The Bradley County Board of Education has voted to switch the kind of evaluation it will be using to judge the performance of the school system’s director.
Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel is set to be evaluated with the Tennessee School Boards Association’s assessment during the local board’s June 19 meeting.
“It is the TSBA model that we’ve used in the past,” Board Chair Vicki Beaty said during the board’s meeting on Tuesday.
She later clarified it has been “updated” since it was last used in 2012, but remains largely the same. If board members have a problem with it, she added they could also schedule a special called meeting before the regular June meeting.
McDaniel is allowed to have a say in the evaluation used, Beaty added.
McDaniel said he and his staff looked at various options before agreeing to the TSBA one, including one that includes someone coming in and doing one-on-one interviews with each of the school board members.
“We developed a great tool last year,” McDaniel said. “I’m willing to use the TSBA model because there was something controversial about using that [last year’s] model.”
Beaty said last year was the first during which Tennessee state law required school systems to do formal evaluations of school superintendents each year.
The county school system then took a departure from the TSBA model it had voluntarily used to evaluate directors prior to last year and developed its own evaluation rubric based on recommendations from the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents.
McDaniel received a score of 4.47 out of 5 on the evaluation.
TSBA, which is a private, nonprofit organization, offers a school superintendent evaluation that could bring in a consultant to facilitate the process and develop an “evaluation instrument” per the local school board and director’s expectations.
Board member Chris Turner made a motion that the board postpone voting on the evaluation being used this year, so board members would have the chance to examine it before deciding to go with it. No one seconded the motion.
Fellow board member Troy Weathers then made a motion to approve using the TSBA evaluation, and member Charlie Rose seconded it.
Turner said making a decision that day gave him pause, because he believed the standard evaluation included rating McDaniel on factors such as being “above expectations” or “below expectations.” He argued that it was important for the board to agree upon what the “expectations” are, before evaluating the school system’s director based on them.
The final vote to go with the TSBA option garnered a 4-2 tally in favor.
Board members said they expect to evaluate McDaniel and his contract with the school system prior to June 30.