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The problem with administrators and evaluations

The paper today had an article about a teacher who was fired. Her evaluations were satisfactory and then a new principal transferred in and things went downhill. I can‘t speak about this particular case but it is more common than you might think for teachers to go from satisfactory or better to needs improvement or worse all because of a change in school leadership.

Here in Duval we have had a huge leadership problem. Under the former super’s reign who you knew and who you were loyal to rather than one’s ability determined a lot of promotions. Where we do have a fair amount of outstanding leaders this sadly led to a lot of bullies masquerading as administrators and 27 year old vice principals being responsible for the day to day running of many schools.

A lot of these so called leaders play favorites on one hand and are vindictive of perceived slights on the other. Then sprinkle in the fact that many principals do like younger teachers, not for their ability mind you but because they are easily malleable and most don’t know what they don’t know and we have some real problems. The district has been skewing young for years now and that has led to many of our problems. We need a mix of young and energetic teachers and experienced teachers too.

Right after refusing to acknowledge let along mitigate poverty, school based leadership is probably the districts biggest problem and that is why we can no longer do things the same way. The district needs to be proactive and recruit leaders from the surrounding counties and then it also needs to recruit its next generation of leaders from the current group of teachers. Newsflash just because you can pass a test it doesn’t make you a leader and neither does being able to schmooze the higher-ups. Furthermore every school has teachers that most of the other teachers look up to and go to when they need help and they too should be recruited for leadership positions. Yes losing them in the classroom would be a blow but if we have learned one thing over the last few years it should have been that one principal or a couple vice principals can make or break an entire school.

Like I said above I won’t make a judgment about the teacher who got fired but I can say I was alarmed at something that Superintendent Vitti said in the article: Vitti said the teacher might have had a previous principal who was lenient.

I guess that is possible however he has only been here for a few months so I doubt he knows one way or another but you know what else might be possible? The principal in place now is a bully masquerading as an administrator. Having worked in Duval for over a decade, I know that is a real possibility too.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-05-31/story/terminated-duval-teacher-appeals-districts-decision#ixzz2Us3HEHo1

3 comments:

  1. Another teacher and I, who teach the same subject/grade, were evaluated by the same admin. She has taken 50 days off this year. No FMLA. She never requested a sub or left a lesson plan. She called in 9 days in a row without even communicating with the administration. I have taken 2 days off this year and would never consider leaving a sub without a plan for 90 minutes. She got a better evaluation that I did! Why? She's a pet of the principal!

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  2. For far too long bad teachers have been told that they were ok or doing a good job. For once in their life they will get fair and honest assessment, and the bad ones will be let go. That should make all of us happy...especially the really good teachers.

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  3. When will that happen? CAST is touted as objective, but it is no more objective than previous evaluation instruments. My leader plays favorites and is vindictive. The FAME survey shows that. Please, Dr. Vitti, find some good leaders for us.

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