Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

May 22, 2014

Superintendent Jeff Young’s 2011-15 contract requires School Committee renewal before July 6, 2014

Filed under: Cambridge,School Committee,schools — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 7:00 pm

Superintendent Jeff Young’s 2011-15 contract requires School Committee renewal before July 6, 2014

Superintendent Jeff Young[contributed by Anita D. McClellan and posted on the CPSParents listserv]

Cambridge public school families may be surprised to learn that many school districts open up their Superintendents’ annual evaluation on leadership performance to rating and comments from district parents, teachers, K-12 students, and residents.

In Burlington, MA, District Superintendent Eric Conti’s Blog posts an evaluation survey for 30 days every May so district parents, teachers, K-12 students, and residents can contribute their 2¢ to the School Committee’s evaluation: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014ContiEvaluation.

Dr. Conti also posts the passwords required for anyone to access past years’ Burlington Supt. evaluations and comments: http://ericconti.wordpress.com.

Isn’t it time for Cambridge Public School District – and our 2014 & 2015 School Committee – to emulate Burlington District and to inaugurate PDQ for 2014 an open annual SC evaluation of our Superintendent that takes into account leadership ratings and comments from District parents, teachers, students, and residents?

It would be very quick for 2014 Supt. evaluation to adapt the Burlington Supt. online evaluation survey to CPSD’s needs https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014ContiEvaluation so results from Cambridge parents, teachers, students, residents can be factored into the SC’s early July vote on whether or not to renew Dr. Young’s contract through 2018.

After the current contract renewal deadline, the SC can develop its own Supt. online evaluation for the Cambridge public to use in 2015 and thereafter.

Anita McClellan, VL

P.S. Burlington MA District offers a series of District blogs to keep community informed on many educational fronts. Wonderful to have such good communications! Find them on http://ericconti.wordpress.com/ in the righthand column on homepage.

Go here for the Burlington Asst. Supt. of Learning’s blog: http://www.patrickmlarkin.com/

The Burlington District Spec Ed Dept. also surveys public on its performance: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1l_JgxApXnrmg3QqO_zNW0qDndTQ4t7BmnAEhaZDsxOg/viewform

FYI: Jeff Young has served under School Committee as Superintendent since July 6, 2009. He reports directly to the School Committee. Contract is here: http://rwinters.com/school/JeffYoungContract2011-15.htm

Supt. Duties and Responsibilities.

A. The Superintendent shall diligently, faithfully, professionally and competently perform the duties and responsibilities of the Superintendent of Schools; shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the School District, as provided in M.G.L. c. 71, §59 and all other applicable laws and regulations pertaining to public education in Massachusetts; and shall be responsible to direct, organize and manage the school system, in conformity with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 71 and all other applicable federal and state statutes and regulations pertaining to public education, and in conformity with the rules and policy determinations of the Committee. The Superintendent also shall fulfill all of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The Superintendent shall be the Chief Education Officer of the District.

B. Except as otherwise required by the Superintendent’s duties, the Superintendent shall attend all Committee meetings and shall provide administrative recommendations on each item of business involving the administration of the Public Schools or education matters.

C. The Superintendent recognizes that the proper performance of his duties and responsibilities will require him to work longer than the school day and that his duties and responsibilities are not confined to prescribed hours.

D. The relationship between the Committee and the Superintendent shall be based on a deep commitment to working cooperatively for the benefit of the children and the general community served by the Cambridge Public Schools, and it shall reflect a clear understanding that the Committee is the establishing agent of all school system policy and that the Superintendent has the responsibility to administer said policy in a sound, fair and ethical manner.

E. The Superintendent shall have authority, subject to law and any legally binding contracts of the School District, to organize, reorganize and arrange the administrative and supervisory staff in such a way as, in his best judgment, best serves the School District, subject to approval by the Committee.

F. In its discretion, the Committee will refer to the Superintendent any criticisms, complaints and situations that are brought to its attention and which the Committee deems important enough to warrant the Superintendent’s attention. The Superintendent shall review and make recommendations on any matters referred to him by the Committee.

3 Comments

  1. I’m appalled by the lack of parental involvement in Dr. Young’s evaluation. My experiences of how he interacts with district families have been consistently negative. The recent Josh Wairi crisis is a prime example. And the praise given him from some of the school committee members on how he handled it is equally appalling. Would anyone know where I can get information on how to recall school committee members?

    Comment by Antonia Foster — May 22, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

  2. I don’t believe there are any recall provisions in the City Charter. Perhaps the basis for this is the fact that municipal elections are held every two years. In a sense, not reelecting an incumbent is our recall method.

    Comment by Robert Winters — May 23, 2014 @ 8:10 am

  3. All employees in any organization (public or private) should get regular evaluations by their bosses (in this case the School Committee). Part of an evaluation should include getting input from people that they deal with. When I used to do evaluations of managers who worked for me I always got input from their direct reports. Getting responsible and respectful input from the public (or clients or customers) and evaluating it isn’t always easy because sometime the only people who respond are those with axes to grind, but it should be done.

    The purpose of evaluation is to make sure the good performers get properly recognized (and promoted – obviously not in this case), identify areas for improvement and see how the person has handled such things from prior evaluations, and to identify those people who should be replaced (something which is rarely done in the public sector except for high-ups).

    What I’d like to know is has he setup a system for realistic teacher evaluations and what were the results? The most important factor in a school that determines how well the students learn is the quality of the teachers. The cheapest way to improve the calibre of teaching is to replace the ineffective teachers on a regular basis.

    A bunch of years ago in the company I worked for there was a 15% budget cut and layoff. The newly appointed VP in charge said the people chosen to be laid off would be the poorest performers irrespective of seniority or job title. Of course since regular evaluations were done there was a record to rely on. This activity included some reorganization as well. As result of this, morale, productivity and product quality were all much improved.

    Comment by John Gintell — May 23, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

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