LORAIN — The new chairman of the Academic Distress Commission released his rubric for CEO David Hardy’s evaluation Thursday evening.
Chairman Randall Sampson, appointed to the position Feb. 26, is the first chairman to move forward with the CEO’s evaluation, despite requirements in the administrator’s contract for assessments after his first 180 days, at the 365-day mark and annually thereafter.
The rubric released Thursday outlines criteria for assessing Hardy’s performance in the 2017-18 school year. Sampson said another rubric will be created for the current school year.
“We’re going to start off with the 2017-18 and chew that off first, and then I’m going to re-examine the actual language of the contract and I do believe it says annual (evaluations), so I have to really evaluate that. … Then we have to do an 2018-19, which would be the follow-up,” he said. “So for 2017-18, you build the infrastructure, so to speak, and then 2018-19 is when we start looking at where you thought you were going to be on your measurable and did you succeed or not succeed? What caused it, what came short?”
The criteria are based on The Lorain Promise, the district’s strategic plan to move Lorain Schools forward and out from under state takeover.
Sampson’s rubric breaks the system into conditions — what is to be improved and the barriers surrounding it — and culture, and the steps taken to meet the district’s goals. From there, it is further separated into scholars, teachers and staff, families and community organizations, with several questions beneath each subset. The chair’s final report will be more of an essay, he said, filling in things like when each process was started, what collaborative efforts were taken and when the district can expect to see results.
He said the rubric should stay pretty much the same between 2017-18 and 2018-19 evaluations. He said the measurable dates may change between the evaluations, based on shifts in enrollment, staffing or district schedules that could affect when the school can anticipate results on its programs.
“The goal is not to make excuses; it’s to take a look at what we set out to do and did we actually accomplish it and did we identify the barriers,” he said. “Did we have resources to remove some of the barriers and what have we overcome and what have we accomplished?”
He said as he gets documentation from the district, including plans for programs and research on community or parental engagement, he will create a scorecard for the CEO. That scorecard will be similar to the evaluations teachers and school administrators receive — marking them as ineffective, developing, skilled or accomplished — rather than giving Hardy an A-to-F or 1-to-5 grade.
As the district’s status under House Bill 70 hinges on its state report card, Sampson said there are components within it he plans to look at. He said he plans to look at the summary report of each building and historical data for the district — specifically focusing on the gap-closing category. He said individual building grades also will be reviewed to note some of the “really awesome things that are happening at the school level by teachers.”
Gap closing measures how well districts are meeting state standards for the “most vulnerable populations” of students in English, math and graduation. The district has received an overall F in the gap-closing component since it was implemented in the 2015-16 report card.
While factored into the district’s overall state grade, gap closing is not one of the two components specified under House Bill 70. Under the law, the district must receive a C or better in the value-added and performance index components for two years in a row to retract itself from state takeover.
Under Hardy’s first year, measured in the 2018 report card, the district received a D overall in the performance index and F overall in value-added.
When questioned if he would look at those components in the CEO’s evaluation, Sampson said value-added is “definitely something to look at,” noting it is the last one reported on the state report card. He said he plans to look at the Northwest Evaluation Association’s value-added scores, which he said is measured three times a year. He did not specifically mention looking at the performance index component. The nonprofit association provides value-added and other data points to districts based on standardized tests it administers.
The evaluation of the CEO was first announced at Tuesday’s Academic Distress Commission meeting, where commission member Steve Cawthon publically called for Hardy’s resignation. When asked his view on the newly minted rubric and plans to evaluate the CEO, Cawthon said he is standing by his comments.
“It is going to be difficult for the new chairperson, who has been on board for a short time, to complete the CEO evaluation,” he said. “The teachers have spoken with their evaluation. The disconnect between the teachers and state appointees is not going to dissipate. That has been and will remain a problem.”
Sampson said he will conduct the evaluation on his own, without the input of other Academic Distress Commission members. He said he will share his report with Hardy, the ADC and the community as it moves forward. There is no hard timeline, he said, but plans to have it done before the fall.
“I’m two weeks into it so I have fresh eyes and I haven’t been exposed to all of the extraneous circumstances over the past 18 months, so without judgment I just go in, pull the information and cleanly do the evaluation and present it. And we’ll see where we go from there.”
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