Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Chief Earns Praise in Evaluation; Duval's Superintendent Agrees with Board Members That Some Improvement Is Needed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Chief Earns Praise in Evaluation; Duval's Superintendent Agrees with Board Members That Some Improvement Is Needed

Article excerpt

Byline: TOPHER SANDERS

Duval County School Board members collectively rated Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals' second complete year on the job as just shy of "highly effective," according to evaluations released Friday.

Pratt-Dannals received high marks from every board member in 2009. But this time two members - Betty Burney and W.C. Gentry - were more critical, knocking him down to an "acceptable" rating.

Board members praised Pratt-Dannals for fostering a multiple-pathway approach to graduation, creating strong community ties and rolling out accelerated academic programs to every high school.

But there were a few rebukes sprinkled in the evaluations. Some board members expressed frustration at the slow pace of needed improvements, keying in on reading proficiency, the racial achievement gap and graduation rates.

The superintendent said he got the message.

"There are some areas that we need to improve," Pratt-Dannals said Friday night. "So I think [the evaluations were] as much as anything saying that we still have confidence in you, but we want to make more rapid progress."

Pratt-Dannals, who is paid $275,000 a year, was rated on 48 categories in six areas: relationships with the School Board; community relationships; staff and organizational relationships; educational leadership; fiscal leadership; and personal qualities. He was also given an overall performance rating.

Most of the board members who rated him last year gave him lower marks. Nancy Broner's overall rating increased slightly, to just below "excellent."

"Each year kind of speaks for itself," Pratt-Dannals said. "So I don't necessarily look at one to another. Part of it is about accountability and about results, and I get that. …

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