LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Scores for Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio held steady in his second yearly evaluation by the JCPS school board on Tuesday.
If one member had his druthers, Pollio would have gotten a higher mark in one area.
The Jefferson County Board of Education voted 5-1 to approve its evaluation of Pollio during a special meeting, with board member Ben Gies the lone “no” vote.
Gies took issue with a “developing” score Pollio earned in collaborative leadership. The score looked at Pollio’s relationship with the board “as they work together to establish community support for the district’s goals” by communicating with students, staff, parents, community leaders, media and others. Although he declined to elaborate on his misgivings with that part of the evaluation beyond his comments to the board, he told WDRB News that he felt the score should have been higher.
“I feel like the superintendent has gone above and beyond to do that and be forthright in that,” Gies said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I understand that this is highly unusual. However, my conscience would not permit me to vote ‘yes’ with that ranking.”
In the section on collaborative leadership, the board commended Pollio for progress he’s shown in becoming a leader in Kentucky education circles. This included his collaboration with the Jefferson County Teachers Association to implement incentive pay for teachers in priority schools and his work to improve student learning and teaching within JCPS.
Board members, however, suggested that Pollio should focus on building more consistent collaboration with stakeholders and improving communication with the board.
“The board seeks to operate as an eight person team with the board and the superintendent working seamlessly together with the board’s vision implemented via the superintendent,” Pollio’s evaluation says. “The board recognizes that the many expectations placed upon Dr. Pollio require him to act quickly and decisively. However, the speed at which the district is moving has led some to feel that less collaboration with stakeholders is occurring, and that leads to a top-down atmosphere that can stifle organizational cohesiveness and effectiveness.”
Collaborative leadership was one of seven standards in Pollio’s evaluation, and the board graded his performance in each category as either exemplary, accomplished, developing or improvement required.
Pollio scored “exemplary” in cultural leadership in this year’s evaluation, the same designation he received in that category in last year’s evaluation.
“Dr. Pollio has shown great leadership in making clear that the mission of the district must include focus on improving the environment for teaching and learning,” the board wrote in its evaluation.
Pollio received “accomplished” grades in strategic leadership, instructional leadership, managerial leadership and influential leadership, improving his score in managerial leadership from “developing” last year.
Beyond the collaborative leadership standard, Pollio also scored “developing” in human resources leadership, mirroring his performance in last year’s evaluation. He received an “accomplished” in collaborative leadership in last year’s job review.
Pollio, who makes $276,000 as JCPS superintendent, said he will not receive a pay raise after this year’s evaluation, something he’s eligible for in his contract.
Pollio told reporters that he felt the board’s evaluation of his job as superintendent during the 2018-19 school year was “right on the money.”
“I think they really hit the areas that I feel like we’ve had a lot of strength in and then areas that we need to continue to grow in,” Pollio said after Tuesday’s meeting.
Porter said the board would work with Pollio on developing goals for the upcoming school year in the weeks ahead.
Pollio’s evaluation can be read by clicking here.
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