Teachers face the grade: Evaluations rank educators on A-F scale

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - With teachers on strike in Chicago over evaluation methods, educators here in the Palmetto State are concerned over proposed guidelines and how they will be affected.

The State Department of Education recently released Proposed Guidelines for Educator Evaluation. It will rank teachers and principals on an A-F scale based on their Educator Effectiveness Levels. This means a teacher could be labeled as an 'A' teacher or as an 'F.'

"An evaluation system should not be punitive, to the point of a teacher bearing a label as being a "D" or an "F" teacher based on circumstances that may or may not be fully in his or her control," says Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools.

Horry County officials support improving their educators and having teachers and principals accountable for their effectiveness and success level. However, Horry County employees are upset over not being included in changing these guidelines.

"So many people impacted by something that is so important as public education, there needs to be more voice from people who are actually working in that system," says Britton, "people just wanted to have a voice and know what was changing, and to have a say in what will change."

Area schools have created their own survey to show State Board Members that more needs to be done before these changes are put into place. Many school officials believe these new evaluation guidelines could be detrimental.

"We support accountability. But it should be structured that it is helpful in improving the system and improving our delivery of services to students," says Britton.

The State Board of Education is holding a meeting Wednesday to present the proposed guidelines. As with every meeting, there will be a chance for the public to talk and express concern over the items on the agenda.

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