LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The JCPS Board conducted its annual evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens over three days earlier in June. It analyzed Dr. Hargens' performance on the four objectives outlined at the beginning of the school year.
2015-2016 Performance Objectives:
• Instructional Leadership and Strategic Leadership: Continue to improve student learning according to state outcomes measures and broader measures that JCPS defines.
• Cultural Leadership: Develop an internal culture that is structured around high-performing teams, value collaboration, and fosters an atmosphere of trust.
• Managerial Leadership: Promote and expand the capacity of all JCPS levels toward a standard of excellence in execution.
• Human Resources Leadership: Effectively develop and implement a means of improved focus on leadership selection criteria, leadership development, professional development, and effective support of teachers’ professional practice.
The board had both positive and negative feedback for each one, but focused a lot of attention on cultural leadership.
“Board members don’t entirely agree on what’s wrong with the culture within JCPS or what needs to be fixed, but all of us are vexed by a sense that there’s been little to no progress in this area,” District 2 JCPS board member David Jones said.
The board commended Dr. Hargens for her work on building relationships with stakeholders outside the district, but it thinks it's time for her focus more on those within the district.
“If a single theme can capture the board’s perspective on the past year, it’s this--new goals call for new ways of leading,” Jones said.
The board wants to see Dr. Hargens develop a stronger internal culture and foster better relationships with teachers. While several members voiced their concerns and criticisms of the past year, they also took time to acknowledge what a challenging role Dr. Hargens holds.
“Being superintendent, you have to be a magician. You have to have all of these plates spinning at the same time and it’s so difficult to keep them all spinning,” District 5 JCPS board member Linda Duncan said.
“It’s been said that the superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools is the hardest job in the city and with all due respect to other elected officials and other community leaders, I think that assessment is absolutely correct,” District 7 JCPS board member Chris Brady said.
Dr. Hargens declined an interview, but did release a statement:
“I appreciate the board’s feedback and clear guidance on how we can work together to move this district forward over the next year. We share the same goals – to make Vison 2020 a reality by providing a quality education to all children and making JCPS the best urban school district in America. I know that working together, we can accomplish our mission.”
The board ended the meeting by saying how it will continue to hold Dr. Hargens to the highest of standards, but also support her every step of the way. Here’s a look at the upcoming school year’s objectives:
2016-2017 Performance Objectives:
• Bring people with you.
• Earn trust and instill confidence.
• Make JCPS systems work.
• Use your time differently.