Jun 19, 2013 11:26 PM by Erin Steuber

Cooper's First Job Evaluation Delayed

Lafayette Parish Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper will have to wait a month to get his first job evaluation.

Cooper has been on the job for a year, and Tuesday the school board was scheduled to discuss the results of his evaluation during the public meeting, something Cooper initially wanted done behind closed doors.

The reason for the delay?

The board is missing one evaluation from Board Member Mark Cockerham, who was also absent from Tuesday's meeting. KATC's Erin Steuber spoke to Cockerham on the phone who says his evaluation of Cooper is complete, but it was simply a matter of not being able to drop it by the office. He says when he spoke to Board President Shelton Cobb he felt as though there was not enough time to do a proper evaluation and a decision was made before the meeting to pull the item.

Here's how the evaluation process works:

Each of the nine board members fill out a written evaluation of Cooper. The evaluations are comprised of 6 categories. Those are policy, planning, leadership, organization, communication and professionalism. Then he'll be given an average score from all nine evaluations.

This has been a tough year for Lafayette Parish Schools with a record number of teachers retiring and resigning, citing discipline issues as a main factor for leaving. Now, Cooper is trying to make changes to make sure this mass exodus does not happen again next year. But other issues, such as controversial hires, left Cooper with an official board reprimand in his file.

"I think we will keep it public. I think it's a good way for everybody to hear all the different sides of the story and the feelings and frustrations people have. I think we will have an opportunity to hear what the board has to say, and they will have an opportunity to hear what I have to say," said Cooper. "I think the public wants to hear all that."

"I actually have the mechanism to compile the data. I could have done it without him (Cockerham) being present," said Board Member Rae Trahan. "But without his (Cockerham's) evaluation we needed to wait until we received it."

Cooper's evaluation has been delayed until the next board meeting on July 17th.



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