Richmond County school board will adjust evaluation process for acting superintendent

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 9:42 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 1:10 AM
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The Richmond County Board of Education will adjust the year-end evaluation of the superintendent because of Frank Roberson’s health-related absence.

Frank Roberson's goals won't be used to grade the interim chief.  SPECIAL
Frank Roberson's goals won't be used to grade the interim chief.

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.

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raul 02/08/12 - 01:38 am
To be fair to Dr. Whitson, I

To be fair to Dr. Whitson, I would think any newly developed performance criteria should be in place at least 90-120 days before he is evaluated against those criteria.

twolane 02/08/12 - 12:32 pm
heres a hint this man

heres a hint this man suffered a severe stroke and has serious cognitive impairment..the family wont tell you this but its time to start the search for a new superintendent this man is not coming back to work for years

my.voice 02/08/12 - 01:15 pm

@twolane........exactly right. This should have started months ago. I feel horrible for the man as hes been good for the system, but reality need to be faced. Its time to move on, he isn't coming back.

David Parker
David Parker 02/08/12 - 02:24 pm
I think if there is

I think if there is significant impairment and obviously he is still in a rehabilitative process, having him even work 6 hours per week is beyond comprehension. Either allow the man to rehab and return or not. I can only assume that since he is putting in the 6 hours, he is cognitively sound. I hope this is the case.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/08/12 - 02:56 pm
David, the newspaper

David, the newspaper explained a couple of weeks ago why Roberson is working no more than six hours a week. The reason is that he is collecting long-term disability insurance. If he works more than six hours, he loses it.

We have the makings of a scam here. Roberson is being paid his entire salary by the taxpayers, and he is collecting his disability insurance. One of these things should be cut off. The school board should not let him double dip.

David Parker
David Parker 02/08/12 - 03:05 pm
i remember that now. I hope

i remember that now. I hope that he is cognitive and I hope that a scam is not being worked. Just keeping track of the questionables.

Sweet son
Sweet son 02/08/12 - 08:51 pm
Whitson should be given a

Whitson should be given a stellar evaluation just for being thrown into this terrible situation. Roberson is a sick man and I feel for him but the taxpayers are owed and explanation, now, as to whether he will ever be able to function as the Superintendant again. If he is double dipping that is wrong! If he is working/volunteering without county pay for six hours a week that is OK!

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 02/09/12 - 03:04 am
Does Billy want a real leader

Does Billy want a real leader in the RCSS superintendency? A real leader might start asking some very embarrassing questions about student achievement, school climate, staffing and professional fee issues.

Billy only wants to keep his current and potential workforces ignorant and subservient. Of course, I've got to admit that he's done one-Hell-of-a-job at it.

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