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Letters to the editor for 7/28

July 28, 2002

Evaluation form is a matter of public record



To the editor:

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, for a man who demands "accountability," Tom Janus is employing neither facts nor data in his determination that the board does not hold the superintendent and her staff accountable. Her contract, the basic contents of which were published in a Herald-Mail article immediately following the February signing, reveals that the evaluation would be based on "specific measurable outcomes" to be determined between the Board of Education and her at a later date.

On July 9, the Board and Superintendent met in executive session for the express purpose of conducting Morgan's evaluation as stated in the publicly-distributed agenda. She was evaluated based on accomplishment of the seven priority objectives agreed to mutually and announced to the public almost one year ago.

The objectives were supported by 57 measurable performance indicators by which Morgan was evaluated. This is probably a more extensive evaluation than most superintendents and CEOs undergo. It certainly was an in-depth accountability instrument, under which Morgan was evaluated based on the school system's progress in key areas.

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Furthermore, as also contained in her contract, Morgan's future raises, now that she is the permanent superintendent, will be based on specific, measurable outcomes as detailed in the written contract signed months ago.

Any citizen may request and receive a copy of the evaluation outcomes once they are finalized in mid-August. In the meantime, we have attached a sample of what these accountability objectives will look like.

Janus could have asked for, and received, a copy of Morgan's evaluation criteria. Why then has he not done so? Perhaps it is because he prefers to grab visibility for himself as the expense of the board.

While the contents, not the format, of Morgan's evaluation are protected by privacy laws, any taxpayer or citizen can ask to see the process for evaluating the superintendent at any time. This is public record. Citizens will be confident when they review the facts - which are quite different from what Janus would have you believe - that the Board of Education believes in high accountability for all employees of the school system.

Members of the

Board of Education

Washington County

Public Schools

Sample objective for the Superintendent's evaluation

Objective: All students will reach high standards of performance PK to 12.

Strategy: Expand educational programs that ensure opportunity and success for all students.

Performance indicators:

1. By June 2003, plan and develop programs to increase academic rigor and choice students - among them the International Baccalaureate Program, Fine and Performing Arts program, and various Alternative School models.

2. By June 2003, reduce the student dropout rate to 3 percent (average) in all Washington County schools.

3. By June 2003, increase by 20 percent the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses and receive a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement tests.

4. By June 2003, increase to 60 percent the number of seniors who take the SAT system-wide.

5. By June 2003, increase student achievement in the CTBS by an average of 10 NCEs (designated schools and/or grades).

6. By June 2003, develop an integrated leadership program for aqspiring leaders and a job-embedded professional development program for New Leaders.




ICC treaty a bad idea



To the editor:

The Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court has more holes (defects) than a Swiss Cheese. I am sure Dr. Moreland's glowing account of all the benefits to Justice the ICC would provide were sincerely contrived.

The most odious defect in the ICC Treaty is that it robs all Americans of the due process of law as set forth in the Constitution. The many flaws in the ICC Treaty would take numerous pages to fully explain, here are a few

1. No jury trial. The ICC would not try you or me in open court by a jury of our peers. Rather, we would be transported to another country and tried before a panel of judges. This panel of Judges stands at 18 for now. I say for now because there is literally an openended aspect to the number of judges who could be permitted to be added to the ICC in the future. If we look at the quality of people currently on tap for the ICC you can well see the danger of adding even more people of the same ideology to this farce of a court. They are from such freedom-loving countries as Albania, Burundi, Croatia, Haiti, Iran, Russia, Syria and Zimbabwe.

2. No provision for a speedy trial. Federal law dictates that a person must be brought to trial in 70 days. There is no such guarantee in the ICC; the ICC does make mention of a "reasonable amount of time" and no "undue delay" however, many of the previously mentioned countries have no such stipulation in their laws and routinely detain a suspect for years before bringing them to trial.

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