By Elizabeth Goussetis
A group of parents asked the Reynoldsburg Board of Education for the performance measures used to evaluate Reynoldsburg Schools Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning.
Marking the one-year anniversary of her hiring, the Raider Strong group released a statement alleging the lack of goals is a breach of contract between Thomas-Manning and the board. Raider Strong is a group of parents that was active during the teacher strike and has formally organized as a political action committee.
According to the contract beginning Aug. 1, “The board shall evaluate the superintendent at least once each year and in accordance with board policy. The board and superintendent shall mutually adopt goals consistent with the job description of the superintendent,” as quoted in a Raider Strong news release. Thomas-Manning was hired Jan. 27, 2014 and began working May 1 as superintendent-elect and on Aug.1 as superintendent.
When asked about the goals, district administrators referred to the district website, where district-wide goals are published. The district goals fall into three categories of academic achievement, safety, and fiscal responsibility.
Raider Strong president Margaret Mary Lunzy said the goals on the website are not what the parents are looking for.
“That is not sufficient,” Lunzy said.
Lunzy said the goals Raider Strong seeks are called for in the superintendent’s contract with the board, and she said the public cannot hold her accountable without knowing what her goals are. She said teachers, students and others have goals set formally, and the district’s top leader should be held to the same standard.
“The superintendent has spent some time articulating goals for herself and, by extension her team, for the rest of the year. They address current realities and reflect current needs and current strengths,” said Tricia Moore, director of partnerships and shared services for the district. “The superintendent is interested in communicating with the board and the community the focus of her work.”
But Raider Strong leaders say they are looking for something more like performance measures that could be used to evaluate the superintendent.
“The central office thinks the superintendent is the CEO of the district, but that’s not correct. The residents are the CEOs,” Lunzy said.
Both sides acknowledge that former superintendent Steve Dackin did not have goals in writing either, despite the contract language that outlines it. According to Moore, the assumption has always been that the superintendent’s goals are the district’s goals, since the superintendent leads the district.
In response to questions about the goals, the administration released a draft document with specific personal goals. Board members did not discuss the draft document at the board’s last meeting. Members of Raider Strong said they have not seen the draft and cannot comment on it, but are glad to see progress on the issue.