The Richmond County Board of Education will adjust the year-end evaluation of the superintendent because of Frank Roberson’s health-related absence.
President Alex Howard said the board will create criteria during its March retreat to evaluate Acting Superintendent James Whitson instead of Roberson.
Whitson has been leading the district since February 2011, when Roberson underwent emergency brain surgery for an abnormal clustering of blood vessels on the brain. Roberson returned to work on a limited basis Dec. 7 but works no more than six hours a week.
Because the school board couldn’t predict how long Whitson would have to substitute for Roberson, it did not establish individual goals for the him at the beginning of this school year.
Under normal circumstances, the board uses such goals to judge performance at the end of a school year, Howard said.
Instead, the school board president said, the board will establish grading points during the retreat and complete an evaluation by May.
“We really put all of this on hold because we were in the dark about when (Roberson) would be back,” Howard said. “Dr. Whitson was not in the position to make the changes Roberson initially set out to do, so we can’t grade him on Dr. Roberson’s goals.”
No matter who is in the leadership position, however, Howard said there are some standards that can be expected of any superintendent.
Although Board of Education members will design criteria specific to Whitson, they will likely use three standards
outlined in the evaluation form designed for Roberson in September 2010 – the beginning of a school year he never got to complete.
Members will evaluate Whitson’s effectiveness in student achievement, systematic improvement and organizational structure.
They will stay away from three goals Roberson established as his personal initiatives: raising the graduation rate to 90 percent by 2014, increasing the number of students in magnet programs and increasing the number of schools meeting federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards.