The D.C. school board yesterday voted to reappoint Vincent E. Reed as schools superintendent for the next years.
The vote was 10-0 with one board member, R. Calvin Lockridge (Ward 8) abstaining. Lockridge later said he abstained because he is unhappy with the idea of reappointing a superintendent without first evaluating that superintendent's years in office.
After the board's vote, which followed a closed-door conference between the board and the superintendent, the board gave Reed a "letter of understanding," praising his performance but outlining 10 areas of school operations Reed will be expected to work on during the next three years.
These areas include:
Accelerating the speed with which the Competency Based Curriculum is put into action. CBC is the centerpiece of Reed's back-to-basics program for revitalizing academic achievement.
Improving communications between the superintendent's office and the school board. "The superintendent must make every effort to inform Board Members of important occurrences and anticipate noteworthy events," the letter said.
Creating a new procedure for the supervision and evaluation of school officers.
Monitoring local school operations
And meeting with the board regularly to discuss the school system until the board adopts a formal procedure for evaluating the superintendent's performance.
Reed sat to the left of the board during the vote. Afterwards he thanked the board for the "vote of confidence," and said the school system has "a long way to go."
". . . I say to you and all the persons that are concerned about the quality of education in our city." Reed told the board, "that we will work very hard to increase the quality of education to make sure that our youngsters can stand up against any other large city school system in the country. . ."
The board's letter, written by its president, Conrad P. Smith, said Reed has "made a good start in turning around a school system that has been trouble for over a decade. In fact, no superintendent of the D.C. public schools has fully completed his or her term of office since Dr. Carl Hansen, who served three full terms.
Three board members, John Warren (Ward 6). Frank Shaffer-Corona (at large) and Lockridge, argued that the board should have developed an evaluation producedure to rate Reed's three years in office before voting to reappoint him.
Shaffer-Corona proposed amending Reed's letter of reappointment to limit his new term to one year, thus giving the time to establish an evaluation producedure. The proposal was ruled out of order by school board president Smith, who said that city rules require the superintendent to be appointed to a three year term.