NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ767615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
The Case of the Messy Desk
McGrath, Mary Jo
School Administrator, v64 n6 p30 Jun 2007
The author of this article, an education attorney, begins by describing a case where, a school superintendent of personnel for a rural school district in Michigan had just received a performance evaluation with high marks and a new three-year contract. Two months later the school board called him into a closed session and presented him with anonymous concerns about his performance, ranging from a disorderly desk to unopened e-mail. On the spot he was ordered to respond immediately or resign. He refused and was placed on administrative leave. The seven-member elected school board in the 2,000-student district was going to be judge and jury in a due process hearing to decide the superintendent's fate. During his eight years as a high-level administrator with the school district, this superintendent had never received any notice of complaints about him or any warning that his job was in jeopardy, and he never received any opportunity to correct perceived shortcomings. There was a definite failure to communicate and an apparent lack of commitment to provide feedback for continuous improvement. When offered a year's compensation to leave quietly, the superintendent drew the line and told the board to fire him or buy out his three-year deal at $103,960 per year. In February, the school board fired him, and in return he is suing the board. The author uses this scenario derived from an actual case to illustrate the shortcomings in current evaluation processes which she argues are not truly evaluative in nature and may reflect a missing channel of communication in school systems. Real life examples of quality feed back, and constructive communication systems between school superintendents, and school boards are described and recommendations for improvement are provided as examples for other school districts.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho; Michigan