The process of evaluating new School Superintendent Margaret Allen begins tonight, as Montgomery County School Board members approve a new tool that will be used to grade how she's doing.
Margaret Allen is pretty popular now and she has a lot of support. School board members want to make sure she continues to do her job and they say this new evaluation method will ensure that.
Montgomery County School board president Eleanor Dawkins says she knows the perception of Montgomery Public Schools.
"It's going to take some years, because we're deep in the hole," she says. "We know it. We all know it and we're deep in the hole with her trying to work our way out. "
She says the only way to move the school system forward is with strong leadership and school board members hope a new way to evaluate superintendents will give them that.
"The old evaluation was very intense," Dawkins says.
School board members once used the Alabama Professional Education Personnel Evaluation or PEPE for short. But they say it was ineffective because it was lengthy and that the actual evaluation was usually lost in the paperwork.
"It was good for growth but it was not very good, in my opinion, for an actual evaluation," says school board member Melissa Snowden.
After looking at methods used across the state, board members and Superintendent Allen came up with a new evaluation system, which was put together by Education Specialist Dr. Vernet Nettles.
"The timeline dictates that in August of each year, the superintendent completes a self assessment and prepares a professional learning plan," Nettles explains.
That learning plan will be based off results from the self assessment. The superintendent will have from August to April to prove she is doing a good job. In May, she'll be evaluated on subjects like finances, communication skills, and training.
"This is really like a report card, like what we use for our students," Snowden says.
The school system has had a high turnover in superintendents in recent years. Board members hope that will come to halt because this new system will allow them to have a hands on approach to evaluating superintendents more thoroughly.