Cincinnati school superintendent gets low grades on her mid-year Board evaluation

Iranetta Wright criticized for 'lack of transparency' and 'top down' approach
Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Iranetta Wright
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 13, 2023

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Iranetta Wright received low marks for what most Board of Education members perceived as her failure to effectively communicate and collaborate with the Board, staff and parents of students, according to Wright's mid-year evaluation.

Wright, hired a year ago, also received mostly ratings of 'below expectations' or 'significantly below expectations' for recruiting, developing and retaining staff, according to her review.

CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright talks with a student in May 2022
CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright talks with a student in May 2022

"Staff have also expressed that they are undervalued, and are working in a culture of fear," one unidentified Board member wrote in the comments section of Wright's evaluation.

CPS provided Wright's evaluation to the WCPO 9 I-Team on Wednesday in response to the I-Team's public records request.

"I have shifted some of my work in particular around collaboration with the Board of Education, our unions and school leaders," Wright wrote in a statement emailed to the I-Team. "I appreciate the constructive feedback from the Board and look forward to continuing our work together as we provide quality service to our students, staff and community."

A WCPO 9 analysis of Wright's mid-year evaluation found that her average rating was 2.8 on a 1-5 scale.

That's slightly below 'met expectations'.

On her evaluation, Wright received her highest ratings for modeling and supporting effective use of data and for ensuring the development and implementation of high-quality standards-based instruction.

But her mid-year evaluation also showed the district was far behind on some performance measures, including the percentage of students with proficiency in Algebra I.

Five of the seven elected Board members wrote comments on Wright's mid-year evaluation.

They were not identified by name.

"Stakeholders are expressing concerns of limited engagement, exclusion and ineffective communication which has an impact on the strategic plan of some stakeholders," one Board member wrote.

The same Board member wrote, "the face of the district has evolved from our students to the Superintendent being in almost all forward facing pictures and literature no matter the topic."

Wright was praised for being an "amazing leader with so much potential," another Board member wrote. "SW is bold, bright with ideas."

Another Board member described Wright as a "highly skilled, even gifted communicator that this district needs."

In an email to the I-Team, Board President Ben Lindy wrote that Wright's final annual evaluation won't take place until this fall.

"We feel that evaluating the superintendent is one of the Board’s most important jobs," Lindy wrote. "We feel this way because we take both our progress and our challenges extremely seriously."

Read Superintendent Wright's full mid-year evaluation below:

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