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Letter to the editor: Mimi Larrivee should answer for Malone evaluation mistakes

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Photo courtesy of Collin Dias

Over the last few weeks I requested to see the individual evaluation made by each school committee member of Superintendent Malone. I believe it is crucial for the public to see how each school committee member rated the superintendent, the grade they gave him in his job performance. The school department only gave me the evaluations completed by Mark Costa, Paul Hart, and Kevin Aguiar. They denied providing me the remaining evaluations.

I appealed the response to the secretary of states office, and I won such appeal. The school department then provided me with the remaining evaluations of Mayor Coogan, Tom Khoury, Joshua Hetzler, and Mimi Larrivee. These remaining evaluations have the names of the evaluator redacted, so we do not know which school committee member did which evaluation. The subjective comments of the superintendent were also redacted. The reason given by the school department was the names and comments of each evaluator were redacted so said evaluator would not face “retribution” for the evaluation they make. Retribution from who? The superintendent who the evaluators are the boss of? Retribution from the voters?

Furthermore, the evaluations provided on their face appear to have modified answers. Some of the evaluations have two X’s ( two different answers on the same question). Some evaluators used check marks, and some of these check marks are crossed out and placed in another spot. One of the questions on one of the evaluations does not have any answer. And with the mass amount of changed answers, one has to question were these answers legally changed, and who changed them?

School committee member Mimi Larrivee is the chairperson of the Evaluation Subcommittee. The Evaluation subcommittee is responsible for receiving every evaluation from every school committee member, and for compiling all of the evaluation answers into one composite evaluation using a mathematical formula. The evaluation subcommittee is also responsible for subjectively choosing comments from each individual evaluation to be placed into the composite evaluation. In a 9/14/20 meeting of the Evaluation Subcommittee, it was agreed to that Mimi Larrivee would hold a subcommittee meeting before the evaluation went to full school committee to review and finalize the evaluation composite.

That never happened.

Ms. Larrivee took it upon herself to not hold that meeting. Ms. Larrivee decided to create the composite behind closed doors, with Mr. Hetzler. According to the school department, Ms. Larrivee held a closed door meeting with Mr. Hetzler to place together all of the evaluation questions into one composite via a mathematical formula. Then the school department admitted that Mimi Larrivee alone, without the advice of the committee, chose the comments that would go on the evaluation, when it was said at the evaluation subcommittee meeting that it would be done by the whole subcommittee during a public meeting.

Ms. Larrivee, I would like to hear from you on this crucial issue. Why didn’t you hold a public meeting to finalize the composite as you originally agreed to on 9/14/20. Why are there multiple answers, and crossed out answers on some of the evaluations? What answers did you choose from the double answers, and blanked answers in making the composite via a mathematical formula? Why are some of the evaluation names and comments redacted?

This school committee has not been transparent with the public on multiple issues. The committee needs to start serving the people they were elected to serve.

Collin Dias

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