Lenox schools chief Edward W. Costa II earns ‘proficient' rating


LENOX -- Schools Superintendent Edward W. Costa II has received a grade of "proficient," according to a School Committee evaluation covering the 2012-13 academic year.

The summary unveiled at the committee's most recent meeting covered the first year of a new, statewide evaluation system being rolled out to cover all public school staffers from superintendents to teachers and non-faculty employees.

The overall summary combines individual evaluations prepared by each member of the committee, School Committee Chairman Don Fitzgerald said.

Assessing progress toward targets set jointly by Costa and the committee at the outset of the school year, Fitzgerald said professional practice, student learning and district improvement goals were met.

The "proficient" grade was awarded based on instructional leadership, management and operations, family and community engagement, as well as professional culture, Fitzgerald stated. The impact on student learning was "moderate," he added.

Addressing Costa, Fitzgerald said that "we as a committee would ask you to pay particular attention to fostering the growth of administrators so they can be focused" on encouraging "open, two-way dialogue" involving everyone with a stake in the school system.

Fitzgerald also urged continuing attention to "regulatory compliance, district growth, technology, fiscal conservation and availability to stakeholders."

He also called for ensuring that targets for the superintendent "are the same as for our educators -- clear, concise, measurable, attainable goals that result in what we want: a better-running district."

According to state Board of Education guidelines, the ratings for evaluations are exemplary, proficient, needs improvement and unsatisfactory.

"A rating of proficient represents fully satisfactory performance," the guidelines state. "A rating of exemplary is reserved for performance that exceeds proficient and represents a regional or state model."

Under the state's new procedures, exemplary evaluations have been awarded only rarely -- as Scituate School Committee Chairman Rich Hebert put it recently: "It's a one-in-a-million rating."

To contact Clarence Fanto:

cfanto@yahoo.com or (413) 637-2551.

On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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