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School board to change evaluation policy

January 19, 1999

The Washington County Board of Education is going to change the way it evaluates Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett's job performance.

School Board members said the evaluation process isn't working properly.

"The tool is not a good tool and needs to be changed," Board President Edwin Hayes said Tuesday. "What we're currently doing is not good."

The board also might change the date of the evaluation.

As part of Bartlett's contract, he is guaranteed an evaluation by March 31. That's too soon for the three recently elected board members, who have worked with Bartlett for only two months.

"Could we at least get a job description? I have nothing to base it on," said board member Mary Wilfong.

Other board members agreed it is difficult to assess the superintendent's performance so soon after being elected.

"Just as soon as you walk in, you are expected to do an evaluation," Hayes said later. "That's not fair to the board or the superintendent."

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He said he wants to move the date once the upcoming evaluation is finished.

The board's policy says the superintendent shall have an annual evaluation but it does not specify a date. Hayes recommended moving the date to November. That way, when new board members take their seats in December 2000, they will not have to evaluate Bartlett for a year.

Board members are reading through examples of other evaluation processes. They will also seek help at a National School Boards Association conference in April. Hayes said a new process will be in place by July 1.

Committee to study policies

The Washington County Board of Education formed a committee Tuesday to examine its policy on committees.

The School Board's existing policy says it may appoint standing committees annually. It also may create "ad hoc" committees for specific assignments.

Both types of committees are supposed to make recommendations to the board for formal action.

The board has more than 18 committees, including groups like the "citizens advisory committee on nutrition," according to William McKinley, executive director of support services.

During a work session Tuesday morning, Board President Edwin Hayes said it recently became "painfully evident there have been a few changes over time" that may affect those committees.

In some cases, the mission or framework of the committees changed, he said.

"At some point we've got to standardize this so people understand what they're getting involved with," he said.

Hayes asked School Board Vice President Paul Bailey to work with board members Andrew Humphreys and Herbert Hardin. The three will examine the board's policy and regulations on committees and make recommendations to bring them up to date.

Bailey said the committee will finish the job in a month.

- Bruce Hamilton

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