Pinellas County might change teacher evaluations - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas County might change teacher evaluations

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

In Pinellas County classrooms, students aren't the only ones being tested. Lisa Grant, the Director of Professional Development for the district, says the way they evaluate educators needs to change.

"We know evaluations measure a teacher at a point in time, Grant said. "Our goal is a system that supports teachers continuous development and growth."

As it stands now, the district uses student FCAT scores to grade teachers. Grant says one test score doesn't tell the whole story.

"For some of our teachers  it's a school wide score they use so it's not the students they teach," Grant said. 

Grant says a new system would change that. She wants to launch a pilot program in the fall that would be about more than just the FCAT. Teacher evaluations would include:

  • Student scores from weekly exams
  • Unit tests
  • Course tests
  • Student written evaluations

Charlotte Canakes, a former Pinellas County teacher, says she understands the district's struggle. She believes it's difficult to put a number on a teacher.

"It would just be really nice if the teachers where it's obvious they know what they're doing if they could just give some freedom to use and do what they know how kids learn best," Canakes said.

Hillsborough County already uses a more balanced teacher evaluation model. Steve Hegarty, with the district, says they used to follow a similar format to Pinellas but now

  • 25% of a teacher's evaluation is based on peer review from a former teacher
  • 35% from Principal input
  • 40% from the FCAT and other standardized tests

The new program in Pinellas still has a ways to go. Before the district can launch the pilot program at a few schools in the Fall, the School Board has to approve it.

 

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