CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia School Board Association is encouraging Kanawha County education leaders to use results of a recent self-assessment to focus on problematic areas and to inspire more goals.
Every county school board in the state is required by law to participate in the annual self-evaluation, which studies 15 indicators such as leadership, influencing others and board development.
While Kanawha County school board members did not assess themselves as "not very effective" in any category, they ranked themselves slightly lower than other counties in all but one category: policy development.
Kanawha's lowest rankings, when compared to averages across other counties, were in the categories "communications" and "parents and community involvement."
The county ranked itself highest for its decision-making.
"It appears that our peers evaluated themselves slightly higher in nearly every other category. So either we're too critical or we have some work to do," said board member Robin Rector.
But, West Virginia School Board Association Executive Director Howard O'Cull said it's important to focus less on the comparison to other counties and more on the specific answers to the survey's questions.
"Because it is a self-assessment, there are limitations and a lot is left up for interpretation. The best thing to do is focus on those broad areas you have scored the lowest on and work within that," O'Cull told members of the school board during a special session Monday. "Whether this will be of any good and come to great fruition depends on your board and how you choose to use the information. It's a tool that you can really use for some good work."
O'Cull said with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's statewide public education audit, and with more school systems taken over by the state than anywhere else in the country, assessments like this one are crucial.