Richmond County BOE meeting: still no decision concerning Superintendent Charles Larke's performance evaluation

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

Tuesday night, more closed door meetings about the Richmond County School Superintendent's evaluations, but still no concrete answers about a decision.

School board members have their hands full after another go-round about Dr. Charles Larke.

Tonight, they continued his performance evaluation, but still revealed no verdict.

That verdict may not come for another two weeks. Board members made it perfectly clear Tuesday that they have until April 1 to finish their homework.

The date and the time are set to continue closed-door discussions about Dr. Larke's performance: March 29 and 30 at 4 o'clock.

"Well, it's a very complicated process, it's a give and take process. Obviously the board is taking the evaluation of the superintendent very seriously," says Hasan.

So seriously, in fact, board members are eating up every last second, despite a looming state deadline of April 1.

"And we have not finished so it's not over," says school board member Barbara Pulliam.

While Dr. Larke waits for his grades, recent criticisms of his contract ring loudly.

Some board members - notably A.K. Hasan - have been publicly bashing its language and requesting a brand new contract be drawn, without term rollovers or tax-free annuities.

"They may or may not share my opinion but I have the right to echo the sentiments that I'm echoing and also to bring forth the information to the public that I am bringing forth," says Hasan.

"Everybody has issues," says Andreena Meyers, mother of a 7th grader. "Let's iron 'em out. And let's stop pointing at everybody else."

Meyers was one of the few parents at Tuesday's meeting.

"I won't say fighting but I'm saying it's not as smooth as it could be," she says.

Smooth or rough, board members insist they're working as a team to finish what they've been elected to do, no matter how long it takes.

"And we still are going through everything. That's about as much as I can say," Pulliam says.

"We are on time," says Hasan. "It's only if we go past April 1 that we will be going beyond the deadline."

A lot is riding on this.

If Larke is given an unsatisfactory evaluation, he would work out the remainder of his current term, which is through June of 2008. At that time, the board would begin looking for his replacement.

Also on the agenda Tuesday was teacher morale.

Board members want to issue surveys to test satisfaction ratings throughout the school system.

"Teacher satisfaction is key to student progress and achievement, so when teachers are happy then students learn," says Carol Roundtree, the board's Guidance, Testing and Research Director.

The board is considering two surveys. One costs $10,000, and has been previously used in North Carolina. The other is free and issued by the Teacher's Association.

Also from Education Team 12, no decision on Murphey Middle School's charter status.

Tuesday, school officials said they're working on a revised petition for the school's charter.

They say they're still hammering out some budget issues.

They'll bring their petition to the Richmond County School Board sometime in April.

If approved, Murphey Middle's petition will go to the state school board for approval.


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