Warren Drake once again has earned a favorable evaluation from the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, but his overall score dipped compared with his first year on the job.
Overall, Drake received a composite score of 3.3 on a 4-point scale for his second year as superintendent of the second largest school district in Louisiana. Anything above a 3 is considered "exceeds expectations.”
The School Board handed Drake his results Thursday night without comment and Drake waived his right to have a closed-door discussion with board members.
Like last year, Drake’s highest score was in community relations, 3.51, and his lowest score was in education leadership, 3.11, but both areas slid a bit compared with his first year as superintendent. Also, on the lower end this time was “relationship with the board,” which garnered him a 3.18.
Drake told The Advocate that he’s working on improving his relations with the nine members of the board.
“One of the things that is a challenge is keeping the board informed of things as they arise,” he said.
The tension was most evident this past spring during contentious board debates over whether to consolidate or close schools.
In the end, Drake pulled the most controversial proposals, leaving them for the future.
The proposed merger of Park Elementary with nearby Capitol Elementary, later dropped, prompted board member Kenyetta Nelson-Smith to complain that she was out of the loop, even though the issue had been discussed publicly for weeks at that point.
Last year was also rocked by the August floods, which forced 10 schools to relocate, some sharing space for months with other schools. At least two board members personally suffered flood damage to their homes. Drake, however, downplayed its impact on his ratings.
“It was a difficult year, but I don’t think that played into my evaluation,” he said.