[Hering] Say what?


When such contracts result in settlements like the one in Lebanon, school systems have to pay for work or services they don’t get. And that is not normally the best way to spend public funds. (hh)

I actually get where this is coming from.  The perspective has a certain appeal.  But I think Hering ignores something:  Namely, that a rolling contract is an incentive, a way to hire better Superintendents.  Those districts that don’t offer competitive contracts won’t attract the same quality of applicants.  After all, put yourself in the Superintendent’s shoes.

Besides – and I think this part is key – such contracts also give Superintendents incentive to focus on more long-term programs.  A single-year contract is actually an incentive to find the quick fix, the thing that looks good in the short run, with little thought towards the long run.

I am intentionally avoiding making this about Robinson – this is intended to be a discussion of why such rolling contracts exist in the first place.  Yes, there is potential downside, but it’s not like a board can’t evaluate a Superintendent every year and make renewal contingent on the Superintendent meeting specific conditions.  And there is a very real reason they exist in the first place.

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8 Comments on “[Hering] Say what?”

  1. anonymous Says:

    I don’t have a problem with rolling contracts, but there has to be an out, also. If the board would like to move in another direction, or whatever, there needs to be a way to seperate. You can set it up to protect the administration. I have talked to attorneys and the OSBA, and the contract Mr. Robinson had was not typical. Set up a contract that costs a bit to get out of, so it won’t be broken on a whim, yet protects the employee. Such as no cause release but one year salary on release. The problem with Mr. Robinson’s contract was even if the entire community wanted him gone, he could hang out for 3 years. That is a long time to have people be unhappy.

  2. rhetoricalwasteland Says:

    What’s interesting is that hiring a Superintendent now appears to be like dating. I don’t get why no one addresses the possibility of requiring a Superintendent change, rather than assume a Superintendent is linked inextricably to a particular program.

    Style, maybe. Programs, no. Or at least they shouldn’t be.

    Am I being naive here?

  3. anonymous Says:

    That is why School Board Policy is in place. To address in a concrete, non-subjective, manner the issues that come up for the School Board Members while they are serving.
    There are processes in place to deal with things like needing a Superintendent to change.
    This process is called an evaluation. It is a tool to be used to provide feedback in specific areas that need to be changed or that are going well. If used properly it gets everyone on the right track or it provides for a path to part ways if those changes are not forthcoming.
    A good contract protects the employee by stating that they can’t be let go or fired without having gone through this legal process of knowing what is expected, where they stand on what is expected, and what they can do to improve their standing, given a year to make those improvements–along with some professional training if needed, being reevaluated, and so on.
    It also protects the District by insuring a reasonably good hire and a process for dealing with any difference of opinions and styles as they arise because those differences are inevitable when more than one person is involved.
    In other words a good contract is neutral. It is not more in favor of either the employee nor the District.
    If a new employee knows that the District is not looking for any excuse for a divorce, a good contract wouldn’t need to be an ironclad pre-nup agreement.


    The superintendent’s job performance will be evaluated at least once during the course of each fiscal year. The evaluation will be based on any applicable standards of performance and progress in attaining any goals for the year established by the superintendent and the Board.

    Additional criteria for the evaluation, if any, will be developed at a public Board meeting prior to conducting the evaluation and the superintendent will be notified of the additional criteria prior to the evaluation.

    The Board’s discussion and conference with and about the superintendent and his/her performance will be in executive session, unless the superintendent requests an open session. However, such an executive session will not include directives about or a general evaluation of any district goal, objective or operation. Results of the evaluation will be written and placed in the superintendent’s personnel file.

  4. anonymous Says:

    Should still not require THREE YEARS to remove someone. EVER.

  5. anonymous Says:

    Unless you have a successful recall (not likely in Lebanon) you have FOUR years of a Board Member.

  6. rhetoricalwasteland Says:

    But board members are elected. Seriously.

  7. anonymous Says:

    anonymous October, 10, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    “Unless you have a successful recall (not likely in Lebanon) you have FOUR years of a Board Member.”

    The people have spoken, two to one that they support the board members. The recall is a check and balance provision if you will and it just reaffirmed what the people wanted.

  8. LT Says:


    The font on comments is too small for old people.

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