Friday, January 18, 2008


From this morning's City Paper:

Between now and Saturday Nashville School Board members will complete the process of evaluating Director of Schools Pedro Garcia, complete a written evaluation, and then publicly hear the results of their efforts. When they do, their individual scores will become public record — but their scores also will be anonymous.
This is wrong.

The Tennessee School Board Association is facilitating this evaluation. It became obvious several years ago that Garcia's performance was so divisive that the BOE couldn't do this on their own. Now they're going to use TSBA's usual operating procedure, and their own Policy Governance as a cover for their own accountability to voters.
The board’s governance process policy states, in multiple points, that only the board as a whole — rather than members as individuals — can exercise authority over the director. In one portion, the policy states that, without explicit authorization from the entire board, all board members’ “interaction with the director and with staff must recognize the lack of authority vested in individuals.”
Karen Johnson:
Board member Karen Johnson said she thinks it’s right that the official evaluation be only a cumulative document, but that she plans to post her individual scores on her blog,
George Thompson:
Thompson said he does not believe it is right that board members can keep their evaluation scores to themselves.
Unfortunately he doesn't have something as public as a blog or website, like Johnson to use for publication.

Steve Glover:
Glover said he would be willing to share his scores with constituents who inquire. But he reiterated that he believes it is correct that individual names be left off the evaluation,...
Ditto on the blog/website.

It shouldn't be a surprise. They're not reliably including their names in the regular Executive Expectations reports evaluating Garcia, why should we expect them to include them now?

They used to. Here's a snip from a report from 5/23/06

and from the most recent EE available dated 12/11/07.

I think we need to encourage every board member to ensure their scores on Garcia's performance are made public. Move to have them included in the BOE minutes. Make them available via the MNPS website somewhere. The people of this district, the BOE employer, deserve to know where each one of them stood at this very important time. To hide this vote, months before most of the Board is up for re-election comes across as covering their own backsides to protect their seat.

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