LORAIN — The CEO’s evaluation has been completed, according to the Academic Distress Commission chairman, but some commission members are concerned with the process.
At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, commission member Diane Conibear-Xander told the board that commissioners were told by Chairman Randall Sampson on Tuesday that CEO David Hardy’s evaluation was complete. The commission had not evaluated Hardy per his contract guidelines, which called for evaluations after six months, a year and annually thereafter.
“I’ve reached out to the chair, I’ve asked him how that’s possible because the commission as a whole has not met to complete the evaluation,” Conibear-Xander said. “So I was very disturbed with the response I received (Tuesday).”
She said “the majority” of the commission was in agreement that a work session was needed to evaluate the CEO after its June meeting, but they had to wait for Sampson to set a meeting date. Under House Bill 70, the ADC chair sets the meeting dates and agenda.
“There was no process, we received emails here and there sporadically, but we couldn’t make sense of what it was talking about or what we were supposed to do,” she said. “And that’s when we said, ‘OK let’s have a working session, let’s sit down,’ and I was informed today that (the evaluation) was completed.”
Board of Education member Tim Williams expressed longstanding concerns on the evaluation process — mainly that the newest member of the commission shouldn’t be solely tasked with evaluating the CEO.
“How does the new chair create an evaluation and you guys haven’t even had meetings to discuss what the expectations that were placed on the CEO were?” he said. “As far as the process, there is no process.”
He added later, “Since the evaluation has been completed, you should have it. If an evaluation of your CEO, who you are charged with by House Bill 70, if you don’t have a document, it’s like, ‘Oh, I did it, now here’s a copy of it.’ And that’s a different kind of audacity.”
When asked if the evaluation was completed and if commission members had input Tuesday night, Sampson responded via text that the members were asked for their “unbiased input” on each category of the rubric.
“We are a collaborative group of professionals,” he wrote. “We are not driven by ideology nor a popularity contest; the success of Lorain scholars is our mission.”
Commission member Steve Cawthon disputed they had been asked for input. He said members were sent some documents regarding the template when the process was initially announced, and some emails in between, but had never had a discussion as a group on specific details of Hardy’s performance or rating him on any scale.
The Chronicle-Telegram asked Sampson for a copy of the evaluation.
“That’s like me giving you every teacher’s evaluation, if I had access to those,” he replied.
Under The Ohio Public Records Act, public teacher performance evaluations are public record.
A request was filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for a copy of Hardy’s evaluation, following Sampson’s refusal to provide it.
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