Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
Is the Clayton County Board of Education effective?
That is the question members of the community are being asked to answer through a school board effectiveness survey that has been posted on the Clayton County Public Schools web site -- www.clayton.k12.ga.us/.
School Board Chairperson Pamela Adamson said the survey will remain on the district's web site for the next "two, to three weeks."
The school system already has five people at every school board meeting filling out anonymous surveys about how they feel the board is doing. But Adamson said board members believe their work extends beyond the board room, and, therefore, want a broader range of feedback.
"We wanted more input, not just from people who regularly attend our meetings, but also from those people who do not attend school board meetings," she said. "We wanted to know what employees and normal people think of the job we're doing, so that's what we're trying to do."
Adamson said school board members have been talking about conducting an effectiveness survey for the last year. She said the questions asked on the survey did not begin to take shape, however, until the National School Boards Association announced eight characteristics of effective school boards at the beginning of 2011.
People who take the survey will be asked to mark whether they "Strongly Disagree," "Disagree," "Agree," or "Strongly Agree" with eight statements about the school board. Survey takers can also pick a "Not Applicable" option.
Adamson said board members will also begin filling out self-evaluations of how the board is performing at every board meeting, beginning with its work session at the end of May. She explained that the board will use the self-evaluations, the public effectiveness survey, and the anonymous surveys filled out at school board meetings, to "determine board strengths and weaknesses, and where we need to improve."
Through the survey, people will have a chance to say whether they believe:
* "The CCBOE [Clayton County Board of Education] is committed to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction."
* "The CCBOE believes that all students can learn and expects improvement in student achievement."
* "The CCBOE focuses on student achievement more than operational issues."
* "The CCBOE communicates effectively with district personnel and community members."
* "The CCBOE uses data from a variety of sources as a basis for continuous improvement."
* "The CCBOE provides sufficient resources, such as professional development programs, for system employees."
* "The CCBOE and the Superintendent lead as a unified team with strong collaboration and mutual trust."
* "The CCBOE takes part in professional development designed to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts."