2005

It's Not Board Attendance that's the Issue, Mr. Clingan, It's Committee Leadership

At Wednesday, March 17, 2005, candidates' forum, Lawrie Kobza provided information that Mr. Clingan did not convene the Human Resouces Committee, which he chairs, to evaluate the Superintendent. As Chair of that committee he also did not follow through on a review of an administrative RFP from last spring that was developed in response to the public's concern about administrators (source: board minutes spring 2004). No follow-up, same issue with administrators this year as last and an increase in the administrative budget from $1.5 million in two years even with 2 less FTEs - it's about leadership and putting children's learning first.

Mr. Clingan pointed out that he had attended more than 200+ meetings. Attendance is important, but it does not demonstrate leadership and does not lead to meaningful committee work being done effectively on behalf of children's education and achievement.

Committee Chairs are leadership positions as is Vice President of the Board. Mr. Clingan said that the Board evaluates the Superintendent and they do so at each meeting providing him direction. You can evaluate the Superintendent at each meeting, but that is not very strategic and tends toward wasteful micromanaging.

The superintendent's contract requires the establishment of yearly goals. This is one of the most important undertaking's the board does. Historically, the Human Resources committee takes the lead in the Superintendent's evaluation - Ray Allen the former chair undertook coordinating this review.

If Mr. Clingan did not want to do this as Chair of that committee he needed to advise the Board president - apprently, since there are no goals in place for the Superintendent, this was not done.

The annual establishment of goals with the superintendent, which should be in place before the start of the school year sets the direction for the rest of the district and its employees and is an important communication goal with the community about what the district will be accomplishing in the short-term towards its long-term goals. What's so complicated about that? Why isn't it done?

Ms. Kobza also pointed out that last year that when Mr. Clingan chaired the Long Range Planning, this committee met for updates, but did not take on issues of boundaries, new schools, maintenance in a) any detail nor b) determine ways to involve the public in what would be a lot of work. In other words, no groundwork was laid last year for the enormous amount of work for the Long Range Planning Committee. Leopold families believe it's board votes this year that affected Leopold.

Yet Johnny Winston, Jr., at a previous board meeting, reminded board members that 20 year ago or more there was the knowledge that Leopold needed a new building.

Posted by at March 17, 2005 5:56 PM
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