“If there is a rating, effective or highly effective, I want to be highly effective,” Master said. She explained effective means “You are doing a really good job, you are doing what you are supposed to do.”
Highly effective means more. “It’s like being LeBron James, how he was in the playoffs,” she said.
At Hialeah Gardens Middle School, Karla Mats received “effective” — the second-highest rating — on the majority of her evaluation this year, leaving her frustrated.
Last year, her peers voted Mats, who works with students with disabilities, teacher of the year.
“This appraisal really has to do with what your administrator feels about you, not the effectiveness you have, not the impact you have in that classroom,” Mats said, venting online in a YouTube video, Diary of a Mistreated Teacher.
Mats added: “A gifted student is not going to put up with a ‘B.’ They’re going to fight for an ‘A.’ It’s the same with teachers,” Mats said.
The union is surveying more teachers online about the process.
Bill Younkin, a statistics instructor at the University of Miami and an education consultant, said the heightened anxiety is just one of the consequences of the new system that will ultimately tie teacher pay to student scores and evaluations.
“It no longer becomes an improvement instrument; it becomes a source of friction,” Younkin said of the evaluation. “Teachers want to fight with their principals about their evaluation. They don’t want to listen to what they need to improve — they want fight for their salary.”