Community member files OEA complaint against Danville school board for non-renewal of superintendent contract

Published 4:15 am Friday, March 23, 2018

In an attempt to get more answers as to why Danville Independent Superintendent Keith Look’s contract was not renewed during a Feb. 19 board of education meeting, a complaint has been filed with the Office of Educational Accountability by a community member.

Elaine Wilson-Reddy filed the complaint on Wednesday, citing the events from that meeting. In the complaint, she requests that the Office of Educational Accountability (OEA):

• require additional training for board of education members on transparency, the meaning and use of objective measurable outcomes and on appropriate and effective use of the superintendent evaluation tool;

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• oversee the superintendent screening and hiring process to ensure it is done to “negate influence by those with personal agendas;” and

• rule the process by with Look’s contract was not renewed is void and require the board to complete his evaluation with “objective, measurable evidence of his failure to meet expectations.”

Wilson-Reddy said via email that others in the community gave input on the complaint.

Wilson-Reddy said, “It boils down to this: If Dr. Look’s performance has been so egregious, where is the evidence? What board policies has he broken? What objective, measurable, documented act, or acts, has he failed to achieve to warrant not continuing his contract?”

In the complaint, Wilson-Reddy broke down the three evaluations Look has received. In the first, he was rated by the board as between threshold and developing. A rubric, she said, was not completed.

In the second and third evaluations, in 2016 and 2017, Look was not given growth plans, she said.

“In reading the summative evaluation, the comments do not appear to support the actual area of measurement nor are the comments objective or measurable,” Wilson-Reddy said about the 2016 evaluation.

The 2017 evaluation also included no objective or measurable steps, but did give “positive” comments.

In the second evaluation, Look was rated in areas of strategic leadership, cultural leadership, human resource leadership, collaborative leadership and influential leadership, where he was rated as developing; he was rated accomplished in instructional and managerial leadership.

In the third evaluation in 2017, he was rated as accomplished in areas of strategic, collaborative and influential leadership, while rated developing in cultural and human resources leadership.

Wilson-Reddy also took the three members of the board who voted to remove Look to task in the complaint for having prepared statements.

“The prepared statements give the impression of back-door dealings and potential violations of the Kentucky Open Meetings Law,” she said.

Board Chair Paige Matthews, who has been criticized for texting during the meeting and has been defended by board attorney Vince Pennington for responding to requests of those present in the meeting via text, is also critiqued in the complaint, without name.

“Her cell number is not available publicly. No matter how inane the texts might have been, she was carrying on private, ex party conversations during a public meeting on a device not available to the public,” Wilson-Reddy said.

Wilson-Reddy said she was filing the complaint because “a small but vocal group who has ease of access to board members has placed the educational success of all Danville students in jeopardy because Dr. Look wouldn’t play their games. Good for him! Sad for our school district.”

A call was made to the Office of Educational Accountability. Bryan Jones, investigations division manager, said the office could neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was ongoing.

Vince Pennington, the school board’s attorney, was not immediately able to comment.