Sunday, January 10, 2010

APS Superintendent up for evaluation.

There will be a meeting of the APS Finance Committee today.
Despite the fact that the Open Meetings Act requires the
posting of the agenda 24 hours before the meeting, it was not
posted on APS' website until Sunday afternoon.

Buried below the fold in the agenda, link, we find that the APS School Board is set to evaluate Superintendent Winston Brooks.

There are three links provided in the agenda; information on the process, the time line and the evaluation instrument.

Most of the process will take place in secret (executive session). You will never know how your representative on the board performed. The end result of the process will also remain secret;

The evaluation becomes part of the superintendent’s
personnel file and is confidential.
Your only information about the outcome will come in the form of a Journal article, and perhaps an editorial, informing you that the process has taken place and the Superintendent has performed swimmingly. The article and editorial will be published before the bond and mill levy elections and will point to his performance as justification for voting in favor of the bonds and mill levy.

Despite the fact that the Code of Ethics, link, that the board established and "enforces" upon itself, specifically and explicitly prohibits creating the appearance of a conflict of interest, the board will go ahead and evaluate the superintendent themselves though in doing so, they are in fact, evaluating themselves and their selection of the superintendent.

If a superintendent is found to be performing sub-par, it would
reflect poorly on the board that selected and hired him.

Despite the fact that they have had a year to prepare for this
evaluation, examination of their time line indicates they are
under some pressure to get things done (before the bond and
mill levy elections).

The board continues to ignore calls for an independent review
of the administration of the APS.

Board Member Paula Maes
made it quite clear that she
has no intention to "agree to
any audit" that individually
identifies corrupt or incompetent
administrators or board members.

When asked to begin an independent review of administrative standards and accountability, there is not a single board member or administrator who will respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to the question.

One of the evaluation items reads;
Trust and Integrity - is the superintendent trustworthy
and/or is there trust and confidence in his ability to lead
the district in a positive direction?
Any one who knows anything about data gathering will
recognize the fundamental flaw in this item. It asks two
different questions.

In so far as, is the superintendent trustworthy, it would be
appropriate to look to the APS Student Standards of Conduct
for the definition of "trustworthy", Brooks is after all, the
seniormost role model of the student standards of conduct.

The student standards require candid, forthright, and honest
answers to any legitimate question. Brooks steadfastly refuses
to point to a time, a day, a place, or even a process under which
he will answer questions at all.

He is untrustworthy by definition. Yet if you were privy to the
responses board members make on their evaluation forms, you
would find him given high marks anyway.

There are other problems with the instrument. For example,
one item reads;
Labor Relations -is the superintendent effective in working
with labor unions? Does the rank and file view the
superintendent to be an advocate for both the children of
the district and the employees of the district?
Again, the item is flawed by virtue of the fact that two questions
are asked. More importantly, this question should be asked of
the rank and file, not the board. The board does not speak for
the rank and file. No one does; APS no longer recognizes
subordinate evaluation as a valid and integral component of
any proper administrative evaluation.

photos Mark Bralley

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