Schools Leader Gets Harshest Grade Yet; Board Gives Pratt-Dannals a 3.5. out of 5 in Evaluation of Performance for Duval

Article excerpt

Byline: Topher Sanders

Duval County schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals' performance "needs improvement" in the eyes of three of the seven School Board members, according to statements and evaluations released Tuesday.

It is the harshest evaluation Pratt- Dannals has received since taking the job in 2007.

Last year the board said his performance was slightly under "highly effective." This year the board said Pratt-Dannals' performance was between "highly effective" and "acceptable" or a 3.5 out a possible 5.

Board members rated Pratt-Dannals from 1 to 5, with 1 being "unsatisfactory" and 5 being "excellent performance."

Pratt-Dannals received his highest marks for his personal qualities and fiscal leadership, and his lowest ratings in staff and organizational relationship and educational leadership.

"I appreciate the candor," Pratt-Dannals said, adding he knows he has "opportunities to grow and get better."

Pratt-Dannals said he wants the board to help him in the next year by revisiting the district's Strategic Plan, avoiding distractions, limiting their requests that can burden staff and making budget decisions earlier.

School Board member Fel Lee gave Pratt-Dannals the most critical overall evaluation with a rating of 2 or "needs improvement."

Lee said the evaluation tool lacked measurements from the Strategic Plan, which Pratt-Dannals has repeatedly said is the document he should be measured against. Lee said the district failed to meet a number of the Strategic Plan's goals, warranting the rating he gave.

The members evaluated six areas: relationships with the board, community relationships, staff and organizational relationships, educational leadership, fiscal leadership and personal qualities. The board then gave a overall rating for Pratt-Dannals.

"I took the Strategic Plan and put it all back in here," Lee said. "That's why he needs improvement."

Several board members said they hadn't been told they could give an overall rating that was independent of their composite score. Betty Burney and Paula Wright said they each would have given Pratt-Dannals ratings of 2, for "needs improvement," had they been informed they could.

Wright's overall rating of the superintendent's performance was a 2.8; Burney's was 2.9.

Burney, like several members, took Pratt- Dannals to task for his staffing decisions. …


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