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Peabody superintendent review lower than self assessment

Posted by Sean Teehan  November 12, 2010 12:03 PM

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A Peabody School Committee review of Superintendent C. Milton Burnett's performance placed him between "Needs Improvement" and "Satisfactory," in contrast with his self assessed score placing him between "Above Average" and "Superior."

The review, dated Nov. 4, rates the Superintendent on a scale from one to five on 29 different areas of his performance. The committee's gave Burnett an average score of 2.66, while Burnett put himself at 4.27.

According to Mayor Michael Bonfanti, Chair of the School Committee, disparities often occur between public employees' performance reviews and self assessments, which often affect the employee's status in his or her field.

"It's not uncommon" to see a difference, Bonfanti said. "You take a look at [performance reviews] and that will be discussed when time comes for pay raises or contract renewal."

The review is an instrument that "captures the job performance of administrators and supervisors throughout the year relative to the principles of effective administrative leadership," according to text included in the review.

Among performance areas on which the committee judged Burnett, he scored highest for "Supports ongoing professional development" where the committee rated him at 3.67 and he rated himself at 4. His lowest score was for "Demonstrates and promotes an atmosphere of respect for self and others" where he received a 1.64 and gave himself a 5.

Bonfanti added that  the committee score only seems low because inflated ratings in society, which rate too many people "above average" have made a "Satisfactory" rating sound poor.

"The school committee sets a pretty tough standard," Bonfanti said. "A rating in the middle is a satisfactory rating."

Burnett could not immediately be reached for comment.

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