Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for January 4th, 2013

MDUSD board to discuss superintendent’s evaluation in Monday closed session

With a new board majority and new board president in the Mt. Diablo school district, closed session agendas have become markedly more transparent — giving more detail than I have ever seen regarding what will be discussed.

The agenda for the Dec. 21 closed session was very specific about the types of “anticipated litigation” to be discussed and even named the outside counsel that was meeting with the board to talk about allegations the previous board may have violated the Brown Act — or open meeting law — in its handling of contract extensions for the superintendent, general counsel and three other top administrators.

The closed session agenda for Monday’s superintendent evaluation includes similar never-before-seen details about the topics to be discussed.

The public can comment on the superintendent’s evaluation before trustees retire to their closed session. Here is the complete agenda, for those who may wish to comment:

“Special Closed Session
DATE: 1/7/2013 TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord

1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info

1.2 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info

2.0 Public Comment
2.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

3.0 Adjourn to Closed Session
3.1 Superintendent’s Performance Evaluation Info

4.0 Reconvene
4.1 Report out on Closed Session Info

5.0 Adjournment
5.1 Adjourn meeting Info”

Here are details about the superintendent’s evaluation, from the agenda report:

On December 21, 2012, the Board met in Closed Session to conduct the Superintendent’s formal performance evaluation. In that Closed Session meeting, the Board and the Superintendent agreed that, given the fact that two new Trustees had joined the Board, a one-time adjustment to the Superintendent’s evaluation timeline would be made, and the interim evaluation process would be completed in a two-step process as follows:

1. January 7, 2013 Special Meeting – The Superintendent presents and discusses evidence and data to demonstrate progress made in the accomplishment of his performance targets in a Closed Session with the Board (see attached targets from the August 27, 2012 Board meeting).

2. January 14, 2013 – The Board meets in Closed Session to complete the Superintendent’s interim evaluation process.”

Here are the evaluation targets:

“Superintendent’s Evaluation Targets 2012‐2013
Academic Excellence in Learning
Performance Targets

Elementary Schools ‐ these measurements are school‐wide and all significant subgroups:

Target 1: Academic Performance Index (API) All schools will meet their annual school and significant subgroup State API targets.

Target 2: K-3 Reading
Over the next two years, increase the percentage of K-3 reading at grade level based on district approved assessment.

• Currently if less than 40% of students are reading at or above grade level increase by 10%

• Currently if between 40-70% are reading at or above grade level, increase by 6%

• If over 70% are reading at or above grade level, increase by 4%

Target 3: K-5 Mathematics

Over the next two years, increase the percentage of students scoring at the proficient level on the district benchmark or approved common assessments.

• If currently below 40% are proficient, increase by 10%

• If currently between 40-70% are proficient, increase by 6%

• If over 70% are proficient, increase by 4%

Middle Schools ‐ these measurements are school‐wide and all significant subgroups:

Target 1: Academic Performance Index (API) All schools will meet their annual school and significant subgroup State API targets.

Target 2: Mathematics
Over the next two years, based on data from the 2011-12 school year, decrease by 10% the number of 8th graders who are required to enroll in pre-Algebra in their freshmen year.

High Schools ‐ these measurements are school‐wide and all significant subgroups:

Target 1: Academic Performance Index (API) All schools will meet their annual school and significant subgroup State API targets.

Target 2: California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)
Over the next two years, all high schools will improve their school-wide and significant subgroup CAHSEE pass rates for 10th graders in ELA and math by 6%, or they will achieve a 90% pass rate.

Target 3: Graduation Rates
Based on the State graduation rate data, all high schools will increase their graduation rate over the next two years by: [sic – nothing was listed]

Target 4: Other Critical Measures
All comprehensive high schools will increase at least two of the following measures by 8% over the next two years:

a. Increase the percentage of graduating seniors who complete one of the following: the UC a-g requirements, or a capstone course for a career pathway/academy program with a 2×2 articulated agreement with a local community college.

b. Increase the percentage of juniors who pass the EAP math and English Assessment or who receive a qualified result and complete the appropriate math or English course during their senior year to be exempt from remedial math and English classes in the CSU system.

c. Increase the percent of juniors taking the PSAT, and seniors taking the SAT or ACT.

d. Increase the percentage of graduates who take an AP class and achieved a 3 or better on the AP test; pass a UC-CSU approved Community College (CC) course; or pass a CC course that leads to a specific AA degree.

e. Increase the number of AP classes or sections, or career pathway classes.

All K‐12 Schools:
Target 1A: English Proficiency
All English learners will gain one level on the CELDT each year, but will be allowed two years to move through the Intermediate level.

Target 1B: English Proficiency
All English learners will be reclassified as fluent English proficient within six years of enrolling in our district.

Target 2: Attendance
Over two years, all schools will improve average daily attendance (ADA) by 1% or maintain attendance of at least 96%.

Supportive Family and Community Involvement

Target 1: Internal Communications

 There will be regular (at least monthly) updates from the School Support and Personnel Divisions and these memos will be copied to Board members.

 There will be weekly updates to School Board members on site/community events attended and site visits made by the superintendent

Target 2: External Communications

 During the school year monthly newsletters will be sent to parents and district staff via e-mail and posted on the web.

Target 3: Community Outreach

The district will reach out to community organizations to schedule available Superintendent council members to provide annual presentations on the status of the district. There will be six of these events.

High Quality and Effective Staff

Target 1:
Provide the Board with factual information around the district budget and negotiations in order to fairly and accurately represent the Board’s point of view at throughout the negotiations process. Evidence will be provided in closed session negotiations updates.

Target 2:
Train all managers, both certificated and classified, to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to follow the contracts with a focus on effective evaluation practices and progressive discipline guidelines. Evidence will be dates the trainings were provided.

Target 3:
Provide the Board with the legal implications of creating a feedback mechanism for school staff (classified, certificated, administrators), students, parents/guardians, and district staff to provide feedback around school and district climate. The goal of the feedback tool is to identify areas we are doing well and areas of growth. It is not meant to be an evaluative tool.

Optimal Operations and Infrastructure

Target 1:
Create and maintain a balanced budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year that takes into account changes in the State’s budget.

Target 2:
Develop a plan for balanced budgets through the 2014-15 fiscal year.”

During its Aug. 27 meeting, the previous board (that included former Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and former Trustee Gary Eberhart) talked about whether the superintendent’s evaluation goals should be publicly discussed.

Here are video clips from that discussion:

Part 1:

Part 2:

On Sept. 10, the previous board discussed its policy regarding developing the superintendent’s evaluation goals in closed sessions instead of public meetings. Trustee Cheryl Hansen suggested amending the policy to develop the performance goals during public meetings.

Here’s a synopsis of what was discussed, from the agenda report:

“Business/Action Items
Type: Info
Subject: 15.12 Amendment to BP 2140(a) Evaluation of the Superintendent

Summary: CSBA’s publication entitled ‘Maximizing School Board Governance’ Superintendent Evaluation” provides the following exemplary governance standard:

‘Meeting in open session, the board, working with the superintendent, who will be working with staff, should:

• Using the previous year’s priorities and goals as a baseline, agree on updated priority areas and set goals for the following year that the governance team believes will reasonably move the district toward its long-range vision.

• Agree on success indicators for each new goal or revised indicators for ongoing goals, and on progress reports the board would like to receive.

• Discuss the governance team’s level of satisfaction with the evaluation instruments and methods we used this year. Decide whether to modify our evaluation system for next year based on the new goals we have set.’

Mt. Diablo USD’s Board Policy 2140(a) currently omits this important practice that other districts have adopted. The intent of this proposed amendment is to increase the public’s awareness of the superintendent’s goals, ensure that these goals are aligned to district goals, and increase Board accountability.

After each evaluation has been completed, the Board shall meet in open session to give the Board and Superintendent an opportunity to jointly identify performance goals for the next year.

(cf. 2111 – Superintendent Governance Standards)
(cf. 9005 – Governance Standards)
(cf. 9400 – Board Self-Evaluation

Legal Reference:

Government Code 54957 – Closed session, personnel matters

Management Resources
CSBA Publication
Maximizing School Board Governance: Superintendent Evaluation, 2004

Web sites:


Fiscal Impact:
Recommendation: Information”

After discussion, the board did not change its policy.

Do you think the board should publicly identify superintendent performance goals?

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 74 Comments »