The new teacher evaluation system continues to create a fire storm among teachers. The system appears to be rife with problems and everyone from the superintendent to the school board is putting as much distance as they can between themselves and the evaluation system.
Since everyone generally agrees that the system has serious flaws, the question arises as to why the new Scholl superintendent would feel constrained to write a letter teachers can request and put in their personnel file that contains some language about how screwed up the new system is and their low evaluation score may not be their fault.
For more detail Curtis Kruger from the Tampa Bay Times has a good article For Pinellas teachers upset about evaluations, superintendent writes letter of explanation.
The problem I see with this approach is once in the file, the letter will stay forever. Any teacher with a nickel's worth of sense will want one of these letters in their file, regardless of their evaluation score, because the first time any action is taken regarding their performance out the letter will pop.
The entire conversation will shift to the evaluation system and that is precisely what the teachers union wants. Does not matter if it is next week or five years from now.
Superintendent Grego is about to find out how good the Pinellas County Teachers Union is. They have run the show here for years and if he caves in early he will be just as ineffective at cleaning up the school system as his predecessors.
Everyone knows the evaluation system the Administration created is flawed. There has certainly been enough press. The Union made sure of that.
Grego and his Administration should quickly go back through the evaluation system and get a revised proposal to the State as soon as possible. Let's stop apologizing, creating documented excuses for poor performance and just get it fixed.
Then there is also the left hand chance that the system is more accurate than the teachers want to admit and the poor performers really are - poor performers.
Speaking of the Administration, if Grego hasn't already started a major house cleaning, the party is already pretty much over.
Snuggling up to the union has never worked out particularly well for Pinellas County School Superintendents, I doubt things have changed.
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