Big Florida School District Board “Very Uncomfortable” With Teacher Evaluation System


From Karen Yi in the Sun Sentinel:

School officials in Palm Beach County say they’re still uneasy about the district’s new way of evaluating teachers.

They worry the system that kicked in last year and will be tied to teacher pay by 2014, is borderline punitive and could lead to unfair scores for teachers.

Board member Frank Barbieri said if 187 different principals at 187 different schools don’t score in the same way “a whole bunch of teachers will suffer for it.”

He urged district officials to make sure to put “safety checks along the way” as the district doesn’t have much of a choice but to forge ahead with the state-mandated system.

“I know we don’t have any choice and we have to do this,” said Barbieri.

Others worried the system’s emphasis on teacher strategies could snuff out innovation in the classroom.

“Not all of the measurements are appropriate to the lessons at the time of the evaluation,” said board member Karen Brill.  “I’m very uncomfortable with it.”

This year, the district did not allow any teacher to receive a rating below “effective” as it was the first year the system was implemented.

“The purpose of this is not a gotcha, this is for the development of a teacher,” said Superintendent Wayne Gent. “When we get to where we need to be, this will be more foolproof than what we had.”

Click here to read the district’s presentation on the teacher evaluation system

The Palm Beach School Board was one of the first to sign onto the Resolution on High-Stakes Testing. Their concern for the first run at the rigid observation guidelines of SB 736 certainly reflects this. Board members Frank Barbieri and Karen Brill already know that tests mean too much. T0 make sense of an elaborate observation rubric from multiple observers to make up the other half of a teacher’s evaluation must seem every bit as crazy to them as it does to anyone else who’s not in the legislature or at the Florida DOE.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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3 Responses to Big Florida School District Board “Very Uncomfortable” With Teacher Evaluation System

  1. lindajanney says:

    The Marzano system is bizarre.

  2. Redvonn says:

    Marzano himself has said publicly that he doesn’t like what Florida has done with his work and that it was NEVER designed to be an evaluation system in this format. No one listens… Just wait, because if these school districts haven’t figured out that the first teachers tat get canned by this eval format will sue the district and the state, they will soon. Hence why now all the sudden they don’t like it. Whole reason I left public school teaching in Florida and others have followed! The ones that get hurt- the kids!

  3. Pingback: Big Florida School District Board “Very Uncomfortable” With Teacher Evaluation System | FPEP Blog

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