HARVARD — The process of how Superintendent of Schools Thomas Jefferson, Ed.D., is evaluated has been questioned by members of the School Committee.
Newly elected members Keith Cheveralls and Patty Wenger said they should be able to comment on the process and evaluation even though they have been on the committee for less than six months.
“I’ve been working with Tom the past few years in subcommittees,” Wenger said at the May 27 School Committee meeting. “I would feel very comfortable giving my input based on that.”
Cheveralls said he should be given the full opportunity to be a part of Jefferson’s evaluation.
“There are specific goals that I would be able to comment on,” he said. “And I would expect reasonable representation of what I have to say pertaining to those goals.”
Though the goals for Jefferson to obtain were ratified in December, committee member Willie Wickman said discussion began on them in September and October.
Cheveralls has been doing research on an evaluation system, 360 Degree Feedback Survey. He said he can come up with a workable document for the public and other town boards to be allowed to evaluate Jefferson.
While committee member Virginia Justicz likes the idea of using the survey, she said she’s concerned with the process.
“How do we do fair, open, honest input when some members of the public would like to hang a noose around some of the necks of people sitting at these tables?” she asked.
The document, said Cheveralls, would provide valuable feedback to the superintendent and the School Committee in the upcoming year.
“This isn’t about gathering all the negative stuff,” he said. “It’s about gathering the information from others.”
Jefferson said he welcomes the input from other boards, but feels the evaluation shouldn’t be done in public.
“It’s not new to me to seek that type of input from other town officials and boards,” he said. “I would recommend not having the evaluation done in an open meeting.”
The committee didn’t vote but decided each of the members will provide their feedback on Jefferson’s evaluation to Chairman Stuart Sklar before Jefferson receives his evaluation.