Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

McKendrick Gets Good Evaluation from City School Board

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

McKendrick Gets Good Evaluation from City School Board

Article excerpt

The results are in.

Paul McKendrick has done an exceptional job as superintendent of the Tuscaloosa City Schools since his start date of July 18, 2011, according to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education's evaluation of him, which was released at Tuesday's board meeting.

"Dr. McKendrick is a strong leader and provides a wealth of information," one board member said in the evaluation. "More than adequately performs the daily operations of the school system," said another board member.

McKendrick's evaluation instrument was created by University of Alabama associate professor of statistical methods Jamie Mills and UA educational research doctoral candidate Austin Pickup. It graded him on eight performance standards and five goals.

The performance standards he was graded on were chief school officer, educational leadership, personnel management, facilities management, financial management, community relations, communication and interpersonal relations, and professional responsibilities.

His five goals were to increase student achievement, improve communication within and outside the school system, maintain and recommend innovative practices, develop a culture and environment of high academic standards, and develop a strong school board/ superintendent relationship.

On each performance standard, the board assigned McKendrick a score of 1 through 5. A score of 1 means his performance was poor; 2,below average; 3, average; 4, above average; and 5, excellent. He mostly scored 4s.

As chief school officer, McKendrick was given a 4.25.

"Implements policies, programs and operations ... very effectively," a board member said in the evaluation.

The board said some of the areas where McKendrick could improve in this area were explaining recommended actions to the board before the board meeting, examining policies implemented in the past two years and improving communication with employees and the community.

On educational leadership, McKendrick scored a 4.14.

Board members said, "Professional development programs and opportunities for all personnel have made amazing strides" and "Has done an excellent job of making instruction the No. 1 priority for the system."

Areas of improvement were that he needs to closely scrutinize decisions made by his staff at all levels and generate more discussion about measures of student achievement.

On personnel management, he received a 3.92.

Board members said they were pleased that McKendrick had raised their hiring standards for teachers. They thought he could improve on grooming internal candidates, increase diversity in all departments of the central office and track how prepared incoming teachers are.

On facilities management, board members gave him a 4.25.

The board said the reopening of rebuilt schools and opening of new schools at the start of the school year was a huge success. They said he could improve on planning and closely monitoring construction.

On financial management, he scored a 4.19.

The board said he worked well with the Legislature to get tornado funding but failed to apply for state-provided pre-K funding on time.

The board gave McKendrick a 3.63 on community relations, which was his lowest score. …

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