APS Board Committees get off to a fast start – numerous meetings held in the last two weeks

Over the course of the last several weeks, the various Committees and Task Forces established by the Board of Education have met and are starting to function. This is very important as an active and strong Committee structure can be a forceful voice in holding the administration accountable for its actions and for driving changes desired by the Board. In the past two weeks, the Budget Committee has met three times and the Audit, Board Development, Accountability,  Policy Committees and Charter School Task Force have each met once.

As a side note, the prior Board did not have an active Committee structure that was engaged and met regularly to address key issues of policy or to review the administration’s actions. As a result, many issues, some that were very controversial, were never reviewed at the Committee level and therefore had to be extensively addressed during monthly Board meetings. As a result, many issues did not get the review they should have and Board meetings went on well into the night.

The following is a brief recap of the Accountability, Board Development and Policy Committees. A review of the Audit, Budget Committee’s and Charter School Task Force meetings are in separate posts (see here, here and here) are in separate posts.

The complete listing of the Committees and Task Forces, the members and their purpose can be seen here.

Accountability Committee – Chaired by Leslie Grant with Steven Lee and Matt Westmoreland as members. The Committee is tasked with coordinating the superintendent’s semi-annual formal evaluations. The evaluations are prepared with the use of two documents – a Superintendent Scorecard and a Superintendent Evaluation form. Of note, completed documents that establish the Boards assessment of the superintendent’s performance are NOT made public. However, Grant indicated that the general forms would be posted on the website. In the initial meeting last week, the Committee reviewed their objectives and began to establish the groundwork for performing its duties.

Comment – While I understand the reluctance to make the detailed performance assessment public, I do not understand why the Superintendent’s Scoreboard – that details the Board expectations for the superintendent’s performance – is not made public. The Committee and the Board are there to hold the superintendent accountable. By making at least the Scorecard available, we in the public can then hold our elected officials accountable for their performance in assessing the performance of the superintendent.

Policy Review Committee – Chaired by Eshe’ Collins with Cynthia Briscoe Brown, Steven Lee and Nancy Meister as members.  The initial stated objectives of the Committee are to review the Progressive Discipline Policy and the Employment Policy. The initial meeting was primarily organizational in nature.

Board Professional Development Committee – Chaired by Nancy Meister with Eshe’ Collins and Leslie Grant as members. The Committee is responsible for planning all Board professional development activities and is initially tasked with developing a training schedule for the Board members and then to prioritize Board work sessions topics for 2014. The initial meeting was primarily organizational in nature. APS representative to the Committee Dr. Kirijan (Chief Strategy and Development Officer) worked with the Committee on developing a range of future professional development activities.

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One Response to APS Board Committees get off to a fast start – numerous meetings held in the last two weeks

  1. H.A. Hurley says:

    I agree, the Superintendent’s eval should be public information. Secrecy, in the name of confidentiality, get us in trouble with public and charter schools.
    We have enough to shovel in APS. We can hardly catch our collective taxpayer breaths.

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