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Posted on Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Ann Arbor school trustees wary of new state requirements for superintendent evaluations

By Danielle Arndt


The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will begin looking at how to incorporate student achievement data into its evaluation process for the superintendent Wednesday.

Melanie Maxwell I

Despite signs that Michigan's new teacher tenure reform law will require school districts to evaluate employees using a written ratings system, Ann Arbor school board members say they see little reason to abandon their discussion-based model of evaluating the superintendent.

Currently, Ann Arbor school trustees do not fill out or retain any documents to evaluate the superintendent.

Patricia Green’s first performance assessment was fleshed out in a five-hour closed session last month. The only resulting document was a summation statement that was put in her personnel file and submitted to the news media.

A new law mandates the creation of a statewide rating and evaluation system and establishes a new set of requirements to be implemented by the 2013-14 academic year. But while the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness is focused on applying the law to teachers, school board members — who essentially are community volunteers — are left to grapple with how best to evaluate the superintendent, their primary oversight responsibility.

Spotlight on student achievement

In July 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 102, part of a package of bills known as Michigan’s teacher tenure reform law or the Revised School Code.

The focus immediately became how to develop a fair evaluation process that accomplishes Snyder’s mission of eliminating the “last in, first out” practice of schools basing staff decisions solely on seniority in favor of protecting the most outstanding and enthusiastic teachers, regardless of seniority.

But teachers are just one piece of Snyder’s plan to elevate accountability in Michigan schools.

Administrators and superintendents are included in P.A. 102, which calls for the annual evaluation of all employees who impact instruction on a scale from “ineffective” to “highly effective” in various categories. Like teachers, 25 percent of superintendents' effectiveness ratings must be based on student growth data starting in the 2013-14 academic year, with the additional requirement of student attendance rates affecting their scores.

By 2014-15, 40 percent of evaluations must be based on student achievement. The following year, that percentage increases to 50 percent.

At its board retreat Wednesday, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will begin what it anticipates will be a year-long discussion to develop a new superintendent evaluation that accommodates the data and reporting requirements of the new law.

Christine Stead, the school board vice president who was charged with leading the evaluation discussion of Green, said she hoped the state would have provided some guidance by now.

The Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness was supposed to release a document in April that defined how local school districts should determine student growth and achievement, said Dick Dunham, director of superintendent search services for the Michigan Association of School Boards. It also was supposed to have finalized teacher evaluation standards and moved on to administrators.

“But that’s fine,” Stead said. “We’ll just put something together ourselves and then maybe we can share our stuff with the state… I think that’s possible if we do a good job this year of really understanding what (data) is meaningful for superintendent evaluations. Because I don’t think we’ll be getting anything from the state in time to apply it for next year.”

"It’s not like we’re going to forget"

When Ann Arbor school board members evaluated Green on June 27, they unanimously approved a glowing review, congratulating the new superintendent on a successful first year.


Deb Mexicotte

But the summation statement trustees submitted was criticized by some members of the public as vague and lacking transparency. Some questioned how an evaluation that lasted more than five hours could result in a less than 350-word summary. Others wondered why there was no mention of what Green could do to improve.

“That document was vetted and worked on by the entire board,” said board President Deb Mexicotte. “That was the culmination of our discussion… Anything that was not in there was because the board didn’t think it was significant enough to be there.”

The summation statement was approved in a 7-0 vote, and there would have been dissent if any trustees thought the summary was inadequate, she said. Superintendent summaries have ranged throughout the years from two sentences to a page in length, depending on the will of the board, added Mexicotte, who was first elected in 2003.

Bob Rorke, a former school board member who left the board in 2003, said trustees did fill out individual evaluation forms during the time he served, with a subcommittee responsible for developing the questions each year. There was a numerical scale for each question and a place for comments, so trustees could explain their ratings, he said.

Now, in preparation for the evaluation, a community stakeholder survey is sent to various members of the public, teachers, administrators and others who may work with the superintendent. Each of the seven Ann Arbor school board members selects a handful of people whose input they believe could be valuable to the discussion. The superintendent also can suggest people.

Stead said the district mails out the surveys on behalf of the board members. Respondents are asked to follow specific instructions, such as returning it in a sealed envelope and not putting their name on the survey, to secure their anonymity.

“The practice has been, when we solicit the public and administration for feedback, we assure them absolute confidentiality,” Mexicotte said.


Christine Stead

The sealed survey envelopes are returned to one or two trustees in charge of managing the evaluation, and they prepare a summary for the board to use as a basis for its conversation the night of the evaluation. The school board members themselves do not fill out the survey, Stead said.

The district destroys the community survey responses and preliminary summary each year, along with the mailing list, as soon as the evaluation process is complete, she said.

Trustees are encouraged to prepare for the evaluation meeting in any way they see fit and can take notes of each year’s discussion if they believe it will help them in their future dealings with the superintendent, Mexicotte said.

“The state obviously thinks there are better ways,” Mexicotte said. “How much micro-management they actually need to do is a discussion for another time. But obviously they think districts have been inadequate or they wouldn’t be insisting on changing (the evaluation process)…

“If the board wanted to do something different, as it stands right now, the board could. It has the purview… So obviously, the board thinks it’s doing a fine job and that it’s evaluating the superintendent appropriately and is able to make judgments based on this evaluation.”

When asked how the board gauges improvement from year to year or during a single school year using its current evaluation process, Mexicotte said the board looks at its summation statement from the previous year, “recalls” the points that were addressed and talks about what progress was or needs to be made.


Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green.

“And it’s not like we’re going to forget what we thought at the beginning of the year, at the end of the year,” she said. “The board also doesn’t turn over in huge hunks anymore.”

Asked how effective the current process is for analyzing whether goals are being met, Mexicotte replied: “The board must feel it’s effective or else it would have been changed by now.”

The superintendent is an at-will employee, she added, so it's not necessary to document the superintendent's strengths, weaknesses or achievements — or any complaints about her — to terminate her contract.

“If four of us (on the board) decided we’d lost confidence in the superintendent, we could vote and decide to (fire her),” Mexicotte said.

State uncertainty

A number of unknowns surround how the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness will address administrator evaluations, and the piece about student performance data appears to be slowing down the development process as a whole.

Jennifer Hammond, a principal at Grand Blanc High School and member of the council, published a blog post recently asking for feedback on implementing student growth measures. She posed several questions:

  • Should the state’s evaluation data — Michigan Merit Exam test scores, the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, Smarter Balanced, etc. — be the only source of student growth data?
  • Should local models that measure student growth be allowed?
  • How could officials ensure that local models are rigorous and legitimate?
  • If multiple measures of student growth are allowed, what percentage should be given to each of them?

The council is responsible not only for creating the framework for a statewide evaluation system, but also for developing a process to analyze and approve local teacher and administrator evaluation tools.

According to P.A. 102, schools must adopt and implement the state’s evaluation tools, unless they develop their own tools that are “consistent” with the state. But whether local student growth models can be used is still up in the air.

Cori Mehan, project manager for the council, said members of the council “appreciate” the timetable Snyder and the Legislature have set, but they also “understand the importance and seriousness of the tenure issues they are tackling” and do not want to put something out there without it being fully vetted.

A year-long teacher evaluation pilot program to start in the fall got the green light from Snyder in May. Those supportive of the pilot said the one-year time frame is imperative to developing a “fair, transparent and feasible” evaluation system for both teachers and administrators.


Linda Wacyk

Mehan said she doesn't know when the student growth piece will be complete but added the council hopes to proceed with administrator evaluations by late fall.

The final remaining question is whether superintendent evaluations can or will differ from the method used for principals, assistant principals, curriculum directors and other administrators.

“To my knowledge, (the council) is not addressing the superintendent individually,” said Linda Wacyk, director of communications for the Michigan Association of School Administrators. “Our understanding is this will be (the same) for all those (administrators) who have a direct impact on instruction.”

MASA is developing a research-based evaluation guideline for districts to use, if they chose. Wacyk said the organization will release this guide within the calendar year.

Differing tools

The Michigan Association of School Boards developed a sample evaluation form in 2011 that school board members can use. It employs a point system (1 point for “ineffective” and 4 points for “highly effective”) to score a superintendent in 11 categories, such as staff relationships, business and finance, educational leadership, personal qualities and community relations.

Each category is weighted to meet the state mandated percentages for student achievement data. A total score is tallied by each trustee.

An average of all the trustees’ scores would equate to an overall rating for the superintendent. A score of 85 to 100 percent is deemed highly effective, 68 to 84 percent is effective, 50 to 67 percent is minimally effective and less than 50 percent is ineffective.

“I don’t see us ever developing something that is all metrics like that one is,” Stead said of Ann Arbor. “A tool can’t replace the kind of in-depth conversation we tend to go and have.”

Mexicotte agreed, saying the board may be forced to use a set document at some point. But until then, she doesn’t see it happening.

Stead said the board might choose to tweak its community stakeholders survey to include the state’s effectiveness language. She said it could include this language in its summation statement to satisfy the Revised School Code.

Determining the logistics around student growth data will consume much of the board's focus throughout the next school year, Stead said.

While the MASB is a proponent of a metric-style evaluation tool for the superintendent, the Michigan Association of School Administrators is not. Wacyk said the guidelines that MASA will release “won’t involve seven board members filling out a form and turning in seven separate evaluations.”

She said superintendent evaluations should be based on the goals that have been set for the district and the goals specifically set for the superintendent.

“The straight out-of-the-box method that rates the superintendent on a list of criteria … while it might be nice to know if the superintendent is seen as visible in the school community, it will not help move the district forward,” Wacyk said. "Unless the district has set a specific goal of being more visible… But ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your superintendent is very visible if student achievement is still dropping.”

The Saline Area Schools Board of Education currently completes an annual rubric-style evaluation but in addition, Superintendent Scot Graden gives quarterly presentations "sharing artifacts and data" on progress he has made toward his superintendent goals. These presentations are used as the basis for the board's evaluation, said President Lisa Slawson.

Each trustee also fills out a form, ranking the superintendent in various categories. Last year, the Saline board implemented the state's effectiveness language, so the only piece the board will need to tweak this year is accommodating for student achievement.

The board members score Graden on a point system of 1 to 4 and write feedback individually. Each board member's comments are added to a compiled document by Slawson and that comment sheet, along with an evaluation form showing the averaged trustees' scores in each category, is filed in Graden's personnel file.

"I don't see each person's individual evaluation sheet or comments to see who said or gave what," Graden said. "Just the composite version... If there are two similar comments, the president only says it once (in the composite), but otherwise I see all of the feedback."

Because the Ann Arbor Public Schools were in a transition period last school year, having just hired Green, the board did not set superintendent goals, Stead said. Trustees will set board and superintendent goals for 2012-13 at Wednesday's board retreat.

The retreat will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Skyline High School cafeteria, following a regular school board meeting at 3 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.

Read the full summary of Ann Arbor Superintendent Patricia Green's 2012 evaluation here.

Read the complete text of Public Act 102 here and the Revised School Code here.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Jay Flannelly

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

As always, great work, Danielle! Busy times ahead!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

The Superintendent above all else is reponsible for the financial solvency of the school district and with lack of transparency and accountability we have situations such as currently exists in eastern Washtenaw County. Need I say more. We've had people come in, plunder and pillage and leave everyone with huge deficits and no way to pay them off. In an era of extreme austerity these people are no different than the corporate thugs of the private sector.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Deb Mexicotte says, above: The superintendent is an at-will employee, she added, so it's not necessary to document the superintendent's strengths, weaknesses or achievements — or any complaints about her — to terminate her contract. "If four of us (on the board) decided we'd lost confidence in the superintendent, we could vote and decide to (fire her)," Mexicotte said. Although that's true, that ignores the penalties in the contract which tie the board's hand (they would have to be super-unhappy to terminate the superintendent early in the contract): "Should the board terminate this contract prior to the expiration of this Contract without cause, then the Superintendent shall be entitled to a one-time lump sum payment in an amount eaual to eighteen (18) months salary at the rate being paid at the time of termination, or the salary which otherwise would have been paid to the Superintendent from the date of termination through the expiration of the Contract, whichever is lesser." So, although technically this contract is an at-will employee, the implications of the contract mean that the board would be unwilling to treat her that way if they were unhappy with her.


Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

How ridiculous to say that it is unnecesssary to document a superitendent's strengths, weaknesses or acheivements. The superintendent is paid by the public and should be held accountable. The Ann Arbor School Board is sounding like the Ann Arbor City Council with no need for public accountability.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

I gather the basic question is whether or not Public Act 102 and the Revised School Code are effective means of improving public school education. One one hand, it seems logical to think that applying "metrics" to the performance of school officials and teachers would make evaluation easier. On the other hand, it kept hitting me that spending 13 years in the school system as a student did very well for some students and didn't do much at all for some others - speaking "pre-metrics" era. And from current reports, I gather that it's too early to tell whether these new public school laws are going to improve that picture. My own daughter teaches in California: her complaints about the existing emphasis on testing are that they tend to enforce rote learning and test-passing becomes a priority over JUST LEARNING and JUST TEACHING kids what they should know to better deal with life after schools. I know one thing for a fact: the "raw material" of student bodies varies over time - not all kids have the same abilities and potential, so you have to be careful about what test scores actually MEAN, especially since there are some years when those native abilities in the total student body fall off. The question I have is if we should be evaluating teachers & school officials based on the fluctuations in the quality of students. Especially doubtful is whether we should base our expectations on some one-size-fits-all ideological assumption(s). I'm skeptical that, in reality, there can be clear cut standards for educating human beings. Education is still as much art as it is science and that tells me that "annual" evaluations" are just an easy way out, and wasteful of deserving, dedicated and able educators.

Basic Bob

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 4:03 a.m.

Evaluations are always somewhat subjective, in the eyes of the supervisor. But we should at least try to put it on paper. If you have that much trouble with a supervisor, you need to change your ways or go work for someone else. State law allows for the schools to apply their own recipe for evaluations, but they must be done annually, and they must be recorded in writing. Good employees have nothing to fear. Bad employees need to stand on their own.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

TruBlu...You are exactly right.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

I don't understand why anyone other than a parent should be held accountable for student attendance.

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Even if a teacher has documented the struggles a child is having with the curriculum (grades, work samples, number of outcomes not met, etc.) the parents have the right to say, I want my child to go on. The principal may support the teacher (and again, may not), but the bottom line is that AAPS will not go to an appeal level on this because it costs too much money. Middle school teachers have been told to change their grades, as the district must meet the outcomes for NCLB, period. Plus, there are always the school personnel who say it just isn't emotionally appropriate to retain a child. The public has no idea of exactly how our hands are tied, as teachers, we have no choice in this matter. Even if a parent requests a retention, it does not always happen. Everything is dependent on how the district will LOOK on paper to the state, and federal government. Although my level of student does not receive letter grades, it is almost impossible to retain students; much is related to the district issues why there are no gifted and talented programs (although building PTO's can supply funds for this), lower expectations for National Honor Society, No ranked standings for High School Students, the Achievement gap, and discipline gap. Go figure.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

What grade a child moves on to (or not) is an administrative decision. If a child gets all F's, the teachers have spoken. Why don't the parents show up and demand a repeat (or whatever will improve the learning of the child)? Do you really think the teachers sit down and say, "Well, we gave this kid all failing grades, he's missed half the days of the year, he does nothing when he is here, but let's pass him on to the next grade anyhow? Good grief!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

The teacher was told by the superintendent that they will pass every student because that is how the keep their credibility with no child left behind.....this is pitiful in my opinion and is wrong.....we need more accountability of the public school system no matter who is in charge.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

I don't disagree with you that students who perform poorly in school should not move on to the next grade, but a teacher who gives a student an F is FAILING him, not PASSING him. You may need to delve further before assigning blame. For example, did the parents agree with the decision to move the student on? A parent who requests a child be held back cannot be denied by the school.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

Do you mean to tell me that as a teacher you would not be upset that students are promoted for having all F's ? This is the accountability that we are lacking in public education.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

If a student received F's from all of his teachers but still went on to the next grade, I don't see how the teachers are to blame. But, my original point is that teachers should not be held accountable for student attendance.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Where is the teacher accountability? I know a student who received all F's and the teachers still passed him to the next that accountability?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Why is the Teaching Profession so afraid of evaluations? People complain about the product they turn out (students) yet we cannot have them graded?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Detourdoggy, teacher evaluations are not hidden. They are in the public record.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

Where in this article does is say teachers are afraid of evaluations? Where do you get your information?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

They have had it their way (hidden) for a long time and are afraid of what we may discover.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Without written evaluations, it is impossible to warn, discipline, or terminate an administrator to the satisfaction of the courts. Unless there is a breach of contract such as a felony conviction, their contracts are iron-clad. Sometimes we get a good superintendent, but it seems to be far less than half. Then it's on to greener pastures. These need to be at-will positions with written goals and OBJECTIVE performance evaluations. It ensures we get the best performance out of the administrator.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

I agree and this is what scares administrators.....accountability !!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

I just want to know one thing. Where are the evaluations for parents? Parents who have never read a book to their child, who have never helped their kid with homework, who could care less about their child's academic career? While teachers can do a lot to educate a young student, anyone with a brain knows they can't do it alone. Serious parent involvement is an absolute necessity in this day and age to get a child through the rigors of school. Let's evaluate parents on how prepared their kids are to learn and then we can evaluate teachers and superintendents.

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Don Bee, I am not sure where you get the impression that teachers are just giving up on the children who have limited parental involvement, I don't see that in anyone's reply or comments. We work our fingers to the bone helping every one of our students when they are with us in the classroom. Some teachers even tutor children after school to help, or we volunteer at community centers, or for the Non-Profit learning centers. We bring snacks for them so they can focus on work instead of their growling tummies, we pay for field trips, we buy them necessities like boots and coats, the list is endless. It breaks our hearts when we see children who recognize that their parent(s) aren't there for them. Yes, Don Bee, the children do recognize this at an early age.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

Don Bee...How about Escalante's heart? Anyone can do what he did, but not for long. Before anything else, kids need parents. Period. Kids will adopt the values of the parents. If the parents read (to their kids and on their own), kids will see reading as a valuable activity. If parents exercise, write, admire art and music, like football, think "book learnin'" is a waste of time, think staying clean of body, eating junk food, being a bully, or driving like a maniac, then what values do you think the kids will pick up? Yes, there are exceptions...many of them. But the bottom line is, mass education shouldn't be based on examples we see in life, it should be based upon, well, research. Parents have so much more contact (or, where contact is denied, more lack of contact) with their children than the teachers ever do. Parents must be involved in their children's learning from birth to when they leave home to be on their own. The parental values in regard to learning will determine where the kid ends up in the vast majority of cases. In the anectodal instances we all lhave of people whose parents didn't help them, we don't know 1. if the parents helped them or not, and we don't know 2. if some other person(s) helped by setting examples for the kids (scoutmaster, church school teacher, coach, etc.). Help your kids, and your kids will have a much better chance of doing well.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

sh1 and J.A. Pieper - Keep throwing them away! This year more than HALF of the children born in the US were born in households without a father present. We will increase the permanent underclass significantly if this is the way the education establishment thinks. Be part of the solution, not the problem. You are both in the schools - find a better way - Jaime Escalante did.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Gloria, I agree. The achievement gap is there and very evident on the first day of Kindergarten. The general public just isn't aware of how challenging it is to erase that gap when there is no parental involvement. It would be like trying to bake bread blowing warm air on it, and not using any other heat source than what you have on your person! Involvement does not mean working in your child's classroom, or going to PTO meetings (although much appreciated and valuable). What it does mean is exactly what you said, and parents, it takes time from you every day! As a parent, I am totally surprised at the amount of involvement that is requires from me to support my children, and I am not doing their work for them. They will have a project, you need supplies. You will edit papers, help them study for tests, listen to that tuba to tell if they are playing the music correctly, gather items to make a DNA model, the involvement is endless. If parents aren't involved at the elementary level, it is going to be a real struggle for their children at middle and high school levels. Parents should be involved with this, it is a three way partnership - student, parent, and teacher, and all too often it is only the teacher making the effort.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Don Bee, even though you can cite examples where students without parent involvement did well in school, that does not justify calling it a "myth." Ask any good teacher who has switched from one building without parent involvement to another with good parent involvement. Same teacher, same skills, so why do the students not perform equally under her tutelage?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Gloria - Sorry, this is a myth - I know several people who had zero parent involvement and did very well. This is the myth that lets the established school systems throw away roughly 25% of the children. I take it you are in favor of throwing away children? If yes - then believe this myth. If no, then stop letting people say this and hold the teachers accountable. Any teacher can improve the skills of a child in a good home with involved parents, good teachers can improve the skills of children who don't have that support.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Parents are not employees. If they fail, will you exile them to the gulag?

Ron Granger

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

So does any of this oversight and regulation apply to Charter schools which receive public tax dollars?

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

Yes, it applies to all employees in "schools, school districts, public school academies, intermediate school districts, and other public school entities". But they probably do it already. It is a right of employees to receive a written evaluation once a year, and a responsibility of every employer to provide one.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Rigorous evaluations for teachers is accountability, but for superintendents it is micro-management.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

I think what Floyd is making reference to is the hypocrisy of the issue, of what's good for one should be good for all.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

I totally disagree with you. Every paid position should have a rigorous written review. Just like in business.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

Not providing a written evaluation of Dr. Green is DUCKING responsibility by the school board. But that is what they do, deferring at every turn to the Superintendent and Mr. Allen. This board is more rightly called a rubber stamp, than a school board. Oh, course the next act by the school board is to run another millage election next spring. So, watch for more discussion of teacher layoffs, end of busing and other items that are designed to make parents angry, while the administration stands pat and offers raises to themselves and the board votes to approve them after the fact at 2 AM. --------------- As to teacher evaluations, Mr. Satchwell, has stated on several occasions that the AAEA in cooperation with the administration has a comprehensive teacher evaluation process that they have created. If this is true, why was this not contributed to the state process as a starting point a year ago when they said they had it and the discussion started? If AAPS has solved the teacher evaluation process to the satisfaction of both teachers and administrators, should they not share with everyone else in the state?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

leaguebus - If you check you will find that the total AAPS budget has never, ever decreased. They have always had more money to spend than the year before. This is not true in most districts in the state, but it is in Ann Arbor. Yes, the state funding has decreased slightly (3%) but the total amount that the district has continues to rise. Funny thing is since 2007 (oldest budget available) the total amount spent on administration has risen by more than $4 million. Funny that is when the current board was put in place. Most other parts of the budget are flat or declining (save retirement and benefits).


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

@leaguebus, See my comment later on in the comments. Technically the superintendent is at will, but there is a HUGE financial penalty to the district if they exercise that at-will decision.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

@leaguebus, The superintendent can't be fired without documentation. Think of the previous Willow Run superintendent who was on the payroll for years while the board of education produced adequate records to justify her firing. It could only be resolved in court. This can be prevented by a simple procedure, which is in the best interests of both parties. The alternative is to effectively replace the superintendent and continue to pay millions to a terminated employee. How does that help the school district, teachers, or students?


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Ms Green works at the behest of the BOE, so if a majority loses confidence, she could be gone tomorrow for anything. This is why they don't need evaluation documents as such. It's not like working at the U where a worker needs to have three letters of non compliance to the rules in their personnel file to be fired. if the U employee does not like the decision, they can go to court fir redress. Documentation is therefore in the U's interest. So the BOE is punishing us for 30 years of mindless tax cuts by the Republikans by cutting busses, teachers, and programs like tech Ed.? Buildings still need to be maintained and learning technology updated each year, how do you propose to pay for these things without a millage? The Rickster just cut education 15% last year, of course, in Dons view, our cash bloated public schools should easily be able to deal with this without cutting things that parents like. Every school district in the state is in trouble financially, and the smaller government Republikans cut the individual income tax again this year. This is another big tax cut for the Rickster and his rich buddies and a small needless one for the rest of us if the amount of money saved by an individual is taken into account. this just means less money for schools.