Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley remembers when her predecessor’s performance evaluations were based on school board members’ opinions.
That has changed since she became superintendent in 2007, and 65 percent of McGinley’s review comes from students’ test scores. She said she likes it that way, and she’s pleased with her most recent rating of “met expectations and goals for improvement.”
“There were no surprises,” she said. “The board set high goals. They’re daunting goals, and my team keeps meeting them.”
The school board signed off Monday night on her evaluation, and she earned an overall score of 3.55 on a five-point scale. The board had little to say in executive or open session about her performance, and school board Chairwoman Cindy Bohn Coats said that’s because the board constantly is talking about McGinley’s performance.
“People have a wide variety of views on how she is executing her job,” she said. “She has a clearly defined set of responsibilities, and that is Vision 2016.”
Vision 2016 is the district’s five-year plan to improve student achievement, and McGinley’s review is closely aligned with it. Vision 2016 spells out what students should be achieving by 2016, such as 98 percent of third-graders will be scoring “met” or better in English/language arts on the state PASS exam. The district has annual scores that would need to be hit to make that 2016 target.
On her review, McGinley could earn the most possible points if she hit her 2013 progress goal, which was described as “audacious” by the Studer Group, which facilitated her evaluation.
McGinley said she was proud of the growth district schools had made.
“(The progress) we are making is real. It’s significant. And it’s irrefutable,” she said.
Sixty-five percent of her evaluation comes from the objective factors in the test scores, and the remaining 35 percent comes from employee and parent satisfaction surveys and board members’ ratings.
Board members reviewed her on seven factors, and their averaged scores count for 10 percent of her evaluation. Her best score was for management, which earned a seven on a scale of one to 10, and her weakest was for community relations, with a 6.29. Her overall score from board members was 6.61.
Board member Chris Collins was the only current board member who didn’t review the superintendent. Collins said he has been busy with church activities and hadn’t gotten around to doing so.
On Tuesday, he said McGinley had done a good job with reading academies and expanding pre-kindergarten, but he said he felt as if she hadn’t paid enough attention to high-poverty schools and minority students.
“My problem is schools such as North Charleston Elementary and Burns Elementary, schools that have been down for too many years, and there’s not been any real focus to improve the academic success of the children,” he said.
This was the second consecutive year board member Elizabeth Moffly rated a McGinley a “1” on the 10-point scale in every single area. No other board member gave her a “1” in any area.
The only “10” McGinley received was from board member Craig Ascue for her communication.
McGinley said she would have given herself different ratings for her strengths and weaknesses. Her vision and management would be among her top skills, and she said there is room for improvement for “relationship with colleagues,” which covers her relationship with the board.
“That remains a work in progress,” she said.
The board agreed last year to extend McGinley’s contract until December 2016 to coincide with the final year of Vision 2016. Other than cost of living adjustments that other district employees received, McGinley’s $214,000 base salary hasn’t increased since the 2009-10 school year.
Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.