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Board, staff evaluate superintendent

Numerous officials with Madison City Schools offered input for the 2011-2012 job evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler. Madison Board of Education announced the results at its meeting on July 19.

The superintendent’s contract calls for an annual evaluation. Fowler, as superintendent of Madison City Schools, oversees approximately 1,000 employees with an $80 million budget, board president Ray White said.

Last year, Fowler defined annual goals that he would satisfy for the coming school year. In the evaluation, the board judged Fowler’s success rate in achieving those goals, as stipulated in his contract.

The board approved the maximum of $10,000 in supplemental compensation for Fowler’s attainment of goals.

Directors at the Central Office and all school principals completed a survey, submitted anonymously to LaTisha King, who is executive assistant to the board and superintendent. King compiled and presented the survey results to the board. Each board member then independently reviewed the material and, without collaboration, returned their evaluation decisions to King.

At the meeting, board members commented before voting on Fowler’s supplemental compensation. “No evaluation instrument is perfect,” Dr. Terry Johnson said about the survey and critique process. Ranae Bartlett commended Fowler for humility in accepting criticism and willingness to explore improvements for his job.

“The only person that we can push is Dr. Fowler,” Connie Spears said about the board’s limited power in implementing changes. Phil Schmidt recommended the $10,000 for goal attainment, and the board agreed unanimously.

“Thank you for confidence that you have shown me,” Fowler said in pledging to continue efforts to improve the district and help its children.

The evaluation used a four-point scale ranging from unsatisfactory (1), needs improvement (2), satisfactory (3) and demonstrates excellence (4). The evaluation’s final composite ranking listed averaged scores for 10 categories that covered duties from chief executive officer to professional development.

Fowler rated highest (3.90) for “financial management” and lowest for “community relations” (3.65). White estimated the evaluation’s ranking at 94 percent on a 100-point scale.

Fowler’s high rating in finances could be tied to James Clemens High School construction. “We received $22 million in funding and $36 million in qualified school construction bonds with creating debt,” White said.

The Madison district maintains a 60-day operating fund reserve, twice the state requirement.

“I’m happy with where we are financially,” White, a certified public accountant, said, “and pleased with Dr. Fowler’s leadership.”

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