Thursday, April 25, 2013

On the table; superordinate evaluation in the APS

Well, "on the table" might be a bit of a stretch.  According to the agenda, link, of Special Board Meeting tomorrow, they will begin;

Teacher and School Leader Evaluation System (Discussion) 
Noteworthy; the discussion will be among senior administrators and the board; the great unwashed, in what amounts to a monumental disregard for their combined nearly 100,000 years of current teaching experience, are not invited.

The only opinions that matter will come from;
  • Shelly Green, Chief Academic Officer; 
  • Andi Trybus, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources; 
  • RoseAnn McKernan, Executive Director of Instructional Accountability; 
  • Carrie Robin Menapace, Policy Analyst and Legislative Liaison; 
  • Karen Rudys, Executive Director of Labor Relations; 
  • Diane Kerschen, Associate Superintendent for Elementary Education; and 
  • Raquel Reedy, Associate Superintendent for Elementary Education
Noteworthy as well; according the discussion brief, link, the meeting will be "facilitated" by Green, Trybus and Menapace.  A fair question, does any one of them have any real training as a facilitator, or were they the just the ones who raised their hands?

You can't just go into a meeting and be a facilitator, wikilink.  Just because someone raises their hand, it doesn't mean they know what they're doing.  The lack of good facilitation for decision making meetings, is likely the single most damaging flaw in APS' administrative model.  It is what keeps teachers from their seats at the table where decisions are made.

It's all about control.  The leadership of the APS wants to remain in control of the process by which they are evaluated.  A recent audit by the Council of the Great City Schools found; administrative evaluations are "subjective and unrelated to promotion or step placement."  They want to keep it "subjective", so they can offer each other promotions and step placements based, not on their character and competence, but upon their loyalty to the rest of the good ol' boys; their readiness to be standing inside the line, when the administration is circling their wagons, urbandictionary,

Even if one of them was a competent facilitator, they are all conflicted.  Trybus and Green are part of the good ol' boy oligarchy; they're not about to rock the boat by injecting honest accountability into the system of administrative evaluation that got them where they are (and would very much like to remain). 

Ms. Menapace, is the least powerful person at the table.  I assume would like to continue her climb up the leadership ladder.  She is conflicted by what that same CoGCS audit referred to as a "culture of fear of retribution and retaliation" against those who try to hold administrators or board members honestly accountable for their incompetence or corruption.

Whether any of them actually acts on their self interests is an entirely different question than; is there the appearance of a conflict of interests, in giving them the opportunity to, should they so choose.

I've worked under principals with character and competence.  I've worked under principals with an astonishing lack of either; at least one of which is still on the ladder of success in central office.  I can tell you, without hesitation or reservation, the competence and character of principals makes a difference in schools.

Ergo, the failure to hold them honestly accountable for their character and competence, including subjecting them to meaningful subordinate evaluation, will continue to have a negative impact on the education of nearly 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters.

The validity of my suppositions will be proved when their "discussion" is done and there is not an honest process for the subordinate evaluation of principals by their staff and communities.

Just watch.

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