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Overton BOE Concerned About Test Scores

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton BOE Concerned About Test Scores

A performance review of Overton Director of Schools Mark Winningham during Tuesday’s meeting board of education meeting shows the school system is under performing academically.

The board evaluates each school from scores one to five with three representing a normal year of academic progression. For the past two years, four schools have scored a two. Chairman Jarman Hicks said according to Winningham’s contract, this school year is considered a probational period to increase the overall score.

“Right now, we are not maintaining that,” Hicks said. “So, at the point of two consecutive years there would be a probationary period. A one year probationary period. Failure to raise those schools may result in unilateral terminating the contract of employment for cause.”

The contract was signed back in 2018. Board members Mitchell Stonecipher and Wayne Taylor requested in last month’s meeting for Winningham’s contract to be reviewed. Hicks said this is a regular procedure when new seat holders join.

“You review it that way if your board does wish to change stipulations, extend, terminate,” Hicks said. “Any time you deal with the director’s contract you announce it and review it fully.”

Board members were unable to submit their 2019 performance reviews because the pandemic struck in March. Board member William Abston said some of the decline in scores is due to changes at the state level.

“They redone some of the testing,” Abston said. “They said some of the score would fluctuate some because of the rigueur they were trying to introduce.”

According to the contract, the director is evaluated on the mean of the schools and has the ability to make appropriate changes to improve scores. Hicks said the contract expires June 30, 2022.


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